Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is the editor of Mises Wire and The Austrian. Send him your article submissions, but read article guidelines first. (Contact: email; twitter.) Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

Articles by Ryan McMaken

Want Less Immigration? Embrace Free Trade

The generous and bloated American welfare state has become an enormous magnet to both legal and illegal immigrants in the United States. This $290 billion annual magnet subsidizes migration and ensures that the total number of migrants into the US is larger than would be the case without the subsidy. This is always the case with subsidies. We get more of what we subsidize. It’s true for student loans and ethanol, and it’s true for migrants. Some immigration opponents will surely respond with "sure, that will reduce immigration, but some people will still want to migrate into the country." That’s true enough, of course, and there’s no reason to believe that zero immigration is a good thing. North Korea, after all, has near-zero in-migration. Rather, we ought to oppose social-benefit

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GDP Growth Is Inflated by Massive Deficit Spending

Over the past year, economist Daniel Lacalle has repeatedly warned that the United States is in the midst of a "private sector recession" and that official GDP measures are being propped up by government spending. The latest GDP numbers from the federal government strongly suggest he is right. Today, the federal government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released its revised estimate for GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2023. According to the report, total GDP increased $334.5 billion (quarter over quarter) during the fourth quarter. That’s down from the third quarter’s quarter-over-quarter increase of $547.1 billion, but is nonetheless an ostensibly robust rate of growth. Yet, if we compare GDP growth during the fourth quarter to growth in the total national debt, we find that the

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Real Wages Turn Negative Again as Price Inflation Refuses To Go Away

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest price inflation data, CPI inflation in January accelerated, and price inflation hasn’t proven nearly as transitory as the regime’s economists have long predicted. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 3.1 percent year over year during January, after seasonal adjustment. That’s the thirty-fifth month in a row of inflation well above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. Month-over-month inflation accelerated, with the CPI rising 0.3 percent from December to January. Month-to-month growth had been 0.2 percent from November to December.The ongoing price increases largely reflect growth in prices for food, services, electricity, and shelter. For example, prices for “food away from home” were up 5.1 percent

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No, the Civil War Did Not Forever Settle the Matter of Secession

There are many arguments against secession. Some of them are quite prudent, such as those that simply contend that national separation may not be a good idea at this time. 
Many others are premised on the refusal to acknowledge the human right known as self-determination. This argument is wrong and immoral, and is nothing more than the traditional imperialist-colonialist argument repackaged for modern audiences. 
Perhaps the worst "argument" against secession is the use of the phrase "we tried it before and it didn’t work." I put "argument" in scare quotes because the statement isn’t an argument at all. It’s simply a claim that, because a political strategy failed in the past, it can never be tried again. Ever. 
We can see how simplistic this claim is when we imagine explaining it to a

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No, the Civil War Did Not Forever Settle the Matter of Secession

There are many arguments against secession. Some of them are quite prudent, such as those that simply contend that national separation may not be a good idea at this time. 
Many others are premised on the refusal to acknowledge the human right known as self-determination. This argument is wrong and immoral, and is nothing more than the traditional imperialist-colonialist argument repackaged for modern audiences. 
Perhaps the worst "argument" against secession is the use of the phrase "we tried it before and it didn’t work." I put "argument" in scare quotes because the statement isn’t an argument at all. It’s simply a claim that, because a political strategy failed in the past, it can never be tried again. Ever. 
We can see how simplistic this claim is when we imagine explaining it to a

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Welfare for Migrants Ensures the Border Crisis Will Continue

Earlier this month, The New York Post reported that the mayor of New York is giving away pre-paid cash cards—each carrying "up to $10,000"— to foreign nationals in New York. Most of these foreign nationals—i.e., "illegal immigrants"—have arrived in New York with no invitation, no employment prospects, and no plan for housing. But most of them plan on staying. And why shouldn’t they? Upon arrival, thousands of them immediately went on the public dole in some way or another, relying on taxpayer-funded shelters, housing programs, and a variety of sources for "free" food. Those immigrants who have not found taxpayer funded housing in hotels—there are presently at least 66,000 of them—simply live on the taxpayer-funded streets as vagrants. 
The latest idea from the city’s central planners is to

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The Homo Economicus Myth

Among the larger albatrosses burdening the economics profession is the idea of Homo economicus. To this day, most economics undergraduates hear about it in the context of neoclassical economics. Homo economicus, we are told, is the ideal economic man who always seeks to maximize profits and minimize costs. He only acts “rationally,” and rationalism is defined as, well, always seeking to maximize profits and minimize costs. Even worse, “profit” is often assumed to mean “monetary profit” measurable only in dollars (or some other currency).
Yes, many economists will say, “It’s just a model,” and note there are many caveats that come with its use. These protestations are often less than convincing given the use of models based on “rational” behavior. But, for now, let’s just take the

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From the Editor—January/February 2024

Welcome to the first issue of The Misesian.
We’ve decided to rename The Austrian magazine The Misesian to emphasize how Ludwig von Mises remains at the center of everything that that is today called the Austrian School of economics.
When the Mises Institute was founded more than forty years ago, most of our supporters were directly connected to Mises. First and foremost was Mises’s widow, Margit, whose tireless work in preserving Mises’s legacy lives on at the Mises Institute. The Institute also benefited from early support from Mises’s student F.A. Hayek, who won his Nobel Prize specifically for the Mises-Hayek business cycle theory. Journalist Henry Hazlitt was a great admirer of Mises and brilliantly popularized his work in regular columns for publications like Newsweek and the New York

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How the US Regime Subsidizes Immigration—both Legal and Illegal

In recent months, stories from both the legacy media and the independent media have continued to pile up on how undocumented foreign nationals—also known as "migrants" and "illegal aliens"—are able to take advantage of a vast network of taxpayer funded benefits in daycare, medical care, housing, and more. 

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A Short History of the Right to Self-Determination

Modern international law tends to grant a right to “remedial self-determination” only in extreme cases. Unfortunately, this position accepts that states ought to be free to violate human rights so long as the abuses fall short of war crimes and genocide. 
Original Article: A Short History of the Right to Self-Determination

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New Jobs Report: Full-Time Jobs Disappear as Fewer Americans Find Work

According to a new report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics last Friday, the US economy added 353,000 jobs for the month of January while the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. CNN news was sure to tell us that this was a "shockingly good jobs report" and it "shows America’s economy is booming." 
At this point, many of us who follow these numbers have become accustomed to the routine: the BLS reports "blowout" jobs numbers each month, and the legacy media dutifully reports that the jobs growth is astoundingly good, proving all is well in the economy. 
The media rarely reports on any other economic indicators with nearly as much enthusiasm. The monthly jobs report—well, one specific statistic within it—has become something of a proxy for the state of the economy

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Money-Supply Growth Has Stabilized as Stealth Liquidity Keeps Bubbles on Life Support

Money supply growth fell again in December, remaining deep in negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. December’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since late 2022, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract, year over year. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
Money-supply growth has now been negative for fourteen months in a row. During December 2023, the downturn continued as YOY growth

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A Short History of the Right to Self-Determination

In his 1927 book Liberalism, the radical classical liberal and economist Ludwig von Mises took a strict and expansive view in favor of secession. Specifically, he noted that respect for the right of self-determination required extant states to allow the separation of new polities seeking secession. He writes:
The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be

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Secession’s Opponents Embrace Colonialism and “Enlightened” Central Governments

The idea of secession for some regions of the United States—sometimes simplistically called "national divorce"—has increasingly been mentioned as a way to deal with the apparent growing divide between what are crudely called "red states" and "blue states." Polls suggest that perhaps a third of the American population "indicated a ‘willingness to secede’" 
Vehement opposition to the idea remains plentiful, however. Among the writers of the pundit class, any number of arguments are used to claim that secession is not desirable or moral, nor even feasible. Many conservatives, for example, rely on the standard conservative jingoism, arguing that secession is unconstitutional and "treasonous." Conservative nationalists and moralists insist that all US residents have some sort of duty to support

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The United States Is a Colonial Empire, and an Extremely Successful One

For those who remember their high school textbooks, the issue of America’s imperial history is very clear cut. American imperialism, the textbooks told us, was that fairly brief period in American history that lasted from 1898 to 1945. This was the period during which the United States acquired a number of overseas territories, including the Philippines and Puerto Rico, among others. The era of imperialism, we are told, ended in 1945 when the Philippines was finally granted full independence from Washington. Even more dubious—the textbook writers tell us—is the idea that the US is or has been a colonial empire. After all, American citizens did not set up any colonies in the Philippines or in Puerto Rico in the way that British migrants populated Virginia or New England.
For those familiar

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Why Open Borders Don’t Work for Small Countries

The arguments of open-borders advocates may be applicable in some corners of the developed world. However, for small countries next to larger ones, open borders bring serious geopolitical consequences. 
Original Article: Why Open Borders Don’t Work for Small Countries

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“Humanitarianism” as an Excuse for Colonialism and Imperialism

Spreading civilization and human rights has long been used as an excuse for state-building through colonialism and imperialism. This idea dates back at least to early Spanish and colonial efforts in the New World, and the rationale was initially employed as just one of many.  The importance of the conquest-spreads-civilization claim increased, however, as liberalism gained ground in Europe in the nineteenth century. Liberals were more skeptical of the benefits of imperialism, so, as political scientist Lea Ypi notes: "During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the purpose of colonial rule was declared to be the ‘civilizing mission’ of the West to educate barbarian peoples ." The residents of these colonies were deemed to be "unsuited to setting up or administering a

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The December Jobs Report Is Mostly Bad News

According to a new report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics last Friday, the US economy added 216,000 jobs for the month while the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. NBC news was sure to tell us that this "beat expectations."  Market estimates suggested total jobs added at 170,000 with the unemployment rate at 3.8%.  The media’s general consensus on the report is that the jobs economy is "robust" and everything is heading on schedule toward a "soft landing" as predicted by Federal Reserve economists. 
What are we to make of this report? Well, the jobs market looks pretty good so long as one doesn’t dig any deeper than the first paragraph of the press release. But once we look more carefully as numerous indicators of employment as found in part time jobs,

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The “Great Replacement” on the Frontier: When Anglo Immigrants Replaced Hispanics

The phrase "great replacement" has been increasingly thrown around by both conservatives and progressives in recent years. Conservatives claim the "great replacement theory" explains deliberate efforts by regime operatives to replace non-Hispanic whites with various groups of Hispanics and non-whites. Progressives, on the other hand, claim it is all a racist conspiracy theory. 
I won’t bore you with the details of the present political debate, but the idea that one demographic group can replace another—with vast political repercussions—is hardly a new idea. Indeed, the phenomenon has been observed in many times and places. Replacing one demographic group with another is often the explicit goal of settler colonization. This can be observed historically in parts of the Americas, Africa,

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Immigration and Geopolitics: Should Latvia Have an Open Border with Russia?

In the debate over immigration among laissez-faire liberals and libertarians, one aspect of the open-borders side becomes quickly apparent: the debate generally ignores problems related to geopolitics such as international conflict, ethnic strife, and expansionist states. Rather, the libertarian advocates of open borders tend to focus overwhelmingly on why rich countries should open their borders to migrants from lower-income countries. These open-border arguments generally stick to listing the practical benefits of immigration in terms of economic factors like productivity and per capita GDP. It is assumed that open borders will necessarily lead to a rising standard of living for the residents of the host country. Yet, we rarely see these open-border arguments convincingly applied to

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Why the Fed Sends Mixed Messages on Rate Cuts

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee released the minutes to its December meeting yesterday, and the minutes further strengthen the view held by many Wall Street investors and observers that the Fed plans to implement rate cuts by the middle of 2024. Specifically, the most recent Fed survey of market participants "suggested that the first reduction in the policy rate would occur in June." 
This contrasts only slightly with the FOMC members themselves, who, in their own internal survey (i.e., the Summary of Economic Projections,or SEP) overwhelmingly suggests a cut to the policy rate of at least 50 basis points this year. Or as the minutes put it: "almost all participants indicated that, reflecting the improvements in their inflation outlooks, their baseline projections implied that a

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The Bill of Rights: The Only Good Part of the Constitution

The Bill of Rights turns 232 years old today. Adopted in 1791 as a consolation prize for the Anti-Federalists,  it has been the most important part of American legal history since the 18th century.
Original Article: The Bill of Rights: The Only Good Part of the Constitution

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Why More Secession Means Lower Taxes and More Trade

[This article is Chapter 9 of Breaking Away: The Case of Secession, Radical Decentralization, and Smaller Polities.]
When we hear of political movements in favor of decentralization and secession, the word “nationalist” is often used to describe them. We have seen the word used in both the Scottish and Catalonian secession movements, and in the case of Brexit. Often the term is intended to be pejorative.
When used pejoratively—as by the critics of Brexit—the implication is that the separatists seek to exit a larger political entity for the purposes of increasing isolation, throwing up greater barriers to trade, and pursuing a more autarkic economic policy. In other words, we’re supposed to believe that efforts at decentralizing political systems leads to states becoming more oppressive and

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When Nationalism Fuels Decentralization and Secession: Lessons from the Cold War

[This article is chapter 6 of Breaking Away: The Case for Secession, Radical Decentralization, and Smaller Polities. Now available at Amazon and in the Mises Store.]
During the early 1990s, as the world of the old Soviet Bloc was rapidly falling apart, the economist and historian Murray Rothbard saw it all for what it was: a trend of mass decentralization and secession unfolding before the world’s eyes. The old Warsaw Pact states of Poland, Hungary, and others won both de jure and de facto independence for the first time in decades. Other groups within the Soviet Union began to demand full blown de jure independence as well.
Rothbard approved of this, and he set to work encouraging the secessionists over the opposition of many foreign policy “experts.”
“Nationalism” as Decentralization
For

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Why Secession Offers a Path to Wealth and Self-Determination

[This article is chapter 5 of Breaking Away: The Case for Secession, Radical Decentralization, and Smaller Polities. Now available at Amazon and in the Mises Store.]
One of the most consistent and enthusiastic defenders of human rights and “natural rights” in the twentieth century was the economist and historian Murray Rothbard. A self-described libertarian, Rothbard would also have fit in well among the more radical liberals of the nineteenth century such as the Belgian-French economist Gustave de Molinari and the American anarchist Lysander Spooner.
Like Spooner—a New England abolitionist who advocated for the dissolution of the United States through secession—Rothbard supported the “radical decentralization” of the state. Indeed, Rothbard regarded secession and other forms of

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2024’s Deficit Is Already on Track to Be the Worst Since Covid

Weakness in the US economy continues to hide behind surging debt levels and government spending. As noted last month by Daniel LaCalle, 
[A] large part of the growth in GDP came from bloated government spending financed with more debt and inventory revaluation, adding 0.8 and 1.4 percentage points to GDP growth. …
The increase in gross domestic product between the third quarter of 2022 and the same period of 2023 was a mere $414.3 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, while the increase in public debt was $1.3 trillion ($32.3 to $33.6 trillion, according to the Treasury).
The United States is now in the worst year of growth, excluding public debt accumulation since the thirties.
This trend is continuing at least into the first quarter of the new fiscal year, as it is

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Henry Kissinger: War Criminal and Enemy of Mankind

Get ready to see George W. Bush, Michelle Obama, Mitch McConnell, and Hillary Clinton all mourn together at Kissinger’s funeral as they hail one of the regime’s most devoted apologists. 
Original Article: Henry Kissinger: War Criminal and Enemy of Mankind

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The Immorality of Protectionism

Protectionists are no better than any run-of-the-mill Progressive who wants more taxes on one group in order to subsidize some other group. There’s no moral high ground here for the protectionists, just unfounded self-righteousness.
Original Article: The Immorality of Protectionism

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The Evil of the Residential Property Tax

According to the Case-Shiller index, home prices have increased 44 percent since February 2020. That’s just an average, of course, and some markets have seen increases in prices that are far higher. Even in middle-American housing markets, however—where home prices are supposedly more reasonable than on the coasts—prices have soared. In Cleveland, for example, the index is up 40 percent since early 2020. During the same period, the index rose 50 percent in Atlanta and 33 percent in Chicago. This sort of price inflation is not merely a product of the physical supply of housing. Demand for housing has been greatly inflated by nearly fifteen years of historic lows in interest rates, following by immense flows of newly created money during the Covid Panic. As economist Brendan Brown has

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The First Enemies of Free Markets Were Conservatives, Not Socialists

British conservative critics of industrialization invented new terms like "wage slavery," "factory slavery," and "white slavery." Much of the conservatives’ terminology and their arguments would later be adopted by socialists. 
Original Article: The First Enemies of Free Markets Were Conservatives, Not Socialists

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Rothbard and Mises vs. Calhoun on the Natural Right to Secede

There are many reasons to support the breaking up states into smaller pieces. This is done via secession, and acts of secession produce smaller states. All else being equal, smaller states tend to be richer and they tend to have lower taxes. They tend to exercise less power over the resident population—because it’s easier for people to escape smaller states than larger ones. Moreover, setting these tangible and practical considerations aside, secession may also be desirable simply as a matter of freeing minority populations from the control of a larger dominating majority. For much of the world in the 1990s, the benefits of secession were self-evident as more than a dozen new states seceded from the Soviet Union when it collapsed. 
But do human beings have a right to secede? Classical

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From the Editor—November/December 2023

The Mises Institute is different. We don’t change our positions or our ideology to match the current zeitgeist. Rather, we’re in it for the long haul. Our business is to change the minds of both scholars and the general public. Victory in the battle of ideas doesn’t begin in legislative committee rooms. It begins in classrooms and living rooms.
To achieve this goal, it’s important to not sacrifice consistency to score some short-term and fleeting victories. This is why the Mises Institute hasn’t changed its core positions in the forty-plus years of its existence. Today we’re just as opposed to the state, its socialism, and its wars as we were when Lew Rockwell founded the Institute decades ago.
One of the specific positions that really sets us apart in this way is our relentless opposition

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How Fossil Fuel Revolutionized Our Kitchens and Our Food

Coal drove the development of a whole new way of cooking and a radically different diet. A menu based upon coal-fired food was the cuisine that accompanied industrialization. Food and fuel were intricately linked in a fossil fuel-burning age.
Original Article: How Fossil Fuel Revolutionized Our Kitchens and Our Food

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Napoleon: Europe’s First Egalitarian Despot

For those who value self-determination, free markets, peace, and freedom, Napoleon provides little to be admired. He was a despot, a warmonger, a centralist, and a hypocrite who claimed to spread freedom to justify his own lust for conquest and power. 
Original Article: Napoleon: Europe’s First Egalitarian Despot

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The First Enemies of Free Markets Were Conservatives, Not Socialists

As with the Republican party and the conservative movement in the United States, conservatism in the United Kingdom does not constitute a coherent ideological movement. It is, rather, a coalition of ideological groups and interest groups. Some of these are fairly libertarian in nature, as with the Thatcherites. On the other hand, conservative parties and activist groups also contain traditionalist conservatives and nationalists, neither of which are primarily or necessarily free-market or laissez-faire in orientation. The general free-market orientation of conservatives tend to come from the fact that they are anti-Left and anti-socialist. In the UK, as elsewhere, to be anti-Left means in many cases to be de facto pro-market (to varying extents).
A similar phenomenon has prevailed in the

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The Money Supply Continues its Biggest Collapse Since the Great Depression

Money supply growth fell again in October, remaining deep in negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. October’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract year over year. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
Money-supply growth has now been negative for twelve months in a row. During October 2023, the downturn continued as YOY growth in the

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The Immorality of Protectionism

The 2024 campaign is underway, and that means new efforts by politicians to pander to economic nationalists and protectionists by calling for new trade wars and trade controls. This will surely happen even though the Biden Administration has done very little to reverse the protectionist policies that Donald Trump imposed during his term. For example, new so-called "Section 301" tariffs, which have been in place since 2018, are still in effect and are only now being "reviewed." In response to a possible change to these new trade barriers, a bipartisan group of legislators has already called on Biden to keep these taxes in place. Moreover, candidate Trump, now campaigning for 2024 has recently called for an additional 10-percent tariff (i.e., tax) on all imports. 
Politicians who support

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Henry Kissinger: War Criminal and Enemy of Mankind

Former US secretary of state and national security advisory Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday. He was 100 years old. Kissinger is perhaps most notable for his work during Nixon Administration when he helped Nixon prolong the Vietnam War and expand it to Cambodia and Laos.
But his influence was certainly not limited to the Nixon years, he served in an official capacity in the Ford administration, and in more informal roles during the Reagan and Bush years as well. Throughout it all Kissinger was a ruthless servant of the American foreign policy establishment. As a Harvard-educated political scientist, Kissinger was employed to provide gravitas and legitimacy to a number of US wars and interventions, most of which ended in bloodbaths for the ordinary people of the countries Kissinger claimed

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How Fossil Fuel Revolutionized Our Kitchens and Our Food

[The Domestic Revolution: How the Introduction of Coal into Victorian Homes Changed Everything, by Ruth Goodman, Liveright Publishing Corporation; 2020. xxi + 330 pp.]
The subtitle of Ruth Goodman’s book The Domestic Revolution doesn’t come close to describing what this book is really about. Yes, this book tells us a lot about coal and how it affected Victorian domestic life. But this book is really about how what we eat and how we prepare food has been closely tied to economic, industrial, and technological changes over 400 years of history. 
Moreover, this book will provide some valuable perspective for anyone who thinks he or she spends a lot of time "slaving" over a hot stove. Whatever time we spend cooking and cleaning in the twenty-first century is nothing compared to the time,

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Napoleon: Europe’s First Egalitarian Despot

With the release of Ridley Scott’s new film Napoleon, viewers encounter a cinematic version of Napoleon caught up in a tumultuous romance against the backdrop of the upheavals of the Napoleonic wars. 
This has revived interest in the French military commander and left many wondering what they are to make of the real, historical Napoleon. For many Americans in the audience—who, unlike Europeans, devote virtually no time to Napoleon in school—this may be the first time they’ve thought much about Napoleon at all. 
Overall, this question certainly isn’t new. Napoleon does not have a reputation like Hitler, for example. Even people who have never read a history book in their lives know they’re not supposed to like that guy. Nor are we routinely told that Napoleon is benign like, say, George

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Milei’s Long-Term Victory Depends on Him Winning in the Battle of Ideas

On Sunday, Javier Milei was elected president of Argentina by a comfortable margin, with 56 percent of the vote. He will be sworn in as president on December 10. 
Over the past year, however, Milei has made a name for himself as an extremely vocal critic of socialism, central banks, and many types of government intervention in general. He has become memorable for fiery commentary condemning the Left’s ideology and tactics while expressing an interest in immediate (i.e., not gradualist) change. He has said he seeks to abolish Argentina’s central bank and introduce the US dollar as the country’s dominant currency. 
His fiscal policy is far more in the free-market direction than any other head of state in a country as large as Argentina (with 46 million residents). Milei has expressed

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American History Is a Preview of the Israel-Palestine End Game

How the Israel-Gaza war ends is easy to imagine because it’s following a path that has been trod many times before. We’ve seen it many times during conflicts between settler populations and indigenous populations worldwide
Original Article: American History Is a Preview of the Israel-Palestine End Game

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You’re Paying for the Israel War. You’ll Also Pay for the Refugees.

The United States regime has picked sides in the Israel-Hamas war and has committed to funding Israel’s ongoing bombing of non-combatant men, women, and children in the Gaza strip. Northern Gaza’s infrastructure is now all but destroyed, with millions of Gazans displaced and homeless. Nearly ten times more Gazans than Israelis have now died in the conflict. Many Gazans have fled to the southern portion of Gaza, but homelessness and abject poverty awaits them there. 
By employing what is essentially the carpet-bombing approach, Tel Aviv has made the choice of adopting a policy that is sure to produce hundreds of thousands of refugees—or perhaps even more than a million. Indeed, many in the Israeli regime are motivated to maximize refugees, and push Gazans out of the country altogether using

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The Fed Has No Plan, and Is Just Hoping for the Best

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) last week left the target policy interest rate (the federal funds rate) unchanged at 5.5 percent. This "pause" in the target rate suggests the FOMC believes it has raised the target rate high enough to rein in price inflation which has run well above the Fed’s arbitrary two-percent inflation target since mid-2021. I say "believe," but perhaps the more appropriate word here is "hope." 
That is: the Fed hopes it has raised the target interest rate high enough. Moreover, the Fed hopes this will both reign in price inflation and also avoid raising unemployment too high. (See below for what is meant by "enough" and "too high.")
After all, the Fed has no idea what the "correct" federal funds rate is to achieve the goals that the Fed has

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There’s No Easy Way Out of This Debt Spiral

We’re about six weeks into fiscal year 2024, but if this year looks anything like last year, we can assume the federal government will continue to pile up debt at astonishing rates. 
According to the September Monthly Treasury report, the US government accumulated an additional 1.7 trillion dollars in debt for the 2023 fiscal year, which ended October 31.  That’ up by $319 billion, or 23 percent, from the 2022 fiscal year. As recently as June, budget-watchers had estimated the year-end deficit would be $1.5 trillion, but deficits quickly added on an unexpected $200 billion by years’ end:

The pace of increase, however, may have been even higher than 23 percent. As CNN noted, the $1.7 trillion number may reflect some creative accounting. As CNN reports, the Treasury Department reported the

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October’s Sobering Jobs Report Adds to Mounting Bad Economic News

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) released new jobs data on Friday. According to the report, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose 150,000 jobs in October, month over month. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.8 percent to 3.9 percent over the same period. 
The headline payroll increase of 150,000, however, was possibly among the best news to be found in today’s new jobs data, however. Once we delve more deeply into the numbers, we find substantial evidence that the "strength" of the job situation is greatly overstated by the payroll numbers while employed persons, wages, and other measures point to trouble ahead in in economy already strained by growing bankruptcies, mounting debts, and disappearing savings. 
For example, more than one-third of all new employment growth in

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American History Is a Preview of the Israel-Palestine End Game

As news of the Hamas attack on southern Israel began to trickle in on October 7, many who follow the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict knew the bad news was just beginning. It was immediately obvious that the ferocity of the Hamas attack, and the high proportion of women and children among the victims, would provide the Israeli state with political justification to launch devastating and revanchist attacks against civilians within the Gaza strip in retaliation. 
Indeed, deaths on the Gaza side now greatly outnumber deaths and injuries suffered by the Israeli population. Whereas Israeli deaths total approximately 1,400, deaths among Palestinians—more than half of them civilians—likely number over 5,000. Hamas has already been ejected from Israeli territory, so from this point on in the

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Credit Tightens as the Money Supply Falls for Ten Months In a Row

Money supply growth fell again in August, remaining deep in negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. August’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract year over year. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
Money-supply growth has now been negative for ten months in a row. During August 2023, the downturn continued as YOY growth in the money

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Get the US Out of the Middle East

Hamas’s invasion of Israel happened in spite of decades of US intervention and spending in favor of Tel Aviv. Yet, this ongoing conflict has nothing at all to do with the safety and security of the United States itself. It’s time for the US to get out. 

Original Article: Get the US Out of the Middle East

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Dollarization Puts Foreign Economies at the Mercy of the US Regime

Some free-market advocates are pushing for dollarization in Argentina. But the devastating US sanctions against Panama in 1989 show us how dollarization helps the US exercise more hegemonic power over foreign economies. 

Original Article: Dollarization Puts Foreign Economies at the Mercy of the US Regime

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Get the US Out of the Middle East

The ongoing conflict between the state of Israel and Hamas escalated considerably on Saturday. A group of armed fighters—presumably of Hamas—broke through the Gaza-Israel border barrier and launched what is sure to be a short-lived invasion of southwestern Israel. 
At least 700 Israeli citizens—most of them apparently civilians—were killed, and more than one hundred were taken hostage. The Israeli state quickly retaliated with widespread bombing of neighborhoods in Gaza producing hundreds killed, and possibly hundreds of thousands displaced. 
Within hours of the initial invasion, images of Hamas kidnappings and killings quickly flooded social media provoking calls for further retaliation by the Israeli state. On the other side, images of Israeli bombings of civilian neighborhoods has

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Dollarization Puts Foreign Economies at the Mercy of the US Regime

Argentinian presidential candidate Javier Milei—who could actually win in the general election later this month—has become famous for his fiery speeches and his libertarian views from central banking to government spending. Milei’s proposed policies—if he’s able to actually implement them—would do much to help the Argentinian economy recover from decades of malaise caused by runaway government spending and monetary inflation. Among Milei’s positions, however, is his call for the dollarization of the Argentinian economy. It is unclear if Milei seeks currency competition within Argentina or if he seeks "full-blown" dollarization. In the case of the former, the dollar would merely be permitted to openly compete with other currencies. Full-blown dollarization, on the other hand, would mean the

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Why the “Just Wage” Theory Doesn’t Make Much Sense

Just-wage theory tells us that an employer cannot reduce his workers’ wages below some presumed "cost of living." Yet, that same employer can be permitted to reduce the worker’s wage to zero if the worker has been replaced by a machine. 

Original Article: Why the "Just Wage" Theory Doesn’t Make Much Sense

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The Fed Holds the Fed Funds Rate Steady—Because it Doesn’t Know What Else To Do

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday left the target policy interest rate (the federal funds rate) unchanged at 5.5 percent. This "pause" in the target rate suggests the FOMC believes it has raised the target rate high enough to rein in price inflation which has run well above the Fed’s arbitrary two-percent inflation target since mid-2021. 
The press release from the FOMC was largely unchanged from previous recent meetings and contained the usual language about the state of the economy and the Fed’s ability to manage it:
Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace. Job gains have slowed in recent months but remain strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Inflation remains elevated. … The U.S. banking

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August Price Inflation Accelerated, and the Fed Fears More Is in Store

The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new price inflation data last week, and according to the report, price inflation during August accelerated, coming in at the highest year-over-year increase in three months. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 3.7 percent, year over year, in August before seasonal adjustment. That’s up from July’s year-over-year increase of 3.2 percent, and August is the twenty-ninth month in a row with CPI inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary two-percent inflation target. (More precisely, the Fed targets a two-percent rate in the core PCE measure. In August, the year-over-year change in the core PCE was double the target at 4.2 percent.)
Meanwhile, month-over-month CPI inflation rose 0.6 percent (seasonally

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Armed Neutrality Is the Only Moral Foreign Policy

Former Vice-President Mike Pence is very concerned that Republicans are not sufficiently enthusiastic about aggressive, unnecessary wars. In a speech on Monday, Pence claimed "Some Republican candidates …[are] embracing a new and dangerous form of isolationism.” 
"Isolationism" is just a slur used by hawks to describe any policy that falls short of further expanding US interventionism across every region of the globe. Fortunately for Pence and his ilk, no such thing is happening. Not even close. No Republican candidate argues in favor of closing any military bases, reining in CIA meddling, withdrawing from NATO, ending defense commitments in east Asia, or even cutting military spending. The closest any candidate comes to the isolationism Pence mentions is Vivek Ramaswamy who has opposed

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America Since 9/11: 22 Years of Lies and Despotism

In a more reasonable world, people like Cheney, Rice, Bolton, et al., would all be forgotten, shamed, and disgraced for overseeing multiple disastrous wars abroad and the creation of a police state at home. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a more reasonable world. 
Original Article: "America Since 9/11: 22 Years of Lies and Despotism"

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Three Reasons Why Military Recruitment Is in Crisis

By the middle of 2022, it was already become apparent that the US military was having problems meeting recruitment goals. In August last year, The AP reported that the Army would have to cut force size, and an army spokesman admitted the Army was facing "’unprecedented challenges’ in bringing in recruits." This came even with new larger enlistment bonuses. The problem, however, wasn’t as acute for the Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps. 
Since then, things haven’t gotten any better for recruiters. Now, recruitment shortfalls have spread well beyond the Army.  The New York Post reported last week:
Much of the military will fall short of recruitment goals by as much as 25% this year …
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard are all expected to fall short of their recruitment goals this

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America Since 9/11: 22 Years of Lies and Despotism

One sees many flags at half-mast across the country today. And rightly so. Thanks in part to the negligence and incompetence of the CIA and FBI, the Federal government  failed disastrously at what it tells us is the regime’s number-one priority: public safety.  
[Read More: "9/11 Was a Day of Unforgivable Government Failure" by Ryan McMaken]
More than 2,900 human beings died that day, the overwhelming majority of which were civilians working in ordinary private-sector jobs. Most of them paid taxes for many years to the government which told them that the government keeps them safe. Many victims continue to die to this day from illnesses caused by inhalation of building debris. 
But the response to 9/11 has done far more damage to the republic than the perpetrators of 9/11 ever could. Even

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Let Staten Island Secede!

If Staten Island is allowed to secede, our national technocrats fear that might open up countless similar demands for self-determination across the nation. For the elites, the current status quo works quite well and they want to keep it that way. 

Original Article: "Let Staten Island Secede!"

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The Imperial Russian Regime was Neither “Great” nor “Enlightened”

Pope Francis made headlines last week when he described the Russian Empire as "enlightened" and invoked the names of two expansionist Russian czars as examples of Russia’s "great culture." In impromptu remarks, Francis said to a group of Russian Catholics,  “You are the heirs of the great Russia: the great Russia of saints, of kings, the great Russia of Peter the Great, of Catherine II, of that great, enlightened Russian empire, of great culture and great humanity.”
Francis was quickly savaged among pro-Ukraine groups for these remarks, but for very superficial reasons. Essentially, Francis’s comments were evaluated almost totally in terms of how they related to the current Russian regime and the ongoing Russo-Ukraine war. Few specifics were mentioned about either Peter I or Catherine

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Let Staten Island Secede!

Homeless foreign nationals (i.e., "illegal aliens") began arriving last week at a makeshift shelter in a Staten Island neighborhood. The arrivals come after New York City Mayor Eric Adams decided that a shuttered Catholic school on Staten Island would be used to house some of the more than 100,000 migrants who have arrived in New York City since the spring of 2022. 
Staten Islanders, however, were given no veto and no role in determining the location of the shelter or what policies might be implemented there. As a result, hundreds of protestors this week assembled to express their opposition to the plan which was apparently hatched in secret and only revealed to Staten Island residents when the plan was already fait accompli. As the New York Post reported this week,

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Why the “Just Wage” Theory Doesn’t Make Much Sense

The concept of the "fair wage" or the "just wage" is centuries old. It dates back at least to the Middle Ages and was founded on the idea that "just" prices of goods must be sufficient to provide "a reasonable wage to maintain the craftsman or merchant in his appropriate station of life." 
In its modern form, the idea of the just wage is often known as a "living wage." But whatever its form, the notion comes down to the idea that an employer must pay his workers a wage that will be sufficient to fully cover the cost of a "decent standard of life."
As one might guess—given the idea’s popularity in the Middle Ages—this idea has also long influenced Christian moral theology. Many Christian groups—most notably many Catholic theologians—have insisted employers are morally obligated to pay a

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How the Soviets Used Common Criminals to Destroy the Regime’s Enemies

As violent crime rates rise and unsolved homicides become more common, Many ordinary voters have noticed that the regime doesn’t seem especially interested in investigating and prosecuting actual dangerous criminals. At the same time, the regime appears increasingly paranoid about "antidemocratic" activities and other alleged threats to the state. Gangs of thieves cleaning out the inventory of small businesses? The ruling elite isn’t concerned. Meanwhile, if a small business owner fails to report a $700 transaction on Venmo, heavily armed IRS agents may soon show up on his doorstep. 
This apparent trend toward ignoring violent criminals while prosecuting hapless middle-class taxpayers has caused many conservative activists—such as Tucker Carlson and Mike Cernovich—to resurrect the

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Why Governments Love Political “Crimes” Like Treason and Sedition

The only real crimes are those that constitute violence against actual, specific persons and property. These are crimes such as theft, assault, rape, homicide, and fraud. States and civil governments of all types have long justified their existence on the grounds that they punish perpetrators of these crimes and thus provide "public safety." (The fact that states themselves often commit these crimes—i.e., through torture, police brutality, taxation, and conscription—is carefully ignored.) 
Throughout history, however, states have also created a distinct category of "crimes" known as political crimes. These are described as not just mere attacks on specific persons and property. Rather, these acts are attacks on "society" or "the social order" or "the nation." These offenses are given names

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The State Protects Itself While Crime against Ordinary People Surges

In all the media and regime frenzy over the Janaury 6 riots and the Pentagon Leaker in recent months, it is interesting to examine the contrast between how the regime treats "crimes" against its own interests, and real crime committed against ordinary private citizens. 
Witness, for example, how the Biden administration and corporate media have treated the January 6 riot as if it were some kind of military coup, demanding that draconian sentences be handed down even to small-time vandals and trespassers. Regime paranoia has led the Justice Department to ask for a 30-year sentence for Enrique Tarrio, a man who was convicted of the non-crime of "seditious conspiracy" even though he wasn’t even in Washington on January 6. In recent months, Jacob Chansley, the "QAnon Shaman," received a

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The Dead End of Catholic Nationalism

The Christian nationalist state is one in which civil rulers—for a time—regard the Church as a convenient ally. Once this comes to an end, however, the "Christian" state transforms into a state hostile to those it was once designed to protect.

Original Article: "The Dead End of Catholic Nationalism"

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Credit Crunch: The Money Supply Has Shrunk For Eight Months In a Row

Money supply growth fell again in June, remaining deep in negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. June’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract—year-over-year— for six months in a row. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
Money-supply growth has now been negative for eight months. During June 2023, the downturn continued as YOY growth in

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When Slave Owners Chose Federal Power over Local Sovereignty

Although they professed to support "states’ rights," many proslavery activists wanted a stronger federal government that could force slavery on the western territories and deny local sovereignty to territorial residents. 

Original Article: "When Slave Owners Chose Federal Power over Local Sovereignty"

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Striking Hollywood Actors and Writers Might Have to Get Used to Stagnant Wages

People with jobs, children, and actual responsibilities might not have noticed, but Hollywood is nearly shut down right now thanks to both a writers’ strike and an actors’ strike. Or more specifically, the writers and actors—who are members of unions—are on strike. Members of SAG-AFTRA (SAG) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are refusing to work until TV and movie studios agree to a variety of demands.
These actors and writers may be in for some unpleasant surprises, however. Studio revenues and advertising income isn’t what it used to be. Cable subscriptions are down. Theater attendance has not recovered from covid. When revenues are stagnant or falling, it’s harder to get the studios to raise compensation.
Another big problem writers and actors face is that we now live in an age

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Why Employers and Families—Not Bureaucrats—Should Be In Charge of Immigration Policy

It’s become common now to read arguments claiming that immigrants — broadly speaking —  are good for the economy, or good for "America" in some other fashion.
"Migrants and refugees are good for economies," Nature magazine claims. "Open Immigration Is Good for the Health of People and the Economy," another writer claims. "1,500 economists to Trump: Immigrants are good for the U.S. economy," CNN insists.
Now, I’m not one to argue against freedom of contract and exchange between US citizens and foreign nationals. In other words, if a private employer wishes to offer a job to a foreign national, that foreign national should be free to accept. Similarly, if an American landlord wants to enter into a lease agreement with a foreigner, that ought to be the landlord’s prerogative.
Note that in

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Why “Classical” Liberals Want Decentralization

[This article is chapter 3 of Breaking Away: The Case for Secession, Radical Decentralization, and Smaller Polities. Now available at Amazon and in the Mises Store.]
In recent decades, many pundits, scholars, and intellectuals have assured us that advances in communications and transportation would eliminate the different political, economic, and cultural characteristics peculiar to residents of different regions within the United States. It is true that the cultural difference between a rural mechanic and an urban barista is smaller today than was the case in 1900. Yet recent national elections suggest that geography is still an important factor in understanding the many differences that prevail across regions within the US. Urban centers, suburban neighborhoods, and rural towns are still

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The Dead End of Catholic Nationalism

[This article is adapted from a panel discussion on Christian Nationalism at Freedom Fest in Memphis on July 14, 2023. The other panelists were Norman Horn, Kerry Baldwin, and Alex Bernardo of the Libertarian Christian Institute. ]
The specter of Christian nationalism—variously defined—has become one of the current bogeymen to the Left. "Christian nationalism on the rise," reports National Public Radio, and The New Yorker asks "How Christian Is Christian Nationalism?" Some churches are even hosting workshops with names like "The Threat of White Christian Nationalism." Note the insertion of the term "white." An op-ed at The Salt Lake Tribune takes it a step further declaring at the US Supreme Court is now allied with "white male Christian nationalism" (emphasis added).
The lazy, imprecise

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When Slave Owners Chose Federal Power over Local Sovereignty

A recurring theme in American politics is the cynical use of federal power by those who simultaneously pretend to favor "states’ rights" or "local control." We see this today when Republicans one minute say they favor local control with gun laws or Obamacare—and then demand the federal government impose nationwide drug prohibitions. We see it among Democrats who want local control over "sanctuary cities" for illegal immigrants, but then denounce the idea that states ought to decide for themselves on abortion policy. 
The basic logic goes like this: if you’re negotiating from a position of relative weakness at the federal level, take a faux "principled" stand in favor of local or state sovereignty. However, once it looks like you might have the political power necessary to force federal

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From the Editor May/June

When I was an economics undergraduate back in the 1990s, central bankers at the Federal Reserve were more or less above criticism. Those were the days when Alan Greenspan was acclaimed as “the maestro” and it was simply assumed central bankers could skillfully plan the economy to ensure growing prosperity forever. This isn’t an exaggeration. In 1998, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by MIT economist Rudi Dornbusch claiming that we have. . .a policy team that can prevent recessions indefinitely. He concluded: “This expansion will run forever.” Recession did hit in 2001, of course, with enormous implications for the future of the US economy. This was when Greenspan decided to deliberately create a housing bubble to “stimulate the economy.” This was followed six years later by the

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3 Things to Remember on Independence Day

It’s difficult to say what most Americans commemorate or celebrate on Independence Day nowadays. Many appear to focus on some vague notion of "America." Others even take to jingoism equating the United States government with the very notion of "freedom." 
Lost in all of this is the fact that the Declaration of Independence — the document we’re supposed to remember today — is a document that promotes secession, rebellion, and what the British at the time regarded as treason. 
On the other hand, those who do recall the radical nature of the Declaration often tend to romanticize the American Revolution in a way that is neither instructive nor helpful today. 
So, what should we remember about Independence Day, and what can it teach us? For starters, here are three things about the history and

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Why Regimes Want to Rule Over Big States with More Land and More People

When the Soviet Union began its collapse in 1989, the world witnessed decentralization and secession on a broad scale.
Over the next several years, puppet regimes and states that were independent in name only broke away from Soviet domination and formed sovereign states. Some states which had completely ceased to exist—such as the Baltic states—declared independence and became states in their own right. In its heyday, the Soviet Union had been three times the size of the United States, and was controlled by a regime with nearly untrammeled power consolidated in a centralized state. In its place rose a number of new regimes that were smaller in size and smaller in population. 
In total, secession and decentralization in this era brought about more than a dozen newly independent states.1

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The Affirmative-Action Ruling Strengthens Vast Federal “Anti-Discrimination” Powers

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected race-based admissions in higher education at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The ruling likely calls into question the legality of most race-based college admissions policies, especially at elite colleges.
In the ruling (Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard) a majority of the justices ruled that the use of racial preferences in the admissions process at the two colleges violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Federal law did not require racial preferences in admissions at the time of the ruling, but the federal government tolerated the discriminatory use of racial preferences by higher education institutions. This toleration persisted for decades in spite of the scheme’s

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Daniel Ellsberg Was Right. So Are Assange and Snowden.

Daniel Ellsberg died on June 16, and he remains one of the nation’s most prominent whistleblowers who leaked secret government information to the public. Upon his death the general consensus among the writers of memorials for Ellsberg was that he was right to leak government secrets. As the editorial board at The Orange County Register recently put it, he was "a true American hero." 
They’re right about Ellsberg. During the Vietnam War, through his release of the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, Ellsberg made public a large trove of secret government documents that exposed many of the Federal government’s lies about its involvement throughout Indochina. Much of the information applied to the Johnson Administration which had been lying about the war to both the public and the Congress.

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Radical Decentralization Was the Key to the West’s Rise to Wealth and Freedom

It is not uncommon to encounter political theorists and pundits who insist that political centralization is a boon to economic growth. In both cases, it is claimed the presence of a unifying central regime—whether in Brussels or in Washington, DC, for example—is essential in ensuring the efficient and free flow of goods throughout a large jurisdiction. This, we are told, will greatly accelerate economic growth.
In many ways, the model is the United States, inside of which there are virtually no barriers to trade or migration at all between member states. In the EU, barriers have been falling in recent decades.
The historical evidence, however, suggests that political unity is not actually a catalyst to economic growth or innovation over the long term. In fact, the European experience

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The Money Supply Keeps Falling After Its Biggest Drop Since the Great Depression

Money supply growth fell again in April, plummeting further into negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years.  April’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract—year-over-year— for six months in a row. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
During April 2023, the downturn accelerated even more as YOY growth in the money supply was at

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How Capitalism Redefined Masculine Virtue

In the pre-industrial world, aggression and physical domination were often labeled as "masculine" virtues because they were useful for survival. The rise of the cooperative market economy changed all that.

Original Article: "How Capitalism Redefined Masculine Virtue"

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Powell Sends Mixed Messages as He Chickens Out on Rate Hikes

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday left the target policy interest rate (the federal funds rate) unchanged at 5.25 percent. This "pause" in the target rate suggests the FOMC believes it has raised the target rate high enough to rein in price inflation which has run well above the Fed’s arbitrary two-percent inflation target since mid-2021. 
Yet, at Wednesday’s press conference announcing the FOMC’s decision, Fed Chair Jerome Powell also claimed that "Inflation remains well above our longer-run 2 percent goal" and "inflation pressures continue to run high and the process of getting inflation back down to 2 percent has a long way to go."
Moreover, according to Powell, the labor market is red hot, with Powell stating "The labor market remains very tight"

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Wall Street to the Fed: Inflation Is Over. Give Us More Easy Money!

The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new price inflation data Tuesday, and according to the report, price inflation during May decelerated, coming in at the lowest year-over-year increase in twenty-six months. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 4.0 percent year over year in May before seasonal adjustment. That’s down from April’s year-over-year increase of 4.9 percent, and May is the twenty-seventh month in a row with inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. (More precisely, the Fed targets a two-percent rate in the PCE measure.)
Meanwhile, month-over-month inflation rose 0.1 percent (seasonally adjusted) from April to May. That’s down from April’s month-over-month gain of 0.4 percent.
May’s year-over-year

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How “Squatter Democracy” Created America’s First Welfare Program

With the rise of homeless camps and tent cities in many American cities, the issue of squatting has become a cause for alarm among many residents and policymakers. In many cases parks, sidewalks, and other public rights-of-way have been taken over by people living in tents or makeshift shelters, rendering the areas unusable to most area residents. In other cases, some of these homeless people have taken over empty businesses and homes that were left unattended long enough for squatters to take over. 
The use of the term "squatter" to refer to those living on land they never paid for is generally not used to suggest approval. In modern parlance, squatters are often regarded as equivalent to trespassers. There once was a time, however, when supporting squatters was de facto federal policy in

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Secession Means More Choices, More Freedom, Less Monopoly Power

[This article is Chapter 1 of Breaking Away: The Case for Secession, Radical Decentralization, and Smaller Polities. Now available at Amazon and in the Mises Store.]
Because of their physical size, large states are able to exercise more state-like power than geographically smaller states—and thus exercise a greater deal of control over residents. This is in part because larger states benefit from higher barriers to emigration than smaller states. Large states can therefore better avoid one of the most significant barriers to expanding state power: the ability of residents to move away.
The significance of this in practice becomes more clear if we consider the extreme and hypothetical case of a world with a single state. In this case, a person has no other choices at all. The number of

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How Capitalism Redefined Masculine Virtue

One of the main fronts in the current culture war in the United States is the debate over "masculinity." Certain corners of the Left tell us that "toxic masculinity" is a terrible thing. Yet, it’s often unclear whether masculinity is itself necessarily toxic, or if toxic masculinity is just one type of masculinity. How masculinity is defined is essential to the debate, and every pundit wants to define it his or her own way. Thus, David French, in his May 28 column for The New York Times, explains that conservatives are "all wrong about masculinity" largely because they employ a faulty definition of it. Meanwhile, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has published an entire book about "manhood" and "the masculine virtues," supplying his own definitions. For its part, the American Psychological

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Biden Wants Sanctions for Uganda Because Its Government Passed Anti-LGBT Laws

In an excellent display of how US foreign policy can be used as a means of pandering to domestic interest groups, the Biden administration has threatened to impose sanctions on Uganda as punishment for that regime’s adoption of new laws criminalizing some types of homosexual behavior. 
While it is abundantly clear that this move from the Ugandan state presents absolutely no threat to any vital US interest, the Biden administration apparently believes the situation requires immediate action by the US regime.
According to Axios, the Biden Administration’s proposed actions
includ[e] whether the U.S. will continue to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other forms of assistance and investments. … Biden administration officials will also

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The Republican Debt-Ceiling “Deal” Is Exactly What We Expected

After countless predictions of economic armaggeddon and panicky entreaties to raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached, the Biden White House and Congressional Republicans agreed on a new budget deal this week that does virtually nothing at all to change the status quo. The deal in no way returns federal spending to pre-covid levels. At best, the deal does "limit" spending by placing tentative caps on spending which—assuming they are not abandoned in the face of some new economic or geopolitical "emergency"—allow for a one-percent increase in spending each year over the next two years. At the same time, however, the deal abolishes the debt ceiling altogether until 2025. As summarized by the Associated Press: 
The agreement would keep nondefense spending roughly flat in the 2024

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As Interest Rates Rise, the Era of “Deficits Don’t Matter” Is Over

Back in 2002, then-Vice President Dick Cheney claimed "Reagan proved deficits don’t matter" and went on to push for tax cuts combined with more federal spending. Indeed, the Bush administration would go on to push immense amounts of new spending, supporting a huge Medicare expansion and blowing hundreds of millions of dollars on costly and pointless occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The national debt grew by 70 percent during Bush’s eight years, but no one in Washington—Republican or Democrat—really cared. After 2003, the economy seemed to be growing and after the 2008 financial crisis hit, all that really mattered was bailing out Wall Street to "save" the global economy. 
In fact, for more than thirty years, stern warnings about the federal debt and annual deficits have come from

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The Bud Light Boycott and Clueless Corporate Executives

In perhaps one of the most unexpected and sudden shifts in consumer demand in recent years, sales of Bud Light have now fallen sizably for six weeks in a row, with no end in sight. The New York Post reported on Monday that "Sales of the US’s No. 1 beer were down 24.6% for the week ended May 13 compared to a year ago — slightly worse than the 23.6% dip they suffered a week earlier." 
But it’s not just Bud Light. Sentiment has turned against Bud Light parent Anheuser-Busch Inbev (AB Inbev) to the point that other brands at the company are seeing declining sales as well. Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Natural Light, and Busch Light all experienced declines during the same period. AB Inbev has lost an "astonishing" $15.7 billion in value over the past six weeks.
Not surprisingly, Bud Light is also

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Three Lies They’re Telling You about the Debt Ceiling

Negotiations over increasing the federal debt ceiling continue in Washington. As has occurred several times over the past twenty years, Republicans and Democrats are presently using increases in the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in negotiating how federal tax dollars will be spent.
Most of this is theater. We know how these negotiations always end: the debt ceiling is always increased, massive amounts of new federal debt are incurred, and federal spending continues its upward spiral. In fact, since the last time we endured a major debate over the debt ceiling—back in 2013—the national debt has nearly doubled, soaring from $16.7 trillion ten years ago to $32 trillion in 2023. Over that same period, federal spending has increased more than 80 percent from $3.4 trillion in fiscal year

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Thanks to Sanctions, The US Is Losing Its Grip on the Middle East

On Friday, members of the Arab League welcomed the Syrian regime back to the organization. Representatives from several Arab member states shook Syrian leader Assad’s hand and gave him, a "warm" reception according to several news outlets. Syria was suspended from the league in 2011, but on May 7 in Cairo the league agreed to reinstate the Assad regime. 
This represents a reversal from years of isolation placed on the regime, and a break with US policy which remains staunchly opposed to Assad. Indeed, the League’s rapprochement with Assad should be seen as a repudiation of US policy, and especially as a sign of how Washington’s influence among Leage members—the most powerful of which are Saudi Arabia and Egypt—has waned.
Moreover, this is just the latest bad news for Washington’s influence

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How the Dollar Became the World’s Top Global Currency

The dollar became the dominant global currency not so much because of its own merits, but because of the self-destruction of the pound sterling caused by the British state and central bank.

Original Article: "How the Dollar Became the World’s Top Global Currency"

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Banks Are Lending Less Money, and That’s a Formula for Recession

Banks have been tightening their lending standards, and they plan to keep doing it throughout the rest of the year. Last week, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released a new report on how much banks plan to expand or tighten lending in coming months. The report, known as the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Lending Practices, found that bankers expect a deteriorating economic picture in 2023, both for themselves and for their customers. 
If accurate, this report is yet one more indication that the US economy is headed toward recession. In fact, it’s one of the more compelling indicators that a bust is unavoidable. This is because, as Austrian Business Cycle Theory shows us, a slowdown in bank lending goes hand-in-hand with a slowdown in monetary growth, which correlates

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End the FBI

Special counsel John Durham on Monday released his report on the FBI’s role in investigating the 2016 Donald Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia. This investigation, codenamed "Crossfire Hurricane," had been—according to Durham’s report—"swiftly" opened as a full-blown investigation in response to "unevaluated intelligence information" by FBI personnel "without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information."
Durham shows that the investigation had been pushed forward largely by FBI agent Peter Strzok, a man known to be politically hostile to candidate Trump. Durham also notes a curious difference between the FBI’s enthusiasm for investigating Trump, and the agency’s more cautious procedures used in investigating the Hillary Clinton campaign:
The speed and manner

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Price Inflation Growth Slowed Slightly in April. Now Wall Street Will Demand More Easy Money.

The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new price inflation data Wednesday, and according to the report, price inflation during April decelerated slightly, coming in at the lowest year-over-year increase in twenty-four months. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 4.9 percent year over year in April before seasonal adjustment. That’s down from March’s year-over-year increase of 5.0 percent, and April is the twenty-sixth month in a row with inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. 
Meanwhile, month-over-month inflation rose 0.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) from March to April. That’s up from March’s month-over-month gain of 0.1 percent.
April’s year-over-year growth rate is down from June’s high of 9.1 percent,

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The Money Supply Has Plummeted in the Biggest Drop Since the Great Depression

Money supply growth fell again in March, plummeting further into negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. March’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply repeatedly contract for five months in a row. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
During March 2023, the downturn accelerated as YOY growth in the money supply was at –9.9 percent. That’s down from

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The New Immigration Bill Is a Trojan Horse for E-Verify and Is a Threat to All Americans

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are set to vote this week on new legislation that would greatly increase the federal government’s power over private businesses, workers, and US citizens. Unfortunately, much of the GOP majority is supportive of the legislation—the “Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023” (HR 2640)—because it is being marketed as a bill "to secure the border." 
Much of the bill contains reasonable provisions such allowing state attorneys general the authority to sue the federal government for refusing to detain illegal aliens. Other provisions include denying asylum and residency to known criminals. In many ways, the bill is an effort to rein in the executive branch’s control over immigration policy. 
Alarmingly, however, the legislation also contains

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The Dominion Lawsuit Against Fox News Is Part of the War against Free Speech

In March 2021, Dominion Voting Systems—a company that produces electronic voting equipment and software—sued Fox New Channel for 1.6 billion. Dominion claimed the company had been harmed by allegedly false claims made by Fox program hosts and guests about Dominion’s role in alleged efforts to rig the 2020 US presidential election.  In April 2023, Fox New Channel settled with Dominion for $787.6 million. Dominion still has other lawsuits pending against other parties, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. 
The Fox settlement over a defamation lawsuit comes less than a year after Alex Jones was ordered to pay $965 million in a lawsuit over things he said on his show about the Sandy Hook massacre.  Both lawsuits were centered around merely saying things that other people didn’t like

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20 Years Later: Remembering the Disastrous and Failed Iraq War

This spring marks the twentieth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. After an initial frenzy of war fever in the early years of the war, support for the war has since largely evaporated. Nearly two thirds of veterans now say the war was "not worth fighting." Two thirds of American adults say the same thing. Even among Republican veterans, only a minority say the war was worth it. 
These numbers are not surprising. The US obviously failed to achieve its stated objectives in Iraq, and the reasons given to justify the initial invasion were either exaggerations or outright lies. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was never any threat to Americans. Years after the initial invasion, the US regime still couldn’t keep the lights in in Iraq, suicide bombings became an

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How the Dollar Became the World’s Top Global Currency

In March 2009, in the midst of recession, then Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed to respond on the question of whether or not another currency—possibly the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDRs)—might displace the US dollar as the dominant global reserve currency. Geithner responded that he’s open to more use of SDRs but then felt the need to clarify with “The dollar remains the world’s dominant reserve currency and I think that’s likely to continue for a long period of time.”
It’s not a coincidence that this occurred in the context of financial crises, recession, and some big changes in the global economy. Crises have a tendency to bring out questions about the dollar’s reserve-currency status. Similar discussions occurred in the late 1970s as the United States was experiencing

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Why the Dollar Still Beats the Euro and the Yuan

Understanding what turns an ordinary currency into a global reserve currency can help us understand how the dollar could go into decline and give way to competing currencies.

Original Article: "Why the Dollar Still Beats the Euro and the Yuan"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Real Wages Fall for Two Years Straight as “Transitory” Inflation Turns Stubborn

The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new price inflation data last week, and according to the report, price inflation during the month decelerated slightly, coming in at the lowest year-over-year increase in twenty-three months. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 5.0 percent year over year in March before seasonal adjustment. That’s down from February’s year-over-year increase of 6.0 percent, and February is the twenty-fifth month in a row with inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. Price inflation has now been at or above 5 percent for twenty-three months in a row.
Meanwhile, month-over-month inflation rose 0.1 percent (seasonally adjusted) from February to March. That’s down from February’s

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156 Million Americans Now Live in States with Legal Recreational Marijuana

Over the past year, three US states have enacted new legislation legalizing recreational marijuana within their borders. In May 2022, recreational cannabis became legal in Rhode Island, and the same occurred in Missouri in December of last year. In the wake of the 2022 election, in which Maryland voters approved Maryland Question 4, recreational use became legal in that state as well. With the addition of Rhode Island, New Hampshire—where cannabis is "only" decriminalized and legal for medical purposes—is now the only state in New England where recreational marijuana is not legal. Missouri joins Alaska and Montana as one of the handful of "red states" that have legalized recreational use as well. 
Now, with these three states approving recreational use, more than 156 million Americans now

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Why the Regime Needs the Dollar to Be the Global Reserve Currency

Even a partial weakening of the dollar’s global demand will limit the US regime’s ability to throw its weight around internationally. Yet Washington is unwilling to do what’s necessary to prevent it. 

Original Article: "Why the Regime Needs the Dollar to Be the Global Reserve Currency"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Money-Supply Growth Fell to a 50-Year Low in February. Will the Fed Panic?

Money supply growth fell again in February, falling even further into negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. February’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply contract for the first time since the 1990s. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
During February 2023, the downturn became even bigger as YOY growth in the money supply was at –6.6 percent. That’s

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Why Do Most Countries Have their Own Currency? Governments Wanted It that Way.

Among the many facts of modern life that are accepted without question by most ordinary people is that it is somehow perfectly natural, expected, and unremarkable that every sovereign state should have its own currency. We see this everywhere in names such as "the U.S. dollar" or "the Chinese yuan" or "the Japanese yen." Indeed, among the 203 sovereign states of the world, there are nearly as many separate national currencies. The euro, of course, is a notable—and recent—exception to this, but even after more than 20 years of the euro, only 26 of the world’s states use it. Many of those are very small states such as Andorra, Vatican City, Malta, and Latvia. Moreover, the British refuse to give up the pound sterling. The Swedes are sticking with the krona. The Swiss still have the franc.

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The Fed Is Fixated On Jobs Numbers, and That May Be a Good Thing

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) released new jobs data on Friday. According to the report, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose 236,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in March, the smallest month-over-month jobs gain since December 2020. The unemployment rate fell slightly from from 3.6 percent to 3.5 percent (month over month). This has changed little since December 2022, and this reflects rising numbers in workforce participation as total employment estimates have increased. In March, the labor participation rate rose very slightly from 62.5 percent, to 62.6 percent, the highest estimate since March 2020. 
These numbers suggest slow but continued growth in total employment, but net growth continues to flatten as layoffs throughout much of the economy continue to mount. For

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Why the Dollar Still Beats the Euro and the Yuan

As evidenced by a number of recent policy changes in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency is under coordinated attack. Efforts to dethrone the dollar, however, will require time and luck in favor of antidollar forces. For now, however, the US dollar is the most preferred currency for foreign reserves and for settling international transactions.
The fact that the dollar is the most popular currency right now is no guarantee it will be so into the medium or long run. No currency remains the reserve currency forever, and the US dollar has only been the world’s reserve currency since the 1930s. Before then, the global reserve currency was the pound sterling. But thanks to the World Wars, the costs of a colonial empire, and an

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To Fight the State, Build Alternatives to the State

The challenge at hand is more than simply opposing the state. Rather, it is necessary to build up, reinforce, and sustain institutions that can offer alternatives to the state.

Original Article: "To Fight the State, Build Alternatives to the State"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Why the Regime Needs the Dollar to Be the Global Reserve Currency

Last week, Fox News aired a segment discussing the possibility that the US dollar will cease to be the global reserve currency and what that would mean for Americans. The tone of the piece suggested that a “catastrophic” decline of the US dollar was not only possible, but perhaps even imminent. CNN last week also aired its own segment suggesting the US will face “a reckoning like none before” if the “dollar’s dominance” in the global economy falls significantly.
Much of the analysis was framed to stoke the public’s fears of Chinese geopolitical power, and the Fox segment was especially hyperbolic in its predictions of near-total economic devastation resulting from any movement away from the dollar in international trade and reserves.
Yet both segments are correct that events are piling up

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To Fight the State, Build Alternatives to the State

Throughout its history, liberalism—the ideology today called “classical liberalism” or “libertarianism”—has suffered from the impression that it is primarily against things. This is not entirely wrong. Historically, liberalism coalesced as a recognizable and coherent ideology in opposition largely to mercantilism and absolutism throughout Western Europe. Over time, this opposition extended to socialism, protectionism, imperialism, aggressive warfare, and slavery as well. In this regard, liberals have for centuries fought against a wide array of moral and economic evils that spread poverty, injustice, and misery.
Being “against” things, however, has never been sufficient in itself, and liberals have never contented themselves with being so. Liberalism, of course, has long been closely

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No, We Don’t Need More Nuclear Weapons

Advocates for more military spending tell us the taxpayer must pay to expand the US’s nuclear arsenal.  Because of China. In truth, the US’s arsenal is in no danger of not "keeping up."

Original Article: "No, We Don’t Need More Nuclear Weapons"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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The Fed Backtracks on Future Rate Hikes as Bank Failures Loom Large

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday raised the target policy interest rate (the federal funds rate) to 5.00 percent, an increase of 25 basis points. With this latest increase, the target has increased 4.75 percent since February 2022.
However, with an increase of only 25 basis points, the March meeting is the second month in a row during which the Fed has pulled back from its more substantial rate hikes of 2022. After four 75-basis-point increases in 2022, the committee approved a 50-point increase in December, followed by a 25-point increase in February, and another on Wednesday. 

Although CPI inflation remains at or above six percent, the FOMC has slowed down in its monetary tightening over the past two months. At Wednesday’s press conference, Fed

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Looming Bank Failures Point to More Price Inflation as Real Wages Fall Again

Even if Powell is sincere in this stated desire to slay inflation with more rate hikes, recent bank failures will put the Fed under enormous pressure to end its rate hikes and to once again embrace easy money to save the banks and Wall Street. 

Original Article: "Looming Bank Failures Point to More Price Inflation as Real Wages Fall Again"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Yes, the Latest Bank Bailout Is Really a Bailout, and You Are Paying for It.

The Fed is launching a new billionaire bailout designed to keep banks afloat, and the FDIC is promising to back potentially trillions in deposits. The taxpayer will ultimately be on the hook. 

Original Article: "Yes, the Latest Bank Bailout Is Really a Bailout, and You Are Paying for It."
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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The Fed’s Huge Monetary Overhang Keeps Job Totals Up as Real Wages Fall

The current job market strength partly reflects the ongoing monetary overhang from years of breakneck growth in money-supply inflation. The $6 trillion in money that was newly created since 2020 is still very much a factor.

Original Article: "The Fed’s Huge Monetary Overhang Keeps Job Totals Up as Real Wages Fall"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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No, We Don’t Need More Nuclear Weapons

Republicans and Democrats may quibble over how federal tax dollars might be spent on various social welfare programs like Medicaid and food stamps. But alongside Social Security, there is one area of federal spending that everyone can apparently agree on: military spending. Last year, the Biden administration requested one of the largest peacetime budgets ever, at $813 billion. Congress wanted even more spending and ended up approving a budget of $858 billion. In inflation-adjusted terms, that was well in excess of the military spending we saw during the Cold War under Ronald Reagan. This year, Joe Biden is asking for even more money, with a new budget request that starts at $886 billion. Included in that gargantuan amount—which doesn’t even include veterans spending—is billions for new

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The “Meritocracy” Was Created by and for the Progressive Ruling Class

All of Al Gore’s children went to Harvard. Are we really to believe that this is because the Gore kids had the most "merit"? The only real  meritocracy is in the marketplace. 

Original Article: "The "Meritocracy" Was Created by and for the Progressive Ruling Class"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Looming Bank Failures Point to More Price Inflation as Real Wages Fall Again

The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new price inflation data today, and according to the report, price inflation during the month decelerated slightly, coming in at the lowest year-over-year increase in eighteen months. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 6.0 percent year over year in February before seasonal adjustment. That’s down from January’s year-over-year increase of 6.4 percent, and February is the twenty-fourth month in a row with inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. Price inflation has now been above 6 percent for seventeen months in a row.
Meanwhile, month-over-month inflation rose 0.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) from to January to February. That’s down from January’s month-over-month gain of

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Yes, the Latest Bank Bailout Is Really a Bailout, and You Are Paying for It.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failed on Friday and was shut down by regulators. It was the second-largest failure in US history and the first since the global financial crisis. Almost immediately, the calls for bailouts started to come in. (Since Friday, First Republic Bank has failed, and many other banks are facing collapse.)
In fact, on March 9, even before SVB failed, billionaire investor Bill Ackman took to Twitter to insist a federal “bailout should be considered” if the private sector could not save the bank. Hours after SVB officially failed, Ackman was still at it, and in a 646-word panicky screed, he demanded that the federal government “guarantee SVB deposits” and essentially backstop the entire banking industry to keep failing, inefficient, and poorly managed banks afloat.
Now,

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Job Growth Surges Again, Fueled by the Fed’s Huge Monetary Overhang

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) released new jobs data on Friday. According to the report, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose 311,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in February, which was nearly 100,000 jobs above expectations. The unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent (month over month) but this partly reflected a rising labor participation rate which rose to 62.5 percent, the highest estimate since March 2020. 
These numbers point to continued resilience in the job market, even if the employment numbers are not nearly as good as the Biden Administration has attempted to claim. The total number of employed persons, for example, is up less than one percent over two years. Nonetheless, this report suggests we have yet to see widespread layoffs extend

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One Year Later in Ukraine: Washington and NATO Got It Very Wrong

The foreign policy "elites" have been wrong about regime change, sanctions, "the lesson of Munich," a "rules-based order," and pretty much everything else.  

Original Article: "One Year Later in Ukraine: Washington and NATO Got It Very Wrong"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Money Supply Growth Went Negative for the Third Month in a Row, and Is Near a 35-Year Low

Money supply growth fell again in January, falling even further into negative territory after turning negative in November 2022 for the first time in twenty-eight years. January’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years.
Since April 2021, money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply contract for the first time since the 1990s. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time, negative growth continued for fifteen months, finally turning positive again in January 1996. 
During January 2023, YOY growth in the money supply was at –5.04 percent. That’s down from December’s rate of –02.19

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Secession Is Inevitable. War to Prevent It Is Optional.

The answer lies not in doubling down on political unity, maintained through endless violence or threats of violence. Rather, the answer lies in peaceful separation. 

Original Article: "Secession Is Inevitable. War to Prevent It Is Optional."
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Real Estate Markets Are Addicted to Easy Money

On Friday, residential real estate brokerage firm Redfin released new data on home prices, showing that prices fell 0.6 percent in February, year over year. According to Redfin’s numbers, this was the first time that home prices actually fell since 2012. The year-over-year drop was pulled down by especially large declines in five markets: Austin (-11%), San Jose, California (-10.9%), Oakland (-10.4%), Sacramento (-7.7%), and Phoenix (-7.3%). According to Redfin, the typical monthly mortgage payment is now at a record high of $2,520. 
The Redfin numbers come a few days new numbers from the Case-Shiller home price index showing further slowing in home prices growth since late last year. The market’s expectation December’s the 20-city index had been -0.5 percent, month over month, and 5.8

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The “Meritocracy” Was Created by and for the Progressive Ruling Class

The American Left has decided that the so-called meritocracy is a bad thing. In a typical example from the Los Angeles Times this week, Nicholas Goldberg points to a number of issues exploring how merit is not actually the key to power and riches in America:
The United States is supposed to be a meritocracy. The story goes that if you work hard and play by the rules, especially with regard to education, you can compete, rise and succeed here. . . . But Americans are realizing that’s not always the case. The playing field just isn’t level.
Goldberg claims that the much-lauded meritocracy is less about merit and more about controlling access to elite institutions. It’s hard to argue with some of this. It’s easy to see the lie behind the claims of meritocracy when we look to the very top of

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Roald Dahl and James Bond Books Are Getting Woke Rewrites. Copyright Law Ensures You Can’t Stop Them.

Thanks to copyright laws, the estate of Roald Dahl can not only rewrite his books, but can also essentially outlaw the old versions. Only books in the public domain are safe from this.

Original Article: "Roald Dahl and James Bond Books Are Getting Woke Rewrites. Copyright Law Ensures You Can’t Stop Them."
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Secession: Should the American Revolutionaries Have Quit to Appease the Loyalists?

Opponents of secession say secession is wrong if some people in the population don’t want it and say they will be worse off. The American revolutionaries disagreed and seceded anyway.

Original Article: "Secession: Should the American Revolutionaries Have Quit to Appease the Loyalists?"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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One Year Later in Ukraine: Washington and NATO Got It Very Wrong

It’s been a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In spite of claims from the regime and its media allies that Russia was the next Third Reich and would soon roll through half of Europe, it turns out that was never even remotely true.
In fact, things have unfolded more or less just like we predicted here at mises.org: the Russians aren’t even close to occupying any place in Europe beyond eastern Ukraine. It’s not Munich 1938. Economic sanctions have not crippled the Russian regime. Most of the world remains ambivalent on the conflict. The conflict will likely end with a negotiated settlement—contrary to what the Washington wants.
The fact is that in spite of the United States’ and North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) efforts to turn Ukraine into World War III, the war in

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When the Private Sector Is the Enemy

Rest in peace, "technolibertarianism." There was a time when many believed tech entrepreneurs would usher in a new era of freedom. Unfortunately, the new tech elites are technocratic collaborators with the regime.

Original Article: "When the Private Sector Is the Enemy"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Secession Is Inevitable. It’s about When, Not If

Never is a very, very long time in politics. Yet whenever the topic of secession or so-called national divorce comes up, how often do we hear that “secession will never happen.” It’s difficult to tell if people using the term “never” actually mean it. If they mean “not in the next ten or twenty years,” that’s plausible. But if they truly mean “not in the next 100 (or more) years,” it’s clear they’re working on the level of absolutely pure, unfounded speculation. Such statements reflect little more than personal hopes and dreams.
Experience is clear that the state of most polities often changes enormously in the span of a few decades. Imagine Russia in 1900 versus Russia in 1920. Or perhaps China in 1930 versus China in 1950. If someone had told the Austrian emperor in 1850 that his empire

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Roald Dahl and James Bond Books Are Getting Woke Rewrites. Copyright Law Ensures You Can’t Stop Them.

The estate of Roald Dahl this month announced that it would be rewriting many of the long-dead author’s books to better suit a “modern” audience. Translation: The books will be rewritten so the text is more in line with the editors’ notions of politically correct language.
As a parent of four children, I’ve read my share of Roald Dahl books over the years, although I wouldn’t consider myself an especially big fan. Yet it’s hard to imagine what is so “offensive” in a Roald Dahl book that it needs to be rewritten. The Dahl books are not comparable to the original editions of, say, the Nancy Drew novels, whose depictions of the Drews’s black housekeeper contain a number of eyebrow-raising stereotypes.
No, it seems Dahl’s main offenses consist of crimes against modern orthodoxies about

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Why the 1787 Constitution Did Not Bring Republican Government to America

It’s a myth that the "Founding Fathers" made America a republic in 1787. It was the state governments and their constitutions that did this. But the top-down myth glorifying the central government endures. 

Original Article: "Why the 1787 Constitution Did Not Bring Republican Government to America"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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No, Red State Economies Don’t Depend on a “Gravy Train” from Blue States

When Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene called (again) for "national divorce" this week, a common retort among her detractors on Twitter was to claim that so-called red states are heavily dependent on so-called blue states to pay for pretty much everything. Reporter Molly Knight claimed, for example, that "Red states get their money for roads and cops and schools from blue states. You cut off that gravy train and you e [sic] got a third world country."

twitt2.jpg

Others claimed that red states would be "entirely broke" without blue states. America’s social democrats have apparently fully gone over to pushing the narrative that the "red states" are poor and backward while the "blue states" are productive and economically sophisticated.

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Food and Shelter Prices Keep Climbing as CPI Growth Hits a Three-Month High

We’re still living with the consequences of the massive monetary inflation by Trump and Biden. Prices are stubbornly high, and falling real wages are driving Americans to say things are getting worse.

Original Article: "Food and Shelter Prices Keep Climbing as CPI Growth Hits a Three-Month High"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Secession: Should the American Revolutionaries Have Quit to Appease the Loyalists?

When advocates of secession in the United States bring up “national divorce,” a common objection we hear is that secession can’t be allowed because it would make some people worse off. For example, we’re told that if, say, a majority of Floridians voted to secede, that still can’t be allowed because there would still be a minority that opposes secession. We especially hear this in the context of so-called red states—where, presumably, a majority of residents are some sort of conservative or Republican. It is assumed that if those states seceded, “progressives” or Democrats would be worse off. But this works in the other direction also. Several years ago, when the topic of California secession was in the news, we were told that if the presumably left-wing state of California were allowed to

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Yes, the US Government Has Defaulted Before

While the 1979 default was relatively small, the 1934 default affected millions of Americans who had bought Liberty Bonds mistakenly thinking the government would make good on its promises.

Original Article: "Yes, the US Government Has Defaulted Before"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Why Madison and Hamilton Were Wrong about Republics

The debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists in the late eighteenth century was fundamentally a debate over whether or not Americans wanted or needed a large national state. Thus, in their effort to push ratification of the new constitution, the Federalists employed a wide variety of arguments designed primarily to convince the public that the United States, as it stood in 1787, was not politically centralized enough. 
We often find words like "licentiousness" and "anarchy" used by the Federalists to describe what will afflict the United States if it does not embrace a larger and stronger national government. The Federalists often argued that abuse of power was less of a threat than "too much" freedom and therefore a stronger state is a better guarantor of wealth and order.

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Why the End of the Petrodollar Spells Trouble for the US Regime

By itself, the end of the petrodollar won’t destroy the dollar. But it will continue a trend that weakens both the dollar and the US regime’s power. 

Original Article: "Why the End of the Petrodollar Spells Trouble for the US Regime"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Three Reasons Why Secession and Decentralization Are Better for Human Rights

[This article is the Introduction to Breaking Away: The Case of Secession, Radical Decentralization, and Smaller Polities.]
The world is now, and has always been, politically decentralized. At no time in history has all of humankind been ruled by a single political regime. Although the Roman Empire claimed to be universal, the Romans never even conquered all of Europe, let alone the whole inhabited world. Roman power never extended to India, China, Sub-Saharan Africa, or the Americas.

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Yes, the US Government Has Defaulted Before

The regime is trying to whip up maximum hysteria or the chances that the US government could default on its debts if the debt ceiling is not raised. Anyone whose been paying attention for a while, however, knows there’s a 99.99 percent chance that the parties involved will soon raise the debt ceiling and the US will go back to adding to its $30-trillion-plus debt hoard as usual.

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Another Recession Sign: Part-Time Work Is Growing Faster than Full-Time Work

The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) released new jobs data on Friday. According to the report, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs rose 517,000 jobs, which was well above expectations. The words used by the media to describe the report included “stunner” and “wow.” President Joe Biden claimed the number proves his administration has delivered economic prosperity.

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The Fed Is Already Flashing Signs It’s Done Raising Rates

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday raised the target policy interest rate (the federal funds rate) to 4.75 percent, an increase of 25 basis points. With this latest increase, the target has increased 4.5 percent since February 2022, although this latest increase of 25 basis points is the smallest increase since March of last year.

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More Recession Signs: Money Supply Growth Went Negative Again in December

Money supply growth fell again in December, falling even further into negative territory after turning negative in November for the first time in twenty-eight years. December’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years. During the thirteen months between April 2020 and April 2021, money supply growth in the United States often climbed above 35 percent year over year, well above even the "high" levels experienced from 2009 to 2013. 
Since then, the money supply growth has slowed quickly, and since November, we’ve been seeing the money supply contract for the first time since the 1990s. The last time the year-over-year (YOY) change in the money supply slipped into negative territory was in November 1994. At that time,

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Raise the Social Security Age to (At Least) 75

On January 10, the French government announced plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The change would mean that after 2027, workers in France would have to work 43 years to qualify for a government pension, instead of 42 years. French workers promptly took to the street in protest decrying even this very small reduction government welfare. 

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The Fed Is a Purely Political Institution, and It’s Definitely Not a Bank.

Those who know Wall Street lore sometimes recall that Fed chairman William Miller—Paul Volcker’s immediate predecessor—joked that most Americans believed the Federal Reserve was either an Indian reservation, a wildlife preserve, or a brand of whiskey. The Fed, of course, is none of those things, but there’s also one other thing the Federal Reserve is not: an actual bank. It is simply a government agency that does bank-like things.

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The Constitution Failed. It Secured Neither Peace nor Freedom.

If one cares to look, it’s not difficult to find numerous columns written for mainstream news outlets announcing that the US Constitution has failed. This ought to raise the question of “failed to do what?” The answer depends largely on the one claiming the constitution has failed.

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Money-Supply Growth Turns Negative for First Time in 33 Years

Money supply growth fell again in November, and this time it turned negative for the first time in 33 years. November’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years. During the thirteen months between April 2020 and April 2021, money supply growth in the United States often climbed above 35 percent year over year, well above even the "high" levels experienced from 2009 to 2013. 

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How Christmas Became a Holiday for Children

During the 1980s, millions of American children pored over the Toys ‘R’ Us catalog, daydreaming about what toys we hoped to receive in a few weeks on Christmas morning. After all, by the mid twentieth century, Christmas—for countless middle-class households with children— had become more or less synonymous with an enormous number of gifts for children in the form of toys and games. Barbie playsets and a myriad of action figures were routinely advertised during Saturday morning cartoons and in Sunday print ads in the weeks before Christmas. We kids of the 80s were sure to tell our parents what toys we "needed."
We weren’t the first generation with such thoughts, of course. As Jean Shepherd (1921-1999) recounts in the beloved film A Christmas Story—set in 1940—Christmas was the time to

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Since Covid Lockdowns, New York Lost More of Its Population than Any Other State

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has frequently bragged that Florida is in high demand among people looking to relocate. In a new report released this week from the Census Bureau, it seems that he’s been correct. According to the Bureau’s report: 
After decades of rapid population increase, Florida now is the nation’s fastest-growing state for the first time since 1957, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 population estimates released today.
Florida’s population increased by 1.9% to 22,244,823 between 2021 and 2022, surpassing Idaho, the previous year’s fastest-growing state. 
In raw numbers, that amounts to an increase of about 416,000 people, which is the size of a medium-sized American city. This quickly leads to the question of why so many people are moving to Florida. Much

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Secession: Why the Regime Tolerates Self-Determination for Foreigners, but Not for Americans

Opponents of secession in the United States often choose from several reasons as to why no member state of the United States should be allowed to separate from the rest of the confederation. Some antisecessionists say it’s bad for national security reasons. Others oppose secession for nationalistic reasons, declaring that “we”—whoever that is—shouldn’t “give up on America.”

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Total Employed Workers Fell Again in November as Savings and Incomes Fall

Total employed workers fell for the second month in a row in November, dropping nearly 400,000 workers below the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020. According to new employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, the current population survey shows employed workers fell to 158,470,000 in November, down 138,000 from October’s total of 158,608,000.

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On Secession and Small States

The international system we live in today is a system composed of numerous states. There are, in fact, about two hundred of them, most of which exercise a substantial amount of autonomy and sovereignty. They are functionally independent states. Moreover, the number of sovereign states in the world has nearly tripled since 1945.

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Money-Supply Growth in October Fell to a 39-Month Low. A Recession Is Now Almost Guaranteed.

Money supply growth fell again in October, dropping to a 39-month low. October’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during the thirteen months between April 2020 and April 2021. During that period, money supply growth in the United States often climbed above 35 percent year over year, well above even the "high" levels experienced from 2009 to 2013. 

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How Easy Money Fueled the FTX Crypto Collapse

The collapse of the crypto exchange FTX may prove to be a canary in the coal mine of the easy-money fueled crypto bubbles. FTX’s collapse has exposed just how little due diligence is actually taking place among investors who are apparently willing to put large amounts of cash in whatever place looks like the hottest new thing and promises—without convincing evidence—big-time returns. 

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Without Easy Money from the Fed, Home Prices Will Keep Falling

Home price growth of the sort we’ve seen in recent years simply cannot be sustained without a continued commitment to easy money from the central bank, and it shows. Home prices continued to slide in August as the economy cooled, and as the Fed hit the Pause button on quantitative easing while allowing interest rates to rise.

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Latest Recession Alarm: Money-Supply Growth Fell in September to a 37-Month Low

Money supply growth fell again in September, dropping to a 37-month low. August’s drop continues a steep downward trend from the unprecedented highs experienced during much of the past two years. During the thirteen months between April 2020 and April 2021, money supply growth in the United States often climbed above 35 percent year over year, well above even the "high" levels experienced from 2009 to 2013. 

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The Fed Is Finally Seeing the Magnitude of the Mess It Created

When asked about price inflation in his Sunday interview with 60 Minutes, President Biden claimed that inflation “was up just an inch…hardly at all.” Biden continued the dishonest tactic of focuses on month-to-month price inflation growth as a means of obscuring the 40-year highs in year-over-year inflation.

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Why the Fed Usually Ignores its Mandate for “Stable Prices”

In recent years, Congress has attempted to add various new mandates to the Federal Reserve’s mission. In 2020, Democrats introduced the “Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act.”  Then, in 2021, pundits and politicians were telling us that it’s the Fed’s job to “combat climate change.”

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August’s Price Inflation Soared, and That Means Earnings Fell Yet Again

The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released new price inflation data today, and the news wasn’t good. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 8.3 percent year over year during August, before seasonal adjustment. That’s the seventeenth month in a row of inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target, and it’s six months in a row of price inflation above 8 percent.

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How the World Embraced Nationalism, and Why It’s Not Going Away Soon

Perhaps one of the more astute observers of Russian foreign policy in recent decades has been John Mearsheimer at the University of Chicago. He has spent years warning against US-led NATO enlargement as a tactic that would provoke conflict with the Russian regime. Moreover, Mearsheimer has sought to explain why this conflict exists at all.

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Inflation Hits 9.1 Percent after Months of Empty Talk at the Fed

The US Bureau of Labor statistics released new Consumer Price Index inflation estimates this morning, and the official numbers for June 2022 show that price inflation has risen to 9.1 percent year over year. That’s the biggest number since November 1981, when the price growth measure hit 9.6 percent year over year.

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To Avoid Civil War, Learn to Tolerate Different Laws in Different States

Most commentary on the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—which overturns Roe v. Wade—has focused on the decision’s effect on the legality of abortion in various states. That’s an important issue. It may be, however, that the Dobbs decision’s effect on political decentralization in the United States is a far bigger deal.

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Powell Is the New Arthur Burns, Not the New Paul Volcker

Last year, just as it was becoming increasingly clear that price inflation was mounting, Jerome Powell repeatedly denied there was any reason for concern. He called inflation "transitory." A few months later, he admitted it was not transitory, but denied it was "entrenched." Then, by late 2021, he admitted price inflation was getting out of control but still took no action of any consequence.

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What Will It Take to End Rampant Home-Price Inflation?

Real wages are falling, inflation is at a 40-year high, and the Atlanta Fed predicts we’ll find GDP growth at zero for the second quarter. Meanwhile, both the yield curve and money-supply growth point to recession.  But when it comes to the latest data on home prices, there’s still no sign of any deflation or even moderation.

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No, It’s Not “Greed” or “Price Gouging” that’s Driving up Gas Prices

Both consumer prices and producer rose near to multi-decade highs last month. Price inflation rose to 8.6 percent while wholesale producer prices rose by more than 10 percent. In both cases, a significant factor behind rising prices—but certainly not the only factor—was high energy prices. This has been reflected in prices related to transportation and shipping.

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Are Today’s Homeownership Rates Sustainable?

There is scattered evidence that home prices are finally starting to slow down. But, if the phenomenon is system-wide, we’re still waiting to see the evidence in numbers. Last week, the most recent Case-Shiller national data, for example, showed that home prices in March rose an eye-popping 20 percent, year over year.

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Don’t Be Fooled: The World’s Central Bankers Still Love Inflation

The Bank of Canada on Wednesday increased its policy interest rate (known as the overnight target rate) from 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent. This was the second fifty–basis point increase since April and is the third target rate increase since March of this year. Canada’s target rate had been flat at 0.25 percent for twenty-three months following the bank’s slashing of the target rate beginning in March 2020.

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McDonald’s Closes All Stores in Russia as Woke Russophobes Rage

McDonald’s Corporation has announced that it will permanently leave Russia, closing 850 outlets. The company’s chief executive, Chris Kempczinski, explained that the move was motivated by “the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine” and that the current situation does not offer “the same hope and promise that led us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago.”

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The Fed’s New “Tightening” Plan Is Too Little, Too Late

Since 2008, a key component of Fed policy has been to buy up mortgage-based securities and government debt so as to both prop up asset prices and increase the money supply. Over this time, the Fed has bought nearly $9 trillion in assets, thus augmenting demand and increasing prices for both government bonds and housing assets.

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It’s Mid-2022 and the Fed Has Still Done Nothing to Fight Inflation

It was last August when Jerome Powell began to admit that inflation just might be a problem. But even then, he was only willing to say that inflation would likely be “moderately” above the arbitrary 2 percent inflation standard. Back in August, low inflation—not high inflation—was still perceived to be the “problem.”

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To Fight Russia, Europe’s Regimes Risk Impoverishment and Recession for Europe

Audio Mises Wire

Politicians have become accustomed to conjuring whatever they want through the “miracle” of printing money. But in the real world, it’s still necessary to produce oil and gas through actual physical production.

Original Article: “To Fight Russia, Europe’s Regimes Risk Impoverishment and Recession for Europe”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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1991: When America Tried to Keep Ukraine in the USSR

The US government today likes to pretend that it is the perennial champion of political independence for countries that were once behind the Iron Curtain. What is often forgotten, however, is that in the days following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Washington opposed independence for Soviet republics like Ukraine and the Baltic states.

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Real Wages Fall Again as Inflation Surges and the Fed Plays the Blame Game

According to a new report released Wednesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index increased in March by 8.6 percent, measured year over year (YOY). This is the largest increase in more than forty years. To find a higher rate of CPI inflation, we have to go back to December 1981, when the year-over-year increase was 9.6 percent.

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The Ukraine War Shows Nukes Mean Safety from US-Led Regime Change

Some journalists like Steve Portnoy of CBS seem unable to grasp that escalations that might lead to nuclear war are a bad thing. The journalist seemed incredulous last week when asking White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki why the United States has not started a full-on war with Moscow. Psaki’s position—with which any reasonable person could agree—was that it is not in the interest of Americans “to be in a war with Russia.”

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NATO: Our International Welfare Queens

The states of Europe have more than enough wealth and military potential to deal with a second-rate power like Russia. The American taxpayers, on the other hand, deserve a break from Europe’s grifting.

Original Article: "NATO: Our International Welfare Queens"
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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If Ukraine Joins the EU, It Will Be the Poorest Member by Far

Within days of the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian regime applied for membership in the European Union. This is understandable from the perspective of Kyiv. If Ukraine is going to be denied membership in NATO—as increasingly looks to be the case—The Ukraine regime could nonetheless increase its geopolitical connections to the West by joining in the EU.

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Russia Isn’t Nearly as Isolated as Washington Wants You to Believe

Those gloating about Russia being “cut off” are overstating the case. In fact, many of the world’s largest countries have shown a reluctance to participate in the US’s sanction schemes, and even close US allies aren’t going along with it.

Original Article: “Russia Isn’t Nearly as Isolated as Washington Wants You to Believe”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon.

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Will Biden Sanction Half the World to Isolate Russia?

It is becoming increasingly apparent that isolating Russia and totally cutting it off from the global economy is not going to be easy.  As I discussed last week, from Mexico to Brazil to China to India and much of Africa, the world is resisting Washington’s call to treat Russia as a pariah nation.

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Russian Weakness and the Russian “Threat” to the West

The current advocates for US aggression against Russia would have us believe that Russia is some sort of peer of the United States and of Western Europe.
Tom Rogan at the hawkish Washington Examiner, for example, insists that Russia is a "great power," presumably comparable to the United States in spite of Russia’s small economy.
Moreover, as Ted Galen Carpenter notes, hawks are fond are speaking of modern Russia as if it were pretty much the same thing as the Soviet Union, a state that was considerably larger and more populous than modern-day Russia. Unlike Russia, the Soviet Union was also founded on a totalitarian ideology.
Older readers might find that sort of thing to be plausible. After all, many people over a certain age are still living in the past, in the days of the Cold War, and

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The Fed Has No Real Plan, and Will Likely Soon Chicken Out On Rate Hikes

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released a new statement today purporting to outline the FOMC’s plans for the next several months. According to the committee’s press release: With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate.

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What the Regime Will Do to Fight Private Digital Currencies

During a confirmation hearing with the US Senate this week, Fed chairman Jerome Powell was asked about whether or not a digital currency issued by a central bank could exist side by side with private cryptocurrencies. Powell responded that there is nothing that would prevent private cryptos from “coexisting” with a “digital dollar.”

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Ending Fiat Money Won’t Destroy the State

A certain meme has become popular among advocates of both gold and cryptocurrencies. This is the “Fix the money, fix the world” meme. This slogan is based on the idea that by switching to some commodity money—be it crypto or metal—and abandoning fiat currency, the world will improve greatly. 

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Why Did the World Choose a Gold Standard Instead of a Silver Standard?

Among those who support the end of government fiat money, it’s not uncommon to hear and see claims that gold is “the best money” or “natural money” or the only substance that’s really suited to be commodity money. In many of these cases, when they say “gold” they mean gold, and not silver, platinum, or any other precious metal.
Naturally, one can expect to encounter these claims among those who have made a living out of promoting gold and gold-related investments for commercial purposes.
For example, consider Nathan Lewis’s 2020 article at Forbes titled “Gold Has Always Been the Best Money.” Lewis contends that gold and not silver is obviously the best money and that its adoption as the metal behind the nineteenth-century gold standard was more or less inevitable and based on the alleged

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How Governments Seized Control of Money

In discussions surrounding of the world’s monetary systems today there is usually one thing almost everyone can agree on: that money should be controlled by the organizations we call “states” or “sovereign states.” Nowadays when we say “the US dollar” we mean the currency issued by the US government. When we say “the British pound” we mean the money issued by the regime of the United Kingdom.

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With Low Vaccination Rates, Africa’s Covid Deaths Remain Far below Europe and the US

Since the very beginning of the covid panic, the narrative has been this: implement severe lockdowns or your population will experience a bloodbath. Morgues will be overwhelmed, the death total toll will be astounding. On the other hand, we were assured those jurisdictions that do lock down would see only a fraction of the death toll.
Then, once vaccines became available, the narrative was modified to "Get shots in arms and then covid will stop spreading. Those countries without vaccines, on the other hand, will continue to face mass casualties."
The lockdown narrative, of course, has already been thoroughly overturned. Jurisdictions that did not lock down or adopted only weak and short lockdowns ended up with covid death tolls that were either similar to—or even better than—death tolls in

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Price Inflation Hits a 31-Year High as Janet Yellen Insists It’s No Big Deal

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday morning that prices rose 6.2% on a year-over-year basis in October. That’s the highest YOY rate since December 1990 when the CPI was also up 6.2 percent. October’s rate was up from 5.3 percent in September, and remains part of a surge in the index since February 2021 when year-over-year growth was still muted at 1.6 percent.

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There’s Nothing Hawkish About the Fed’s New Tapering Plan

The Federal Reserve concluded its November Meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday. According to the FOMC’s statement, the Fed now plans to taper beginning in mid-November by cutting back its asset purchases by 10 billion in Treasury securities and 5 billion in mortgage-backed securities.

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Yes, the US Government Has Defaulted Before

The regime is trying to whip up maximum hysteria or the chances that the US government could default on its debts if the debt ceiling is not raised. So far, the financial markets don’t seem to care that much, as ten-year Treasurys over the past week have barely risen above 1.5 percent, and not even matched last March’s recent high.

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Too Much Inflation? Just Raise the Inflation Target!

In late August, Fed chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the Federal Reserve would begin tapering before the end of the year, an admission that price inflation was rising above the 2 percent target. Nonetheless, the Fed took no immediate action in the following month.

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The Fed Is Bailing Out the Wealthy as Everyone Else Pays the Price

The Federal reserve says that inequality is a problem. At the same, the Fed also pretends to have nothing to do with it. Last September, for instance, Jerome Powell bemoaned the "relative stagnation of income" for people with lower incomes in the United States, but then claimed the Fed "doesn’t have the tools" to address this issue.

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Money Supply Growth Dropped in May to a 15-Month Low

Money Supply, M2 and TMS YoY Change, Jan 1998 - 2021

Money supply growth slowed again in May, falling for the third month in a row, and to a 15-month low. That is,  money supply growth in the US has come down from its unprecedented levels, and if the current trend continues will be returning to more "normal" levels.

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Decentralization: Why the EU May Be Better than the US

Over the years, I’ve been pretty hard on the European Union. Both as an editor and a writer, I’ve published articles criticizing its central bank and its unelected, bureaucratic central government. Especially objectionable is the EU ruling class’s propensity for cynical politics built around threatening and intimidating voters and national governments who don’t conform to Brussels’ wishes.

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Money-Supply Growth Finally Slows in March, Drops to 10-Month Low

Money Supply, M2 and TMS / Rothbard-Salerno Measure, 1998 - 2020

After three months in a row of hitting new all-time highs, money supply growth slowed in March, dropping to a 10-month low. This slowdown, however, does not suggest any significant departure from the past year’s high growth in money supply—which came in the wake of unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages.

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The US Government Is On Track to Top Last Year’s Record-Breaking Deficits

U.S. Deficit, 2020 - 2021

The Treasury department has issued its spending and revenue report for April 2021, and it’s clear the US government is headed toward another record-breaking year for deficits. According to the report, the US federal government collected $439.2 billion in revenue during April 2021, which was a sizable improvement over April 2020 and over March 2021.

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Excess Mortality in The US Has Plummeted to Pre-Covid Levels

Excess Mortality during Covid-19, Jan 2020 - Mar 2021

In any given year during the past decade in the United States, more than 2.5 million Americans have died—from all causes. The number has grown in recent years, climbing from 2.59 million in 2013 to 2.85 million in 2019. This has been due partially to the US’s aging population, and also due to rising obesity levels and drug overdoses.

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Not Even Gretchen Whitmer Wants More of the CDC’s Lockdowns

Coronavirus Situation, 2020-2021

The US state with the fastest growing covid-19 caseload is a state that has experienced some of the harshest and longest lockdowns and covid restrictions: Michigan. As of April 20, the seven-day moving average for new covid cases in Michigan was 790 per million. This is higher than any other US state, and it is several times higher than the case rate for Michigan a year ago.

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Biden’s New Budget Plan Means Trump-Era Mega Spending Will Continue

US Federal Spending, In Millions of 2019 Dollars

The reality of federal spending under Donald Trump did much to put to rest the obviously wrong and long-disproved notion that Republicans are the political party of “fiscal responsibility.” With George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, it was pretty much “full speed ahead” as far as federal spending was concerned. Under George W. Bush, some of the biggest budget-busting years were those during which the Republicans also controlled Congress.

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Rothbard Week: 5 Great Things About Murray

Ryan McMaken and Tho Bishop discuss five reasons why Rothbard’s work is so memorable. From his fearlessness in the face of opposition, to his commitment to peace and decency, Rothbard provides us with a model of principled scholarship.

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Public Schools Refuse to Open. Give the Taxpayers Their Money Back

In many school districts across the nation, public school teachers still don’t want to go back to work. Private sector workers have long been hard at work in kitchens, at construction sites, and in hardware and grocery stores. Meanwhile, from Seattle, to Los Angeles, and to Berkeley, California, Teachers’ Union representatives insist they simply can’t be expected to perform the on-site work in the expensive facilities that the taxpayers have long been paying for.

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Why Dominion’s Defamation Lawsuits Are Garbage

Dominion Voting Systems is suing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for $1.3 billion. This comes in the wake of other Dominion lawsuits against Trump advisors Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. All are accused of lying about Dominion’s supposed complicity in using the company’s vote-counting software to favor presidential candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

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If America Splits Up, What Happens to the Nukes?

Opposition to American secession movements often hinges on the idea that foreign policy concerns trump any notions that the United States ought to be broken up into smaller pieces. It almost goes without saying that those who subscribe to neoconservative ideology or other highly interventionist foreign policy views treat the idea of political division with alarm or contempt. Or both.

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The Fight over Economics Is a Fight over Culture

The Left long ago figured out how to get ordinary people interested in economic policy. The strategy is two pronged. The first part is to frame the problem as a moral problem. The second part is to make the fight over economic policy into a fight over something much bigger than economics: it’s a fight between views of what it means to be a good person. The Left knows how to make the war over economics into a war over culture.

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How Wall Street Became an Enemy of Free Markets

After decades of financialization and government favors, Wall Street now has little to do with free, functioning markets anymore and has largely become an adjunct of the central bank. Today, entrepreneurship is out, and bailouts are in.

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Why No State Needs Thousands of Nuclear Warheads

Last week, the United States signed a five-year extension of the New START arms control treaty with Russia. Russia’s President Putin signed the treaty shortly thereafter. The “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” allows Russia and the US to monitor each other’s nuclear forces, facilities, and activities.

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Why the Utes Opposed Biden’s Plans to Limit Oil Drilling

Within a day of the inauguration, the Biden administration issues a bevy of new executive orders designed to please a variety of the Democratic Party’s core special-interest groups. Among these was an executive order curtailing oil and gas leasing on federal and tribal lands.

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When It Comes to National Defense, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

In the debate over whether or not China will soon rise to challenge the United States as the world’s hegemon, it is often assumed that states with large aggregate economies are necessarily more militarily powerful ones.
This stems from decades-old methods that remain popular among scholars and pundits who write on international relations and foreign policy.

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Pelosi’s “Mandate”: What “Consent of the Governed” Really Means

US Population by Preferred Candidate

The 2020 election failed to live up to the projections of many pollsters and Democratic strategists. The predicted landslide failed to materialize, and the Democrats lost seats in the House. This means in 2022 the Democrats will be defending a razor-thin majority in the House—a majority they’re almost certain to lose in a mid-term election if Biden is the final victor.

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The American Revolution Was a Culture War

Two hundred and forty-seven years ago this month, a group of American opponents of the Crown’s tax policy donned disguises and set about methodically destroying a shipment of tea imported into Boston by the East India Company. The vandals trespassed on privately owned ships in Boston Harbor and threw the tea into the ocean.

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It Should Shock Us That There’s Any Consumer Price Inflation at All

Thanks to lockdowns, high unemployment, and general uncertainty and fear over covid-19, the personal saving rate in the United States in October was 13.6 percent, the highest since the mid-1970s. This is down from April’s rate of 33.7 percent, which was the highest saving rate recorded since the Second World War.

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The US Money Supply Was up 37 Percent in November

In November, money supply growth rate was essentially unchanged from October and remains near September’s all-time high. The stabilization we find in money-supply growth in recent months comes after eight months of record-breaking growth in the US which came in the wake of unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages.

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Why Commies Hate Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Audio Mises Wire

In 1923 Lenin released a propaganda pamphlet titled Down with the Private Kitchen. It explained how private dinners with one’s family are reactionary, bourgeois, and generally something requiring total destruction.

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In October, Money Supply Growth Remained Near All-Time Highs

M2 and TMS/Rothbard-Salerno Measure, 1998-2019

In October, money supply growth fell slightly from September’s all-time high, although growth still remains at levels that would have been considered outlandish just eight months ago. October’s easing in money-supply growth comes after eight months of record-breaking growth in the US which came in the wake of unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages.

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Here’s What Donald Trump Should Do Before Inauguration Day

Audio Mises Wire

Even if he loses, Donald Trump still has time to change military policy, pardon allies, unseat the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and throw a wrench in the deep state apparatus.

Original Article: "Here’s What Donald Trump Should Do Before Inauguration Day​".
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Why Threats of Election Violence May Be Here to Stay

Both private sector businesses and police departments believe there is a good chance there will be postelection unrest. Both groups are taking steps to protect themselves in case of riots. Some left-wing protest groups state they plan to do “whatever it takes” to make sure the correct candidate—i.e., Joe Biden—wins. The National Guard has mobilized in several states in anticipation of riots.

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Populism Worked for the Pro-Freedom Party in the Past. Can It Work Again?

Although he was a scholar with degrees in mathematics and economics, Murray Rothbard was very much a fan of the American layman. Indeed, he was a populist both in temperament and in his political views. In a 1992 column outlining his populist strategy, Rothbard noted the importance of reaching out to the general public and especially to those groups that were most negatively impacted by state power.

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The 2020 Debate: A Breakdown

Ryan McMaken and Tho Bishop talk about Tuesday’s debate, why "the issues" don’t matter, and why the debate probably won’t change the minds of many voters.

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Rising Homicides This Year May Be Yet Another Side Effect of Covid Lockdowns

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, former vice president Biden attempted to paint Donald Trump as the bad-on-crime candidate when he claimed that crime had gone down during the Obama administration but increased during Trump’s term.
Whether or not this is a plausible claim depends on how one looks at the data. And given that law enforcement and criminal prosecutions for street crime are generally a state and local matter, it’s unclear why any president ought to be awarded blame or plaudits for short-term trends that occur during his administration.
Overall, however, it does look like homicides—which tend to be a good indicator of general crime trends—are indeed rising this year. While many factors are likely at play, we may be seeing yet another side effect of the stay-at-home orders

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The Evidence Keeps Piling up: Lockdowns Don’t Work

Audio Mises Wire

Extraordinary measures require extraordinary evidence. Have the advocates for lockdowns made their case? The data suggests they have not.

This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
Original Article: "The Evidence Keeps Piling up: Lockdowns Don’t Work".

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Money Supply Growth in April Ballooned to a New High

YoY Change in money supply, 1998-2019

Fueled by unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages, the money supply growth rate ballooned in April to an all-time high. The growth rate has never been higher, with the 1970s as the only period that comes close. It was expected that money supply growth would surge in recent months. This usually happens in the wake of the early months of a recession or financial crisis.

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Police Are Complicit in Politicians’ Disregard for the Rule of Law

People of a certain age might remember the old John Birch Society slogan “Support your local police!” The idea here is that your local policeman is a liberty-loving buddy of yours who would only ever support just laws and constitutional mandates. Only those bad guys in the FBI or BATF would ever consider violating your rights.

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Thanks to Lockdowns, State and Local Tax Revenues Are Plummeting

Unlike the federal government, state and local governments in America can’t just create money out of thin air. So when tax revenues go down, that money is simply not available to the state legislatures and city councils anymore. These governments either have to borrow the money or raise taxes and hope the tax hike itself doesn’t cause total revenue to fall.

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Why Mexico Is Reluctant to Shut Down Its Economy to Combat COVID-19

Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been reluctant to impose mandatory “social distancing” orders on the Mexican population. According to USNews, López Obrador “has maintained a relaxed public attitude” toward COVID-19, and the Mexican government did not impose a ban on “non-essential” work until March 30, long after health officials in other countries insisted Mexico must do so.

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In March, US Deaths From COVID-19 Totaled Less Than 2 Percent of All Deaths

All US Deaths vs. US Covid-19 Deaths, March

About 2.9 million people die in the United States each year from all causes. Monthly this total ranges from around 220,000 in the summertime to more than 280,000 in winter. In recent decades, flu season has often peaked sometime from January to March, and this is a major driver in total deaths. The average daily number of deaths from December through March is over eight thousand.

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Money Supply Growth Climbs to 37-Month High

M2 and TMS/Rothbard-solerno Measure, 1998-2019

The money supply growth rate rose again in February, climbing to a 37-month high. The last time the growth rate was higher was during February of 2017, when the growth rate was 7.9 percent. During February 2020, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 7.49 percent. That’s up from January’s rate of 6.32 percent, and up from February 2019’s rate of 3.20 percent.

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The CDC’s Budget Is Larger Now Than Under Obama

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Operating Budget, 2016-2020

This is how the budget process in Washington begins. Step one: the president submits his budget to Congress. Step two: Congress puts the president’s budget in a drawer somewhere and forgets about it. Step three: Congress passes a budget it likes instead.

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The US Constitution Needs an Expiration Date

A unique feature of the Swiss Federal Constitution is the fact that the central government’s power to impose direct taxes on citizens expires every decade or so. In fact, the current taxing authority expires at the end of 2020. Fortunately for the Swiss republic’s central government, voters approved an extension (the “New Financial Regime 2021”) for another fifteen years in a March 2018 election.

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The Fed Slashes Rates as Powell Declares Economy “Strong”

Federal Funds Target Rate Since 1992

The Federal Reserve this morning slashed the target federal funds rate by 0.5 percent today. According to CNBC: The Federal Reserve moved to an enact an emergency interest rate cut after officials saw the coronavirus having a material impact on the economic outlook, Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday.

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The US’s “Free Trade” Isn’t Very Free

Taxes on US imports as a share of total imports value

The false notion that the US has eliminated virtually all of its barriers to foreign imports has been repeated more and more in recent years. The claim is made both by advocates for free trade and by critics of free trade. For instance, Patrick Buchanan has claimed only American elites “are beneficiaries to free trade” while implying the US either has free trade, or something close to it.

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The EU’s Latest Screw-You to the UK Shows a Big Problem with Trade Agreements

Global non-tariff barriers, 2009-2016:

All too often, discussion over trade deals focuses almost solely on tariffs. It’s true that tariffs—i.e., taxes—are always a significant barrier to free exchange at all levels, but there are also plenty of ways to block or lessen trade that are not primarily tariff-based. Recent conflicts over the pending negotiations between the UK and the EU are a reminder of this.

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The WTO Is Both Irrelevant and Unnecessary

Share of total tariff reduction, by type of liberalization1983–2003, by %:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is in a state of crisis. When it comes to trade negotiations among large states like the US, India, and China, the WTO has been shown to be an organization that is largely irrelevant.

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Nationalism as National Liberation: Lessons from the End of the Cold War

During the early 1990s, as the world of the old Soviet Bloc was rapidly falling apart, Murray Rothbard saw it all for what it was: a trend of mass decentralization and secession unfolding before the world’s eyes. The old Warsaw Pact states of Poland, Hungary, and others won de facto independence for the first time in decades. Other groups began to demand full blown de jure secession as well.

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Brexit: Predictions of Economic Doom Show Why People Ignore “Experts”

The headline was unambiguous: ” Brexit Is Done: The U.K. Has Left the European Union .” As of January 31, The European Union (Withdrawal) Act of 2018 has become law and the United Kingdom has begun the withdrawal process from the European Union. The transition process will continue throughout 2020 as the UK and EU governments negotiate the nature of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

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After November Surge, Money Supply Growth Slows in December

YoY Change in money supply, 1998-2019

The money supply growth rate rose in December slowed after a November surge of nearly six percent. During December 2019, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 5.53 percent. That’s down from November’s rate of 5.9 percent, but was up from December 2018’s rate of 3.90 percent. The increase in money-supply growth in December continues a sizable reversal of the trend we saw for most of 2019.

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Why “One Man, One Vote” Doesn’t Work

The US Senate is increasingly targeted by left-wing think tanks and legislators for the fact it is based on “voter inequality.” According to critics, the Senate ensures small states are “overrepresented,”and the body favors voters in smaller and more sparsely populated states. In contrast,  reformers  hold up the concept of “one man, one vote” as an ideal and a solution.

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The Majority of Virginia Homicides Come from only Two Metro Areas

Virginia Homicides by City

In most times and places, crime tends to be a highly localized phenomenon. I have covered this for Mises.org at the national level, pointing out that homicide rates in, say, the Mountain West and New England are far lower than homicide rates in the Great Lakes region or the South. Gun-control laws clearly don’t explain these differences, since many places with rock-bottom homicide rates such as Idaho and Maine also have few controls on private gun ownership.

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US Debt Makes Us Dependent on Petrodollars — and on Saudi Arabia

The Iranian regime and the Saudi Arabian regime are longtime enemies, with both vying for control of the Persian Gulf region. Part of the conflict stems from religious differences — differences between Shia and Sunni muslim groups. But much of the conflict stems from mundane desires to establish regional dominance.

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A Fearful Fed Keeps Pouring Money Into the Repo Market

The Fed announced on Thursday it is adding another 83 billion in “in temporary liquidity to financial markets” And, in a development that will surprise no cynic anywhere, the Fed also noted it “may keep adding temporary money to markets for longer than policy makers had expected in September.”

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2019 Was a Bad Year For the “Only Cops Should Have Guns” Narrative

Total New Guns, Homicide Rate, 1986-2018

On December 29, an armed gunman entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas and shot two members of the congregation. Within six seconds, a third member of the congregation drew a weapon and shot the gunman dead. The events were captured on live-streamed video, with the dramatic events — in the minds of many observers — highlighting the benefits of privately-owned firearms as a defense against armed criminals.

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Abolish the Office of the First Lady

It’s almost Christmas time again, and that means its time for White House politicians and staff to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Christmas decorations and events for the White House.

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Embrace Unilateral Free Trade with the UK — Right Now

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won an outright majority in yesterday’s general election, pushing the Tories to an 80-strong Commons majority in what the Daily Mail called a “staggering election landslide.” Given that the Conservatives employed an election slogan of “Get Brexit Done,” it appears the election was largely a referendum on Brexit.

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How California’s Government Plans to Make Wildfires Even Worse

Not every square inch of the planet earth is suitable for a housing development. Flood plains are not great places to build homes. A grove of trees adjacent to a tinder-dry national forest is not ideal for a dream home. And California’s chaparral ecosystems are risky places for neighborhoods.

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Politicians Want Thanksgiving To Be Political. Ignore Them.

Often, government-created holidays begin with a good premise — i.e., Independence Day, Armistice Day — and get worse from there. On Independence Day, instead of celebrating armed rebellion and secession, we now sing the praises of the government. Similarly, Armistice Day — a day designed to commemorate the end of a war — became Veterans Day, a day designed to honor government employees.

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Money-Supply Growth Accelerates to 28-Month High

M2 and TMS/Rothbard-Solerno Measure, 1998-2019

The money supply growth rate rose in October, climbing to a twenty-eight-month high. The last time the growth rate was higher was during July of 2017, when the growth rate was 5.07 percent. During October 2019, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 4.95 percent. That’s up from September’s rate of 3.10 percent, and was up from October 2018’s rate of 3.49 percent.

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The Deep State: The Headless Fourth Branch of Government

School children learn that there are three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial. In actual practice, however, there are four branches of government. The fourth is what for decades now has been called a “headless fourth branch of government,” the administrative state.

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Ocasio-Cortez is Wrong: We’re Not Working 80-Hour Weeks Now

Average Annual Hours Worked by Persons Engaged for United States, Hours, Annual 1950-2017

It has become nearly commonplace for pundits and politicians to claim that Americans are working more than ever before; that they’re working more jobs, and working longer hours — all for a lower income. During the Democratic debates this summer, for instance, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio claimed “the economic system now forces us to have two or three jobs just to get by.” Kamala Harris made similar comments.

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The American Middle Class Isn’t Disappearing — But it’s Not All Good News

Median Total Income, Households, in 2018 Dollars

I’m not of the opinion that the American economy is doing amazingly well. However, I’m also not of the opinion that it is falling apart, or that the American middle class is disappearing before our eyes. Nor is there is no one, single, magic statistic we can point to and say “see, we’re all worse off — or better off — now.” Aggregate economic data is by its very nature lacking in nuance, moreover, difference measures of economic growth and prosperity can be conflicting and woefully incomplete.

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If American Federalism Were Like Swiss Federalism, There Would Be 1,300 States

In a recent interview with Mises Weekends, Claudio Grass examined some of the advantages of the Swiss political system, and how highly decentralized politics can bring with it great economic prosperity, more political stability, and a greater respect for property rights. Since the Swiss political system of federalism is itself partially inspired by 19th-century American federalism, the average American can usually imagine in broad terms what the Swiss political system looks like.

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Don’t Confuse Immigration With Naturalization

As the immigration debate goes on, many commentators continue to sloppily ignore the difference between the concept of naturalization and the phenomenon of immigration. While the two are certainly related, they are also certainly not the same thing. Recognizing this distinction can help us to see the very real differences between naturalization, which is a matter of political privilege, and immigration, which simply results from the exercise of private property rights.

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When It Comes To Household Income, Sweden & Germany Rank With Kentucky

Last year, I posted an article titled “If Sweden and Germany Became US States, They Would be Among the Poorest States” which, produced a sizable and heated debate, including that found in the comments below this article at The Washington Post. The reason for the controversy, of course, is that it has nearly reached the point of dogma with many leftists that European countries enjoy higher standards of living thanks to more government regulation and more social benefits.

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6b.) P: Mises.org 2015-04-02 19:00:00

The new Netflix series Marco Polo might have descended into a forgettable story of palace intrigue, but it fortunately explores far more interesting themes of family, loyalty, and how the state demands everyone sell out his values a little more every day, writes Ryan McMaken.This audio Mises Daily is narrated by Robert Hale.

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6b.) P: Mises.org 2015-02-20 20:35:08

The opposite of secession is annexation wherein governments extend their monopolies over a greater territory. Just as secession naturally limits the power of states, annexation extends it, and should be opposed, writes Ryan McMaken.This audio Mises Daily is narrated by Robert Hale.

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6b.) P: Mises.org 2015-02-13 21:33:08

Free markets have provided an abundance of goods and comforts for even low-income households. But constant government intervention in the work, lives, and incomes of the poor continues to create many barriers to economic success, writes Ryan McMaken.See here, here, and here for more information on how the minimum wage makes low skilled workers legally unemployable.This audio Mises Daily is narrated by Clay Barnett.

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6b.) P: Mises.org 2015-01-15 08:00:00

The homeownership rate is now back where it was forty years ago. So what did all that federally-subsidized homebuying over the past decade accomplish? There was a lot of malinvestment, and a lot of politically-favored interest groups that got richer, writes Ryan McMaken.This audio Mises Daily is narrated by Clay Barnett.

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