Tag Archive: Mises Institute

What Gives Cryptocurrencies Their Value

The value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, just like any other kind of money, comes fundamentally from what you can do with it. As a follow up to What Backs Bitcoin, I want to dig into that value. The idea, which comes from Austrian economist Carl Menger, is that just as a shovel’s value comes from its ability to dig, a currency’s value comes from its ability to help you do two things: transactions and savings.

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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...

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When Health Insurance Works: A Look Inside Switzerland’s Healthcare System

The enigmatic independence of Switzerland is perhaps best demonstrated in the fact that its healthcare system manages to satisfy both free marketers and the statist-socialists in the country. It is a giant social safety net woven by individual responsibility and self-made wealth. Health insurance is almost entirely consumer-based, though there are strict cantonal regulations and some governing federal laws.

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Why Small States Are Better

Andreas Marquart and Philipp Bagus (see their mises.org author pages here and here) were recently interviewed about their new book by the Austrian Economics Center. Unfortunately for English-language readers, the book is only available in German. Nevertheless, the interview offers some valuable insights.

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Hard Assets In An Age Of Negative Interest Rates

Time is the soul of money, the long-view - its immortality. Hard assets are forever, even when destroyed by the cataclysms of history. It is the outlook that perpetuated the most competent and powerful aristocracies in continental Europe, well up through World War I and, in certain prominent cases, beyond; it is the mindset that has sustained the most fiscally serious democratic republic in the Western world, that of Switzerland.

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Can Switzerland Survive Today’s Assault On Cash And Sound Money?

“Switzerland will have the last word,” wrote Victor Hugo in the late 19th century. “It possesses one of the most perfect forms of government in the world.” A contemporary of his, Frederick Kuenzli, a scholar of the Swiss Army, boasted: “No purer type of Republican ideals, no more fixed and devoted adherence to those ideals can be found in all the world than in Switzerland.”

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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...

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What Will Trump Do About The Central-Bank Cartel?

The US is by far the biggest economy in the world. Its financial markets — be it equity, bonds or derivatives markets — are the largest and most liquid. The Greenback is the most important transaction currency. Many currencies in the world — be it the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the British pound or the Swiss franc — have actually been built upon the US dollar.

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

Annual Median Equivalized Disposable Household Income in USD
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...

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Hans-Hermann Hoppe: “Put Your Hope In Radical Decentralization”

All major political parties in Western Europe, regardless of their different names and party programs, are nowadays committed to the same fundamental idea of democratic socialism. They use democratic elections to legitimize the taxing of productive people for the benefit of unproductive people. They tax people, who have earned their income and accumulated their wealth by producing goods or services purchased voluntarily by consumers (and of course...

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