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May Libertarians Disagree With One Another, And Still Be Libertarians? Yes

Dear M:

Re this.

I’m a Trump supporter, vis a vis any of the likely democratic nominees (maybe with the exception of Tulsi? Probably not, although that’s close, for me; she’s the best of a poor lot. Great on foreign policy, horrid on econ).

So, I do disagree with my friend Andrew on this one issue.

But, I don’t apply your very stringent criterion: if you think a libertarian is wrong on one issue, you damn him to hell; you say he’s not a libertarian at all.

I revere Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul. Yet, I disagree with both on abortion. I’m an evictionist, the former is a pro choicer, the latter a pro lifer. If I adopted your policy, I’d damn both to hell, remove them from my list of libertarians.

I continue to think that Napolitano, along with Rothbard and Paul, are all magnificent libertarians, despite that fact that I don’t agree with them 100% on all important issues.

Best regards,

Walter

PS. I’m a big fan of Laurence Vance’s

From: M

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:23 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: RE: The Judge

Hey professor – given all of the judge nappy’s recent opinions, maybe you should run another “the judge is the greatest asshole libertarian of all time” version umpteen hundred.

M

Dear Professor Block –

For context, I don’t particularly subscribe to any ideology but I do find that the most convenient political labels for my point of view are libertarian bordering on anarchist. In short, I root for the secessionists.

As an almost twenty year reader of lewrockwell.org and, on occasion, mises.org I am familiar with your work and generally sense you’re a smart academic, which is far from redundant.

Given my opinion on your intelligence, I find it hard to believe you entirely missed the point on your ongoing series: “The judge is a really swell guy”. The original letter was really about a guy voicing his disgust with the judge. His tangent on being a “real libertarian” was just his lame way of presenting the fact. But you’re smart. You know that.

You can have  “Judge Andrew Napolitano is an Excellent Libertarian” Part M and it won’t change that most of us “libertarians” can’t stand him. This is the second time I’ve reached about this guy after to watching him post blog after blog of “Russiagate” bulls**it. First time was to Lew. I’m a busy guy and it ain’t my business what you guys put on your sites. In fact it’s only the second time in the twenty years of reading LRC I’ve ever bothered at all. (The first time was about the joyless Laurence Vance – life of the party I’m sure)

Whether the judge is or isn’t a libertarian or “anarcho-capitalist” or whatever big-brain terms you conjure is beside the point. The point is: he’s a d**khead. A former agent of the state who has, along with bat-sh*t crazy left wingers, corporate media, Glenn Beck, Bill Kristol, et al., signed up for the anti-Trump brigade.

It ain’t hyperbole: there’s a war on. Like it or not (and I don’t f**ing like it) you gotta pick sides. Does my side suck? On a lot of things: yes. But it beats the hell out of the alternative. Especially as the rats like Scarborough, Bill Kristol and George Will are shook out. The judge has chosen. He’ll find no quarter or rest with me, libertarian or not. There are more important things than ideology.

Now you know my opinion.

Cheers,

M

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12:30 pm on November 13, 2019

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Murder Is Always A Violation of the NAP, But It Is Not Always Wrong.

Dear R:

If the Martians threaten to blow up our entire planet unless someone kills innocent person Joe, it is murder to do so, but it would not be wrong to murder him, paradoxically, saving all others except for him.

Here are some readings on that:

Block, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Jonah Goldberg and the Libertarian Axiom on Non-Aggression.”

June 28; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig/block1.html

Block, Walter E. 2002. “Radical Privatization and other Libertarian Conundrums,” The International Journal of Politics and Ethics, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 165-175; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/radical_privatization.pdf (murder park)

Block, Walter E. 2003. “The Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism,” February 17; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block26.html

(15th floor flagpole)

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part I” Reason Papers, Vol. 27, Fall, pp. 117-133;

http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part II” Reason Papers, Vol. 28, Spring, pp. 85-109; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_7.pdf; (death penalty justified, net taxpayer, ruling class analysis p. 87)

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Response to Jakobsson on human body shields.” Libertarian Papers. http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-25.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “The Human Body Shield,” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 625-630; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_30.pdf

Best regards,

Walter

From: R

Sent: Friday, October 25, 2019 1:32 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Evictionism – LRC Blog

do you claim that murder is  always wrong? if so, why? you might cite the NAP but that is an axiom and as such, it has no foundation. i would like to live amongst people who follow the NAP but i don’t claim that it is anymore than my personal wish.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/evictionism-4/

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11:27 am on November 13, 2019

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Dear Ed:

Here are some good intros to Austrian econ:

Callahan, 2004; Gordon, 2000; Hazlitt, 1946; Murphy, 2007, 2010; Rothbard, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1985, 1990; Taylor, 2011

Good luck in your new teaching career.

Callahan, Gene. 2004. Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School, Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/econforrealpeople.pdf

Gordon, David. 2000. Introduction to Economic Reasoning. Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Economic-Reasoning-David-Gordon/dp/0945466285/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374198019&sr=1-1&keywords=Gordon+David+economics

Murphy, Robert P. 2007. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism. Regnery

Murphy, Robert P. 2010. Lessons for the Young Economist. Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Rothbard, Murray N. 1962. “The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar,” In Search of a Monetary Constitution, Leland B. Yeager, ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 94-136, and Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. See also “The Logic of Action One” pp. 364-384; http://mises.org/story/1829http://mises.org/rothbard/100percent.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N.  1963. America’s Great Depression (Sheed and Ward, Kansas City).

Rothbard, Murray N. 1969. Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, Lansing, Michigan: Constitutional Alliance; http://mises.org/tradcycl/econdepr.asphttp://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure

Rothbard, Murray N. 1985. “The Case for a Genuine Gold Dollar.”  L. H. Rockwell, The Gold Standard: An Austrian Perspective.  Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, pp. 1-17.  Reprinted in The Logic of Action One: Method, Money, and the Austrian School.  Glos, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 1997, pp. 364-383.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1990. What Has Government Done to Our Money?, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/rothmoney.pdf

Taylor, Thomas C. 2011. An Introduction to Austrian Economics. Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/introtoaustrian.pdf

Best regards,

Walter

From: E

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 8:50 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Cc:

Subject: teaching a course in austrian economics

Dear Friends:

I may have the opportunity to teach a course (adjunct) in intro economics at the local community college. I’m free to offer the course however I’d like which would give me the chance to provide an intro to Austrian economics. This would be a great opportunity as I live in the ultra-progressive heart of Liz Warren country here in Massachusetts where Keynesian economics still holds sway.

If Walter or any of you might share a syllabus or offer advice about how to structure the course (readings, class assignments, projects, discussion topics,) I’d be most grateful. I don’t think I’ll hit them over the head with “Human Action” but something more digestible for beginning students would be just the thing.

Thanks for any suggestions or links to materials and best wishes to Who Dat Nation. Last year you wuz robbed and this year I’m hoping to see the Saints and the Pats meet each other in The Big One.

E

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11:25 am on November 13, 2019

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Second Best Solutions Regarding Ocean Privatization?

Letter 1

From: F

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 9:22 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>;

Subject: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dr. Block,

I reached out to you last year regarding DtU II and you graciously connected me to B and L.

As the author of Space and Water Capitalism when I was presented with this challenge I immediately thought of you. We’re having major issues protecting the economic impact of deteriorating coral reefs in South Florida. I wanted to speak with you to get some ideas on how we could devise an insurance program to cover these potential economic impacts.

You wrote: “water is akin to fast moving land…”

Please let me know if you could do a 30 min call in the coming week or two?

Warm regards from a huge fan,

F

Letter 2

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:16 PM

To: F, J

Subject: RE: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dear F:

A 30 minute call? Maybe. But, first, do tell me by return e mail, what this is all about.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: F

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:56 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>;

Subject: RE: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dr. Block, thank you for the prompt response.

We are working with the Nature Conservancy to see if insurance can be a funding solution for the economic losses related to coral reef damage.

I would like to know if you have any ideas on:

1.       What kinds of economic damages we can attribute directly to the loss of coral reefs beyond the obvious (flood barrier, tourism, natural water filtration)

2.       Most importantly, how could private financing of this work?

We’re basically trying to find a way to privately fund the cost of coverage for a negative externality in the commons.

One way they have addressed this in the past is through a tax where the NC acts as a manager of a dedicated fund. The fund procures insurance, restoration and mitigation efforts on behalf of the governments that impose this tax on tourists.

What are arrangements we could propose that could fund this in a private manner? Since we cannot privatize this property, is there a way of creating “synthetic” privatization where you get similar benefits of ownership without actual title? I just don’t know if you’ve thought through something like this before.

The economic impact of coral reefs to South Florida not considering the flood barrier is estimated around $1bn a year.

F

Risk Management Consultant

Letter 4

Dear F:

Sorry, I can’t help you. I put 100% of my efforts on issues like this to promote ocean privatization, in which case the externality will be internalized.

Here’s my book on that subject:

Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: The Case for Privatizing Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield; https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498518802/Water-Capitalism-The-Case-for-Privatizing-Oceans-Rivers-Lakes-and-Aquifershttps://mises.org/library/case-privatizing-oceans-and-rivers

scathing review: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1SMO4B0T1AWM5/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1498518826https://store.mises.org/-P11051.aspx

I put no effort into thinking about how this could be done when the tragedy of the commons is still in operation. If you come up with anything on this score, I’d be delighted if you would share it with me.

Well, apart from fish farming, and, privatization of small parts of the ocean near the coast for crab and lobster raising. Wait, there’s also shooting whales with electronic devices to claim ownership.

Best regards,

Walter

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3:33 pm on November 10, 2019

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From: M
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:27 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: hi

Hi Dr. Block,

Huge fan. Can you recommend maybe the best 10 books to recommend to someone to begin an understanding of Austrian economics?

Thanks for all you do.

M

Dear M:

Here are some excellent ones:

Callahan, 2004; Gordon, 2000; Hazlitt, 1946; Murphy, 2007, 2010; Rothbard, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1985, 1990; Taylor, 2011

Callahan, Gene. 2004. Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School, Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/econforrealpeople.pdf

Gordon, David. 2000. Introduction to Economic Reasoning. Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Economic-Reasoning-David-Gordon/dp/0945466285/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374198019&sr=1-1&keywords=Gordon+David+economics

Murphy, Robert P. 2007. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism. Regnery

Murphy, Robert P. 2010. Lessons for the Young Economist. Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Rothbard, Murray N. 1962. “The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar,” In Search of a Monetary Constitution, Leland B. Yeager, ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 94-136, and Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. See also “The Logic of Action One” pp. 364-384; http://mises.org/story/1829http://mises.org/rothbard/100percent.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N.  1963. America’s Great Depression (Sheed and Ward, Kansas City).

Rothbard, Murray N. 1969. Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, Lansing, Michigan: Constitutional Alliance; http://mises.org/tradcycl/econdepr.asphttp://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure

Rothbard, Murray N. 1985. “The Case for a Genuine Gold Dollar.”  L. H. Rockwell, The Gold Standard: An Austrian Perspective.  Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, pp. 1-17.  Reprinted in The Logic of Action One: Method, Money, and the Austrian School.  Glos, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 1997, pp. 364-383.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1990. What Has Government Done to Our Money?, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/rothmoney.pdf

Taylor, Thomas C. 2011. An Introduction to Austrian Economics. Auburn: AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/introtoaustrian.pdf

Best regards,

Walter

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2:35 am on November 10, 2019

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Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater

From: F
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 4:38 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/yelling-fire-in-a-crowded-theature/

If A is correct, wouldn’t that mean the theater owner or anyone hurt in the incident would have legal recourse for damages in a civil court against the person yelling fire.

If the police arrest him for a criminal violation, doesn’t that again bring up the issue of free speech?

Thanks!

F

Dear F:

Yes, the theater owner or anyone hurt in the incident would have legal recourse for damages in a civil court against the person yelling fire.

Yes, it may well bring up the issue of free speech, but, there’s no such thing as free speech apart from property rights, and the theater owns the property rights in question.

You can’t some into my house without my permission and start spouting Shakespeare, and when I tell you to leave claim I’m violating your free speech rights. You have no such rights on my property.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:33 am on November 10, 2019

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Implicit Contracts

From: R

Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:53 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theature – LRC Blog

have you ever seen a movie in a theatre with a predominantly black audience? i have and my experience is that the audience ’speaks back’ at the screen, don’t these people understand that there is an implicit contract to NOT talk during the show?

when a product is sold to someone, is there is an implicit contract that the seller is not intentionally (or even unintentionally) offering a product that when used properly will not harm the buyer? is there also an implicit contract that the buyer will follow the directions for using the product?

maybe when you sell a gun to someone, there is an implicit contract that you won’t use the gun to commit a crime?

how can you know what’s implicit in a contract unless you state it explicitly?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/yelling-fire-in-a-crowded-theature/

Dear R:

You can only stretch implicit contracts so far. The best illustration of this concept is, you order a cup of coffee, drink it down, and they present you with a bill for $1million. I don’t think they can get away with that. Why not? Implicit contracts.

If it is stated explicitly, it can’t be an implicit contract.

I rarely go to movies, so I don’t know about that situation.

Walter E. Block

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2:32 am on November 10, 2019

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Letter 1

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2019 11:25 AM
To:
Subject: RE: Booby trapping a newly conceived infant

Dear A:

Finally, finally, finally, I understand your point. I’m an idiot for not seeing it sooner. Thanks for persevering.

I don’t see any logical conflict, incompatibility between my views on negative homesteading and eviction.

The former is my attempt to analyze a case where A stands behind B, A uses B as a shield, and shoots at C. Both B and C are innocent people. I say that B is the first homesteader of the misery and must keep it to himself.

You say that the rapist is A, the mother is B and the baby is C. The mother must keep her misery to herself, and cannot take it out on C (by evicting him).

But there is a disanalogy here sufficient to drive a truck through. For example, both B and C are innocent people. The baby is not. He’s a trespasser. He of course lacks criminal intent, but, still, the unwanted fetus is living inside the property of someone else the mother.

Nevertheless, I am very grateful to you for keeping me on my toes, probing, deeply, into two views I have defended.

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Response to Jakobsson on human body shields.” Libertarian Papers. http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/25-block-response-to-jakobsson-on-human-body-shields/

Block, Walter E. 2011. “The Human Body Shield” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22 , pp. 625-630; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_30.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2019. “Human shields, missiles, negative homesteading and libertarianism” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review. Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 9- 22; file:///C:/Users/Walter/Downloads/2._Block%20(4).pdf; http://ekon.wuwr.pl/catalog/-38..

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 2

From: A

Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:16 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Booby trapping a newly conceived infant

On 10/18/19 8:26 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear A: I’ve published, maybe two dozen articles on this. I think I’ve dealt with the non rapist case somewhere in there. I don’t see why my views on negative homesteading and evictionism are incompatible with each other.

From https://mises.org/library/negative-homesteading-theory-rejoinder-walter-block-human-body-shields

“According to the negative homesteading theory, one can come to own misery—a state of being, or about to be, attacked—which one cannot legitimately pass on to someone else, without his permission…”

The negative homesteading applies here to the case of pregnancy resulting from rape, and a premise of a rape victim’s attitude that the pregnancy constitutes a state of “misery”.

She has been “punished” with a baby (Obama’s word, mine would be “blessed” as in Joseph telling his brothers “You meant it for evil, God meant it for good”). She regards the situation as if were a case (in our words) of negative homesteading. She was forced by the evildoer to carry a child she didn’t ask for.

An intentional abortion at any point before full term and maturity, means that she has deflected all the risks and harm incurred by the violence of the rape onto the baby, or child, who is totally 100 percent free of any responsibility.

Kill the guilty rapist, put him at risk of death and harm, not the innocent baby. (Or put him into involuntary servitude to the benefit of both baby and mother until the child is independently able to survive, as retribution, and maybe even the rest of his natural life as punishment.

–A

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6:38 am on November 3, 2019

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Austro-libertarian Views on Monopoly and Anti-trust

The is a six letter correspondence I had with K and then with K and Y on this subject.

Letter 1

From: K
Sent: Friday, October 18, 2019 8:27 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Minimum Wage Considerations

Dear Walter,

I was reading through your blog posts on minimum wage and I was wondering about how supply and demand work into the picture.  You say that discounted MRP is the driver of wages but it seems to me that discounted MRP is not the primary driver of wages but instead is the driver of the supply of jobs at a certain price.  That is to say an entrepreneur thinks that the discounted MRP of a job they are creating will be greater than the marginal cost of employing another person at a certain cost.  Then the actual wage is determined by supply and demand of labor.

Then the minimum wage is rightly seen as a price floor in the labor market and so we see shortages (in the context of jobs this is unemployment.)  One of the reasons I’m bringing this up is that by saying discounted MRP is the driver of wages we confuse the issue of why CEOs make so much more than unskilled laborers.  Yes the CEO does have a higher discounted MRP than a common laborer but not only that is why they make so much.  It is also because the pool of CEO labor as a ratio to the number of CEO jobs is much smaller than the pool of un/semi-skilled laborers as a ratio to the number of jobs they can fill.  With the analysis I think it becomes clear that a minimum wage also has a depressive effect on the wages in general and in particular of people near the minimum wage level because there is now have an increased supply of labor due to the fact that there is no one employed below the minimum.  It also becomes clear of the economic destruction cause by the minimum wage because no jobs with an discounted MRP less than the minimum will be created.  It isn’t just a matter of people raising their productivity to get employed but also that there is now an artificial minimum on the productivity of a job that could be created.  This causes a distortion because of the law of diminishing marginal returns.  For every dollar of increased pay there is less of a productivity increase so two people making $7.50 an hour should have a higher discounted MRP than one person making $15.  What I’m trying to point out is that it isn’t just unemployment that is the effect of a minimum wage but also a depressive effect on productivity in general because of the diminishing marginal returns on wages.  Just some thoughts on the matter.

Best Regards, K

Letter 2

On Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 6:01 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear K and Y:

Please allow me to introduce the two of you to each other.

I make this introduction, since Y and I, too, have been having some friendly debates about this issue. She takes roughly your position. Y, correct?

I agree with you, K, that the number of CEOs, relative to the need for them, explains, in large part, their high salaries. But, I still insist that (discounted marginal revenue) productivity is the key element here. Yes, the supply curve of CEOs relative to the need for them, is way to the left, compared to the supply and demand (based on productivity) for ordinary workers. But, wherever this supply curve hits that demand curve is where the level of productivity comes in.

Well, perhaps, a better way of saying this is that wage levels are the product of both supply and demand, and leave it at that.

I once wrote about the importance of discounting:

Block, Walter E. 1990. “The Discounted Marginal Value Product – Marginal Value Product Controversy: A Note,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. IV, pp. 199-207; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae4_1_7.pdf;

http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/R4_7.pdf; reprinted as Block, Walter E. 1994. “On Marginal Productivity Theory,” Peter Boettke, ed., The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, Hants, England: Edward Elgar, pp. 123-130; http://www.academia.edu/1355567/The_Discounted_Marginal_Value_Product_-_Marginal_Value_Product_Controversy_A_Note

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics

6363 St. Charles Avenue

Loyola University New Orleans

New Orleans, LA 70118

wblock@loyno.edu

tel: 504 864 7934

skype: Walter.Block4

Letter 3

From: Y

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2019 4:17 PM

To: Walter Block

Cc: K

Subject: Re: Minimum Wage Considerations

Dear Walter, K,

Thanks so much for copying me in this interesting discussion.

I agree with Walter that productivity is the key element to determine wages. But I still think wages as the price of labor is ruled by scarcity. The relatively scarcity of CEOs not only means they have very high marginal productivity, but also means they have monopoly power in the job market as well, so that they have more bargaining power and so much higher wages.

But I believe Walter still does not agree with the market power in this issue.

Best regards, Y

Letter 4

On Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 6:36 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Y, K:

Yes, I think market power stems from neoclassical economics, but Austrianism rejects this concept.

It is part and parcel of market failure, and praxeological economics does not admit of it.

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics

6363 St. Charles Avenue

Loyola University New Orleans

New Orleans, LA 70118

wblock@loyno.edu

tel: 504 864 7934

skype: Walter.Block4

Letter 5

From: K

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2019 7:00 PM

To: Walter Block

Cc: Y

Subject: Re: Minimum Wage Considerations

Dear Y and Walter,

I think I am mostly in agreement with Walter.  I think perhaps our disagreement is definitional because the entrepreneurs perception of the discounted marginal productivity is a key part in determining which jobs will be created and the productivity must have a time preference discount because the factors of production are being combined over a process in a period of time and he will only realize his gains at the end when he makes a sale.  To me, the laborers are the supplier of the “labor” good in the labor market and an employer is the consumer.  So taking Rothbard’s analysis of a market where the supply curve is vertical (in this case it represents the current state of the labor pool at any given point in time) and adding the insight that in this market the demand curve shape is determined by the subjective valuation (which may be data driven or any other means) by the entrepreneur of the discounted marginal productivity of the laborer’s “labor good” in his particular productive process we arrive at how wages are determined and what the effect of a minimum wage laws are.  They create a surplus of “labor goods” by putting a floor on the price of the good.  Which looking at it from the perspective of the laborer is a shortage of available jobs or consumers of his product. This fully explains high CEO salaries as well as the effects of the minimum wage.  In the CEO scenario, I think the fact that the supply curve of CEO labor is far to the left on the hypothetical graph is much more significant than the shape of the demand curve due to their increased marginal productivity over the average laborer in answering the question of why they command such a higher price. I think this as speculation only because while I am sure that discounted productivity and scarcity are the two main drivers of wage prices, I don’t think it is possible to know precisely where and how the two meet outside of actual market prices determined by entrepreneurs.  I’m not even sure we could say that there is a constant proportion between the two factors.  It is probably specific to particular “labor goods” in their particular markets.  I don’t think monopoly fits into it at all. The idea of market monopoly has been trenchantly criticized by Thomas DiLorenzo in his Myth of the Natural Monopoly https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly.  In it he explains that traditionally monopoly meant a government grant of privilege and then goes through a number of historical examples that illustrate this definition is still correct.  So the analysis you, Ying, are applying to CEOs probably does strongly apply to those professions where there is a “State Board” or some other licensing agency e.g. doctors, lawyers, engineers, beauticians.

Thank you to all as well for including me in the discussion and considering my arguments.

Best Regards, K

Letter 6

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2019 9:37 PM

To: K

Cc: Y

Subject: RE: Minimum Wage Considerations

Dear Friends:

There is an entire literature regarding the Austrian critique of natural monopoly, and market power; Tom’s excellent article is only one of the publications:

For an Austrian critique of neoclassical monopoly theory, see Anderson, et. al., 2001; Armentano, 1972, 1982, 1989, 1999; Armstrong, 1982; Barnett, et. al., 2005, 2007; Block, 1977, 1982, 1994; Block and Barnett, 2009; Boudreaux and Costea, 2003; DiLorenzo,  1992, 1996; DiLorenzo and High, 1988; Henderson, 2013; High,1984-1985; Hull, 2005; McChesney, 1991; McGee, 1958; Rothbard, 2004; Shugart, 1987; Smith, 1983; Tucker, 1998A, 1998B

Anderson, William, Walter E. Block , Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Ilana Mercer, Leon Snyman and Christopher Westley. 2001. “The Microsoft Corporation in Collision with Antitrust Law,” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, Winter, pp. 287-302

Armentano, Dominick T. 1972. The Myths of Antitrust, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House.

Armentano, Dominick T. 1982. Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, New York: Wiley

Armentano, Dominick T. 1989.  “Antitrust Reform: Predatory Practices and the Competitive Process.” Review of Austrian Economics. Vol. 3, pp. 61-74. http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae3_1_4.pdf

Armentano, Dominick T. 1999. Antitrust: The Case for Repeal.  Revised 2nd ed., Auburn AL: Mises Institute

Armstrong, Donald. 1982. “Competition versus Monopoly: Combines Policy in Perspective.” The Fraser Institute: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Barnett, William, Walter E. Block and Michael Saliba. 2005. “Perfect Competition: A Case of ‘Market-Failure,’” Corporate Ownership & Control. Vol. 2, No. 4, summer, p. 70-75

Barnett, William II, Walter E. Block and Michael Saliba. 2007. “Predatory pricing.” Corporate Ownership & Control, Vol. 4, No. 4, Continued – 3, Summer; pp. 401-406

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Austrian Monopoly Theory — a Critique,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. I, No. 4, Fall, pp. 271-279.

Block, Walter E. 1982. Amending the Combines Investigation Act, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute.

Block, Walter E. 1994. “Total Repeal of Anti-trust Legislation: A Critique of Bork, Brozen and Posner, Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 35-70.

Block, Walter and William Barnett. 2009. “Monopsony Theory.” American Review of Political Economy. June/December, Vol. 7(1/2), pp. 67-109; http://www.arpejournal.com/ARPEvolume7number1-2/Block-Barnett.pdfhttp://www.arpejournal.com/

Boudreaux, Donald J., and DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 1992. “The Protectionist Roots of Antitrust,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 81-96

Costea, Diana. 2003. “A Critique of Mises’s Theory of Monopoly Prices.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Vol. 6, No. 3, Fall, pp. 47-62; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae6_3_3.pdf

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 1996. “The Myth of Natural Monopoly,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 43-58; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_2_3.pdfhttps://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly

DiLorenzo, Tom and Jack High. 1988. “Antitrust and Competition, Historically Considered,” Economic Inquiry, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 423-435, July.

Henderson, David R. 2013. “The Robber Barons: Neither Robbers nor Barons.” Library of Economics and Liberty. March 4;

http://www.econlib.org/cgi-bin/printarticle2.pl?file=Columns/y2013/Hendersonbarons.html

High, Jack. 1984-1985. “Bork’s Paradox: Static vs Dynamic Efficiency in Antitrust Analysis,” Contemporary Policy Issues, Vol. 3, pp. 21-34.

Hull, Gary, ed. 2005. The Abolition of Antitrust. New Brunswick, NJ:  Transaction Publishers

McChesney, Fred. 1991. “Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago’s Contradictory Views,” Cato Journal, Vol. 10; https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/1991/1/cj10n3-10.pdf

McGee, John S.  1958. “Predatory Price Cutting: The Standard Oil (New Jersey) Case,” The Journal of Law and Economics, October, pp. 137-169

Rothbard, Murray N. (2004 [1962]). Man, Economy and State, Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, Scholar’s Edition; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/mes.asp

Shugart II, William F. 1987. “Don’t Revise the Clayton Act, Scrap It!,” 6 Cato Journal, 925

Smith, Jr., Fred L. 1983. “Why not Abolish Antitrust?,” Regulation, Jan-Feb, 23; http://cei.org/op-eds-and-articles/why-not-abolish-antitrust

Tucker, Jeffrey. 1998A. “Controversy: Are Antitrust Laws Immoral?” Journal of Markets & Morality. Vol. 1, No. 1, March, pp. 75-82; http://www.acton.org/publications/mandm/mandm_controversy_35.php

Tucker, Jeffrey. 1998B. “Controversy: Are Antitrust Laws Immoral? A Response to Kenneth G. Elzinga.” Journal of Markets & Morality. Vol. 1, No. 1, March, pp. 90-94; http://www.acton.org/publications/mandm/mandm_controversy_37.php

Best regards,

Walter

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6:36 am on November 3, 2019

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Timing and the Use of Violence; Remarrying, When Supposedly Dead Spouse Shows Up?

From: T
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 3:24 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: The Non Aggression Principle and Time

Hi Walter,

The non aggression principle states that violence can only be used in self-defense. Well, I think most humans would agree that if someone punches you in the face, you have a right to react and strike back. That is in the present.

But what if your financial advisor slowly steals all of your money over the years. Now you are broke. Do you have the right to be aggressive against the advisor? Sure, the courts and lawyers are there to prevent revenge violence; but what if the judge is the brother of your financial advisor? What then?

In the movies there have been several films about soldiers and sailors lost at war and at sea (even a FedEx employee lost in a plane crash). Their young wives grieve for them, bury an empty coffin and move on to new men. But the original husbands somehow have survived and come back home.

Has the “widow” broken her marriage contract with her supposedly dead, but still alive husband? I wonder how the IRS deals with this issue. I’m sure that the IRS would still want the tax money from a “dead” man.

My point is, are contracts really valid? So much is based upon trust. And how does one get self defense against a government that tries to kill them? e.g. The Military Draft Lottery during the Vietnam War?

Does the NAP keep a broken soldier from those illegal and horrible wars from attacking the politicians who sent him to his fate?

Or does time enter into the equation of self defense?

I’m really curious about this one. Nixon tried to send me and my fellow males of the same birth year to the Vietnam War based upon our birthdates coming out of a draft lottery drum. As far as I’m concerned, Nixon tried to kill me. Does the NAP allow me to attack Nixon back in the day?

Nixon also, in the same month, took the USA off of the last link to the gold standard and that has really messed up my life. Again, does the NAP allow me to attack Nixon back in the day? Kissinger is still alive. Can us Vietnam War victims attack Kissinger? I doubt if Cambodians like Kissinger. Do they have the right to attack Kissinger?

Time, time, time…. Time heals all wounds.

Perhaps we only have the right to self defense in the moment of attack on our persons. Otherwise, we just have to take it. T

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Monday, October 21, 2019 4:43 PM

To: T

Subject: RE: The Non Aggression Principle and Time

Dear T:

I think a person would be justified in using violence against the crooked financial advisor, if that was the only way to get back at him.

I think that a wife would be justified in remarrying after a certain number of years of her husband’s being missing and being presumed dead. How many years? I’d trust a private court to make a determination. If I were a judge on a private court, right off the top of my head I’d say 3 years. But what do I know about that sort of thing? Not much.

I’ve written a little bit about that sort of thing:

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2008. “Continuums” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, Vol. 1, pp. 151-166, June; http://www2.units.it/~etica/http://www2.units.it/~etica/2008_1/BLOCKBARNETT.pdf

Also, I don’t think there should be any time limit, statutes of limitation, on punishments for crime:

Alston and Block, 2007; Block, 1993, 2001, 2002; Block and Yeatts, 1999-2000; Crepelle and Block, 2017

Alston, Wilton D. and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Reparations, Once Again.” Human Rights Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, September, pp. 379-392; http://tinyurl.com/2b75fl

Block, Walter E. 1993. “Malcolm X,” Fraser Forum, January, pp. 18-19; http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/5361.aspx 

Block, Walter E. 2001. “The Moral Dimensions of Poverty, Entitlements and Theft,” The Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 83-93; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/2001_spring/block.htmlhttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=922087http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.marketsandmorality.com%2Findex.php%2Fmandm%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F587%2F577&ei=lBn9UuLIOtDOkQe1toHwBw&usg=AFQjCNF2MZ5XoFKKMF5UcOfOT5Kv-HQgZA&sig2=VVYWZhyl0ZmAWRAKXtkxWw; Search for “Walter Block” under “Authors” here: http://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/search

Block, Walter E. 2002. “On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery,” Human Rights Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, July-September, pp. 53-73;

http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/reparations_slavery.pdfhttps://link.springer.com/journal/12142/3/4/page/1https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12142-002-1003-4

(David Horowitz, Randall Robinson)

Block, Walter E. and Guillermo Yeatts. 1999-2000. “The Economics and Ethics of Land Reform: A Critique of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s ‘Toward a Better Distribution of Land: The Challenge of Agrarian Reform,’” Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 37-69; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/ethics_land_reform.pdf

Crepelle, Adam and Walter E. Block. 2017. “Property Rights and Freedom:  The Keys to Improving Life in Indian Country.” Washington & Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Vol. 23, Issue 2, Article, 3, pp. 314-342; http://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1435&context=crsjhttp://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/crsj/vol23/iss2/3/

Best regards,

Walter

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6:35 am on November 3, 2019

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