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Repudiating the National Debt | by Murray N. Rothbard

Before the Reagan era, conservatives were clear about how they felt about deficits and the public debt: a balanced budget was good, and deficits and the public debt were bad, piled up by free-spending Keynesians and socialists, who absurdly proclaimed that there was nothing wrong or onerous about the public debt. Since Reagan, however, intellectual-political life has gone topsy-turvy. Conservatives and allegedly “free-market” economists have turned handsprings trying to find new reasons why “deficits don’t matter,” why we should all relax and enjoy the process. Originally published in 1992. Narrated by Harold Fritsche. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

Full text of “Repudiating the National Debt” available online:

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Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) was America’s greatest radical libertarian author — writing authoritatively about ethics, philosophy, economics, American history, and the history of ideas. He presented the most fundamental challenge to the legitimacy of government, and he refined thinking about the self-ownership and non-coercion principles.

Links to more online writings by Murray Rothbard:

Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economics
Audio version:

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
Audio version:

The Ethics of Liberty
Audio version:

Economic Thought Before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Vol. I
Audio version:

Classical Economics: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Vol. II
Audio version:

The Case Against the Fed
Audio version:

What Has Government Done to Our Money?
Audio version:

A History of Money and Banking in the United States
Audio version:

The Progressive Era
Audio version:

The Betrayal of the American Right
Audio version:

Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 1: A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century
Audio version:

Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 2: “Salutary Neglect”: The American Colonies in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century
Audio version:

Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 3: Advance to Revolution, 1760-1775
Audio version:

Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 4: The Revolutionary War, 1775-1784
Audio version:

Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 5: The New Republic: 1784–1791
Audio version:

Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero

Anatomy of the State

Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure

Education: Free and Compulsory

Science, Technology, and Government

Ten Great Economic Myths

The Economics of War

Left, Right, and the Prospects for Liberty

Kingdom Come: The Politics of the Millennium

Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature

Murray N. Rothbard vs. The Philosophers

America’s Great Depression

Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy

World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals

Related online resources:

Murray Rothbard: Mises’s True Heir

Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard

Rothbard’s Legacy

Rothbard Vindicated

Murray N. Rothbard: Mr. Libertarian

Meeting Murray Rothbard On the Road to Libertarianism

The Unstoppable Rothbard

The Political Importance of Rothbard

Penthouse Interviews Murray Rothbard

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Murray N. Rothbard
Murray Rothbard was born March 2, 1926, the son of David and Rae Rothbard. He was a brilliant student even as a young child; and his academic record at Columbia University, where he majored in mathematics and economics, was stellar. In the Columbia economics department, Rothbard did not receive any instruction in Austrian economics, and Mises was no more than a name to him. In a course on price theory given by George Stigler, however, he encountered arguments against such then popular measures as price and rent control. These arguments greatly appealed to him; and he wrote to the publisher of a pamphlet that Stigler and Milton Friedman had written on rent control.
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