You are browsing the archive for 2014 September 02.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Happy Birthday, Hans

September 2, 2014 in Economics

By David Gordon

unnamed (2)

Today is the sixty-fifth birthday of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. In the Preface to his The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, Hans says: “My largest debt is to Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard, the twentieth century’s two greatest—though much neglected—economists and social philosophers.” Hans is the worthy successor of these great thinkers; and, like them, he is devoted to freedom and utterly rejects compromise.

In The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, he argues that all deviations from the free market are forms of socialism. The choice between these two systems is no matter of arbitrary preference. It can be shown by strictly rational argument that socialism will not work. Here he follows Mises; but he goes further. He contends that libertarian rights can also be justified by reason, without any appeal to controversial value judgments.

Hans does not hesitate to challenge an idea that nearly all mainstream political philosophers accept. In Democracy: The God That Failed, he contends that the political evolution from monarchy to democracy has been inimical to liberty.  He will have nothing to do with any attempts to tie libertarianism to politically correct leftist dogmas. Dante’s words apply to him: “Come, follow me, and leave the world to its babblings.” (Purgatorio, V. 13)

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Simple Lesson We Should Learn from Global Economics

September 2, 2014 in Economics

By Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

I very rarely feel sorry for statists. After all, these are the people who think that their feelings of envy and inadequacy justify bigger and more coercive government.

And I get especially irked when I think about how their authoritarian policies will hurt the most vulnerable in society.

But I nonetheless feel sorry for statists when I see them fumble, stumble, duck, and weave when asked why global evidence contradicts them.

In other words, it’s almost painful to watch when they are asked  why nations with varying degrees of statist policy – such as VenezuelaFrance, the United States (under Obama), Argentina, and Greece – suffer from economic stagnation and decline.

And it’s equally uncomfortable to watch them struggle and squirm when they’re asked to explain why jurisdictions with more pro-market policies – such as BermudaEstoniaSwitzerland, the United States (under Reagan), Chile, and Singapore – tend to enjoy growth and rising living standards.

However, I can’t help adding to their discomfort. Let’s look at more evidence.

Here’s some of what Richard Rahn wrote for the Washington Times about Hong Kong’s economic miracle.

Hong Kong is about as close to the ideal free-market capitalist model that you can find on the planet — which came about largely by accident. …The British basically left Hong Kong to fend for itself… here was no foreign aid and no welfare state — but there was a competent government that kept the peace, ran an honest court system with the rule of law, provided some basic infrastructure, and little more. Also, Hong Kong had economic freedom — for the last several decades, Hong Kong has been ranked as the freest economy in the world (according to Economic Freedom of the World Index). Economic freedom allowed the people to create an endless number of productive enterprises, and because they had free trade, they could import necessary goods and services to fuel these enterprises. …average real income has gained parity with the United States, and it will probably be double that of France in a couple of years.

By the way, if you don’t believe the last sentence in that excerpt, check out this remarkable chart.

It can’t be easy to hold views that are so inconsistent with global evidence.”

But the big takeaway is that free markets and small government have made the people …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Public School Groups Sue to Limit Public's Educational Options

September 2, 2014 in Economics

By Andrew J. Coulson

Andrew J. Coulson

Last week, Florida’s state school establishment sued to kill an education tax credit program that benefits 60,000 low income, mostly black and Hispanic children. The credits cut taxes on businesses that donate to non-profit scholarship organizations, and those organizations help needy families who want to send their children to private schools. Studies show performance gains for both the students who switch to private schools and the students who remain in public schools, and taxpayers save tens of millions of dollars every year. The tax credits thus create a win-win-win scenario.

But Florida’s teachers union, school administrators association, and school boards association want to kill the program anyway. In their legal complaint, they claim that the credits violate state constitutional provisions forbidding public spending on religious schools and requiring a “uniform” public school system. Before getting to the merits of these claims, it is worth pointing out that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue in the first place.

Before courts will hear a lawsuit, plaintiffs must establish “standing” by showing that they have been injured in some concrete way. But on the same day that the Florida suit was filed, the New Hampshire supreme court ruled that plaintiffs in that state did not have standing to file suit against their education tax credit program. And in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same conclusion with respect to a suit against Arizona’s education tax credits (ACSTO v. Winn). In both the NH and U.S. Supreme Court cases, the justices ruled that plaintiffs demonstrated no personal injury either financially or to their constitutional rights, so they were sent packing.

In short, the plaintiffs are not harmed by this program and the children and taxpayers of Florida are helped by it.”

In Florida, the public school plaintiffs have once again failed to demonstrate that they have been injured by the tax credit program. They imply that they have been forced to support religious schooling, but as the U.S. Supreme Court explained in ACSTO v. Winn, “that’s incorrect.”

tax credits and governmental expenditures do not both implicate individual taxpayers in sectarian activities. A dissenter whose tax dollars are “extracted and spent” knows that he has in some small measure been made to contribute to an establishment [of religion] in violation of conscience…. [By contrast,] awarding some citizens a tax credit allows other citizens to retain control over their own funds in accordance with …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Hong Kong's Miraculous Progress

September 2, 2014 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

How did this small city-state of 7.3 million people go from having a per-capita income of only a few hundred dollars per year to a per capita income that is equal to that of the United States in only 50 years? The simple answer is they had the British common law legal system, strong private property rights, competent, honest judges, a non-corrupt civil service, very low tax rates, free trade and a minimal amount of economic regulation. There was no big brother government looking after the people, so they had to work hard, but they could keep the fruits of their efforts.

Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842, and the adjacent “New Territories” were leased for 99 years in 1898. In 1997, Hong Kong was returned by the British to China, with an agreement that it would become a special administrative region — “one country, two systems.” Hong Kong retained the British legal system, most individual liberties, and a whigh degree of local autonomy, except for foreign policy and defense. The amount of democracy has been limited — with the British serving as the ideal benevolent dictator and the Chinese as a somewhat less benevolent dictator for the past 17 years.

Hong Kong is about as close to the ideal free-market capitalist model that you can find on the planet — which came about largely by accident. The Japanese had captured Hong Kong in World War II, but when the British regained control after the war, they were in no position to provide much in the way of economic assistance. The British basically left Hong Kong to fend for itself under a British governor with only a tiny military contingent. Hong Kong has virtually no natural resources other than an exceptionally fine harbor.

Hong Kong proves that you do not need to have democracy for prosperity and economic (and most individual) freedoms.”

As China turned communist, many poor refugees fled to Hong Kong , seeking freedom. There was no foreign aid and no welfare state — but there was a competent government that kept the peace, ran an honest court system with the rule of law, provided some basic infrastructure, and little more. Also, Hong Kong had economic freedom — for the last several decades, Hong Kong has been ranked as the freest economy in the world (according to Economic Freedom of the World Index). …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Austrians, Fractional Reserves, and the Money Multiplier

September 2, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Dollar jigsaw puzzle

Mises Daily Tuesday by Robert Batemarco:

Austrian economists have been wrongly accused of many intellectual crimes when it comes to fractional reserve banking. Robert Batemarco adds some clarity to the debate.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE