Connor O'Keeffe



Articles by Connor O'Keeffe

The Trump assassination attempt exposes the establishment’s deceitfulness

On Saturday evening, former president and 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump survived an attempted assassination at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. The attack was utterly shocking, not only because a would-be assassin was able to get so close to Trump with a rifle but because of how close he was to success.The rally started off like any other. After his long walkout to the song “Proud to Be an American,” the former president began speaking just after 6:05 p.m. EDT. Four minutes later, at 6:09 p.m., people listening to the speech from just outside the venue began filming a man crawling on the roof of a glass factory. They frantically tried to alert nearby police officers.It appears that officers did respond to the cries from rally goers that there was a man on the roof. However, being

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Banning Fossil Fuels Will Make Heat Waves More Dangerous, Not Less

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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Biden Is Not Running the Government. So, Who Is?

After a disastrous debate performance two weeks ago and a weak damage-control interview last Friday, it’s finally become clear to almost everyone that President Joe Biden is not running the federal government.Every four years, we’re supposed to pretend that a single individual, who we collectively choose at the ballot box, takes charge of the federal government and acts as we would to address the problems we face at home and abroad.Biden’s inability to get through a debate and a sit-down interview without issues shatters the illusion that he is the one running things in Washington and across America’s globe-spanning sphere of influence.So, if Biden is not actually running the government, who is?There are, of course, the people around Biden. Some of his family members—like his wife, Jill

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Julian Assange, the Chevron Doctrine, and the Case against Pessimism

Last week was an excellent week. On the night of Monday, June 24, news broke that Julian Assange had entered into a plea agreement with the United States government. Less than forty-eight hours later, after being in various forms of confinement for twelve years for publishing classified material the United States government didn’t want the public to know about, he landed in his home country of Australia as a free man.After spending years working to get Assange extradited to the US to face charges that he violated the Espionage Act, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ran into a dilemma. The British High Court had ruled that they would send Assange to the US if Washington affirmed that he was entitled to the same free-speech protections as American citizens.But US prosecutors were reluctant to

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Biden’s Debate Performance Was Revealing

Last night, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump faced off in Atlanta in what’s supposed to be the first of two presidential debates. Each man had essentially one job. Trump needed to appear stable enough to counter the characterization his opponents have built up of an unhinged maniac who is dead set on tearing the country down to nurse the hit his ego suffered in 2020. And Trump did a perfectly good job at that. Biden, on the other hand, needed to show his base, his top donors, and the nation’s undecided voters that, despite his age, he is physically and mentally capable of being president for another four years. That was his one job, and he failed spectacularly. The incumbent’s walkout was awkward, and he started stumbling in his very first answer. His voice was quiet,

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The Problem with Juneteenth

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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Banning Fossil Fuels Will Make Heat Waves More Dangerous, Not Less

On Sunday, activists from the environmentalist organization Extinction Rebellion stormed the green in the final, pivotal moments of the Travelers Championship, a professional golf tournament. The protesters tossed red and white chalk and smoke bombs before being tackled to the ground by police. The stunt came days after two protesters with the group Just Stop Oil, a youth-led offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, sprayed orange paint on Stonehenge.The environmentalist protesters who do stunts like this are refreshingly honest about the destructive nature of their ambitions. They see the comforts and leisures of modern life as maladies to be eradicated in the name of saving the climate.But while the means these protesters used in the two high-profile stunts last week have come under wide

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There Are Only Downsides to Prolonging the War in Ukraine

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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The Lesson of the Trump Conviction

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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The Problem with Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth. One hundred fifty-nine years ago, on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas and declared that all slaves in the state were free. The following year, in 1866, residents of the town where Granger had issued the order celebrated the anniversary as “Jubilee Day.” Eventually, the name changed to Juneteenth, and in 1979, it became a Texas state holiday. Then, in 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday.The West’s abolition of chattel slavery was one of the greatest victories for liberty in our civilization’s history. Using an anniversary like today to celebrate the achievement and reflect on why it was necessary in the first place—or how it could have come about better—should be a rare point of unity in today’s

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Don’t Call It Free Trade

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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There Are Only Downsides to Prolonging the War in Ukraine

Last week, President Joe Biden and a number of top American and European officials met in Normandy to attend a ceremony marking the eightieth anniversary of the D-day invasion. In a pair of speeches, Biden recounted the operation that he said marked the beginning of the “great crusade to liberate Europe from tyranny” before drawing a direct connection to where things stand with the war in Ukraine.Biden called Russian president Vladamir Putin a tyrant who invaded Ukraine simply because he is “bent on domination.” Biden then renewed one of his favorite tropes, asserting that if Ukraine falls, its people will be subjugated, its neighbors will be in immediate danger, and all of Europe will be threatened by Putin’s aggressive ambitions.But the West’s chosen depiction of Putin as a tyrant bent

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What Israel Is Doing to Gaza Is a Choice

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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The Lesson of the Trump Conviction

Last week, Donald Trump was convicted of falsifying business records with the intent to commit, aid, or conceal another crime. The Manhattan jury found him guilty on all thirty-four counts.This entire case was always ridiculous. Trump was charged for labeling reimbursement checks to his lawyer as “legal expenses” after the lawyer made a (completely legal) payment to an adult film actress to get her to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Prosecutors argued that the reimbursement payments—which were paid in 2017, after Trump had won the election—were actually campaign expenditures because keeping the alleged affair quiet may have helped the Trump campaign.The idea that hush-money payments made by political candidates are only legitimate if they use campaign funds and publicly report the payments

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Don’t Call It Free Trade

Earlier this month, The Atlantic ran an article by Rogé Karma arguing that after nearly half a century of commitment to unmitigated free trade, politicians and thought leaders in both parties are making a historic turn toward protectionism. This characterization has been gaining popularity in recent years, appearing in articles and reports by both opponents and proponents of America’s supposed protectionist turn.From The Atlantic article:Since the 1980s, American economic policy has largely been guided by the belief that allowing money and goods to flow with as little friction as possible would make everyone better off. So overwhelming was the agreement on this point that it became known, along with a few other free-market dogmas, as the “Washington Consensus.” According to this way of

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The Hush-Money Case against Trump Is Ridiculous and Revealing

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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The Hush-Money Case against Trump Is Ridiculous and Revealing

As the 2024 election cycle is heating up and the summer party conventions approach, Donald Trump—the current front-runner—has been trapped in a New York City courtroom. The former president is charged with thirty-four felony counts of falsifying business records with the intent to commit, aid, or conceal another crime.This is the first of four felony cases against Trump to go to trial, and it could very well be the only case to be decided before voters head to the polls this November. It is also the most nonsensical of the four.The case relates to an affair that allegedly took place nearly two decades ago between Trump and an adult film actress who goes by Stormy Daniels. Last week, Daniels said that the affair began after she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006. Trump denies

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Is “Havana Syndrome” Russian Aggression or Another Media Conspiracy Theory?

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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The Fed Is Already Political

Discourse about the Federal Reserve is frequently full of myths, dishonest framing, and outright lies. Listen to a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell or read an article from a major outlet’s lead Fed correspondent and you’re bound to hear at least a few. For instance, it’s common for the financial press to characterize the Fed’s current conundrum as “walking a tightrope.”It’s said that the Fed is working to guide the economy along without tipping it over into either high inflation on one side or a recession on the other. The last couple years, we’re told, saw the economy wobble too far toward the inflation side, with the Fed now attempting to pull the economy back to the thin line of stability without tipping over too far and plunging into a recession.But anybody who actually

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What the Campus Protesters and Their Critics Get Right and Wrong

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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Cowardice, Not Courage, Led House Republicans to Side with the Democrats

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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What the Campus Protesters and Their Critics Get Right and Wrong

As the academic year draws to a close, protests have broken out on college campuses across the country. Students are protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza. Generally, they are calling for the United States government to stop arming and funding the war and, in the meantime, for their universities to divest from Israeli businesses.The current spate of protests can be drawn back to April 17, when the president of Columbia University was brought before Congress to testify about antisemitism at the school. At the same time, about a hundred Columbia students set up a “Gaza Solidarity” tent encampment on campus.This small protest would likely have dissipated after a few days or weeks, like many similar campus protests in the months since October 7. But instead, the next day, Columbia’s president

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Cowardice, Not Courage, Led House Republicans to Side with the Democrats

Over the weekend, the House of Representatives passed four foreign aid bills that will allocate a combined $95 billion to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other “national security priorities.” House Republicans followed Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) lead and joined with Democrats to deliver all the foreign aid President Joe Biden wanted without requiring much of anything in return.The passage came after House Republicans had handed the president similar victories with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization and government spending.New York Times columnists celebrated Speaker Johnson for, in their words, “finally (showing) a spine.” Columnist Bret Stephens went as far as to call Johnson’s decision to roll over an act of courage:Nothing is more difficult these days in

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Iran’s Attack on Israel Provides an Opportunity to De-escalate

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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Iran’s Attack on Israel Provides an Opportunity to De-escalate

Over the weekend, the Iranian military launched hundreds of drones and missiles toward Israel. Israeli, American, and Jordanian air defenses reportedly intercepted and shot down almost everything Iran fired. One child from a Bedouin village in southern Israel was hurt by shrapnel falling from an intercepted missile, and an Israeli air base in the Negev Desert—also in southern Israel—sustained some structural damage.This attack was the widely expected response to an April 1 Israeli airstrike that destroyed the Iranian consulate in Syria. The Iranian government made it clear that it would seek revenge for the strike, which killed thirteen people, including two senior Iranian generals. In the weeks since that attack, many have worried that the Iranian response would spark an even larger

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Let’s Be Honest: The Economy Is NOT Doing Well

The American economy is not all right. But to see why, you need to look beyond the dramatic numbers we keep seeing in the headlines and establishment talking points.Take, for instance, the latest jobs report. For the third month in a row, the American economy added significantly more jobs than most economists had been expecting—a total of 303,000 for March. On its face, that’s a good number.But as Ryan McMaken laid out over the weekend, things don’t look as strong when you dig into the data. For instance, virtually all the jobs added are part-time jobs. Full-time jobs have actually been disappearing since December of last year. In fact, as McMaken highlighted, “The year-over-year measure of full-time jobs has fallen into recession territory.”Also, most of these new part-time jobs are going

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How State Intervention Fueled Haiti’s Descent into Chaos

[unable to retrieve full-text content]As the official government in Haiti loses control, many are calling it a failed state. Crises like this are often evoked to discredit libertarians. But blame for Haiti’s current plight lies with the actions of states, not the absence of them.

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Is “Havana Syndrome” Russian Aggression or Another Media Conspiracy Theory?

On Sunday night, the CBS show 60 Minutes ran a segment about the series of mysterious medical episodes suffered by United States intelligence officers and government officials that has been given the nickname “Havana Syndrome.” For almost a decade, officials and their families have reported hearing sudden ringing sounds in their ears and experiencing headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms, usually while stationed abroad.Many journalists, commentators, and government officials—including a number of those claiming to have suffered from Havana Syndrome—argue that Russian spies are deliberately causing these symptoms with some type of nonlethal acoustic or microwave beam.The 60 Minutes segment ran with this narrative and presented new evidence that a specific unit from Russia’s military

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Boeing’s Problems Are Not Due to Free Markets

On Monday, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced he will step down at the end of the year. The news comes months after a door plug blew out midflight on a Boeing 737 flying from Oregon to California. The incident gained national attention, subjecting the manufacturer to bad press and up to $4.5 billion of economic losses so far.When incidents as serious as this happen, the public is rarely satisfied with the label of “accident.” People want accountability for those responsible and the proper changes made to prevent similar emergencies from happening again.Accountability is relatively straightforward. Investigations determine how an incident happened and who is responsible. Then, depending on the nature of the actions and the extent of the resulting damage, offenders can be disciplined, fired,

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Is the Violence in Haiti a Preview of a Libertarian Society?

As the internationally recognized government in Haiti loses its grip on power, the small Caribbean country is descending into violence. The media reports about the situation are quick to, either implicitly or explicitly, place the overall blame for the violence on the absence of state institutions.Situations like this are often used to dismiss libertarians. Before Haiti, it was Somalia that experienced a so-called stateless period in the 1990s and early 2000s.While few will suggest that libertarians want the kind of violence and chaos we saw in Somalia and see in Haiti today, it’s frequently asserted that, regardless of what libertarians want, the changes they advocate for will inevitably lead to such lawless conditions.As straightforward as this claim may appear at first glance, it is not

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How State Intervention Fueled Haiti’s Descent into Chaos

As the internationally recognized government in Haiti loses its grip on power, the small Caribbean country is descending into violence. The media reports about the situation are quick to, either implicitly or explicitly, place the overall blame for the violence on the absence of state institutions.Situations like this are often used to dismiss libertarians. Before Haiti, it was Somalia that experienced a so-called stateless period in the 1990s and early 2000s.While few will suggest that libertarians want the kind of violence and chaos we saw in Somalia and see in Haiti today, it’s frequently asserted that, regardless of what libertarians want, the changes they advocate for will inevitably lead to such lawless conditions.As straightforward as this claim may appear at first glance, it is not

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Banning TikTok Will Not Make Americans Safer

On Wednesday, the House is set to vote on a bill introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) that would ban or force the sale of the social video-sharing app TikTok. The bill is based on concerns that the Chinese Communist Party effectively controls ByteDance, the app’s parent company. Last Friday, President Joe Biden endorsed the legislation and promised to sign it into law if Congress passes it.

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The Absurdity and Danger of the State of the Union

On Thursday night, tens of millions of Americans from across the political spectrum tuned in to see how President Joe Biden would perform in his third State of the Union Address. The president’s age and cognitive ability has become a top issue facing his re-election campaign. 

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The Outrageous Persecution of Julian Assange

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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The Student Debt Crisis Is a Racket

Ahead of a contentious election this fall, President Joe Biden is frantically working to transfer more tax dollars to college-educated voters. Last week, the White House announced another $1.2 billion in student loan forgiveness, bringing the president’s total in canceled debt to $138 billion.

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How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Website powered by Mises Institute donors

Mises Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent the law allows. Tax ID# 52-1263436

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How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

In 2022, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used political favors and government grants to maneuver thousands of workers into jobs producing electric trucks. But consumers aren’t interested.
Original Article: How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

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The Outrageous Persecution of Julian Assange

Today marks the second and final day in what could very well be Julian Assange’s last extradition trial in front of the British High Court. For almost five years now, the United States government has been working to get the Wikileaks founder extradited to the US to face charges that he violated the Espionage Act.
Inspired by Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers back in 1971, Julian Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006. Assange’s vision was to develop an online portal where whistleblowers could submit evidence of corporate or government wrongdoing without needing to identify themselves or risk exposure. Once submitted, teams of volunteers and journalists would parse the documents to determine legitimacy. And, if it was determined to be authentic, publish the material straight to

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How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

The new year started out on a painful note for autoworkers building electric vehicles (EVs). In the last month, thousands of workers have been laid off from General Motors (GM) and Ford plants in Michigan.
Most workers involved were, or were slated to be, working on electric versions of each brand’s signature trucks—the Chevy Silverado EV and Ford F-150 Lightning. The latter has been available for purchase since 2022, with the Silverado EV set to debut this year. Yet both have run into a problem: consumers don’t want them.
More specifically, consumers don’t want as many of these trucks as Ford and GM are currently producing. On its face, this might appear like a classic case of entrepreneurial error. But there’s more to the story because the production level of EVs, in recent years, has

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Biden’s Middle East Policy Puts Americans at Risk

The Biden administration’s Middle East policies are going to produce the same kind of blowback that led to the 9/11 attacks. The more reckless Biden becomes, the more American lives are placed at risk.
Original Article: Biden’s Middle East Policy Puts Americans at Risk

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Forget Being the World’s Policeman; the Federal Government Can’t Even Keep DC Safe

As the US federal government works to “bring peace” to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and East Asia, it faces a rather embarrassing problem. There is currently a historic wave of violent crime battering the residents of Washington, DC.
With 274 homicides, 2023 was the deadliest year for the city since the 1990s. Shootings, carjackings, and armed robberies also jumped in the nation’s capital.
Parts of DC have been unsafe for a long time, but the violence is now affecting areas typically considered much safer. And members of the federal government are personally feeling it.
Last February, Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) was assaulted in the elevator of her Washington apartment building. The following month, a staffer for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was stabbed multiple times about a mile

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Biden’s Absurd New Economic Messaging Strategy

After spending months trying to sell his economic agenda under the banner of “Bidenomics,” the president’s team is frustrated. Voters aren’t believing them when they say that the economy is doing excellent and that Joe Biden deserves the credit.
Rather than make a meaningful attempt to understand the American people’s economic pain and recognize why it isn’t being detected by traditional economic indicators, the president’s team has settled on a different solution—experimenting with different economic messaging.
As the general election fast approaches, Team Biden is rolling out a new economic argument that, in the words of POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn, “tries to frame former President Donald Trump as the candidate of corporate tax cuts and Biden as a scourge of the ultra-wealthy.”
But Biden is

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Biden’s Middle East Policy Puts Americans at Risk

The situation in the Middle East is growing more and more dangerous for the Americans stationed there. Two Navy SEALs are dead after being lost at sea off the coast of Somalia while searching a boat that was allegedly carrying weapons bound for Yemen. And many US troops have suffered concussions and other brain injuries in rocket attacks in Iraq and Syria. President Joe Biden and his advisors are reportedly convinced that it is only a matter of time before US troops are killed directly.
The Biden administration also suggests American deaths will give them no choice but to carry out direct attacks against Iran—the exact approach Biden himself has admitted isn’t working against Yemen.
But the danger is greater than Biden is letting on.
In 1996, the Israeli government conducted a military

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The Establishment Is Unmasking Itself

American political and economic elites insist that they should have authority over everyone else. As people rebel, the elites are only doubling down on their original demands.
Original Article: The Establishment Is Unmasking Itself

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The Government Is Making the Economy Appear Better than It Is

As the 2024 general election gets closer, Democrats and proestablishment pundits are growing frustrated with the American public for not feeling as good about the economy as the so-called experts say they should. The elitism of this view aside, it is true that traditional economic indicators are pretty good and that, at the same time, people aren’t feeling good about the economy.
Center-left economists have been locked in a debate over whether people are lying to pollsters about experiencing hardship in what is actually an excellent economy or are struggling due to mysterious noneconomic factors.
Others, like Paul Krugman, have decided to blame Donald Trump and his supporters—framing the widespread economic pessimism as a MAGA ploy to win back the White House—a theory Jonathan Newman

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The Escalating Tensions in the Red Sea Are a Bad Omen

With the Houthis in Yemen firing on commercial ships in the Red Sea, the US is contemplating yet another Middle East conflict. As we see again, aggression leads to more aggression.
Original Article: The Escalating Tensions in the Red Sea Are a Bad Omen

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The Establishment Is Unmasking Itself

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article laying out the political class’s struggle to preserve its legitimacy by fighting to regain control over the digital information space. The piece built on Martin Gurri’s thesis that the wide adoption of the internet has caused an information revolution that, similar to the adoption of the printing press, has allowed dissent to grow and spread beyond the control of the ruling classes. The results have been political shocks like the Arab Spring, the passage of Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump.
If the twenty-first century has been a war to preserve the establishment’s legitimacy, the current battle in the United States is the 2024 presidential election.
There’s truth to the familiar cliché that the next election is always the most important in history.

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A Free and Open Internet Is a Threat to the Establishment

Using the rhetoric of “protecting democracy,” American ruling elites have tried to censor the internet because they don’t like the results of democracy when information no longer is filtered by the political classes.
Original Article: A Free and Open Internet Is a Threat to the Establishment

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The Escalating Tensions in the Red Sea Are a Bad Omen

On New Year’s Eve, US Navy helicopters in the Red Sea engaged and sank three boats belonging to Yemen’s Houthis, killing ten. According to US Central Command, the boats were attacking a container ship and fired on the helicopters as they responded to the ship’s distress call. The encounter represents a significant escalation that risks forcing a whole new war on the American public and the Middle East.
The Red Sea region has become one of the world’s most volatile flashpoints in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks in southern Israel. The Houthis of Yemen see it as their “humanitarian and moral duty” to use their location along one of the world’s most important shipping lanes to hamper and disrupt Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza.
Despite what US officials say, the Houthis are the de

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A Free and Open Internet Is a Threat to the Establishment

Last week, a video clip of Francis Fukuyama went viral. In the clip, the political scientist called freedom of speech and a marketplace of ideas “18th century notions that really have been belied (or shown to be false) by a lot of what’s happened in recent decades.”
Fukuyama then reflects on how a censorship regime could be enacted in the United States.
But the question then becomes, how do you actually regulate content that you think is noxious, harmful, and the like—and do it in a way that’s consistent with the First Amendment? Now, I think you can push the boundaries a bit because the First Amendment does not allow you to say anything you want. But among liberal democracies, our First Amendment law is among the most expansive of any developed democracy.
And you could imagine a future

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The Immorality of COP28

As the delegates gather for COP28 to set an agenda to "fight climate change," we should remember what they are seeking to do: destroy the world’s economy as we have known it.
Original Article: The Immorality of COP28

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The Dishonesty of the New York Times Revealed

Last May, the chairman and publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, wrote a twelve-thousand-word feature in the Columbia Journalism Review appealing to the importance of independent journalism and framing the Times as a news organization committed to this ideal.
Sulzberger defines his model of independent journalism, writing that it “elevates values grounded in humility—fairness, impartiality, and (to use perhaps the most fraught and argued-over word in journalism) objectivity—as ideals to be pursued, even if they can never be perfectly achieved.”
He then identifies several arguments used against the model—such as the insistence that journalists use appeals to objectivity to hide their liberal worldview or to prioritize a straight, white, male perspective and the assertion that

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The Immorality of COP28

For the last two weeks, delegates from the world’s governments have met in the United Arab Emirates for COP28, the United Nation’s annual climate change conference. Over one hundred thousand attendees, ranging from heads of state to climate bureaucrats, corporate leaders, nongovernmental organization representatives, and activists, descended on the lavish Dubai venue to hash out new policies for governments to force on their citizens in the name of fighting climate change.
These annual meetings are designed to culminate in a final resolution where all 198 governments agree to pursue certain goals. In the draft of this year’s agreement, released Monday, the world’s governments agreed to work toward “tripling the global capacity for renewables by 2030, doubling the rate of energy savings

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The United States Needs Its Own Javier Milei

While the United States has not fallen as far economically as Argentina, the fact is that the present economic policies are ruinous. We need someone like Javier Milei to speak the truth about what is happening.
Original Article: The United States Needs Its Own Javier Milei

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What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

The standard line from US political elites is that failure to aid Ukraine would mean Russia’s destruction of what is left of the country. However, the likely result would be a negotiated peace.
Original Article: What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

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What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

Over the weekend, border-policy negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans fell apart. The talks were meant to firm up Republican support for the president’s massive $105 billion military support proposal ahead of Wednesday’s vote by including additional funds for border security in the spending package. Now, with no imminent approval of further aid to Ukraine, hawks in government and the media are trying to stoke panic about what will happen if Kyiv is cut off from US support.
In a letter to Congress Monday, White House budget director Shalanda Young told Congress the funds will dry up by the end of the year:
I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide

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Progressive Interventionism Is Ruining American Healthcare

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the problems with Joe Manchin’s argument that Congress needs to reject the “extremism” in its ranks if it’s ever going to solve the many problems facing Americans.
I argued that the opposite is true. That Congress is almost entirely unified behind a specific pace of progressive interventionism where the predictable consequences of previous interventions are perpetually used to justify more intervention. In this cycle, the government grows, the economy sputters, and the politically connected grow rich.
Then last week, as if to prove my point, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Republican senator Mike Braun (R-IN) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) imploring the agency to address one of the consequences of Obama’s

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The United States Needs Its Own Javier Milei

On Sunday, the populist Austrolibertarian Javier Milei was elected president of Argentina. In the United States, the reaction ranged from concerned curiosity on the part of the political establishment to enthusiastic celebration across the populist Right—including, notably, some economic nationalists. Several renowned libertarians also brought attention to some of Milei’s many flaws, such as his views on geopolitics.
Milei’s libertarian skeptics make many good points. And odds are a man with a legislature stacked against him will not be able to address Argentina’s many problems without some political backup. But still, there is much to admire about Milei’s rise and plenty to learn from his campaign’s bold, spirited rhetoric. Because our country is also in desperate need of a similar course

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The Problem with Joe Manchin’s Centrism

Last week, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he would not seek reelection in 2024. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Manchin explained his reasons for leaving. He starts with a relatively noncontroversial assessment of the problems facing America—rising costs, dangerous drugs crossing the border, a large national debt, unsafe communities, and foreign wars that threaten to pull the United States in.
After some platitudes about these not being “Republican or Democratic challenges” but “American challenges,” Manchin concludes:
There are enough votes in Congress to solve or at least make headway against every one of these problems. A genuine commitment to legislating would put America on firmer footing for the next 20 years. But the Democratic and Republican machines have no interest in

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How Washington Hawks Helped Create the New “Axis of Evil”

In 2002, President George W. Bush cited the now famous “axis of evil”—Iraq, Iran, and North Korea—as he tried to get the American people to look beyond those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and greenlight a global military campaign to “rid the world of the evil-doers.”
The result was the $8 trillion global war on terror that continues to this day.
Now, in the wake of the Hamas attacks in southern Israel one month ago, the same language is being employed to justify another massive increase in military spending. In a series of statements and interviews, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell defined a new axis of evil—Russia, China, and Iran—and argued the United States must simultaneously confront the threats posed by all of these regimes.
In his interview with Fox News, McConnell

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Don’t Fall for Biden’s Latest Talking Point

As the long-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia stalls and a new war in Gaza draws the world’s attention, American support for funding Kyiv’s war has waned. In an effort to reverse this, the Biden administration is changing its messaging. A Politico report from last week details how White House aides are now telling members of Congress to sell Americans the lie that continuing to send money and weapons to Ukraine is good for the economy.
President Joe Biden made this point himself when he introduced a $105 billion proposal to send military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan:
We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores, our own stockpiles, with new equipment. Equipment that defends

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No, We Cannot Afford to Fund Yet Another War

US government officials from President Biden to Secretary Yellen think the US can fund endless wars, but the American people are suffering in reality.
Original Article: No, We Cannot Afford to Fund Yet Another War

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Cut through the Media Noise, and Remember the Economic Priorities

Trying to keep up with economic news is exhausting. Tune into the financial news channels or scroll through any number of economic blogs, and you’ll be hit with a fire hose of alarming headlines, scary-looking graphs, and a tone-deaf establishment emphatically declaring that the economy is better than ever.
Debates rage on social media and in the halls of Congress over the most trivial policy details. All while the financial markets swing dramatically with every political antic or geopolitical flare-up. It’s difficult to separate what’s meaningful from the distractions and the outright falsehoods in the daily information deluge. What’s important can get lost.
We live in the most materially wealthy era in human history. The amount of comfort, convenience, and abundance we enjoy today is

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No, We Cannot Afford to Fund Yet Another War

In a 60 Minutes interview over the weekend, host Scott Pelley asked President Joe Biden, “Are the wars in Israel and Ukraine more than the United States can take on at the same time?” The president answered, “We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense. We have the capacity to do this, and we have an obligation to.”
In a Sky News interview released Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gave a similar answer when asked whether the US could afford to fund another war at this time: “I think the answer is absolutely. America can certainly afford to stand with Israel and to support Israel’s military needs. And we also can and must support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia.”
This is not true. To see why, we need to understand the military goals

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Is It Just War or Unjustified Slaughter of Innocents?

The recent attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians have led to justified outrage. But will Israel’s response also kill innocent people? Murray Rothbard has words of wisdom on this subject.

Original Article: Is It Just War or Unjustified Slaughter of Innocents?

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Is It Just War or Unjustified Slaughter of Innocents?

Saturday the world was rocked by the outbreak of war in southern Israel as Hamas fighters crossed out of Gaza, taking hostages and killing Israeli civilians. The political leader of Hamas says the attacks were in response to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque last week. But other reports indicate that the attack was planned for weeks with the help of the Iranian government and was meant to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.
Over nine hundred Israelis and fourteen American citizens are confirmed dead as of this writing. Music festival attendees and members of a tiny farming community were massacred. Over a hundred Israelis and some Americans were taken captive and brought back into Gaza.
In response, Israel formally declared war and ordered the

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The Menendez Indictments: Understanding Business as Usual in Washington

Last week, prosecutors for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment against New Jersey senator Robert Menendez. The senator, his wife, and several businessmen are accused of providing “sensitive U.S. Government information” and taking steps that “secretly aided the Government of Egypt” in exchange for cash, gold bars, a luxury convertible, and more.
Senator Menendez has dismissed the charges and refuses to resign from Congress. In a statement Friday, he attempted to explain away the indictment as a political attack from “forces behind the scenes.” And in a press conference Monday, he said he expects the trial to exonerate him.
But also featured in the senator’s Friday statement was an interesting admission. In highlighting his exchange of political privileges for cash and

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Striking Autoworkers Will Only Harm Their Own Livelihoods

On Friday, September 15, 12,700 members of the United Auto Workers union (UAW) walked off the job at plants owned by the “Big Three” automakers—Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (which owns Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram). The walkout marked the beginning of a series of long-expected targeted strikes aiming to give the UAW leverage as it renegotiates contracts with the three companies.
The strike is grounded in frustrations over worker compensation. Union members and their supporters point to high profits and CEO pay at the Big Three and compare them to stagnant wages and rising costs of living among autoworkers. They feel like they’re being ripped off.
And they’re right. Like the rest of the working class, autoworkers are being ripped off. Decades of interventionism have built an economic

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No, Governor, Rights Are NOT Government-Issued Privileges That You Can Suspend

On Friday, September 8, Michelle Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, announced a new public health order suspending the right to carry firearms in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for at least thirty days.
The New Mexico governor announced the thirty-day suspension at a press conference. Citing the shooting deaths of three children in Albuquerque this summer, Grisham declared “a public health emergency,” which she says gives her the authority to suspend the right to carry firearms in the surrounding county for thirty days.
In front of reporters, Grisham was quick to acknowledge some obvious problems with the order. She admits that the order will not have much of an effect on the level of gun violence in Albuquerque. She instead stressed the symbolism of the measure.
When asked if

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Let’s Examine Some REAL Crimes Committed by Presidents

Former president Donald Trump is facing ninety-one criminal charges as he seeks to win back the White House in 2024. The indictments are the latest battle in a roughly six-year crusade against Trump that first sought to remove him from power through the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, then with espionage charges and impeachments, and that now aims to block him from becoming president again. The mantra we hear from those in politics and media who support these efforts is that nobody is above the law.
But there’s an entire class of people above the law. Or who at least act like they’re above the law—the political class. The hypocrisies of their effort to convict Trump and block him from holding office again reveal that the motivations are purely political—not born of some commitment to a higher

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The Unwelcome Return of Covid Restrictions and Lockdowns

Covid restrictions are back. Almost a year after President Joe Biden said “the pandemic is over,” several hospitals, businesses, and universities have reinstated mask mandates and social distancing requirements. Meanwhile, nearly sixty universities have announced that students must take a covid vaccine to attend for the fall 2023 semester.
Although these restrictions are still limited to only a handful of organizations, their implementation demonstrates that the destructive public health dogmas responsible for the devastation of the last three years are still with us. The American people must stop tolerating these ruinous policies and the totalitarian paradigm underlying them.
The current dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant is a subvariant of Omicron called EG.5. Informally, it’s been nicknamed

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The Killing and Destruction Must Stop: It Is Time to End the Ukraine War

Earlier this month, CNN published the results of a poll that found that most Americans oppose sending more money and military aid to the Ukrainian government. A closer look reveals that Republican voters are behind the results. Around seven in ten Republicans oppose sending more support to Ukraine.
The poll results have prompted an effort among establishment Republicans and neoconservatives to bring the party’s voters back in line. Days after CNN published the results, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell called for continued support and made an attempt to speak to what he sees as common Republican concerns.
“People think, increasingly it appears, that we shouldn’t be doing this. Well, let me start by saying we haven’t lost a single American in this war. Most of the money that we spend

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Thanks to Government, Maui’s Lahaina Fire Became a Deadly Conflagration

The most destructive natural disasters are never 100 percent natural. Human choices, land use, and government policies play a big role in how harmful hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flash floods, and wildfires are to the affected communities.
And after catastrophes like the wildfire that destroyed much of the historic Hawaiian city of Lahaina last week, it’s worth taking stock of how much of the disaster was the result not of natural or accidental factors, but of policies and institutions that can be changed.
Though details are still emerging, it’s becoming clear that government failure did much to make this disaster worse—and possibly even started it. While the so-called experts are blaming climate change—and in the process demanding that government grab even more power and authority

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Politics Has Infected Everything in Our Society, Especially the Media

One of the few things that most Americans agree about today is that there are serious problems with the current news-media environment. Conservatives have spent decades denouncing the “liberal media,” labeling it a thinly veiled arm of the Democratic Party and, recently, of Big Pharma. Meanwhile, Progressives seem to blame billionaire-created Fox News for just about every problem facing America.
Even the establishment media folks are fretting over their colleagues’ coverage of the Trump indictments and the 2024 election more broadly—wrestling with the fact that the candidate they hate is so good for their business.
All of these criticisms may appear to be unique. But really, they’re simply variations of the same basic argument. That the media is meant to play an important role in our

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Yellow Trucking Goes Bankrupt, Thanks in Part to Onerous Labor Laws

On July 30, Yellow, one of the oldest and largest trucking businesses in the United States, ceased operations and moved to declare bankruptcy. According to reports, the final nail in the coffin of the ninety-nine-year-old business was a labor dispute with the Teamsters Union.
Yellow’s executives also deserve some blame, however. The trucking networks acquired in the 2000s and 2010s were poorly managed, delaying their integration. That said, when the company finally sought integration, the efforts were blocked by the union. The standoff sent Yellow into a dire financial situation which culminated in a dispute over pension payments in July.
The company sought to defer two pension payments to give executives breathing room to navigate the challenging financial situation. In response, the

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Progressives Have Corrupted Not Only Money, but Its History as Well

As modern monetary theory (MMT) gains prominence in the political sphere, it has revitalized interest in some older theories about the origin of money—namely, the state and credit theories of money.
The credit theory of money says that money is simply a unit for measuring debt. And the state theory of money, or chartalism, as it is often known, says that this measurement was created by the state. These days, the two theories are often combined and championed by proponents of MMT who argue that most of the economic constraints put on government are imaginary because the government can simply create money.
The MMT debate is about the nature of money itself, and these theories about the origin of money are central to understanding this alternative way of thinking that’s gaining popularity on

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The Media and Ukraine War Coverage: Where Truth Takes a Holiday

As Ukrainian forces continue their much-hyped counteroffensive to take back contested territories in the country’s eastern and southern regions, we’re faced with conflicting coverage of the campaign. Many reports say Ukraine’s forces are struggling to break through the minefields fortifying Russia’s lines. And many admit that even the sudden and dramatic Wagner Group mutiny did not appear to hand Ukraine much of an advantage on the front. Days ago, in a move that looks like damage control, Ukraine’s defense secretary even announced that Kyiv would no longer measure success in recaptured territory but would instead just aim to destroy as much Russian military infrastructure as possible.
Still, according to some Western journalists, this is all part of Ukraine’s plan. They’re just testing

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Bidenomics Is Yet Another Version of Failed Industrial Policy

On June 28, President Joe Biden took to the stage in Chicago to drum up support for his economic agenda, which his own team has taken to calling “Bidenomics.” The speech was part of a broader publicity tour, “Investing in America,” with the president and his cabinet traveling the country trying to get the American people to see Biden’s economic policies as successful and popular.
In his speech, the president attacked so-called trickle-down economics, which he painted as the dominant economic policy of the American government for decades. He then defined his agenda, Bidenomics, as a “new philosophy” set to “restore the American Dream.”
But Bidenomics isn’t a new philosophy. If you look at what’s been enacted and what’s still being proposed, it becomes clear that all Biden is doing is

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Environmentalism and the Immoral Low Ground

Last month, the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed new power plant regulations that would put harsh limits on the amount of carbon dioxide released while producing electricity. This comes from the same administration pushing to electrify all parts of daily life, from driving to cooking. As if slamming the power grid with artificial demand is not enough, now the federal government has also set its sights on electricity suppliers.
Policies as ludicrous as this are only possible because the ideology they rest on, environmentalism, has long enjoyed a perch on the moral high ground that has gone almost unchallenged. That needs to change. Environmentalism presents itself as a philosophy advocating benevolence toward nature and prudence with resources. But in reality,

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The RESTRICT Act Launches a New War on Free Speech

The bipartisan RESTRICT Act—marketed as a "Tik Tok ban"—is properly named because it will restrict freedom, empower the state, and expand government surveillance. 

Original Article: "The RESTRICT Act Launches a New War on Free Speech"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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The Current Farm Bill Fraud: Government as Usual

The 2018 Farm Bill is due to expire this year, and US lawmakers have already begun working out the next version. This food-related omnibus bill was introduced ninety years ago as a “temporary” measure during the Great Depression. It’s been reauthorized by Congress every five years since, and recent ones cobble together two seemingly unrelated programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps, and federal farm subsidies.
However, the two share an important link. One program gives tax dollars to those who cannot afford food; the other seeks to make food less affordable. Taxpayers are forced to help prop up crop prices only to be taxed again to address the consequences. The American people must wake up to the scam hidden in the Farm Bill if we ever

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The RESTRICT Act Will Only Restrict Our Liberties

Earlier this month, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act, or the RESTRICT Act. The bill is being floated as a possible means for the federal government to ban TikTok over its connection to the Chinese government. However, the RESTRICT Act’s vague language and broad scope has many voicing concerns about the bill’s threat to free speech and freedom of expression.
But, as Murray Rothbard has pointed out, “human rights, when not put in terms of property rights, turn out to be vague and contradictory.” Your freedom to have an opinion does not grant you the right to express that opinion in venues or on media outlets you do not own. But if you pay to give a speech at a lecture hall and the

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The World Needs More Energy and Less Energy Regulation

Energy is a highly regulated industry across the world. There is less debate about the need for government control when it comes to the oil and gas sector. The arguments that most people accept for government intervention in energy, whether in the name of energy access, national security, or climate change mitigation, all share the same general premise: that energy is too important to be left to the whims of the free market. 

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Why “Greedflation” Isn’t Real

Even as price inflation slows and we move past June’s peak, progressives continue to push the concept of “greedflation”—that this year’s price inflation is caused by corporate greed and price gouging. This is inaccurate, based on bad economics, and it blames a consequence of the problem rather than the problem itself.

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