The Fallacy of the “Public Sector”

[This article is excerpted from Economic Controversies, chapter 21, “The Fallacy of the ‘Public Sector’” (2011). It originally appeared in the New Individualist Review (Summer, 1961): 3–7.]   We have heard a great deal in recent years of the “public sector,” and solemn discussions abound through the land on whether […]

Gilets Jaunes: French Protesters Demand Lower Taxes and More Spending

I never thought I would see the day where Antifa would protest side by side with the National Front against the French government. The day has come, and what it means for France is unclear at best. We spent last Saturday at “Act 9” of the Gilets Jaunes protests in […]

Why We Need Savings to Produce What We Need

Conventional wisdom says that savings is the amount of money left after monetary income was used for consumer outlays, implying that saving is synonymous with money. Hence, for a given consumer outlays an increase in money income implies more saving and thus more funding for investment. This in turn sets […]

Jeff Deist on Why Socialism Persists

This is the last Mises Weekends episode! But don’t despair, Jeff will soon be back with a brand new format: The Human Action Podcast. The new show is not radically different, but focuses more exclusively on Austrian economics, its great books, and its great thinkers — with longer, more in-depth […]

Decentralization Is the Solution to the Government Shutdown Problem

The partial shutdown with the federal government has helped, perhaps more than any other recent political event, to illustrate some of the biggest problems that come with centralizing an ever-larger number of government activities within a single, centralized institution. Were the US government more decentralized, we’d not now be facing […]

Peter Klein and Nicolai Foss on Managers in Flat Business Structures

By: Mises Institute The online magazine Aeon currently features an outstanding article from our scholars Peter Klein and Nicolai Foss on the trend toward “bossless” business structures. Far from being redundant middlemen, they argue, good managers are needed more than ever even in firms that aspire to flat, decentralized, and democratic organization.  Klein and Foss […]

57. Neither Fisher nor Bayes: The Limits of Statistical Inference

How do we know that a treatment works or not? Billions of healthcare dollars are at stake in the answer to that question. For decades, that answer has largely hinged on theories from a field of human inquiry that combines the precision of mathematics with the accuracy of astrology. We […]

Two Definitions of “Freedom” — Only One of Them Is Right

January 6 marked the anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s famous 1941 “Four Freedoms” speech, and January 11 marked the anniversary of his 1944 State of the Union address, where he expanded on what he saw as its meaning. That makes this an appropriate time to recognize the cognitive dissonance in FDR’s […]

How Tax Incentive Programs Distort the Economy and Drive up the Cost of Living

As humans, we want to satisfy our needs in the present rather than the future. This is a fundamental truth of human action. If we preferred to satisfy needs in the future over the present, we would never act. An individual’s time preference remains high until basic needs are met […]

Imagine if the Media Had as Much Sympathy for Small Business Owners as it Does for Federal Employees

During this partial government shutdown, it’s become nearly impossible to avoid news articles, and segments on television and radio outlining the many ways that federal employees are apparently suffering financially as a result of the partial government shutdown. The stories are very diverse in topic. Some take a “human interest […]

12. Gene Epstein on Commies, Krugman, and Crushing Debaters

Gene Epstein, former Barron’s economics editor and founder of the Soho Forum, joins Bob for a lively discussion covering a variety of topics. Gene explains that his mother, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, had an FBI file and was responsible for Gene’s original position as a democratic socialist. […]

March and Simon: Early Socialist Calculation Revisionists

By: Nicolai J. Foss It is now commonly recognized that the majority of the economics profession for about four decades held an erroneous view of the nature of the “socialist calculation debate.” In particular, the nature of the arguments put forward by Mises and Hayek were misconstrued. Revisionism took off […]

Why Politics Divides People

Why is politics so negative compared to marketing — its analog in the private sector — even though virtually every candidate echoes the desire to “just get along”? The explanation revolves around two important ways political competition differs from market competition: higher payoffs to negative attacks, and rationally ignorant “customers.” Selling […]

France’s Crisis Is the Latest In a Long History of Conflict over France’s Un-Free Markets

Even after ten weeks, the “yellow vest” protests in France continue. Mass protests such as these, with their violence and destruction, have not been seen in France for decades. The basic narrative of these events is well known. Macron was elected with a program, which the promise he would enhance […]

FDR’s Worst Perversion of Freedom: The “Four Freedoms” Speech

Franklin Roosevelt did more than any other modern president to corrupt Americans’ understanding of freedom. Last week was the 75th anniversary of his 1944 speech calling for a second Bill of Rights to guarantee economic freedom to Americans. Nation magazine whooped up the anniversary, proclaiming that Democrats now have a […]

The Austrian School at the European Parliament

By: Max Rangeley Last year we at the European branch of the Ludwig von Mises Institute (Europe) organised the first ever Austrian school event in the European Parliament. Member of the European Parliament Amjad Bashir — a great supporter of free enterprise within the Parliament — kindly sponsored the event, […]

Behind the Scenes at the Central Banks that Created our Modern Monetary System

[From the Summer 2018 Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. A review of How Global Currencies Work: Past, Present, and Future by Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, and Livia Chitu, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2018, 250 pp.] The present volume is an engaging and intriguing account of how global currencies, such […]

How Gun Control Became an Instrument of Tyranny in Venezuela

Is Venezuela paying the price for adopting gun control? The shocking nature of Venezuela’s economic collapse has been covered ad nauseam. However, one aspect of the Venezuelan crisis that does not receive much coverage is the country’s gun control regime. Fox News recently published an excellent article highlighting Venezuelan citizens’ […]

The Battle of the Ironclads, Part 3: Inventing the Monitor

Season 3, Episode 40  The Union’s response to the Confederate ironclad was an iron warship of its own. Unlike the Merrimack, the USS Monitor was a tremendous technological innovation, nearly single-handedly designed by a Swedish engineer named John Ericsson. This episode details his incredible life and the many failures that […]

The Crisis of Argentina and How to Reduce Country Risk

Argentina maintains a high country risk. In fact,  it is currently the second highest in Latin America and the third of the emerging countries if we include Turkey. What is the country risk? It is the spread between the yield of the sovereign bond of a nation compared with the […]