You are browsing the archive for 2014 January 25.

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Rothbard: Gun Regulation Explained

January 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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This month, dozens of state legislatures will convene, and many of them plan to hear new proposed gun laws. This selection from For a New Liberty explains some basics of gun regulation:

by Murray Rothbard

If, as libertarians believe, every individual has the right to own his person and property, it then follows that he has the right to employ violence to defend himself against the violence of criminal aggressors. But for some odd reason, liberals have systematically tried to deprive innocent persons of the means for defending themselves against aggression. Despite the fact that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” the government has systematically eroded much of this right. Thus, in New YorkState, as in most other states, the Sullivan Law prohibits the carrying of “concealed weapons” without a license issued by the authorities. Not only has the carrying of guns been grievously restricted by this unconstitutional edict, but the government has extended this prohibition to almost any object that could possibly serve as a weapon — even those that could only be used for self-defense. As a result, potential victims of crime have been barred from carrying knives, tear-gas pens, or even hatpins, and people who have used such weapons in defending themselves against assault have themselves been prosecuted by the authorities. In the cities, this invasive prohibition against concealed [p. 115] weapons has in effect stripped victims of any possible self-defense against crime. (It is true that there is no official prohibition against carrying an unconcealed weapon, but a man in New York City who, several years ago, tested the law by walking the streets carrying a rifle was promptly arrested for “disturbing the peace.”) Furthermore, victims are so hamstrung by provisions against “undue” force in self-defense that the criminal is automatically handed an enormous built-in advantage by the existing legal system.

It should be clear that no physical object is in itself aggressive; any object, whether it be a gun, a knife, or a stick, can be used for aggression, for defense, or for numerous other purposes unconnected with crime. It makes no more sense to outlaw or restrict the purchase and ownership of guns than it does to outlaw the possession of knives, clubs, hatpins, or stones. And how are all of these objects to be outlawed, and if outlawed, how is the prohibition to be enforced? …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Walter Block on the ‘We Are Libertarians’ Show

January 25, 2014 in Economics

By Walter Block

Here I speak to Chris Spangle and Dan Peffers from the We Are Libertarians Show. I go over Nevada and its’ current laws on prostitution. I speak about free market environmentalism and the history of government laws actually permitting trespassing by way of pollution. I also make a clear distinction between the free market and contracting out. Then I go over how the US has proportionately the highest prison population in the world and how so many of them are there due to victimless crimes and much more!

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Video: Ron Paul on Police Statism and the Future

January 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Recorded at the Mises Circle Southwest Regional in Houston, 18 January 2014. Includes an introduction by Jeff Deist.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Wall Street and Main Street in Fiction and Film

January 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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Ryan McMaken writes in this weekend’s Mises Daily

Contemporary readers will likely find Younkins’s later chapters most interesting where he coversWall Street (1987) and its 2010 sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. In the 1987 film especially, we find a fairly sophisticated examination of the role of the investor and the corporate raider in actually building value for the stockholders in a company. Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) certainly is motivated by greed, as he explains in his famous ”Greed is Good” speech, but that greed leads him to seek to rid the company of lazy and ineffective managers who are bleeding the company dry and generally wasting resources.

Similar themes are explored in the play Other People’s Money and its film version (1991) that examines a situation in which the founders of companies are emotionally attached to their enterprises. In such cases, the founders may be shortchanging the stockholders, who are also the owners of the company. The role of “Larry the Liquidator” (Danny DeVito) in this case is to help the complacent stockholders demand they earn a return on their investment.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE