Why Bother Studying Economic Theory?

What is most exciting about the Austrian methodology of economic inquiry is that, to quote Mises himself, it does not relegate economics to the classrooms, to the “statistical offices,” and to “esoteric circles.” It instead offers to all who seek such knowledge, a body of insights as to how men […]

Lara and Murphy Discuss IBC and the Business Owner

In this re-broadcast of a recent Lara-Murphy Show episode, Bob Murphy and co-host Carlos Lara discuss the yield curve from an Austrian perspective. Carlos explains why a business owner who practices the Infinite Banking Concept (IBC) would want to retain ownership of the life insurance policy in his or her […]

Notre Dame and What Was Lost

By: Jeff Deist Yesterday’s terrible fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral reminds us how quickly centuries of accumulated “cultural capital” can be destroyed. Oak timbers dating from the 1200s in the roof and spire were lost forever; some priceless stained glass windows appear to have suffered damage. As the saying goes, France […]

Entrepreneurial Decision Making with Peter Klein

Decision-making can feel particularly challenging for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs face the unpredictability of the future with a limited set of resources, limited information, very little history of what works and what doesn’t, and few, if any, people to help. There’s no corporate research department and not much big data. Decision-making can be […]

Economic Stratification and College Admission

The recent arrests of actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman for allegedly using fraudulent means for getting their daughters into prestigious private universities has exposed a dark underbelly in college admissions, something that will reverberate for a long time. (Huffman already has agreed to plead guilty, which almost certainly will […]

The Income Effect Reconsidered

ABSTRACT: There is an avoidable tension in a recently presented argument against the income effect from the perspective of Austrian or causal-realist price theory. The argument holds that a constant purchasing power of money is a necessary assumption for constructing an individual demand curve for a specific good, and hence […]

Is the Virus of International Macroeconomic Interventionism Infectious? An ABCT Analysis

ABSTRACT: According to Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT), there is no macroeconomic market failure. Under laissez faire capitalism, with extremely limited or no government, there will be no credit-induced business cycles. However, suppose one part of the world engages in credit expansion, which, according to ABCT creates the business cycle, […]

The Rejection of Economics

[Excerpted from chapter 10 of Theory and History.] As historicism sees it, the essential error of economics consists in its assumption that man is invariably egoistic and aims exclusively at material well-being. According to Gunnar Myrdal, economics asserts that human actions are “solely motivated by economic interests” and considers as […]

Agree or Disagree? On the Role of Negotiations for the Valuation of Business Enterprises

ABSTRACT: In the division of labor, economizing valuations require an appraisement of the structure of market prices of goods beforehand. Yet, investment decisions concerning the purchase of an entire business enterprise, for example, necessitate considerations beyond appraisement. An economizing valuation of businesses must be based upon both appraisement and a […]

Socialism: Armed Robbery and Murder Based on Delusion and Profound Ignorance

By: George Reisman Professor Reisman delivered this talk at a TEDx event held at Sage Hill High School in Newport Beach, California, on February 15, 2019. Socialism: Armed Robbery and Murder Based on Delusion and Profound Ignorance | George Reisman Video of Socialism: Armed Robbery and Murder Based on Delusion […]

The Income Tax: Lessons from the Sixteenth Amendment

“The income tax is “undoubtedly the most totalitarian of all taxes.”1 ~Murray Rothbard At the founding of our country, the framers of our Constitution wisely withheld the right to tax incomes from the federal government. With the recent Revolutionary War in mind, the States were reluctant to cede strong taxing […]

Fed Inflation Is Driving More Workers to “Side Hustles”

By: Doug French Since when are industriousness and hard work criticized? The New York Times op-ed page. Alissa Quart complains, this nouveau moonlighting continues to be exalted ­as cool, empowering or freeing. This mantra is false: Side hustles are not simply a new version of working as a “wage slave” […]

In Praise of Austerity

Trying to overcome a financial crisis with more debt is ineffective and a scheme of deceit. It would be just another step closer to final bankruptcy. In order to overcome a financial crisis, policies in favor of private business are required. Austerity need not be painful when the contraction of […]

A Better Red: The Transition from Communism to Coca-Cola in Romania

Volume 2, No. 2 (Summer 1999) The transition from central planning to market-oriented economies in Eastern and Central Europe provides a fascinating laboratory for research in economic theory and business practice. With the collapse of communism, the inefficiencies of centralized planning have been laid bare. The classic debates between Mises […]

Counterfeiting Money Is a Crime — Whether Done by the Fed or A Private Individual

A few years ago, shortly after the 2008 subprime lending disaster, the Fed sent a public relations team around the country to conduct supposedly “educational sessions” about how the Fed works and the wonderful things it does. The public was invited, and there was a question and answer session at […]

The Neutral Interest Rate: The Fed’s Impossible Goal

It is widely accepted that by means of suitable monetary policies the US central bank can navigate the economy towards a growth path of economic stability and prosperity. The key ingredient in achieving this is price stability. Most experts are of the view that what prevents the attainment of price […]

New York’s “Soak the Rich” Approach Only Helps Politicians

By: Alice Salles New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo just approved a $175.5 billion budget, boasting it as the “broadest, most sweeping state plan that we have done.” Hoping to spend $19.6 billion on Medicaid and healthcare alone, a 3.6 percent raise from last year, New York’s lawmakers also passed a […]

The Menace of Sub-Zero Interest-Rate Policy

Sub-zero interest rate policy as Europe and Japan have practiced for many years menaces global economic prosperity. Yet Congress and the White House are strangely silent on the issue; even a prophetic messenger would not arouse them. Two monetary episodes – one historical and counterfactual, the other contemporary and real […]

Conservative Means to Progressive Ends? Avik Roy on Healthcare

Is there a conservative path to universal healthcare? Our guest certainly believes so. Avik Roy (twitter) is one of the most influential conservative voices in healthcare. A graduate from MIT and Yale Medical School, Avik spent many years with the investment firm Bain Capital. In 2009, in response to the […]

Capital and Interest in the Austrian Tradition, Part 1 of 3

Bob begins his three-part series devoted to Capital and Interest Theory in the tradition of the Austrian School. This is his area of expertise, and the focus of his doctoral dissertation. In this episode, Part 1, Bob explains Böhm-Bawerk’s critique of the “naive productivity theory” of interest, and also reconciles […]