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The Latest from ‘Audio Mises Daily’

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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New audio versions of recent Mises Daily articles (all Mp3s):

The New Skyscraper Curse by Mark Thornton

How Central Banks Are Waging War on Your Savings by Mark Thornton

What Libertarians Should Learn From the Abolitionists by Murray N. Rothbard

Health Care and the Candy Store Called Socialism by Jim Fedako

How Consumers Rule In a Free Economy by Christopher Westley

Why They Hate Peace by Ron Paul

The Mythology of the Supreme Court by Ryan McMaken

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Immigration, Wages, and the Global Marketplace

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

PowerAndMarketBook

[A selection from Power and Market.]

By Murray N. Rothbard 

Laborers may also ask for geographical grants of oligopoly in the form of immigration restrictions. In the free market the inexorable trend is to equalize wage rates for the same value-productive work all over the earth. This trend is dependent on two modes of adjustment: businesses flocking from high-wage to low-wage areas, and workers flowing from low-wage to high-wage areas. Immigration restrictions are an attempt to gain restrictionist wage rates for the inhabitants of an area. They constitute a restriction rather than monopoly because (a) in the labor force, each worker owns himself, and therefore the restrictionists have no control over the whole of the supply of labor; and (b) the supply of labor is large in relation to the possible variability in the hours of an individual worker, i.e., a worker cannot, like a monopolist, take advantage of the restriction by increasing his output to take up the slack, and hence obtaining a higher price is not determined by the elasticity of the demand curve. A higher price is obtained in any case by the restriction of the supply of labor. There is a connexity throughout the entire labor market; labor markets are linked with each other in different occupations, and the general wage rate (in contrast to the rate in specific industries) is determined by the total supply of all labor, as compared with the various demand curves for different types of labor in different industries. A reduced total supply of labor in an area will thus tend to shift all the various supply curves for individual labor factors to the left, thus increasing wage rates all around.

Immigration restrictions, therefore, may earn restrictionist wage rates for all people in the restricted area, although clearly the greatest relative gainers will be those who would have directly competed in the labor market with the potential immigrants. They gain at the expense of the excluded people, who are forced to accept lower-paying jobs at home.

Obviously, not every geographic area will gain by immigration restrictions—only a high-wage area. Those in relatively low-wage areas rarely have to worry about immigration: there the pressure is to emigrate.[1] The high-wage areas won their position through a greater investment of capital per head than the other areas; and now the workers in that area try to resist the lowering of wage rates that would stem from an influx of workers from abroad.

Immigration barriers confer gains at …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Spring 2014 Issue of QJAE Now Online

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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The Spring 2014 Issue of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics is now online.

Misesian Insights for Modern Macroeconomics by J Huston McCulloch

Not Enough Bricks: Monetary Misperceptions and the UK Housing Boom by Anthony J. Evans

Rothbard’s Time Market and the Demand for Present Goods by Patrick Newman

The Economic Consequences of Loan Maturity Mismatching in the Unhampered Economy by Laura Davidson

IHS and the Rebirth of Austrian Economics: Some Reflections on 1974–1976 by John Blundell

Review of Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in All Realms by Walter E. Block by Mark Thornton

Review of Jean-Baptiste Say: Revolutionary, Entrepreneur, Economist by Evert Schoorl by Carmen Elena Dorobăț

Review of Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis by John C. Goodman by Dale Steinreich

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Paul: EPA Rule an Assault on Economy, Illegal Use of Executive Power

June 2, 2014 in Politics & Elections

Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed rule that targets coal-fired power plants:
‘This latest assault on our economy by President Obama will destroy jobs here in Kentucky and across the country, and will hurt middle class families by hiking their utility bills and straining their budgets,’ said Sen. Paul. ‘The excessive rule is an illegal use of executive power and I will force a vote to repeal it.’

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Source: RAND PAUL

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George Maziarz Becomes Third Republican State Senator to Co-Sponsor Compassionate Care Act, New York's Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill

June 2, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Republican Support for Medical Marijuana Builds After GOP-Led U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bipartisan Bill Directing Feds to Respect State Marijuana Laws

Patients, Families and Advocates Cheer Maziarz and New York Times Editorial, Travel to Albany Today to Demand Vote in Senate Finance Committee

New York: In a another strong sign of growing GOP support for medical marijuana, Senate Vice President Pro Tempore George Maziarz (R-Lockport) has signed on as co-sponsor of the Compassionate Care Act ( S.4406-B (Savino)), which would allow eligible patients with serious and debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. In February, Maziarz became one of the first Senate Republicans to publicly announce his support for the Compassionate Care Act along with Senators Grisanti and Robach.

June 2, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Firing Veterans Affairs' Eric Shinseki Was Only the Start: Give Vets Choice and Competition in Choosing Health Care

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Medical care for veterans has become Washington’s latest scandal du jour. But this case truly is an outrage. Those injured while serving their country deserve prompt, quality medical attention.

The fate of Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, was sealed well before his ouster Friday. The facts were easily understood by the American people. Secretary Shinseki didn’t appear to be engaged and in charge. President Barack Obama needed a scapegoat.

With Shinseki gone attention now turns to policies instead of personalities. Everyone agrees that forcing veterans to wait, and possibly die waiting, for medical care is outrageous. But what to do?

Caring for veterans isn’t cheap. Promiscuous war-making over the last decade has generated an influx of patients, many with debilitating injuries. VA has 327,000 employees, second only to the Pentagon. This year VA is expected to spend roughly $151 billion, making it the fifth most expensive federal bureaucracy. Department outlays have more than trebled since George W. Bush took office in 2001. (VA provides more than medicine: income security, mostly disability payments, is the agency’s single most expensive program.) Unfortunately, the Congressional Budget Office reported that VA was still dramatically underfunded even though the number of vets has fallen with the passing of the World War II generation.

The government has a solemn duty to care for those injured in war. The department claimed to be fulfilling that responsibility. VA said its latest strategic plan “builds on past accomplishments to drive further improvements in quality, customer service, preparedness, and management systems by shifting the focus from improvement within a service or benefit delivery program to coordinating and integrating across programs and organizations. It also includes an emphasis on outcomes for the Veteran, and putting the Veteran in control of how, when, and where they wish to be served.”

Government should put money into veterans’ hands to purchase insurance tailored to their special needs.”

Alas, the reality is very different. Many veterans have trouble accessing care. VA estimated that it has a case-processing backlog of 344,000. On average it takes vets 160 days to become eligible for benefits. Estimates of the error rate start at nine percent. The average wait for vets who appeal is 1598 days, or about 52 months. Former Sen. Robert Kerrey told how it once took him 12 days to change his address.

After being declared eligible, many vets get stuck in line. For instance, according to the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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How Regulations Harm U.S. Manufacturing

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Daniel J. Ikenson

Daniel J. Ikenson

“Revival” is probably not the right word for a sector that has been trending upward with respect to every relevant performance metric since the nadir of the recession. The most recently published U.S. government data reveal all-time highs for manufacturing sector output, value-added, revenues, exports, profits, and foreign direct investment. Business is good for manufacturers in the U.S., but it could be better still.

Rather than focus exclusively (or even most of the time) on producing goods efficiently and competing in the marketplace, U.S. manufacturers are compelled to incur a variety of uneconomic costs and navigate a maze of regulatory burdens simply for the “luxury” of creating value, providing jobs, anchoring communities, and fortifying the tax base.

Manufacturers, indeed all U.S. businesses of at least a certain size, endure a heavy tax burden; are compelled to offer health insurance and other costly benefits to employees; are vulnerable to frivolous product liability lawsuits; must contend with the time and expense of workers’ compensation claims; are subject to work stoppages and inefficient work rules demanded by organized labor, and; must account for rapidly proliferating and often superfluous or incongruous health, emissions, and worker and consumer safety rules, all of which raise the costs of doing business.

The U.S. business environment, combined with growing perceptions that crony capitalism is pervasive, has grown increasingly inhospitable to manufacturers. While the U.S. still boasts the largest share of the world’s foreign direct investment stock, that share declined from 39% in 1999 to 17% in 2011. Part of that decline is attributable to economic growth and related investment opportunities in the rest of the world, but another well documented reason for the shift is worsening perceptions of the U.S. business environment, as described in a 2013 Cato Institute analysis.

Can more be done to bolster manufacturing potential? Yes, but the solution doesn’t call for more top-down policy. It involves streamlining regulations, making sure the rules of the road are coherent and consistent, and adopting less contentious policies to encourage investment and production.

Daniel J. Ikenson is director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, where he coordinates and conducts research on international trade and investment policy.

…read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Video: Peter Klein Explains Government’s Role as Technological Innovator

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Peter Klein discusses who should make the decisions to best allocate scarce resources and time.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Profits Do Not Make Health Care Unaffordable

June 2, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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Rich Brents writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

In other, more free markets where government interference has the potential to impact prices, we see far less of the price inflation evident in the health care industry. When the minimum wage was raised nearly 40 percent from 2007 to 2009, we didn’t see a commensurate rise in prices from those industries most impacted by the change. The fast food industry, for example, might have been able to raise prices to compensate for the higher minimum wage, but any significant increase in prices would have sent consumers to more cost effective alternatives.

The fact of the matter is that government regulation and intervention have long been pervasivewithin the health care industry. Little of this is mentioned in Mr. Brill’s argument, presumably because he finds convenient the tired claim that greed is the source of all economic woes.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE