Posts tagged Mises Institute
We Win the NY Times Prize
The New York Times, whistling past the financial graveyard, paused over the weekend to smear the Mises Institute, Ron Paul, our other scholars, hardcore libertarianism, and me. Why? Because our ideas and our youth movement are gaining real traction. It is in effect a compliment. They have never faced opposition like ours before, and Ron Paul’s tremendous resonance with young people has only made things worse from the Times’s point of view.
The Times wants opponents who play the game, who accept the presuppositions of the regime, and who are willing to confine themselves to the narrow range of debate to which the Times would prefer to confine the American people.
The purpose of articles like the one over the weekend, it should be unnecessary to point out, is not to shed light. It is to demonize and destroy a school of thought that the regime considers threatening.
The article, for instance, notes that Ron spoke on the topic “Do We Live in a Police State?” earlier this month at a Mises Institute event, and that another speaker (me) spoke on “American Fascism.” The lecture titles are evidently supposed to be self-refuting, although you can listen to Ron’s remarks and read mine and decide for yourself. It’s little wonder that the Times would want to ridicule the idea that American society could resemble a police state, given that paper’s cover-ups of the regime’s surveillance of American citizens.
The rest of the article is an attempt to distort the philosophy of libertarianism and to demonize Ron and other prominent exponents of that philosophy.
The whole exercise reminds me of the time, not long ago, in which a state-endorsed hate group took a swipe at Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), known in his day as Mr. Libertarian. The writer summarized Murray’s career in a single sentence about — of all things — lesbians during the Progressive Era.
Now consider: Rothbard’s 1,000-page treatise Man, Economy, and State was an extraordinary contribution to the field of economics; his two-volume history of economic thought has been praised by scholars across the board; his study of the Panic of 1819, published by Columbia University Press, received rave reviews in the scholarly journals and is still considered definitive; his Ethics of Liberty is a philosophical defense of self-ownership and the nonaggression principle, and so on.
“And so on” hardly does Rothbard justice: we haven’t mentioned his textbook on money and banking, his classic What Has Government Done to Our Money?, his four-volume history of colonial America, the scholarly journals he edited, the voluminous correspondence he kept up with the major thinkers of his day, and — well, and so on.
And a critic tried to reduce this man — this man! — to one unfavorable sentence.
It used to be easy to do this: how, apart from driving to the library, was someone to discover Rothbard for himself? But today, discovering Rothbard is just a click away. And once you discover him — his scholarship, his knowledge, the encouragement he gave to students, and his refusal to compromise his principles even when doing so would have meant career advancement — you understand why the state wants to minimize or demonize him. No wonder the most popular piece of libertarian apparel is our Rothbard “Enemy of the State” T-shirt.
Economics professors have even been known to urge their students not to read Rothbard. But what do you think the brighter students do when they’re told not to read someone? And once you read Rothbard, you never look at the world the same way again.
The Times article, which continues in the tradition of portraying Murray preposterously, tries the same tactic with libertarian historian Tom Woods. According to the Times, Tom’s book Who Killed the Constitution?, co-authored with Kevin Gutzman, “denounced the Supreme Court decision desegregating schools, Brown v. Board of Education, as ‘a dizzying display of judicial imperialism.’”
With even Publishers Weekly endorsing Who Killed the Constitution, there’s obviously something fishy here — would the staid and scrupulously establishment PW endorse a segregationist book?
In fact, Woods and Gutzman argue that the same result could have been achieved with the enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment — and that that is precisely how, in practice, the schools wound up being desegregated anyway. As historian Michael Klarman shows in his book From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, the Court may have uttered a lot of pretty words, but desegregation occurred only after the Fifteenth Amendment was enforced. And had this constitutional approach been followed in the first place, the authors contend, American society would have been spared the precedent established in Brown whereby the justices decide on their preferred outcome in advance, and then tendentiously search for legal justifications for that outcome, no matter how implausible.
A handful of libertarians whose views are more congenial to the Times take opportunities like these to wag their fingers at the Mises Institute. Why, if we’d only play nice, and scrupulously observe every PC platitude as they do, reasonable people like The New York Times reporters would leave us alone. We just need to show The New York Times that a libertarian approach will do a better job of reaching our shared goals, etc.
Anyone deluded enough to believe such a thing understands nothing about the nature of the state and its media apologists.
Whose interests do you suppose the Times is more dedicated to advancing: those of the libertarian movement, or those of the state? The question answers itself. And so we might turn the accusation around: if you’re such a threat to the state, why does its media ignore or actually flatter you, perhaps even holding you up as a model for other libertarians to live by? If the Times wants you to represent the libertarian movement, do you think this is because it suddenly has the interests of libertarianism at heart?
Behind the state media’s attacks are always the issues of war and peace. Conservatives have deluded themselves into thinking that the so-called “liberal media” opposes the regime’s wars and wants to “abandon our troops.” To the contrary, you won’t find bigger and more consistent cheerleaders for the US government’s aggression than the official media. When they encounter a root-and-branch opponent of the warfare state, whether it’s Ron Paul or the Mises Institute, they pounce.
And when we oppose war, we don’t oppose it on the grounds that a particular conflict isn’t in “America’s interests.” That is regimespeak. We oppose the wars because they are based on lies, morally outrageous, and carried out through expropriation of the American public. You think the Times might not want a message like that gaining resonance?
The Mises Institute, moreover, does not issue policy reports to persuade the state that its interests will be more effectively met through libertarian solutions. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been flushed down the toilet in this way, and if you want to know how much it’s accomplished, take a look around you.
The Mises Institute’s scholarship, on the other hand, is aimed at understanding and overthrowing the entire paradigm of domination and exploitation that the state represents. No, we don’t play nice. We tell the unvarnished truth. It is this, and not anything else, that explains why the state’s media considers us an implacable foe.
Anyone is free to examine what we do: our annual scholarly conference, our student and topical conferences, the free books we’ve made available to the world, the vast library of audio and video files on both technical economics and popular topics, our Dailies, our regular Mises View commentary, and much more.
If you’re looking for efficiency experts for the state, who seek to devise better and more effective ways for state goals to be accomplished and the people to be expropriated, the Mises Institute will disappoint. If it’s “tax reform” you’re interested in — which is always a shell game in which the outward form of taxation may change a bit, but the amount of taxes collected stays the same or even rises – we’re not your cup of tea.
On the other hand, we have much to recommend us. We don’t back down and apologize when we’re smeared by the state’s media. We relish it as an indication that we’re doing our job. We tell the truth about the state: its wars, its expropriations, its militarized police, its propaganda. We don’t peddle the elementary-school propaganda that the state is a public-service institution seeking the public good. We believe that the great products of civilization — indeed civilization itself — are the result of spontaneous human cooperation. The parasitic class that holds the levers of power in the state apparatus may try to condition the public to believe that central planning and threats of violence — the hallmarks of the state — deserve credit for human progress, but our scholarship proves the opposite.
Ron Paul has been our Distinguished Counselor since we opened our doors in 1982, and he recently joined our board. The Times and the state hate us for the same reasons they hate Ron: we’re truth-tellers, we oppose Keynesianism and the Federal Reserve lock, stock, and barrel; and we support the cause of peace against the state’s wars. This is all too much for the state’s house organ, which has rarely heard war propaganda too preposterous to print, or a Keynesian apologetic too much of a stretch to repeat.
We are attacked because we are doing our job. The Times’s smear is a medal on our chest.
About the Author
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. is chairman and CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and author of Fascism versus Capitalism. Send him mail. See Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.’s article archives.
Image credit: https://mises.org
The State Causes the Poverty It Later Claims to Solve
If one looks at the current paper money system and its negative social and social-political effects, the question must arise: where are the protests by the supporters and protectors of social justice? Why don’t we hear calls to protest from politicians and social commentators, from the heads of social welfare agencies and leading religious leaders, who all promote the general welfare as their mission?
Presumably, the answer is that many have only a weak understanding of the role of money in an economy with a division of labor, and for that reason, the consequences of today’s paper money system are being widely overlooked.
The current system of fractional reserve banking and central banking stands in stark opposition to a market economy monetary regime in which the market participants could decide themselves, without state pressure or coercion, what money they want to use, and in which it would not be possible for anyone to expand the money supply because they simply choose to do so.
The expansion of the money supply, made possible through central banks and fractional reserve banking, is in reality what allows inflation, and thus, declining income in real terms. In The Theory of Money and Credit Ludwig von Mises wrote:
The most important of the causes of a diminution in the value of money of which we have to take account is an increase in the stock of money while the demand for it remains the same, or falls off, or, if it increases, at least increases less than the stock. … A lower subjective valuation of money is then passed on from person to person because those who come into possession of an additional quantity of money are inclined to consent to pay higher prices than before.
When there are price increases caused by an expansion of the money supply, the prices of various goods and services do not rise to the same degree, and do not rise at the same time. Mises explains the effects:
While the process is under way, some people enjoy the benefit of higher prices for the goods or services they sell, while the prices of the things they buy have not yet risen or have not risen to the same extent. On the other hand, there are people who are in the unhappy situation of selling commodities and services whose prices have not yet risen or not in the same degree as the prices of the goods they must buy for their daily consumption.
Indeed, in the case of the price of a worker’s labor (i.e., his or her wages) increasing at a slower rate than the price of bread or rent, we see how this shift in the relationship between income and assets can impoverish many workers and consumers.
An inflationary money supply can cause impoverishment and income inequality in a variety of ways:
1. The Cantillon Effect
The uneven distribution of price inflation is known as the Cantillon effect. Those who receive the newly created money first (primarily the state and the banks, but also some large companies) are the beneficiaries of easy money. They can make purchases with the new money at goods prices that are still unchanged. Those who obtain the newly created money only later, or do not receive any of it, are harmed (wage-earners and salaried employees, retirees). They can only buy goods at prices which have, in the meantime, risen.
2. Asset Price Inflation
Investors with greater assets can better spread their investments and assets and are thus in a position to invest in tangible assets such as stocks, real estate, and precious metals. When the prices of those assets rise due to an expansion of the money supply, the holders of those assets may benefit as their assets gain in value. Those holding assets become more wealthy while people with fewer assets or no assets either profit little or cannot profit at all from the price increases.
3. The Credit Market Amplifies the Effects
The effects of asset price inflation can be amplified by the credit market. Those who have a higher income can carry higher credit in contrast to those with lower income, by acquiring real estate, for example, or other assets. If real estate prices rise due to an expansion of the money supply, they may profit from those price increases and the gap between rich and poor grows even faster.
4. Boom and Bust Cycles Create Unemployment
The direct cause of unemployment is the inflexibility of the labor market, caused by state interference and labor union pressures. An indirect cause of unemployment is the expansion of the paper money supply, which can lead to illusory economic booms that in turn lead to malinvestment. Especially in inflexible labor markets, when these malinvestments become evident in a down economy, it ultimately leads to higher and more lasting unemployment that is often most severely felt among the lowest-income households.
The State Continues to Expand
Once the gap in income distribution and asset distribution has been opened, the supporters and protectors of social justice will more and more speak out, not knowing (or not saying) that it is the state itself with its monopolistic monetary system that is responsible for the conditions described.
It’s a perfidious “business model” in which the state creates social inequality through its monopolistic monetary system, splits society into poor and rich, and makes people dependent on welfare. It then intervenes in a regulatory and distributive manner, in order to justify its existence. The economist Roland Baader observed:
The political caste must prove its right to exist, by doing something. However, because everything it does, it does much worse, it has to constantly carry out reforms, i.e., it has to do something, because it did something already. It would not have to do something, had it not already done something. If only one knew what one could do to stop it from doing things.
The state even exploits the uncertainty in the population about the true reasons for the growing gap in income and asset distribution. For example, The Fourth Poverty and Wealth Report of the German Federal Government states that since 2002, there has been a clear majority among the German people in favor of carrying out measures to reduce differences in income.
The reigning paper money system is at the center of the growing income inequality and expanding poverty rates we find in many countries today. Nevertheless, states continue to grow in power in the name of taming the market system that has supposedly caused the impoverishment actually caused by the state and its allies.
If those who claim to speak for social justice do nothing to protest this, their silence can only have two possible reasons. They either don’t understand how our monetary system functions, in which case, they should do their research and learn about it; or they do understand it and are cynically ignoring a major source of poverty because they may in fact be benefiting from the paper money system themselves.
About the Author
Andreas Marquart is executive director of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Germany. He has been an independent financial consultant for more than 15 years and is a proponent of the Austrian School of economics. See Andreas Marquart’s article archives.
Image credit: https://mises.org
The Mises View: “Our Enemy The Fed” | Glenn Jacobs
Published by misesmedia
Glenn Jacobs explains why understanding the Federal Reserve System is one of the most important tasks facing Americans. Jacobs is an American professional wrestler and actor, known by the ring name “Kane”. For more information, visit the Mises Institute online at mises.org.
Lew Rockwell discusses the upside of government default
This RT interview with Lew Rockwell was published yesterday before the great compromise of today when we read Boehner Admits Defeat. Well worth a view, as Lew’s remarks are spot on as always.
Published by misesmedia
About: In his recent appearance on RT, Lew Rockwell discusses the upside of government default. Rockwell is founder and CEO of the Mises Institute. For more information, visit the Mises Institute online at mises.org.
Will Someone Please Email George Soros and Send Him a Link to the Mises Institute
In the below clip, George Soros correctly complains that there are serious problems with mainstream economics. Toward the end of the clip he correctly points out that mainstream economists are improperly attempting to mimic the science of physics. What he fails to seem to be aware of is that the Austrian economists, such as Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and Fredrich Hayek, recognized the problem of economists mimicking the physical sciences and built the entire science of economics using the deductive method. Will someone please send Soros a link to the Mises Institute
Published on Jan 26, 2013 by Eduardo89rp
Ron Paul giving the Carl Davis Distinguished Lecture on “The Libertarian Future”
Published on Dec 24, 2012
The Louis E. Carabini Distinguished Lecture, presented at the 2012 Mises Institute Supporters Summit: “The Truth About War: A Revisionist Approach”. Recorded at Callaway Gardens, Georgia, on 26 October 2012. Includes an introduction by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Music by Kevin MacLeod.
NOTE: This video may be reproduced for non-profit, educational purposes ONLY.
Posted by Ryan W. McMaken
“Who are these Austrian-school economists?” asks the Economic Times of India.
“We are the oldest school of thought and we are still the smallest but we are clearly the fastest-growing school,” says Prof Mark Thornton, an American economist of the Austrian School.
GP Manish, a professor of Indian origin and member of the Troy University, is one of the instructors at a seminar for high schoolers and their teachers in the US on ‘What has Government Done to Our Money?’ The course was also offered online by the Mises Academy, named after Ludwig von Mises, one of the Austrian School’s best known names. As the institute website puts it, “The economic crisis we are in is largely due to unsound money” and the intent of the course is to help young minds “make future financial decisions that take into account the government’s monetary meddling.”
Bookstore sales by Mises are up several hundred percent and the top 15 visitors to the site are from countries including Portugal, US, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Brazil and India. Mises Institutes have popped up all over the world and Google search for ‘Mises Institute’ generates over 2.6 million results.
Meanwhile, Paul Krugman responds…
While running as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president in 1988, Ron Paul appeared on William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line.” There, the feisty libertarian doctor and the iconic founder of the National Review debated many issues, including whether the FBI and the CIA should be abolished, as Paul proposed.
The whole show is fascinating, but the debate over the FBI and CIA begins at 6:18 and continues into the second video. Also interesting to note, Paul’s fans back then were apparently as rabid — or, if you prefer, intensely passionate — in the pre-Internet age as they are in today’s plugged-in society. Buckley mentions at the beginning of the show that he had been deluged with mail urging him to bring Paul on the show.
“Our guest today is in any event welcome,” Buckley said opening the program, “but I should record that in 20 years I have not before been hectored by so many letters, in this case urging me to invite Dr. Ron Paul for this hour.”
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site and donate today!
“What is Money?” with Joseph T. Salerno — Ron Paul Money Lecture Series, Pt 1/3
Rep. Ron Paul sponsored this Congressional lecture on “What is Money?”, part one of a three part series on the basic principles of money for Congressional staff. As a continuing educational tool this lecture was filmed and is provided to the public. Joseph T. Salerno, Ph.D., delivered the lecture. He is academic vice president of the Mises Institute, professor of economics at Pace University, and editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.
Pt. 2: “What is Constitutional Money?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6gMkKmQSW4
Pt. 3 “What About Money Causes Economic Crises?” — available December 2011
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site and donate today!