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Book review: The Golden Revolution – How to prepare for the coming global gold standard, Butler


Conservative economic policy is easily recognised when stated as balanced budgets, low taxes and sound money. Today, these are a distant prospect. For all the work the Government have done, this year’s net financing requirement is £144.9 billion, larger than the health budget (£140bn) or education (£98bn). As my weekend brief explains, “The Government have delivered a typical tax cut of £705 for over 25 million people and taken over 3 million people out of [income] tax altogether”, however, please contact […]

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Book review: Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science


Remember the issue of The Economist with a textbook of “Modern Economic Theory” melting away? And HM the Queen asking why economists didn’t see this crisis coming? She might now ask why most economists have also demonstrated their inability to predict even the general pattern of events. Ludwig von Mises’ 1962 essay, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science: An Essay on Method is never going to top the best seller lists but it does indicate why so many highly-trained professionals […]

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Good and bad economic news


Today, we learn, Europe’s leaders are poised this morning to cut the European Union’s budget for the first time in its 56 year history following a major victory for David Cameron. Great news and congratulations to the Prime Minister and the negotiating team. Let’s hope MEPs don’t block it. On the other hand, In his first public appearance in the UK, Mark Carney, the current Governor of the Bank of Canada, said Britain might benefit from a commitment to keep […]

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Ending crony capitalism – how markets work


Crony capitalism — businesses capturing the state for commercial advantage, serving politicians and officials instead of the public — ought to be brought to an end. A prerequisite to that is a good understanding of how social cooperation in the market works. Israel Kirzner’s, How Markets Work: Disequilibrium, Entrepreneurship and Discovery (PDF) provides a brief and readable explanation. From the book’s page at the IEA: Human action consists of ‘grappling with an essentially unknown future’, not being confronted with clearly-specified […]

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The missing link in the professional debate about the economic crisis: production time


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Roger W Garrison’s Time and Money: The Macroeconomics of Capital Structure bursts with insight but this from the final chapter could be the missing link in the debate about the economic crisis: [D]oes the existence and variability of production time have a first-order claim on our attention? This is the question which divides the schools of economic thought. If the answer is ‘no’, then conventional macroeconomics is right to ignore production time when dealing with questions of short-run variations in output […]

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Documentary on the financial crisis: The End of the Road


I have just watched a fascinating documentary about the financial crisis by Austrian School thinkers including Peter Schiff, author of the superb book How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy: The End of the Road. It was interesting and easy to follow. It was also pretty accurate apart from some simplifications about the money creation process. Here’s the trailer: The full film is available online for $5. You might also want to look out […]

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This is a crisis of state intervention


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In the past few posts, I reproduced the economist Ludwig von Mises’ 1949 explanation of “the crisis of interventionism”, which insisted that the “third way” is a system of economic organisation which cannot last. We must choose between either state socialism or a free society. State socialism would be chaos but “Nothing suggests the belief that progress toward more satisfactory conditions is inevitable or a relapse into very unsatisfactory conditions impossible.” Many seem to believe we are in a crisis of […]

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The Crisis of Interventionism, part 3: The End of Interventionism


Blogging will be light for a few days for reasons which will become apparent when I return to it. In the meantime, I wanted to offer some prescient writing from Mises’ 1949 masterpiece, Human Action on the crisis of well-intentioned economic intervention. Via Human Action chapter XXXVI: The End of Interventionism, including the “third way”: The interventionist interlude must come to an end because interventionism cannot lead to a permanent system of social organization. The reasons are threefold. First: Restrictive measures […]

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The Crisis of Interventionism, part 2: The Exhaustion of the Reserve Fund


Blogging will be light for a few days for reasons which will become apparent when I return to it. In the meantime, I wanted to offer some prescient writing from Mises’ 1949 masterpiece, Human Action on the crisis of well-intentioned economic intervention. Via Human Action chapter XXXVI: The Exhaustion of the Reserve Fund: The idea underlying all interventionist policies is that the higher income and wealth of the more affluent part of the population is a fund which can be freely […]

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The Crisis of Interventionism, part 1: The Harvest of Interventionism


Blogging will be light for a few days for reasons which will become apparent when I return to it. In the meantime, I wanted to offer some prescient writing from Mises’ 1949 masterpiece, Human Action on the crisis of well-intentioned economic intervention. Via Human Action chapter XXXVI: The Harvest of Interventionism: The interventionist policies as practiced for many decades by all governments of the capitalistic West have brought about all those effects which the economists predicted. There are wars and […]

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