Search

Default! Default!

Institute PublicationsNovember 1, 2001
We will never resort to a bailout, said the Bush administration concerning the financial failures of the Argentinian government. That was one week before the same administration arranged an $8 billion line of credit for the same government.

Read more

License Tags and Free Speech

Institute PublicationsDecember 1, 2001
This past September, the state government of South Carolina came under fire for issuing a special license plate bearing the slogan "Choose Life." Affronted abortion-rights groups quickly filed suit, claiming that the state was violating the first and fourteenth amendments by failing to...

Read more

Walk Away: The Rise and Fall of the Home-Ownership Myth

BooksNovember 18, 2010
This elegant and fact-filled book by Doug French examines the background to the case of "strategic default," or walking away from your home, and considers its implications from a variety of different perspectives...

Read more

The New Despotism

BooksMarch 16, 2010
When the modern political community was being shaped at the end of the 18th century, its founders thought that the consequences of republican or representative institutions in government would be the reduction of political power in individual lives.

Read more

The Moral Case for the Free Market Economy

BooksJuly 6, 2006
Tibor Machan makes the case for the free market system of economics based on the view of human beings as moral agents with the legal system of a good community as designed to nurture this moral agency.

Read more

The Return to Laisser Faire

BooksJune 5, 2009
Government means, or should mean, the right ordering of all. Modern government has degenerated into tinkering with the wants or rights or liberties of classes or sections or groups, and it is rare, in these days, to hear a political discussion which takes adequate account of the interests of the...

Read more

How to Keep Our Liberty

BooksJuly 17, 2009
"Individualities may form communities, but it is institutions alone that can create a nation." This was a comment by Benjamin Disraeli a century ago when he was beginning the task of building the Conservative Party, a party that still lives a lusty, constructive life...

Read more

The De Moneta of Nicholas Oresme and English Mint Documents

BooksFebruary 14, 2009
Nicole Oresme has been called the most brilliant scientist of the 14th century: mathematician, musicologist, physicist, philosopher, and economist. On top of that, he was a Bishop and a theologian. His writings of money bear much in common with Carl Menger. Oresme's treatise on money, De Moneta...

Read more

The Enterprise of Community: Market Competition, Land, and Environment

Institute Publications
We hear a lot of expressed concern about conserving the environment, but no one talks much about producing it. Why not manufacture it competitively and sell it in the free market like other goods and services—and even bundle it with product support? As a matter of fact, that is being done. It...

Read more

8. The Entrepreneurial Component in the Market Interest Rate

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

In the ERE, as we have seen, the interest rate throughout the economy will be uniform. In the real world there is an additional entrepreneurial (or “risk”) component, which adds to the interest rate in particularly risky ventures, and in accordance with the degree of risk. (Since “risk” has an actuarially “certain” connotation, we may better call it “degree of uncertainty.”) Thus, suppose that the basic social time-preference rate, or pure rate of interest, in the economy is 5 percent.

3. Direct Effects of Intervention on Utility

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

In tracing the effects of intervention, we must explore both the direct and the indirect consequences. In the first place, intervention will have direct, immediate consequences on the utilities of those participating. On the one hand, when the society is free and there is no intervention, everyone will always act in the way that he believes will maximize his utility, i.e., will raise him to the highest possible position on his value scale.

10. Balance of Payments

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

In chapter 3 above, we engaged in an extensive analysis of the individual's balance of payments.

12. Conclusion: The Free Market and Coercion

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

We have thus concluded our analysis of voluntary and free action and its consequences in the free market, and of violent and coercive action and its consequences in economic intervention. Superficially, it looks to many people as if the free market is a chaotic and anarchic place, while government intervention imposes order and community values upon this anarchy. Actually, praxeology—economics—shows us that the truth is quite the reverse. We may divide our analysis into the direct, or palpable, effects, and the indirect, hidden effects of the two principles.

13. Enforcement Against Invasion of Property

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

This work is largely the analysis of a market society unhampered by the use of violence or theft against any man's person or property. The question of the means by which this condition is best established is not at present under consideration. For the present purpose, it makes no difference whether this condition is established by every man's deciding to refrain from invasive action against others or whether some agency is established to enforce the abandonment of such action by every individual.

2. The Emergence of Indirect Exchange

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

The tremendous difficulties of direct exchange can be overcome only by indirect exchange, where an individual buys a commodity in exchange, not as a consumers’ good for the direct satisfaction of his wants or for the production of a consumers’ good, but simply to exchange again for another commodity that he does desire for consumption or for production. Offhand, this might seem a clumsy and roundabout operation. Actually, it is indispensable for any economy above the barely primitive level.

4. The Monetary Unit

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

We have seen that every good is “in supply” if it can be divided into units, each of which is homogeneous with every other. Goods can be bought and sold only in terms of such units, and those goods which are indivisible and unique may be described as being in a supply of one unit only. Tangible commodities are generally traded in terms of units of weight, such as tons, pounds, ounces, grains, grams, etc. The money commodity is no exception to this rule. The most universally traded commodity in the community, it is bought and sold always in terms of units of its weight.

Appendix B: "Collective Goods" and "External Benefits": Two Arguments for Government Activity

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

One of the most important philosophical problems of recent centuries is whether ethics is a rational discipline, or instead a purely arbitrary, unscientific set of personal values. Whichever side one may take in this debate, it would certainly be generally agreed that economics—or praxeology—cannot by itself suffice to establish an ethical, or politico-ethical, doctrine. Economics per se is therefore a Wertfrei science, which does not engage in ethical judgments.

5. Money Income and Money Expenditures

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

In a money economy, each individual sells goods and services that he owns for money and uses the money to buy desired goods. Each person may make a record of such monetary exchanges for any period of time. Such a record may be called his balance of payments for that period.

2. The Money Relation: The Demand for and the Supply of Money

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

Money is a commodity that serves as a general medium of exchange; its exchanges therefore permeate the economic system. Like all commodities, it has a market demand and a market supply, although its special situation lends it many unique features. We saw in chapter 4 that its “price” has no unique expression on the market. Other commodities are all expressible in terms of units of money and therefore have uniquely identifiable prices.

15. Business Fluctuations

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market

In the real world, there will be continual changes in the pattern of economic activity, changes resulting from shifts in the tastes and demands of consumers, in resources available, technological knowledge, etc. That prices and outputs fluctuate, therefore, is to be expected, and absence of fluctuation would be unusual. Particular prices and outputs will change under the impact of shifts in demand and production conditions; the general level of production will change according to individual time preferences.