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Tips for Submitting Your ‘Mises Daily’ Article

July 15, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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You may have noticed that we publish a lot of new, original content in Mises Daily these days. Happily, I receive quite a few submissions, so to make sure that your submission does not get lost among them, here are some ways you can make sure your article goes to the right place:

Here are the basic guidelines.

Also:

1. Please use the phrase “Mises Daily submission” in your subject line. Feel free to add a few words about the topic, but be sure the phrase “Mises Daily submission” is in there.

2. Please do not include more than one article per email. If you have more than one article to submit, send them all in separate emails.

3. It is my intent to respond to every submission, even if to just reject it. If you suspect your article has been missed, I won’t be mad if you follow up.

When I read it, I ask myself the following questions:

1. Is this newsworthy and relevant to some timely issue? (Book and movie reviews of new books and movies are automatically newsworthy, even if the subject matter of the book or movie itself is not “newsy.”). Not every article needs to be newsworthy, but it helps.

2. Is it easy to read and can a person without a degree in economics understand it? Will someone who is not a hard-core 24/7 libertarian-Austrian activist understand it?

3. Are there good examples and interesting facts in it? Perhaps new facts that have come to light in new books or other research?

4. Is it organized in such a way that people can read it quickly and easily without having to labor over it to figure out your point?

We publish a range of topics and difficulty levels so your article need not be a clone of other articles, but you should consult the Mises Daily archives over the past year to get a sense of what we’re publishing right now. Nor do articles need to address every single objection under the sun that could possibly be raised against your arguments. You can only do so much with a 900-word article, and reasonable people know this.  If you want to say more on the topic, feel free to write another article. I’d rather have two good short articles from you than one long one.

All articles need to be informative and interesting, however.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Immigration Activist Jose Antonio Vargas Detained by U.S. Border Officials

July 15, 2014 in Blogs

By Jessica Glenza, The Guardian

Pulitzer-winning journalist, who in 2011 revealed himself to be an undocumented migrant, detained trying to leave McAllen.


The Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and undocumented migrant Jose Antonio Vargas was apparently detained in Texas on Tuesday, while attempting to leave the border city of McAllen following a trip he made there to visit a center where other migrants without papers are being held.

In an article he wrote for Politico magazine last week, Vargas said that before he went to McAllen, he didn't realize he might not be able to leave, because of security intended to prevent undocumented migrants who cross the border going elsewhere in the US.

There are immigration checkpoints set up on roads within 45 miles of the town of McAllen, and Customs and Border Protection agents check identification as people pass through TSA checkpoints at the city's airport.

Vargas and his colleagues appeared to have prepared for his possible detention in advance. Vargas tweeted about approaching TSA checkpoints with only his Philippine passport, and minutes after he was detained a campaign to “Stand with Jose and the #BorderChildren” was announced by Define American, an organization he founded.

“We are calling on President Obama and Secretary [Jeh] Johnson to execute prosecutorial discretion, and immediately release Jose Antonio Vargas from Customs and Border Protection,” said Ryan Eller, campaign director with Define American.

Eller said Vargas was attempting to fly to Los Angeles for a screening of his film Documented when he was detained. Eller said he believes Vargas is being questioned by CBP in McAllen.

Vargas came to the US as a child from the Philippines. He has a Philippine passport, but is, as he revealed in a 2011 article for the New York Times Magazine, an undocumented migrant.

This is not Vargas's first encounter with immigration officials. In 2012, he was stopped by local authorities in Minnesota after driving with headphones on, and detained after a check revealed that his Washington state driver's license was revoked. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials declined to press charges because they said Vargas didn't pose a threat to public safety.

Related …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Flourishing of Libertarian Literary Writing

July 15, 2014 in Economics

By Matt McCaffrey

Although libertarians and Austrian economists have been interested for a long time in the relationship between art and liberty, there’s been relatively little effort to develop a distinctly liberty- or market-oriented form of literary theory; critical theory is a playground for myriad “isms,” but libertarianism isn’t often counted among them. Fortunately, this situation is beginning to change, as there’s a lot of exciting work being done in the field of literary studies, which isn’t usually known for its sound economics or liberal political philosophy.

Much of the creative energy behind this new research can be attributed to Paul Cantor, who has devoted an impressive career to exploring the relation between markets, art, and popular culture. If you want an overview of the topic, you can listen to Cantor’s fascinating lecture series from 2006 on Commerce and Culture. Especially important is the book he edited with Stephen Cox, Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture, which helped lay the foundations of a libertarian literary criticism.

There are many other writers who are pushing the boundaries as well, especially those at the Austrian Economics and Literature blog. To name only one contributor, Sarah Skwire frequently covers neglected classics like the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, along with unfairly-maligned works like Thoreau’s Walden.

For now though I want to discuss two recent additions to the growing literature. The first is a new book by Allen Mendenhall, Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism. The book seeks to expand the work done by Cantor and others in developing a new approach to criticism. Jo Ann Cavallo writes in her review:

Not since the appearance of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) has a new literary approach invited us to read texts from a vantage point that jolts us into recognition of deep-seated ideological undercurrents that had previously remained unnoticed, or were simply passed over in silence. Yet whereas Said alerted readers to a literary misrepresentation of “the Orient” implicitly supporting European colonialism in the early modern and modern periods, libertarian literary criticism offers a more sweeping analysis of political power structures, aimed at understanding literature and society in any time period and at any point on the globe.

Power relations are immensely important in literary criticism, and because of its potentially wide scope, a libertarian analysis of power can deliver more insight than many other critical theories. The hope …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Harvard Study: Aging Liberal Men Have More Sex than Conservative Counterparts

July 15, 2014 in Blogs

By Allegra Kirkland, AlterNet

One of the longest-running studies of adult development in history delivers four surprising findings.


Between 1939 and 1944, researchers at Harvard University recruited 268 of the best and brightest members of the student body to participate in a long-term psychological study. The purpose of the Harvard Grant Study—so called for its original funder, chain-store magnate William T. Grant—was to determine which traits best predict a successful life. To track a wide range of factors, including income, physical and mental health, and happy marital and parental relationships, the chosen students (all men, as Harvard wouldn’t become coed until 1977) participated in regular interviews, physical and psychiatric exams, and surveys with researchers. The surviving participants are now in their 90s, making the Grant Study one of the longest-running prospective studies of adult development ever conducted. Triumphs of Experience, a recent book published by George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades, reveals some of the most interesting findings.

1. Beware of Alcohol Abuse

On its own, this statement isn’t too surprising; it’s long been known that sustained heavy drinking can lead to severe health problems. But Vaillant, who calls alcoholism a “disorder of great destructive power,” insists it has other equally significant, devastating consequences. For example, alcoholism is the single strongest cause of divorce between the Grant Study men and their wives. The Harvard researchers also found that it was strongly coupled with neurosis and depression, with these psychological traits following alcohol abuse rather than preceding it. And together with cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse was the #1 cause of morbidity and death among the study participants.

2. Liberals Have More Sex

In one of the oddest discoveries, researchers found that aging liberals had much more active sex lives than their conservative counterparts. Though political ideology had no bearing on overall life satisfaction, the conservative participants ended their sex lives at around age 68 on average, while most liberal men continued having sex regularly well into their 80s. Vaillant was himself puzzled by this, noting that he’d consulted urologists about the findings but “they have no idea why it …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Scalia's Major Screw Up: How SCOTUS Just Gave Liberals a Huge Gift

July 15, 2014 in Blogs

By Sarah Ruden, Salon

With an otherwise awful Hobby Lobby ruling, right-wing judges just said I don't have to pay for warfare! Here's why.


Before a recent visit by Justice Scalia to Wesleyan University, I (a lowly research fellow) gained an invitation to a banquet in his honor by employing a typical Quaker mix of idealism, stubbornness and low cunning. Once there, I thanked the eminent jurist for his liberal ruling in Crawford v. Washington, concerning the right to confront witnesses in criminal proceedings. This remark drew from him the quip that he ought to be a pinup in every public defender’s office in the nation, because sometimes he was forced by clearly established constitutional principles to rule in favor of people he couldn’t stand.

With this in mind, I’m celebrating him for yet another socio-political gift to progressives and suggesting that he doesn’t need to wear a thong — a modest bathing costume of 1910 vintage will do — in the poster religious pacifists like myself will want now that he and his brethren have ruled for Hobby Lobby et al., to the effect that private persons/corporations do not have to fund activities that violate their faith — such as the use of an IUD by an employee who may not even share that faith.

The upshot of the ruling is that Hobby Lobby and other businesses with conservative religious owners do not need to pay for what the Affordable Care Act mandates as full coverage for family planning. The public interest in affordable and accessible healthcare is not compelling enough to override the private belief that contraceptive methods including (but apparently not limited to) the IUD and the morning-after pill are murder. Well, I’m a pacifist, and I say that warfare is murder, and I don’t want to pay for it; and in recent decades the public interest in my paying for it hardly looks compelling.

Let’s go back to 2012, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for the purchase of insurance was constitutional as a tax, to fund the public good of healthcare. The issue necessarily now …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Steve Forbes Promotes a Gold Standard

July 15, 2014 in Economics

By Jeff Deist

Forbes

Steve Forbes, speaking recently in Las Vegas, continued to advocate a gold standard of sorts–  i.e. pegging the US dollar to gold at (say) $1200 per ounce.  If gold rises to $1300, the Fed decreases the supply of dollars.  It it falls to $1100, the Fed inflates.

He should be commended (as a representative of mainstream politics and the mainstream financial press) for talking about gold, money, and monetary policy generally.  Plus he makes some very good points about the moral hazards engendered by today’s Fed policy:

“People feel that the link between effort and reward has been eroded,” Forbes said.

Inflation, which is nudging upward in the United States, is a “tax,” Forbes said. He questioned how Fed policies that are causing rising inflation and boosting the cost of living for a typical American by $1,000 a year are helping the economy.

With the current quantitative-easing policies, the Fed will keep its bloated balance sheet, Forbes said. The Fed’s action is taking money out of economy and giving it to a wasteful federal government – hurting small businesses that need to be healthy to create jobs, he added.

“The big banks are now simply hand maidens of the federal government,” Forbes said.

“When we had a gold standard, there was little currency trading,” Forbes said. “Now, volume in currency trading is high.”

Fundamentally, however, Forbes’s plan cannot work for the same reason monopoly political institutions cannot work. No central bank can operate independent of financial and political pressure.  Do we expect Congress to insure the Fed adheres to the proposed gold peg rule?  Will Congress mandate this statutorily?  Will the Fed relax or abandon the rule for wars, depressions, and other government-created calamities?

If Forbes really wants to end crony capitalism, why not simply join Ron Paul and advocate free competition in currency?  Then the grand Fed experiment known as the US Dollar can sink or swim based on the preferences of consumers.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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VIRAL VIDEO: If Latinos Said the Stuff White People Said

July 15, 2014 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

“Is it true that all white people have small, quiet families?”


Buzzfeed Yellow has struck again with another video that holds a painful mirror up to white people, and shows how white privilege causes white folks to say really stereotypical, racist and just plain dumb things to Latinos. The series has already lampooned whites with the “If Black People Said the Stuff White People Said” and “If Asian People Said the Things White People Said.” Every race has its own annoyingly repetitive tropes to deal with: for Latinos, it's often things like, “I love your accent,” or, from the spoof, “I hooked up with a white guy once. He was crazy!” There's always the,”if you went to a really good college it must be because of your race,” bit of offensiveness, too.

Watch, and if you recognize yourself, stop. Just stop.

 

Related Stories

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Atlanta Fed Paper: We Reduced Unemployment By 0.13%!

July 15, 2014 in Economics

By Hunter Lewis

Lincoln_Memorial_July_4th_1

A paper written by two staff members of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta tried to quantify what all the Fed’s new money creation and related measures have accomplished. They conclude that unemployment today would be 0.13% higher without the radical measures and 1.0% higher if nothing at all had been done.

For some time, the Fed has been trying to demonstrate what its massive interventions  have accomplished. This has not been easy. In the first place, the results have been poor, far below what the Fed hoped for. In the second place, the Fed does not even have a theory about it that can be modeled.

After many false starts, a few papers have emerged arguing that the Fed’s actions helped. But even these papers don’t argue that they helped much. And the story isn’t yet over.

Economist John Hussman has likened the Fed’s current financial policies to a Roach Motel, easy to get into, impossible to get out of. It will be interesting to see how the Fed tries to get out.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote about the new Fed paper: “Without the Fed and its low interest rates, the jobless rate would have been higher these past few years—pretty much all economists agree on that.” This will be news not only to Austrian economists, but to others as well.

If the Fed and federal government had not intervened in 2008 to arrest the crash which their own policies had created, unemployment would no doubt have been higher in 2008 or 2009. But by now, almost six years later, our economy might have long since recovered. 

This is the difference between short term and long term thinking. Environmentalists are always reminding us that we need to consider long term results of how we treat our planet. We also try to teach our children to consider the long term, not just the short term, but the government always seems oblivious to anything but the next election.

The Fed’s chairman, Janet Yellen, will be testifying today in Congress. Perhaps some senator or representative will ask her how she plans to conduct monetary policy in the future, since the Fed Funds rate, the key tool of past Fed policy, has been rendered increasingly irrelevant by recent Fed policy excesses.

We know that the Fed plans to lean heavily on the interest it pays on bank reserves, a new tool that was slipped into the TARP bill in 2008 without …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Employer-Provided Health Care Is Not a Religious Issue

July 15, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Payslip

Mises Daily Tuesday by Ryan McMaken:

Contrary to what proponents of government-controlled health care would have us believe, employer-provided health insurance has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the free exchange of labor for wages.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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GOP Foreign Policy and "Isolationism"

July 15, 2014 in Economics

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s ongoing dust-up over the future of the GOP’s foreign policy has raised several important issues. Unfortunately, Perry has used the opportunity to raise the spectre of “isolatonism” when discussing Paul’s policy outlook. As we at Cato have discussed before, what interventionists like Perry call “isolationism” is really just a foreign policy of restraint. Say Cato scholars Christopher A. Preble and Justin Logan, “A security strategy of restraint would keep us out of avoidable trouble and husband our resources, ultimately making us safer and richer.”

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES