Power & Market

New Course on Development Economics with GP Manish

01/24/2018Mises Institute

In 2017, the US spent more than $50 billion on foreign aid. Why then are so many of the countries receiving this aid still living in dire poverty with starvation as a constant threat? Why doesn't this aid foster economic growth and development in those regions? Because just throwing money at a problem, foreign aid in this case, simply doesn't work.

So then, what are the prerequisites for economic development? What will improve standards of living? These are some of the issues addressed in a new course, Development Economics: An Austrian Perspective. G.P. Manish will explain the roles time preference and capital accumulation play in economic development as well as the importance of a fully integrated structure of production. He wraps up the course with a case study of economic development — and economic disaster — in India since gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1947.

This course is for independent study, free, and available to be taken anytime. The Mises Institute appreciates your support for continuing the creation of more courses in the Mises Academy.

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New Audiobook!

12/20/2017Mises Institute

To understand the modern state, you must understand the Progressive Era. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Tyler Folger, Murray Rothbard's definitive book on the Progressives is now available as a free audiobook.

The audio files are currently available on iTunes, Google PlaySoundcloud, and Mises.org.

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New Issue of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics: Summer 2017

12/13/2017Ryan McMaken

New Audiobook!

12/12/2017Mises Institute

The Theory of Money and Credit, Ludwig von Mises's 1953 treatise on monetary theory, is now available as a free audiobook narrated by Jim Vann.

In a step-by-step manner, Mises presents the case for sound money with no inflation, and presents the beginnings of a full-scale business cycle theory.

The audio files are currently available on Soundcloud and Mises.org.

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National Review Gets Virginia Wrong

11/09/2017Jeff Deist

National Review seems to think the recent election in Virginia was about Trump, when in fact it was entirely about demographics. Virginia is no longer a red state, and will become increasingly deeper blue in the decades ahead. This is why Romney lost in 2012, why Trump lost in 2016, why Ed Gillespie lost this week, and why future Ed Gillespies will lose statewide elections in the Old Dominion for the foreseeable future. Fidelity to Trumpism, or lack thereof, was not Gillespie's downfall. Nor was his milquetoast brand of Chamber of Commerce Republicanism, which nonetheless was sufficient to have him branded a race baiter in an opposition ad.

Just 20 years ago the northern Virginia suburbs were still the "conservative" part of the Beltway. Alexandria was always blue, but Arlington County had a mix that included some conservatives and leftover Reagan administration types. Fairfax and Loudoun counties, faraway at the time, were only somewhat suburban and largely rural. To say a few decades of growth changed the landscape would be a gross understatement, in fact perhaps no other part of the US has changed so rapidly. Today the entire region is one of the richest in the US, and in keeping with the times it became more leftwing as it became more wealthy. This would be true even if the direct source of that wealth was not the federal government.

Northern Virginia is also full of immigrants from Central America, South America, and Asia, many of whom are decidedly less affluent than their lawyer and lobbyist neighbors. In 2012 my own former city of Falls Church held Peruvian elections in a local high school gym, providing a form of absentee voting I assume was respected by that country's officials (although I don't know how ballots were transported back, or whether they were electronic). Immigrants in the NoVa suburbs benefit from the bustling micro-economy created by federal largesse, but by and large don't work directly in "the business." Many of the most recent arrivals live in overcrowded shared housing, causing uncomfortable situations for local zoning boards who want to enforce occupancy rules but don't want to appear racist or insensitive. And with even tiny houses from the 1940s selling for $600 or $700 thousand, where exactly are immigrants supposed to live?

It's an uncomfortable juxtaposition of wealth and relative poverty, with the two existing in proximity normally seen in big cities rather than suburban areas. Great Falls and McLean might as well be Beverly Hills. And while immigrants and their children may have little in common with the patent attorney living just a mile or two away, in the vast majority of cases both lean heavily Democrat. Immigrant non-citizens may not be able to vote, but their children certainly will. 

If you want to understand northern Virginia in a nutshell, look no further than the cluttered, heavily trafficked hellscape known as Tyson's Corner. This is what happens when artificial growth, fueled by Uncle Sam and the Fed, materializes in the form of an ersatz town. It is malinvestment in visible physical form.

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So sorry National Review, winning elections in Virginia is not about explaining Reagan nostalgia or tax reform. It's about numbers. Terry McAuliffe is essentially the Governor of northern Virginia (with a nod to the Tidewater area and core Richmond; throw in lefty Charlottesville for good measure). He doesn't pretend otherwise, and didn't campaign otherwise. He doesn't need the rest of the state, and neither will his Democratic successors.

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