You are browsing the archive for 2014 August 21.

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Toward a New Liberty: Why We Disagree

August 21, 2014 in Blogs

By Political Zach Foster

Photo by Judd Weiss
Many in the movement have called me a statist, and that pisses me off like you wouldn’t believe. (For starters, calling someone inside the movement a statist is childish ad hominem. It’s also a great way to get people to agree with you… NOT!

I’m a libertarian through and through, but I operate differently from most of you. Here’s how:

Most of you have a brilliant grasp of libertarian theory. You’re focused on the finish line. For some, the finish line is a government that obeys the Constitution to the letter; for others, the finish line is full harmonious anarchy.


You see how things ought to be, then you see how things are (police brutality, unjust wars abroad, obscene taxation) and the difference horrifies you.

It’s TOO EASY to focus on the finish line and then self-righteously preach about how the police are pigs, how we don’t need a standing army, how the state must be done away with, etc. Too easy!

I see the finish line and I want it just as badly as you do. But I also understand that we need to GET THERE first. It won’t happen overnight, and we won’t get to the libertarian society in one Great Leap Forward. It happens through baby steps.

<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right;margin-left: 1em;text-align: …read more

Source: ZACH FOSTER RANTS

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Video: Panel Discussion on Fractional Reserve Banking

August 21, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Scholarly discussion about fractional reserve free banking between proponents of free banking and advocates for 100% reserve banking. from the 2013 Summer Austrian Seminar sponsored by Mises Institute Poland.

Hosted by Mateusz Machaj

From L to R: Maciej Bitner, Michał Gamrot,Mateusz Machaj, David Howden, Nikolay Gertchev

Thanks to Mateusz Machaj

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Imposing Costs on Russia: How About a Food Embargo?

August 21, 2014 in Economics

By Randall Holcombe

Putin

President Obama has threatened to impose costs on Russia for their intervention in Ukraine, but so far, his involvement has been high on rhetoric but low on action. Here’s a proposal that ought to hit Russia where it hurts: impose a food embargo on them.

Americans and Europeans of a certain age can remember the costs they felt due to the OPEC oil embargo of 1973. People need food more than they need energy. Think of how much more we could pressure Russia with a food embargo.

Of course, there would be objections to a food embargo, because it would impose costs and hunger on ordinary Russians, penalizing them for the actions of their political leader. It does sound potentially inhumane.

But, in this case, Putin has beaten us to it, and imposed an embargo of food from the US and EU on his own people!

Putin seems to be saying, if you keep up this pressure on us, we will deprive ourselves of food. Is this really a sensible tactic? Apparently, Putin thinks so, and is threatening not only to deprive Russians of food but also automobiles.

Embargoes have been used against adversaries throughout history. The US has maintained an embargo on Cuba for more than half a century and is pressuring Iran the same way. But it makes little sense for a country to impose an embargo on itself.

If the US and EU had imposed a food embargo on Russia, many would view it as a cruel and inhumane hostile act. For Putin to impose this embargo on his own people appears to be an act of stupidity. No wonder there has been barely any reaction to it in the West.

Putin has heard our empty threats, and appears to be saying that if we won’t follow through and impose costs on Russia, Putin will do it for us.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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New Translations of ‘Mises Daily’ Articles

August 21, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

download (4)

One from Mises Poland:

Hodowcy bydła a imperium na amerykańskim Zachodzie (orig: “Ranchers and Empire in the American West“)

And four new ones from Mises Hispano:

Los datos son claros: Los mercados libres reducen la pobreza by DW MacKenzie (orig: “The Data Is Clear: Free Markets Reduce Poverty“)

La regla de oro frente al alegato católico contra los mercados libres by Randy England (orig: “The Golden Rule vs. Catholic Case Against Free Markets“)

La Primera Guerra Mundial y el fin del siglo de la burguesía by Ryan McMaken (orig: “World War One and the End of the Bourgeois Century“)

Cuando atacan las industrias subvencionadas por el estado by Dave Albin (orig: “When State-Subsidized Industries Attack“)

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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VIDEO: Austrian Economics versus Mainstream Economics

August 21, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Presented at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 24 June 2011.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Six Myths About Money and Inflation

August 21, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

6849

Mises Daily Thursday by Patrick Barron:

Politicians and the mainstream media have a lot of faith in the ability of central banks to manipulate, manage, cajole, energize, and tame the global economy. Unfortunately, things are not so easy in actual fact.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Should the U.S. Lead on Climate Change Policies?

August 21, 2014 in Economics

By Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger

Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger

Next month, President Obama is scheduled to attend a climate summit hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to “galvanize and catalyze climate action.” Undoubtedly, Obama will be touting recent successes in the policy arena of climate change and urging world leaders to follow our lead.

Well, perhaps successes ought to be in quotes.

In actuality, the “successes” have only come in the form of proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (which were basically commanded by the White House) and from other Executive Orders. In other words, President Obama is pretty much acting as a one man wrecking crew when it comes to breaking the impasse on actions geared towards mitigating climate change by restricting greenhouse gas emissions.

What’s to be gained by “taking the lead” on climate change?”

Which begs the question, is this really what Americans want?

What’s to be gained by “taking the lead” on climate change, anyway?

It turns out to be very little. In fact, it may actually be detrimental.

The U.S. is not at particularly large risk from climate change. The Obama Administration’s Interagency Working Group tasked with establishing the social cost of carbon (SCC)—a loosely constrained and readily gamed estimate of how much future damage accrues from today’s carbon dioxide emissions—determined that the SCC for the U.S. was only a few dollars per emitted ton of CO2. And that number was calculated using models that, as shown by a growing body of scientific research, produce too much warming and too little agricultural benefit from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Accounting for these inaccuracies drops the “social cost of carbon” in the U.S. close to zero (perhaps even becoming negative, that is, carbon dioxide emissions may actually provide a net benefit to the economy).

But such information is carefully concealed in Obama Administration reports, such as the one issued recently by the Council of Economic Advisors that predicts escalating costs the longer we delay serious climate change mitigation efforts. Instead of focusing on domestic costs of climate change, the report is built around an estimation of the global cost for carbon dioxide emissions—which, by the Administration’s numbers—is some 4 to 14 times greater on a per ton of emitted CO2 basis than those projected for the U.S.

Why should the President’s rush to restrict U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, which even his own officials say raises concerns about domestic energy costs and grid reliability, be justified upon supposed benefits …read more

Source: OP-EDS