You are browsing the archive for 2014 August 20.

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Colorado’s Illegal Pot Market Thrives

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Not unexpectedly, Colorado’s illegal marijuana market has been reported as thriving. The reasons for this are pretty straightforward. First, it is a new and highly regulated market making it difficult to supply products and keeping legal marijuana prices high. Also, steep taxes on legal marijuana exceeding 30% also are keeping prices high.

Camouflaged amid the legal medicinal and recreational marijuana market, the underground market thrives. Some in law enforcement and on the street say it may be as strong as it’s ever been, so great is the unmet local and visitor demand.

That the black market bustles in the emerging days of legalisation is not unexpected. By some reckonings, it will continue as long as residents of other states look to Colorado – and now Washington state – as the nation’s giant cannabis cookie jar. And, they add, as long as its legal retail competition keeps prices high and is taxed by state and local government at rates surpassing 30%.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Richard Ebeling Discusses Globalization and the Recovery of the Mises Papers in Russia, More

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Mises Institutes of the World

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Helio Beltrão. Credit: Forbes

Forbes today profiles several Mises Institutes around the world, and features longtime friend of Mises USA,  Helio Beltrão, who is also the founder of Mises Brazil. One of the most important contributions made by other Mises Institutes is the translation of Austrian writings into other languages, including German, Portugese, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Swedish, and Romanian. (Alas, there appears to be no French-language equivalent.) Beltrão has started a Portugese-language journal, pictured here:

Helio Beltrão. Credit: Forbes

The Forbes article itself should raise a few eyebrows, since it contains an aside that implies that Mises himself was just as much a “middle of the road” policy analyst as he was a laissez-faire economist, and could have just as easily spent his days doing policy papers for think tanks, had he been offered a job doing so. While Mises was no anarcho-capitalist, I’m a bit skeptical of this suggestion, and it seems more like inaccurate Mises revisionism, than a fair characterization of what Mises was really about.

Nonetheless, the article offers an interesting look at how Mises USA has spawned a global and international movement.  One of my favorite aspects of the Mises Institute is how much more international it is than other similar organizations. Just a look at the Mises Daily archives shows numerous articles from authors around the world, from Poland, to Argentina, to Germany, and Japan.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Happy Birthday Dr. Ron Paul!

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Jeff Deist

ron carol
Today’s is Ron Paul’s 79th birthday. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Paul for several years, and he is one of the most thoroughly decent, thoughtful, and humane men one could ever hope to meet. And by the way, Ron is exceedingly fit and has the energy of a 35 year old. In his case age really is just a number.
Not everyone knows the extent to which Ron helped Lew Rockwell get the Mises Institute started.  In those early days a fundraising letter from Ron on behalf of the Institute raised critical seed money. And over 30 years Ron has never hesitated to support our mission, speaking at countless functions on our behalf. His 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns introduced thousands of young people to the works of Mises and Rothbard, reinvigorating interest in the Austrian school. Of course Ron’s initial motivation to run for Congress was his interest in Austrian economics, an interest that became a passion after seeing Mises speak publicly in Houston. Dr. Paul later went on to develop professional relationships with both Murray Rothbard and Hans Sennholz.
Happy birthday, Ron.  And thank you for all that you do.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Rising Anti-semitism (Not Just vs. Israel) Renews My Boyhood

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff

In a recent article in The Guardian, “Antisemitism on rise across Europe ‘in worst times since the Nazis,’” Jon Henley quotes Yonathan Arfi of France’s Jewish organization Crif, who “ ‘utterly rejected’ the view that the latest increase in antisemitic incidents (screaming ‘Death to Jews’) was down to events in Gaza. ‘They have laid bare something far more profound’ ” (The Guardian, Aug. 7).

Arfi refers to what Dieter Graumann, the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, tells The Guardian’s Henley:

“ ‘On the streets, you hear things like “the Jews should be gassed” … we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews.’”

And in the Aug. 5 New York Post, The National Review’s penetrating editor, Rich Lowry, reports:

“Some of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world — Paris, Berlin, London — have witnessed demonstrations airing hatreds associated with Europe’s darkest crimes” (“Europe’s new Jew-hatred is same as the old,” Lowry, New York Post, Aug. 5).

He also cites Scotland and Italy, adding: “Even before the Gaza War raised the temperature, the new anti-Semitism was making itself felt. Earlier this year, the Israeli immigration ministry did a survey that showed that two-thirds of France’s Jews are considering leaving the country.”

And dig this from Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, citing a story from Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva:

“In the Netherlands, there has also been an anti-Semitic wave: ‘The explosion of anti-Semitism in The Netherlands so far has mainly manifested itself in threats and hate on the Internet. Physical hatred has also been seen on the streets. According to a source which deals with the safety of Jewish citizens, cars in South Amsterdam have been vandalized with swastikas.

“ ‘Many Jewish families have removed their mezuzah — a roll of parchment which makes them identifiable as Jews — from their doorposts, in order to avoid becoming targets of violence. Various Jews have told media that they live in fear’ ” (“European anti-Semitism surges,” Rubin, The Washington Post, July 31).

The more I hear and feel the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism, the more I’m transported back to my boyhood during the “Great Depression” years of the 1930s and 1940s in Boston — then the most anti-Semitic city in this country.

In the Jewish ghetto of Roxbury, I was aware, even before I was able to go out alone, that a Jewish kid on the streets, especially at night, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Tax Credits Won't Lift Economic Growth

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

There’s a policy debate among conservatives in Washington about the best way to cut taxes and reform the tax code. The supply-siders want to replicate the success of Reaganomics with lower marginal tax rates. But there’s also a camp who call themselves “reform conservatives” who want income tax credits or payroll tax cuts explicitly for the purpose of reducing tax liabilities for middle-class parents.

The supply-siders argue that if you want to encourage more work, saving, investment and entrepreneurship, then it is a good idea to reduce marginal tax rates on productive behavior. The reduction in marginal rates alters the trade off between labor and leisure—favoring the former—at any given level of income, as well as the trade-off between saving and consumption. This is why even a revenue-neutral reform that focuses on lowering marginal tax rates can be very conducive to growth.

Those in the other camp, led by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, and championed by former Treasury official Robert Stein and James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, don’t necessarily disagree with the supply-siders. They note that it was important to lower marginal tax rates in 1980 when the top personal tax rate was a confiscatory 70%. But now that the top rate is “only” about 40%, they argue, lower tax rates won’t deliver nearly as much bang for the buck.

Unlike supply-side rate cuts, tax credits have little if any effect on incentives to work, save and invest.”

That’s almost certainly correct. But does that mean child tax credits and payroll tax relief are better options? Let’s look at some reasons for skepticism.

From a political perspective, reform conservatives say it’s time for new ideas. That’s a nice concept, but Republicans already have enacted many of their proposed policies. The child tax credit was adopted in the 1990s and expanded during the Bush years. The earned income credit also funnels a lot of money (in the form of tax relief or cash payments) to families with children, and that provision also has been significantly expanded over the years.

These policies have worked, at least in the sense that households with children now face lower tax liabilities. There is little evidence, though, to suggest positive economic or social outcomes. Were families strengthened? Did the economy grow faster? Did middle-income households feel more secure? In the absence of supporting data, it is not wise to double …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Austrian Capital Theory and ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

6847

Mises Daily Wednesday by Mark Tovey:

If the apes in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are so smart, why are they hunter-gatherers? Aren’t they smart enough to think of agriculture? They’re probably smart enough, but Austrian capital theory explains why creating a more technologically-advanced society is easier said than done.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Less Welfare, More Charity

August 20, 2014 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

In 1985, wealthy New York businessman George McDonald was moved by the plight of the city’s homeless population; he was particularly struck by the story of a woman who had frozen to death on the streets after being ejected from Grand Central Station. Initially, he responded by providing the homeless with free meals, but he soon found that his generosity was doing nothing to help beneficiaries to improve their situation. The same people continued to show up for food month after month. His willingness to help might have kept people from going hungry, but it did nothing to help them rise out of poverty.

Therefore, he rethought his approach and created the Ready, Willing, and Able program (officially the Doe Fund), which eschewed handouts in favor of “paid work and personal responsibility.” Today, McDonald’s program assists some 700 people at any one time, with four centers in New York City and one in Philadelphia. The program focuses on the homeless and on newly released convicts, providing food and shelter, but only in exchange for work. Participants must work at least 30 hours per week for one of the program’s profit-generating businesses, ranging from street cleaning to pest control to culinary arts. Workers are initially paid slightly more than the minimum wage and are eligible for raises, but they are required to pay child support, if applicable, and to save a portion of their wages. After nine to twelve months, the program helps participants transition to outside employment and housing. A Harvard University study found that the recidivism rate for ex-convicts in the program was 60 percent lower than for a control group with the same characteristics after one year.

As the Doe Fund’s slogan puts it, the poor need ‘a hand up, not a hand out.’”

McDonald’s efforts are particularly successful, but far from unique. In every city around this country, private charities, some faith-based, some secular, are successfully helping the poor and disadvantaged. And they are doing so, by and large, without government involvement.

This is not a new phenomenon. For example, during the first part of the 20th century, when African Americans were generally excluded from government social-welfare programs, black lodges, such as the Prince Hall Masons, and other institutions established a wide-ranging, and highly successful, charitable network. They built orphanages and old-age homes, provided food to the hungry and shelter to the homeless, and helped …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Clicking on Heaven’s Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime

August 20, 2014 in Economics

According to an annual survey conducted in North American and European countries, approximately two-thirds of the people interviewed are concerned that illegal immigrants increase crime, whereas fewer have the same concern about legal immigrants. New research by Paolo Pinotti indicates that legal status does significantly reduce the number of serious crimes committed by immigrants, and that the impact is highest for economically motivated crimes.

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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Five Libertarian Ideas #22 – Libertarian National Defense at Home and Abroad

August 20, 2014 in Blogs

By Political Zach Foster

The Second Amendment and the next generation
Being a rifle shooting instructor has been a privilege. I love being able to teach the next generation about proper gun use, sportsmanship, and self-defense. The police can’t be everywhere, nor do we want them everywhere, and criminals will continue to disobey the rule of law and human rights (surprise, surprise!). I’m a firm believer that the best way to stop evil people with guns is to have more good people with guns. -7/23



US Army troops patrol Afghanistan’s Highway 1


“Limited war” in Afghanistan
This half-assed policy of undeclared “limited war” is only getting my brothers and sisters killed. We either completely conquer Afghanistan so that it will never be the same, or we leave and give the Afghans the liberty to destroy each other rather than have more of our people killed by “allies.” -8/5

Toward a small standing army

You want a small standing army like the one envisioned in the Constitution? It can be done in 3 years.

1) Increase and expand special operations in the regular forces so we can neutralize threats without conventional forces.

2) Increase and expand the state militias (i.e. the National Guard and state defense forces). This gives us Title 10 troops who can be activated to fight constitutionally declared wars, while giving the several states citizen-soldiers immune from federal activation. -8/5

<span style="background-color: #444444;font-family: Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande', …read more

Source: ZACH FOSTER RANTS