An American Classical Liberalism

Every four years, as the November presidential election draws near, I have the same daydream: that I don't know or care who the president of the United States is. More importantly, I don't need to know or care. I don't have to vote or even pay attention to debates. I can ignore all campaign commercials. There are no high stakes…

Continue Reading

The State of Modern Economics

Peter G Klein is Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute and W.W. Caruth Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. He is also senior research fellow at Baylor’s Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise and adjunct professor of strategy and management at the Norwegian School of Economics. His research focuses on the…

Continue Reading

Decentralization, Absolutism, and the Papal States

[The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe by David Kertzer Random House, 2018 xxx + 474 pages] Historian David Kertzer made a name for himself with his 1997 book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. The book covers the until-then-rarely-mentioned case of an Italian Jewish boy who was illicitly baptized by…

Continue Reading

Political Competition vs. Market Competition

[Editor's note: In this selection from The Society of Tomorrow, Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) discusses how competition in the political and natural worlds differ greatly from competition in the marketplace. We find Molinari makes some observations similar to those of Ludwig von Mises in identifying the consumer as the ultimate arbiter of who "wins" in market competition: "The most powerful rival still takes…

Continue Reading

The Noneconomic Objections to Capitalism

[Editor's note: this article is excerpted from part IV of The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. In the nineteenth and twentieth century, socialists often argued that socialism was superior to capitalism because it would deliver a higher standard of living and more consumer goods. When it became clear socialism could not compete with capitalism in terms of material well-being, the socialists shifted their arguments,…

Continue Reading

No, Conservatives Should Not Embrace MMT

Reading Jonathan Culbreath’s “Modern Monetary Theory for Conservatives” one can’t help but think of Murray Rothbard’s quip that “it is not a crime to be ignorant of economics … but it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.“ Culbreath’s case for modern monetary theory (MMT) rests on an…

Continue Reading

The Faith of Entrepreneurs

Ludwig von Mises didn’t like references to the "miracle" of the marketplace or the "magic" of production or other terms that suggest that economic systems depend on some force that is beyond human comprehension. In his view, we are better off coming to a rational understanding of why markets are responsible for astounding levels of productivity that can support exponential…

Continue Reading

Tobacco Smokers: America's Most Persecuted Minority

[Editor's Note: following reports that the Biden administration is planning to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigarettes, the following is an article by Murray Rothbard written in August 1994.] Quick: Which is America’s Most Persecuted Minority? No, you’re wrong. (And it’s not Big Business either: one of Ayn Rand’s more ludicrous pronouncements.) All right, consider this: Which group has been increasingly…

Continue Reading

The Bureaucrat as a Voter

The bureaucrat is not only a government employee. He is, under a democratic constitution, at the same time a voter and as such a part of the sovereign, his employer. He is in a peculiar position: he is both employer and employee. And his pecuniary interest as employee towers above his interest as employer, as he gets much more from…

Continue Reading