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.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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The Case for Discrimination

BooksJanuary 5, 2011
Walter Block has been writing on the economics of discrimination — and in defense of discrimination, rightly understood — for more than 30 years. This edition collects nearly all of this writing to present a radical alternative to the mainstream view...

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30. The Symptomatic Keynes

Online Text Page from Economic Freedom and Interventionism, Ch. III. Mises As Critic

As is customary with biographies, Professor R. F. Harrod's The Life of John Maynard Keynes (Harcourt, Brace, 195 1) provides an abundance of information about insignificant happenings and uninteresting people who crossed the path of his subject. The whole of page 171, for instance, is devoted to the description of a lady who happened to be the niece of an authentic duke. We are told how she dressed, how and where she lived, what her eccentricities were and many other things.

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...

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Heterogeneous Capital: 12 November, 2012: No-More-Armistices Day, Football As Opiate, the Hair's Breadth Spectrum of "Serious" Opinion, and the Transatlantic Trail of Tears

BlogNovember 12, 2012

Anthony Gregory has a good piece on Veterans/Armistice Day.

At the end of the Korean War, President Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 that changed the name of the national holiday to Veteran’s Day. Perhaps


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30 Years

Audio/VideoJanuary 30, 2014
The Donald and Linda Miller Lecture, presented at the 2012 Mises Institute Supporters Summit. Recorded at Callaway Gardens, Georgia, on 26 October 2012.

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7. Factors of Production: Convertibility and Valuation

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 1. The Fundamentals of Human Action

Factors of production are valued in accordance with their anticipated contribution in the eventual production of consumers’ goods. Factors, however, differ in the degree of their specifity, i.e., the variety of consumers’ goods in the production of which they can be of service. Certain goods are completely specific—are useful in producing only one consumers’ good.

6. Factors of Production: The Law of Returns

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 1. The Fundamentals of Human Action

We have concluded that the value of each unit of any good is equal to its marginal utility at any point in time, and that this value is determined by the relation between the actor's scale of wants and the stock of goods available. We know that there are two types of goods: consumers’ goods, which directly serve human wants, and producers’ goods, which aid in the process of production eventually to produce consumers’ goods. It is clear that the utility of a consumers’ good is the end directly served.

8. Factors of Production: Labor versus Leisure

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 1. The Fundamentals of Human Action

Setting aside the problem of allocating production along the most desired lines and of measuring one product against another, it is evident that every man desires to maximize his production of consumers’ goods per unit of time. He tries to satisfy as many of his important ends as possible, and at the earliest possible time. But in order to increase the production of his consumers’ goods, he must relieve the scarcity of the scarce factors of production; he must increase the available supply of these scarce factors.

2. Types of Interpersonal Action: Voluntary Exchange and the Contractual Society

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 2. Direct Exchange

From this point on, we shall develop an analysis of the workings of a society based purely on voluntary action, entirely unhampered by violence or threats of violence. We shall examine interpersonal actions that are purely voluntary, and have no trace of hegemonic relations. Then, after working out the laws of the unhampered market, we shall trace the nature and results of hegemonic relations—of actions based on violence or the threat of violence.

1. Types of Interpersonal Action: Violence

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 2. Direct Exchange

THE ANALYSIS IN CHAPTER 1 WAS based on the logical implications of the assumption of action, and its results hold true for all human action. The application of these principles was confined, however, to “Crusoe economics,” where the actions of isolated individuals are considered by themselves. In these situations, there are no interactions between persons. Thus, the analysis could easily and directly be applied to n number of isolated Crusoes on n islands or other isolated areas.

3. Exchange and the Division of Labor

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 2. Direct Exchange

In describing the conditions that must obtain for interpersonal exchange to take place (such as reverse valuations), we implicitly assumed that it must be two different goods that are being exchanged. If Crusoe at his end of the island produced only berries, and Jackson at his end produced only the same kind of berries, then no basis for exchange between them would occur.

9. The Formation of Capital

Online Text Page from Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market, Ch. 1. The Fundamentals of Human Action

With the nature-given elements limited by his environment, and his labor restricted both by its available supply and its disutility, there is only one way by which man can increase his production of consumers’ goods per unit of time—by increasing the quantity of capital goods. Beginning with unaided labor and nature, he must, to increase his productivity, mix his labor energy with the elements of nature to form capital goods.

2. Direct Effects of Intervention on Utility

Online Text Page from Power and Market: Government and the Economy, Ch. 2. Fundamentals of Intervention


The first step in analyzing intervention is to contrast the direct effect on the utilities of the participants, with the effect of a free society. When people are free to act, they will always act in a way that they believe will maximize their utility, i.e., will raise them to the highest possible position on their value scale. Their utility ex ante will be maximized, provided we take care to interpret “utility” in an ordinal rather than a cardinal manner.