domingo, 29 de mayo de 2016

How Capitalism Improves the Welfare of All

How Capitalism Improves the Welfare of All

There is a widespread opinion that liberalism is distinguished from other political movements by the fact that it places the interests of a part of society — the propertied classes, the capitalists, the entrepreneurs — above the interests of the other classes. This assertion is completely mistaken. Liberalism has always had in view the good of the whole, not that of any special group. It was this that the English utilitarians meant to express — although, it is true, not very aptly — in their famous formula, "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." Historically, liberalism was the first political movement that aimed at promoting the welfare of all, not that of special groups. Liberalism is distinguished from socialism, which likewise professes to strive for the good of all, not by the goal at which it aims, but by the means that it chooses to attain that goal.


How the Census Bureau Invented "Hispanics"

How the Census Bureau Invented "Hispanics"

For anyone who's been following Major League Baseball in recent years, it's apparent that the memo has gone out that now is the time to wring one's hands over a lack of African-American players. Just this month, Hank Aaron lamented that MLB is "a dying sport as far as African-Americans [are concerned.]"
But Aaron's concern only makes sense if one uses the term "African-American" in the strictest sense possible. That is, to see a significant decline in the number of African-Americans, one must count only native-born Americans of African descent, and not count the sizable number of Major League players of African descent who were born in places like Cuba and the Dominican Republic.


Markets Are Our Best Hope for Peaceful Cooperation

Markets Are Our Best Hope for Peaceful Cooperation

In my previous column, I noted both the fallacy that libertarianism is inherently “atomistic” as well as the scientific fact that while morality — such as the Golden Rule, may be applied universally — human cooperation and empathy are not. We are hemmed in by “Dunbar’s number” which limits the number of social relationships any one person can have at any given time to approximately 150.
The question left before us is what societal arrangement does such a nature best lend itself to. Karl Marx envisioned a future that would be “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” But as the biologist E.O. Wilson cleverly noted of communism, “Wonderful theory, wrong species.” Yes, what works well for ants doesn’t so much for human beings.


Price Controls May Be On the Way

Price Controls May Be On the Way

If you thought negative interest rates were as bad as it could get with central banks, you might be in for a surprise. Central banks have been so spectacularly unsuccessful with their accommodative monetary policies that they are discussing pulling out all the stops to get the results they want. They fail to realize that the reason prices aren’t rising is because they really want and need to fall. Bad debts weren’t liquidated during the last financial crisis, the debtors were merely bailed out. Overpriced assets weren’t allowed to be reduced in price. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into the economy to attempt to paper over the recession. Market forces want to drive prices down, while central banks attempt to prop them up. So what to do when central banks aren’t getting their way?


Cash Banned, Freedom Gone

Cash Banned, Freedom Gone

Some politicians want to ban cash, arguing that cash is helping criminals. The first steps in that direction are the withdrawal of big denomination notes and the limits imposed on cash payments.
Proponents of a ban on cash claim that this will help fight criminal transactions — involved in money laundering, terrorism, and tax evasion. These promises of salvation are used to get the general public to agree to a society without cash. But there is no convincing proof for the claim that the world without cash will be a better one. Even if undesirable behavior is indeed financed by cash, you still need to answer the question: will the undesirable behavior disappear without cash? Or will those who commit the undesirable acts take to new ways and means to reach their goal?


Liberty Defined

Liberty Defined

Liberty means to exercise human rights in any manner a person chooses so long as it does not interfere with the exercise of the rights of others. This means, above all else, keeping government out of our lives. Only this path leads to the unleashing of human energies that build civilization, provide security, generate wealth, and protect the people from systematic rights violations. In this sense, only liberty can truly ward off tyranny, the great and eternal foe of mankind.


Keynes Must Die

Keynes Must Die

In 2012, Barack Obama warned that the United States would fall into a depression if Ron Paul’s plan to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget were enacted.
Wait, I beg your pardon. It wasn’t Obama who warned that budget cuts would lead to a depression.
It was Mitt Romney.
Romney went on to become the nominee of the self-described free-market party.
An ideological rout is complete when both sides of respectable opinion take its basic ideas for granted. That’s how complete the Keynesian victory has been.
In fact, Keynesianism had swept the boards a decade before Romney was even born.
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, the seminal treatise by John Maynard Keynes, appeared during the Great Depression, a time when a great many people were beginning to doubt the merits and resilience of capitalism. It was a work of economic theory, but its boosters insisted that it also offered practical answers to urgent, contemporary questions like: how had the Depression occurred, and why was it lasting so long?


Private Restrooms Are Private Property

The current tempest in a teapot among the "rights" advocates is that no one should be restricted from using the gender specific bathroom of his choice. The "rights" advocates want to use the police power of the state to ensure this outcome. The federal government has come down on the side of the "rights" advocates, with regional and local governments sometimes taking the opposite side. Once again, Americans are being told that there are only two sides to this issue, and both sides claim to defend what is proper.


Notes on the Libertarian Party convention

Notes on the Libertarian Party convention


At the Mises Institute, we don't support particular candidates for office or legislative policy proposals. We're primarily interested in ideas and education. And many of our most ardent supporters don't believe in voting or political activism at all (although no less than Walter Block does). But like Murray Rothbard, we of course maintain a "rooting interest" in seeing the most libertarian (i.e least statist) candidates prevail. And I've recently argued for "issue libertarianism" over movement libertarianism, in the face of a very tough political landscape for third parties. 
Rothbard, who helped Lew Rockwell create the Institute, was a Libertarian Party stalwart for many years: speaking at conventions, writing planks for the platform, suggesting tactics, and generally urging the Party to move in a more hardcore direction. He loved the unruly nature of the LP and its infighting, just as he loved the intrigue and plot twists behind Republican and Democrat races-- races he followed avidly and handicapped accurately.  Lew himself was necessarily involved with the LP in 1988, helping Ron Paul secure the nomination after a surprising fight from the great (but not very libertarian) Lakota activist Russell Means.


NO DIFFERENCE

APOLOGY FOR HIROSHIMA

#NEVER HILLARY

LEAVING THEIR MARK