Tag: Ludwig von Mises

Member Post

 

“It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation. And taxes are paid because the tax payers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or […]

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The Art of Individualism

 

Individualism is the act of thinking for yourself. It’s rooted in the most fundamental choice you’ve got: the choice to pay attention or not.

There are approximately one thousand arguments against individualism — and every single one of them, without exception, is predicated upon a fraudulent premise.

That human beings are, for instance, essentially social doesn’t negate or nullify our individualistic nature.

Time Preference, Civilization, and the State

 

shutterstock_125764985My husband has always admired certain things about Eastern cultures, particularly their view of time. The Chinese did not sell the island of Hong Kong to the United Kingdom, they leased it for 99 years. When the deal was made, Britain was a superpower and China was unstable, to say the least. A little over a century later, Great Britain is not so great anymore, and Hong Kong — with all its wealth and innovations — is a jewel in the crown of China. A long game, indeed.

The concept of time preference is an interesting one, and one given a lot of credence to in Austrian circles. The Wikipedia article explains the it as “the relative valuation placed on a good at an earlier date compared with its valuation at a later date. […] Someone with a high time preference is focused substantially on his well-being in the present … while someone with low time preference places more emphasis than average on their well-being in the further future.” So, a person with a high time preference wants instant gratification, while someone with a low time preference is willing to delay their pleasure.

There have been studies done on this, such as the one by Walter Mischel, the Stanford professor of psychology. Young kids were given the option of eating a marshmallow immediately or waiting (say, for 15 minutes) to get two marshmallows. Most kids ate the first marshmallow but about 30% were willing to wait to get two. In a follow-up, the researchers found a correlation between those who waited and high SAT scores in later life. Low time preference, then has its rewards.

Back to School: Austrian School

 

What has Government Done to Our Money?Please take this as penance for my recent, and recently-deleted, post regarding the Fed. Out of that regrettable conversation came, I hope, one good thing: an opportunity to open a door for the genuinely curious who wonder what I’m so worked up about. Specifically, let me present a good launching point. It isn’t a massive scholarly tome, but it isn’t (or at least isn’t merely) opinionated handwaving.

What Has Government Done to Our Money? and The Case for the 100 Percent Gold Dollar is Murray Rothbard’s famous manifesto on sound money. First published in 1963 in the style of a pamphlet designed for mass distribution, it is one of his most influential works.

Murray Rothbard needs no introduction in libertarian economic circles. For the rest, Rothbard might best be characterized as an economist analogue of David Horowitz. Raised by parents of the Left, he was intellectually unable to reconcile cant with reality, but sincere in his belief in freedom, both in the abstract as a moral good in itself, and in practice the best vehicle for improving the lot of the less fortunate.