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Patrick Barron

 January 13, 2014

Hyperinflation leads to the complete breakdown in the demand for a currency, which means simply that no one wishes to hold it. Everyone wants to get rid of that kind of money as fast as possible. Prices, denominated in the hyper-inflated currency, suddenly and dramatically go through the roof. The most famous examples, although there are many others, are Germany in the early 1920s and Zimbabwe just a few years ago. German Reichsmarks and Zim dollars were printed in million and even trillion unit denominations.


Studying Real People

Опубликовано в Articles in English декабря 23 2013

Teaching and learning economics has become detached from human beings

 December 17, 2013

Peter Boettke

 One of the most common criticisms of economics is that it relies on unrealistic assumptions and abstract models of the economy. If only economists studied the real world they would know that people are not always rational, exchange is not always mutually beneficial, and that markets do not always clear. Instead the real world is full of mistakes, unequal power, and inefficiency.


How the Paper Money Experiment Will End

Опубликовано в Articles in English декабря 16 2013

Philipp Bagus

December 13, 2013

A paper currency system contains the seeds of its own destruction. The temptation for the monopolist money producer to increase the money supply is almost irresistible. In such a system with a constantly increasing money supply and, as a consequence, constantly increasing prices, it does not make much sense to save in cash to purchase assets later. A better strategy, given this senario, is to go into debt to purchase assets and pay back the debts later with a devalued currency. Moreover, it makes sense to purchase assets that can later be pledged as collateral to obtain further bank loans. A paper money system leads to excessive debt.


Emile Phaneuf

December 5, 2013

Why do beliefs cluster the way they do?

If someone believes that only police and military should have guns, why is that person also likely to support socialized healthcare and a government-imposed minimum wage, and be unsupportive of school vouchers? In his 1987 book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, economist Thomas Sowell put forth two conflicting visions of man that he believes explain many of the underlying reasons for the clustering of beliefs. 


The State Causes the Poverty It Later Claims to Solve

Опубликовано в Articles in English декабря 09 2013

Andreas Marquart

December 07, 2013

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.


Inflation, Shortages, and Social Democracy in Venezuela

Опубликовано в Articles in English декабря 02 2013

Matt McCaffrey, Carmen Dorobat

November 29, 2013

The economic turmoil in Venezuela has received increasing international media attention over the past few months. In September, the toilet paper shortage (which followed food shortages and electricity blackouts) resulted in the "temporary occupation" of the Paper Manufacturing Company, as armed troops were sent to ensure the "fair distribution" of available stocks. Similar action occurred a few days ago against electronics stores: President Nicolás Maduro accused electronics vendors of price-gouging, and jailed them with the warning that "this is just the start of what I'm going to do to protect the Venezuelan people."


Gary Galles
November 22, 2013
"We paid our Social Security and Medicare taxes; we earned our benefits." It is that belief among senior citizens that President Obama was pandering to when, in his second inaugural address, he claimed that those programs "strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers."

If Social Security and Medicare both involved people voluntarily financing their own benefits, an argument could be made for seniors' "earned benefits" view. But they have not. They have redistributed tens of trillions of dollars of wealth to themselves from those younger.

Social Security and Medicare have transferred those trillions because they have been partial Ponzi schemes.


Monsanto’s Friends in High Places

Опубликовано в Articles in English ноября 11 2013

Hunter Lewis

Editor's Note: The following is adapted from Hunter Lewis's new book Crony Capitalism in America, now available in the Mises Store.

Many companies hope to send an employee into a government agency to influence regulation. How much better if the employee can actually shape government regulation to promote and sell a specific product! Monsanto seems to have accomplished this — and much more.

Michael Taylor is among a number of people with Monsanto ties who have worked in government in recent years. He worked for the Nixon and Reagan Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s, then became a lawyer representing Monsanto. In 1991, he returned to the FDA as Deputy Commissioner for Policy under George H. W. Bush, and helped secure approval for Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine (cow) growth hormone, despite it being banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.


Inflation Is the Last Thing We Need

Опубликовано в Articles in English ноября 04 2013

Inflation serves the governing class and hurts honest, hardworking people.

Sheldon Richman

One is Harvard economist Kenneth S. Rogoff, quoted in the Times: "Weighed against the political, social and economic risks of continued slow growth after a once-in-a-century financial crisis, a sustained burst of moderate inflation is not something to worry about. It should be embraced." He favors an annual rate of 6 percent.
"I think higher inflation would help," economist Jared Bernstein of the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities added.
The Federal Reserve is another place to find advocates of inflation. This includes President Obama's choice to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chair, Janet Yellen.
These people are saying, in effect, that you and I have too much purchasing power. Got that?Too much purchasing power.
Raise your hand if you think you have too much purchasing power. Anyone? I didn't think so.


Two Types of Individualism

Опубликовано в Articles in English октября 28 2013

Friedrich A. Hayek

Editor's Note: This selection is from F.A. Hayek's Individualism and Economic Order, now available as an ebook in the Mises Store. In this selection, Hayek contrasts two types of individualism: one that leads to freedom and spontaneous order, and the other that leads to collectivism and controlled economies.

Before I explain what I mean by true individualism, it may be useful if I give some indication of the intellectual tradition to which it belongs. The true individualism which I shall try to defend began its modern development with John Locke, and particularly with Bernard Mandeville and David Hume, and achieved full stature for the first time in the work of Josiah Tucker, Adam Ferguson, and Adam Smith and in that of their great contemporary, Edmund Burke — the man whom Smith described as the only person he ever knew who thought on economic subjects exactly as he did without any previous communication having passed between them.


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