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Nice Letter About Libertarian Autobiographies

From: Benjamin Abelow

Sent: Friday, June 12, 2020 9:13 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject:

Walter —

Just discovered your book “I choose liberty” — so thrilled that such exists!

Thank you for writing it!

Ben Abelow, M.

Dear Ben:

Thanks.

Block, Walter E., ed. 2010. I Chose Liberty: Autobiographies of Contemporary Libertarians; Auburn, AL: Mises Institute; available for free here: https://mises.org/library/i-chose-liberty-autobiographies-contemporary-libertarians

I am honored to have edited this book. Some of the contributions brought tears to my eyes. My favorite is the one written by Joe Salerno.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:09 am on July 28, 2020

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Letter 1

From: Mads Nørgaard

Subject: Question about slavery

Hi Walter,

I just listened to the Tom Woods podcast you attended ep. 1592 where you explained your conflict with the New York times and it made me wonder where I myself stand on the question of voluntary entry into servitude.

If you for ex. needs a million dollar to save your son from death and I am willing to give you a million dollars if you become my slave and thereby my property.

Then what if I was a psychopath who later decided to torture you to a slow and painful death, but let’s say the neighbors see us and they try to stop me, would the neighbors the not be the bad guys?

According to the property rights, I guess they would be, right?

But isn’t there something inherent in human nature that makes us very uncomfortable when seeing other people suffer, and making bad guys out of those trying to prevent the suffering seems to be the immoral thing.

Best Regards,

Mads Nørgaard,

Denmark

Letter 2

Dear Mads:

Yes, the neighbors would be the bad guys, if the voluntary slave contract allowed for death by torture.

Here are some readings on this:

Pro:

In the view of Boldrin and Levine, 2008, p. 254: “Take the case of slavery. Why should people not be allowed to sign private contracts binding them to slavery? In fact economists have consistently argued against slavery – during the 19th century David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill engaged in a heated public debate with literary luminaries such as Charles Dickens, with the economists opposing slavery, and the literary giants arguing in favor.”

Andersson, 2007;  Block, 1969, 1979, 1988, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007A, 2007B, 2009A, 2009B; Boldrin and Levine, 2008; Frederick, 2014; Kershnar, 2003; Lester, 2000; Mosquito, 2014;  Nozick, 1974, pp. 58, 283, 331; Steiner, 1994, pp. 232-233; 2013, pp. 230-244; Thomson, 1990, pp. 283-284.

Andersson, Anna-Karin. 2007. “An alleged contradiction in Nozick’s entitlement theory.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, Fall: 43–63; http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_3/21_3_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 1969. “Voluntary Slavery.” The Libertarian Connection, Vol. I, No. 3, April 13, pp. 9-11.

Block, Walter E. 1979. Book review of Nancy C. Baker, Baby Selling: the Scandal of Black Market Adoptions, New York: The Vanguard Press, 1978; in Libertarian Review, January, Vol. 7, No. 12, pp. 44-45.

Block, Walter E. 1988. “Rent-a-womb market,” Thunder Bay Ontario Daily; June 26.

Block, Walter E. 1999. “Market Inalienability Once Again: Reply to Radin,” Thomas Jefferson Law Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1, Fall, pp. 37-88; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/market_inalienability.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Alienability, Inalienability, Paternalism and the Law: Reply to Kronman,” American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 28, No. 3, Summer, pp. 351-371; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/reply_to_kronman.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2002. “A Libertarian Theory of Secession and Slavery,” June 10; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block15.htmlhttp://libertariantruth.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/a-libertarian-theory-of-secession-and-slavery/

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Inalienability: A Critique of Rothbard, Barnett, Gordon, Smith, Kinsella and Epstein,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol.17, No. 2, Spring, pp. 39-85; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/17_2/17_2_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Are Alienability and the Apriori of Argument Logically Incompatible?” Dialogue, Vol. 1, No. 1. http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2004/256gord6.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2005. “Ayn Rand and Austrian Economics: Two Peas in a Pod.” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Vol. 6, No. 2, Spring, pp. 259-269

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Epstein on alienation: a rejoinder” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 33, Nos. 3-4, pp. 241-260

Block, Walter E. 2007A. “Secession,” Dialogue. No. 4; pp. 1-14;  http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2007/4.07.WB.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2007B. “Alienability: Reply to Kuflik.” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 117-136; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=0685BBB744173274A5E7CE3803132413?contentType=Article&contentId=1626605

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Yes, Sell Rivers! And Make Legal Some Slave Contracts” The Tyee. July 25; http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2009/07/24/SellRivers/

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Privatizing Rivers and Voluntary Slave Contracts” July 27;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block134.html

Boldrin, Michele and David K. Levine. 2008. Against Intellectual Monopoly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htmhttp://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htmhttp://mises.org/store/Against-Intellectual-Monopoly-P552.aspx

Frederick, Danny. 2014. “Voluntary Slavery,” Las Torres de Lucca 4: 115-37, http://www.lastorresdelucca.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=145:laesclavitud-

voluntaria&Itemid=24&lang=en

Kershnar, Stephen. 2003. “A Liberal Argument for Slavery,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 34 (4): 510-36

Lester, Jan Clifford. 2000. Escape from Leviathan. St. Martin’s Press. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312234163/qid%3D989845939/107-8070279-6411737

Mosquito, Bionic. 2014. “The Sanctity of Contract.” April 19;

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-sanctity-of-contract.html

Nozick, Robert. 1974. Anarchy, State and Utopia, New York: Basic Books, http://www.amazon.com/Anarchy-State-Utopia-Robert-Nozick/dp/0465097200

Steiner, Hillel. 1994. An Essay on Rights, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers; https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2mi4-xFgT7NNWhEQWNhbXB6enc/view

Steiner, Hillel. 2013. “Directed Duties and Inalienable Rights.” Ethics 123 ( January): pp. 230–244

Thomson, Judith Jarvis. 1990. The Realm of Rights, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press

*

Con:

Barnett, 1986, 1988; Calabresi and Melamed, 1972; Epstein, 1985; Evers, 1977; Gordon, 1999; Kinsella, 1998-1999, 2003; Kronman, 1983; Kuflik, 1984, 1986; Long, 1994-1995; McConnell, 1984, 1996; Radin, 1986, 1987; Reisman, 1996, pp. 455f., 634-636; Rothbard, 1998; Smith, 1996, 1997; Unknown, nd.

Barnett, Randy E. 1986. “Contract Remedies and Inalienable Rights” Social Philosophy & Policy Vol. 4, Issue 1, Autumn, pp. 179-202

Barnett, Randy E. 1988. The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Barnett, Randy E. 2007. “Libertarians and the War.”July 17;

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB118463507387568429

Calabresi, Guido and Melamed, Douglas. 1972. “Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 6, April, pp. 1089-1128

Epstein, Richard. 1985.  “Why Restrain Alienation,” Columbia Law Review, vol. 85, 970

Evers, Williamson. 1977. “Toward a Reformulation of the Law of Contracts,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 1, Winter, pp. 3-13; http://mises.org/journals/jls/1_1/1_1_2.pdf

Gordon, David. 1999.  “Private Property’s Philosopher,” The Mises Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring, pp. 1-7

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 1998-1999. “Reply to George Smith: A Victim’s Right to Punish,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 79-93

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 1998-1999.  “Inalienability and Punishment: A Reply to George Smith,” Winter, Journal of Libertarian Studies.

Kinsella, N. Stephan.  2003. A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, and Inalienability, Journal of Libertarian Studies 17, no. 2 (Spring): 11-37

Kronman, Anthony. 1983. “Paternalism and the Law of Contracts,” 92 Yale Law Journal

https://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/58459.html

Kuflik, Arthur. 1984. “The Inalienability of Autonomy,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 4, Fall, pp. 271-298

Kuflik, Arthur. 1986. “The Utilitarian Logic of Inalienable Rights,” Ethics, 97, Oct. 1986, pp. 75-87

Long, Roderick. 1994-1995. “Slavery Contracts and Inalienable Rights: A Formulation.” Formulations. Winter; http://libertariannation.org/a/f22l1.html

McConnell, Terrance. 1984. “The Nature and Basis of Inalienable Rights,” Law and Philosophy, Vol. 3, No. 1,  pp. 25-59

McConnell, Terrance. 1996. “The Inalienable Right of Conscience: A Madisonian Argument,” Social Theory & Practice, Fall, Vol. 22, Issue 3, pp. 397-416

Radin, Margaret Jane. 1986. “Time, Possession and Alienation,” 64 Washington University Law Quarterly, 739

Radin, Margaret Jane. 1987. “Market-Inalienability,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 100, No. 8, June, pp. 1849-1937

Reisman, George. 1996. Capitalism. Ottawa, Il.: Jameson Books

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, N.J., 1998 [1982], pp. 40-41, 135-136; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Smith, George. 1996. “A Killer’s Right to Life,” Liberty, Vol. 10, No. 2, November, pp. 46-54

Smith, George. 1997. “Inalienable Rights?,” Liberty, Vol. 10, No. 6, July, p. 51

Unknown Author. No date. “But What About Voluntary Slaves?”

https://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/but-what-about-voluntary-slaves/

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: Mads Nørgaard

Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2020 6:24 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Question about slavery

Thanks Walter,

That makes sense.

I will definitely have some more reading for when I’m done with Rothbard and Mises. I’m a big fan of the Mises Institute and especially you, so if you’d answer one more of my questions it would be greatly appreciated.

I have been thinking a lot about negative rights recently, and I don’t completely understand how the right to life would work in an anarcho-capitalist society.

If I have a right not to be killed, wouldn’t that entail that someone has to help me when a person tries to kill me? But then you’d still be facilitating someone else’s labor as if it was a positive right.

Or the right to not be abused or coerced, but who can ensure that right? Only myself I guess. And then what’s the point of calling it a right when there is no one but oneself to enforce the right?

Best Regards,

Mads Nørgaard

Den man. 8. jun. 2020 kl. 18.56 skrev Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>:

Letter 4

Dear Mads:

You have no right not to be killed; you only have a right not to be murdered. Would that entail that someone else has to help you when a person tries to kill (murder) you? No. It would only imply that everyone else on the planet has a duty not to murder you.

If you are killed by a storm, or an earthquake, your rights will not have been violated.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:08 am on July 28, 2020

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What To Do When Attacked By A Mob?

Dear Paul:

1. call the cops

2. if that doesn’t work, shoot ’em; self defense is still justified, even in this cancel culture

Calling the cops may well not work because of the Ferguson Effect.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Paul

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: The NAP and violent mobs

Hi Walter,

In respect to the non-aggression principle, how can I defend myself against a mob?

The scenario I am considering is one where I am in my home, and a mob is outside. I believe I am faced with the following options:

A. I go on my front porch to reason with the mob, then they grab me, beat me, and kill me.

B. I don’t go outside and they burn my house down with me inside.

C. I begin firing on the mob with firearms the moment they arrive and I determine they have violent intent.

(There is no reasonable option for escape – running out the back door means I will face the mob on a different section of street and without protection of my house.)

My concern is that some members of the mob may not actually understand what they are involved in, despite a clear history of the mobs in my city violently beating and murdering people and burning down their buildings. My only option for using violence in defense of my liberty will require acting with violence against individuals for whom there is no other method I can use to determine that they actually desire to do physical harm to me or my property.

Sincerely,

Paul

Best regards,

Walter

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3:12 am on July 25, 2020

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From: leopold

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: On advising a young kid

Dear Dr. Block,

I couldn’t think of anyone better to ask for advice on this subject, please accept my apologies for this uninvited action.

I’m at a loss on how to best approach teaching my 9 yo kid under the following situation.

My wife had taken the kids at a pastry shop and they had some cake etc. At some point, she asks the kids if they are ready to leave. The older one (9 yo) said yes but that he *had* to drink the whole of his water cup before leaving.

After a bit of discussion, she figured out that this was because “we must not waste water” and “other kids don’t have things we have, so we shouldn’t waste them”.

As you can imagine, I got very pissed off. Not really about the school, but about myself. I’ve obviously not done a good job on this. I can argue with an adult on this topic using hard cold reason, but my usual approach seems too foreign when it comes to discussing this with a kid.

I realize now that my issue is I’m not really comfortable discussing emotional issues (kids dying in Africa etc) with my kid at this age. I really want my kids to enjoy being kids, not to be aware of the ugly realities of the world – there’s a time and place for that but later. But this desire that has fueled my inaction seems to be resulting in a future Waterloo moment.

I assume other libertarian fathers have had the same issue trying to teach their kids. I won’t ask upon your valuable time to seeking any kind of expository response. I would be extremely happy if you could point me towards any relevant resource/people you may have in mind that could help me create a plan of action.

Thank you so very much,

L

Dear Leopold:

Thanks for your kind words

I don’t know if this will help you, but I had a similar experience when my daughter was about 10 years old. I forget what the issue was, but my daughter told me something along these lines: “Daddy, you’re environmentally incorrect.” I was about to correct her, and give her the libertarian perspective on whatever issue it was, but my wife told me, in effect, to shut up. Her reasoning was that if I corrected my daughter, and she agreed with me, then, if she mouthed off to her teacher and fellow students, they’d all hate her, and did I really want to do that? So, I shut up. Unhappily, my daughter turned out to be a pinko. However, my son is a libertarian. I’ve been with my wife for 50 years now, and I think I’m glad I shut up then.  She is a wise woman.

So, my advice to you is to shut up, with your 9 year old son. Wait until he reaches the age of reason (15? 16?) and then give him the libertarian view.

Sorry, I couldn’t be of more help to you. It’s difficult enough to be a libertarian without the added difficulty of how to deal with our children, when they are brainwashed at school.

Best regards,

Walter

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3:07 am on July 25, 2020

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Free Trade, Or Free Trade “Agreements” (Actually, “Fair” Trade)

Dear Federico:

I favor full free trade, but not “free trade” agreements. See below for some readings on this.

Best regards,

Walter

Subject: Free Trade Agreement and China

Hi Professor Block. I would like to know your opinion on the Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA signed by the government.

I watched this short clip from Sir James Goldsmith and he claims it’s the free trade agreement which is to blame for us losing jobs here in the west but is he right?. Our own governments are to blame for having a high min wage, regulations etc which forces companies abroad, free trade is good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PQrz8F0dBI

In China, you can’t fully own a business if you’re not a Chinese citizen and you need to be approved by the Chinese government. But can the people from China own a American business?, for sure they can. This free trade agreement is a scam.

https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/07/how-to-start-a-business-in-china.html

Anderson, 1999; Barron, 2017; Bastiat, 1848A, 1848B; Block, 1976, ch. 23, 2013, ch. 2, 2018;  Block, Horton and Walker, 1998; Boudreaux, 2010, 2016A, 2016B, 2017; Brandly, 2002; Brown, 1987; DiLorenzo, 2018; Ebeling, 2018; Epstein, 2016; Folsum, 1996; Friedman and Friedman, 1997; Gwartney, et. al, 1976; Hazlitt, 1946, ch. 11; Higgs, 2019; Johnsson, 2004; Krasnozhon, Simpson and Block, 2015; Landsburg, 2008; McGee, 1994A, 1994B; McMaken, 2016; Mises, 1927;  Mullen, 2015; Murphy, 2004; Ricardo, 1821; Roberts, 2016; Rothbard, 2005; Rouanet, 2016; Smith, 1776; Vance, 2016; Wenzel, 2018A, 2018B; Williams, 2017A, 2017B

Anderson, William L. 1999. “Tariffs Are Sanctions.” December 17;

https://mises.org/library/tariffs-are-sanctions

Barron, Patrick. 2017. Two Common Objections to Unilateral Free Trade.” April 6; https://mises.org/blog/two-common-objections-unilateral-free-trade

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848A. “The Balance of Trade.” https://mises.org/library/balance-trade

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848B [2018]. “Must Free Trade Be Reciprocal?” March 14;

https://mises.org/library/must-free-trade-be-reciprocal

Block, Walter, Joseph Horton and Debbie Walker. 1998. “The Necessity of Free Trade,” Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 1, No. 2, October, pp. 192-200

Block, Walter E. 2008 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; available for free here: http://mises.org/books/defending.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2013. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House; isbn: 978-1-908089-37-3; http://store.mises.org/Defending-the-Undefendable-2-P10932.aspx ; http://www.amazon.com/Defending-Undefendable-II-Freedom-Realms/dp/1908089377/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379098357&sr=8-1&keywords=freedom+in+all+realms

Block, Walter E. 2018. “The case for punishing those responsible for minimum wage laws, rent control and protectionist tariffs.”  Revista Jurídica Cesumar – Mestrado, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 235-263; http://periodicos.unicesumar.edu.br/index.php/revjuridica/article/view/6392http://periodicos.unicesumar.edu.br/index.php/revjuridica/article/view/6392/3190

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;

http://www.mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1084

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2010. “On Trade and Currency Manipulation.” January 5; http://fee.org/freeman/on-trade-and-currency-manipulation/

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2016A. “Should Gates clean his own toilets?” August 9; http://triblive.com/opinion/donaldboudreaux/10888506-74/workers-gates-wages

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2016B. “On Being Too Rigid & Dogmatic & Inflexible on Free Trade.” December 19; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/12/on-being-too-rigid-dogmatic-inflexible.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Boudreaux, Don. 2017. “Trump’s Ignorance Is Matched Only by His Thuggishness.” January 3; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/01/trumps-ignorance-is-matched-only-by-his.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;

http://www.mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1084

Brown, Pamela J. 1987. “Free Thought and Free Trade: The Analogy Between Scientific and Entrepreneurial Discovery Process,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, pp. 289-292; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/8_2/8_2_8.pdf

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2018. “Trade and the Rise of Freedom.” March 7;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/03/thomas-dilorenzo/trade-and-the-rise-of-freedom/

Ebeling, Richard. 2018. “Trump’s protectionist follies threaten a trade war.” March 5;

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/trumps-protectionist-follies-threaten-trade-war/

Epstein, Richard A. 2016. “The Rise of American Protectionism.” March 14;

http://www.hoover.org/research/rise-american-protectionism

Folsum, Jr., Burton W.  1996. The Industrial Revolution and Free Trade

Friedman, Milton and Rose Friedman. 1997. “The Case for Free Trade.” Hoover Digest No. 4.http://www.hooverdigest.org/974/friedman.html

Gwartney, James, Robert Lawson and Walter E. Block. 1996. Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995, Vancouver, B.C.: The Fraser Institute

Hazlitt, Henry. 2008 [1946]. Economics in One Lesson. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/economics_in_one_lesson_hazlitt.pdf;

https://mises.org/store/Economics-in-One-Lesson-P33C1.aspx

Higgs, Robert. 2019. “What is This Mystical Magnetism that Nationalism Exerts on So Many Americans?” February 4;

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/02/what-is-this-mystical-magnetism-that.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Johnsson, Richard C.B. 2004. “On Ricardo and Free Trade.” January 12;

http://www.mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1421&

Krasnozhon, Leo, David Simpson and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Fair trade: Its Real Impact on the Working Poor.” The Review of Social and Economic Issues (RSEI). Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring, pp- 5-28; http://rsei.rau.ro/index.php/lasthttp://rsei.rau.ro/images/V1N2/Articol_1.pdf; translation by ‘Alexandru Butiseacă’ butiseaca@gmail.com

Landsburg, Steven E. 2008. “What to Expect When You’re Free Trading.” The NY Times. January 16; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/opinion/16landsburg.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Steven+E.+Landsburg&oref=slogin.

McGee, Robert W., 1994A. A Trade Policy for Free Societies: The Case Against Protectionism, Quorum Books.

McGee, Robert W. 1994B. “The Fatal Flaw in NAFTA, GATT and All Other Trade Agreements,” Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Vol. 14, No. 3, 549-565.

McMaken, Ryan. 2016. “To Oppose Free Trade Is To Embrace Violence.” https://mises.org/library/oppose-free-trade-embrace-violence

Mises, Ludwig von. Mises, Ludwig von. 1927. Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition. Auburn, AL: the Mises Institute; https://mises.org/library/liberalism-classical-tradition

Mullen, Tom. 2015. “Trump’s Protectionist Fallacies Have Been Refuted By Free Market Economists for Hundreds of Years.” August 31; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mullen/trumps-protectionist-fall_b_8056400.html

Murphy, Robert P. 2004. “Can Trade Bring Poverty?” December 24; http://www.mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1699

Ricardo, David. 1821 [1912]. The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 3rd ed., London: J. M. Dent

Roberts, Russ. 2016. “The Human Side of Trade.” December 11; https://medium.com/@russroberts/the-human-side-of-trade-7b8e024e7536#.nkypmt8hc

Rothbard, Murray N. 2005. Protectionism and the Destruction of Prosperity. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; http://mises.org/rothbard/protectionism.asp

Rouanet, Louis. 2016. “The Case for Unilateral Free Trade.” October 13;

https://mises.org/blog/case-unilateral-free-trade

Smith, Adam. [1776] 1979. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund

Vance, Laurence. 2016. “Free trade is fair trade.” June 1;

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/free-trade-fair-trade/

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Pat Buchanan: Foundationtional War Hawk.” March 8;

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/03/pat-buchanan-foundationtional-war-hawk.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Most Pro-Tariff and Anti-Tariff Supporters Use the Same Dumb Argument.” March 9;

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/03/most-pro-tariff-and-anti-tariff.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Williams, Walter E. 2017A. “International Trade Thuggery.”  January 18; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/01/walter-e-williams/free-trade-3/

Williams, Walter E. 2017B. “Trade Ignorance and Demagoguery.”  May 5;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/05/walter-e-williams/the-us-is-protectionist/

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3:06 am on July 25, 2020

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A Challenge to Rozeff on Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility

Dear Stefano:

Brilliant. I am greatly in your debt for this. I didn’t realize that Mike and I were passing like ships in the night on this matter of utility. No wonder we disagreed: we each had different concepts of utility in mind. Yes of course, as a matter of economic history, a law against theft will increase utility in the GDP sense. This is an empirical claim in economics, not a praxeological one. On the other hand, praxeology, that is, economics, not economic history, speaks out with a clear voice that social welfare cannot increase thereby, unless we engage in the praxeological verboten concept of interpersonal comparisons of utility. I took Mike to be claiming that ICUs were valid, which is obviously erroneous.

I have but one minor criticism of your magnificent comment. You say this: “It is clear to me that ‘society’ is not an amorphous blob, but a shorthand for the sum of all members of a given group. As such, there can be no demonstrated preference by society, given its non-existence.” Of course there can be no demonstrated preference by society, without invalid ICUs. But it EXISTS. Of course, it exists only as a shorthand, but, still, it exists. I regard this as no more than a typographical error on your part.

I tried and tried to convince Mike of the error of his ways. I failed. I think you’ve succeeded.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Stefano Rondelli

To: msroz@buffalo.eduwblock@loyno.edu

Subject: On social utility

Esteemed doctors Rozeff and Block,

I have read your exchange and doctor Rozeff’s latest blogpost, and I would like to offer some points based on my – admittedly not as extensive and deep as yours – understanding of economics from an austrian standpoint. I hope I will be forgiven any imprecisions and honest mistakes.

First, I believe doctor Rozeff is employing the term utility to mean two different things, and this confusion heavily influences his arguments. In economics, the term “utility” refers to the satisfaction that an actor feels when his ends are realized or his interests are furthered; on the other hand, there is another meaning that can be attached to it, which refers to the material well-being of the actor. It is referring to this second meaning that Ludwig von Mises can call himself a utilitarian without resorting to any interpersonal comparison of utility (ICU). In the view of Mises, social utility refers then to the material condition of society at large, and he correctly identifies laissez-faire as the supreme tool of choice to the furtherance of that end; however, in his writings, he also recognizes that there are many individuals who are plagued by resentment toward those who prosper under a regime of private property, as he thoroughly analyzes in his “The anti-capitalistic mentality”.

Clearly, Mises understands the difference between affluence and utility. What doctor Rozeff is attempting to do is conflating these two views and then claiming something that doesn’t follow. Given that utility is not subject to ICU, and that there is no way to clearly quantify, it may well be the case that the foregone utility from the thieves is magnitudes Greater that the utility gained by the rest of society. I think that this is the point that doctor Block is getting at: from the standpoint of pure economics, we cannot say whether the sum of utility has increased or decreased. However, in defense of doctor Rozeff, we can follow Rothbard when he says that “no act of government whatever can increase social utility” (in his essay on welfare economics), provided that we conceive of social utility under the constraints of demonstrated preference and the unanimity principle. This effectively circumvents the ICU problem: it simply recognizes that if someone loses, then social utility has not been maximized or furthered, unlike what happens on the free market, where Rothbard affirms that it benefits all its participants.

This reference to demonstrated preference brings us to doctor Rozeff’s point about “society’s” demonstrated preference, which I find highly muddled and confused. It is clear to me that “society” is not an amorphous blob, but a shorthand for the sum of all members of a given group. As such, there can be no demonstrated preference by society, given its non-existence. Moreover, I fail to see how the acceptance of a law against stealing “reveals” any – constant, at least – preference. It would appear that doctor Rozeff is committing the fallacy of assuming constancy, while in human action there are no such material constants. It is perfectly conceivable that an individual might support a prohibition of theft at a certain time and reject it a moment later when it suits him, in the classic “rules for me thee but not for thee” phenomenon. This is exactly what a thief wants: his desire is to be the only one exempt from the law. Clearly, then, at least one member of society does not prefer a wholesale law against theft. In his response to Bryan Caplan’s famous essay, doctor Hulsmann hints at the opportunity of excluding the thief from the count of utility referring to the argumentation ethics approach to justice. This, however, is a stealthy smuggling of an ethical assumption into a purely economic matter. Moreover, many members of society do, in fact, support subsidies, quotas and the like: are they also to be excluded from “society”? This strikes me as an absurd proposition, given that we are redefining society to cut off all the elements that do not conform to the conclusion that we want to draw, instead of confronting them head on.

This brings us to doctor Rozeff’s next point, about the short-sightedness of the economist when he focuses exclusively on the two parties concerned – in the case of theft – while ignoring the rest of society and how the wrongful sentence of the judge impacts it. The way he construes his argument, however, is fallacious. When doctor Rozeff says that “society, because it has this law against theft, is telling us that this or any particular theft lowers its utility, even when an interpersonal transfer occurs within the society”, is committing another fallacy. Specifically, he is yet again treating society as a blob with a unitary will, while it couldn’t be further from the truth, as I hope I have shown. “Society” cannot judge anything because it doesn’t – and cannot – act. There is no way around methodological individualism. If doctor Rozeff has a way to get around this problem, he is welcome to present his argument, but I do not believe he has offered a valid one. This criticism of mine is also reinforced when doctor Rozeff says that “society has already compared the utility gain of the thief to the utility loss of the victim”, which from a praxeological standpoint is simply impossible, and even meaningless. Again, “society” does not exist, other philosopher’s criticism notwithstanding.

It should also be noted that, if we were obligated to consider every single possible ramification of a single exchange, we might even have to concede that the free market does not, in fact, maximize social utility, in the first acceptation. One could imagine a society deeply envious, who resents any and all attempt at bettering one’s condition, something that any reader of Helmut Schoeck would be very familiar with. It really doesn’t matter if the societies described by Schoeck fit the criteria of “demonstrated preference” with regards to law as formulated by doctor Rozeff, because there is no non-arbitrary way to confine social welfare analysis to a given society without accepting the position that yes, only the people directly related to a certain exchange are to be considered relevant. One of the ways out, namely social contract theory, is fraught with problems and contradictions, as exposed by a multitude of authors, like Lysander Spooner.

What are we to make of all this? I suggest that doctor Block’s position is largely correct, while doctor Rozeff can be right if we think of the scenario he proposes along the lines of Ludwig von Mises’ brand of utilitarianism. What is clear, however, is that this is not exactly a strictly economic argument.

Best regard,

Stefano Rondelli

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2:34 am on July 23, 2020

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My Thomas Sowell Story

Here is my Thomas Sowell story. I tell it on the occasion of his 90th birthday. When he sent me his initial contribution to this book which I edited,

Sowell, Thomas. 1982. “Weber and Bakke and the presuppositions of ‘Affirmative Action,’” Discrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Walter E. Block and Michael Walker, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 37-63;

he coupled it with a threat that if I changed one word of what he wrote, he’d pull his essay out of this book. (Evidently, he’d had bad experiences with editors changing the meaning of what he wrote, and didn’t realize I was an enthusiastic supporter of his and would never do anything like that even if this were not the case.) In the event, I found about a half dozen typographical errors in what he sent me (I expect what he sent me was a first draft of his). I wrote him saying my alterations would be limited to addressing these infelicities, and he approved.

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

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10:50 am on July 21, 2020

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From: SteveThomasPsych

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Regarding the Bad Samaritan

Dr. Block,

Recently I viewed your lecture from late 2016 on “Defending the Undefendable” given at the Mises Institute. A question came to me when you were giving an example of a person who was drowning being offered a rope in exchange for a lifetime of servitude. In that situation, if the servitude was found by the formerly drowning man to be intolerable, would he be transgressing the property rights of his master by committing suicide?

This question came to me and I wanted to send off an email quickly so as to not forget it. I will think about it, and hopefully come to some conclusion, but if you have answered this before or the answer seems obvious, please do not waste a moment in replying.

All the best,

Stephen Thomas

Dear Stephen:

Yes, in the case, the slave committing suicide would be a crime against his owner. It is difficult to see the punishment that could be imposed upon this theif, however. I think that is where the logic of this takes us. Sometimes, logic takes us to weird places. But logic is still logic. Of course, if the major premise is wrong… But, I think the major premise is correct: voluntary slavery is compatible with libertarianism:

Pro:

In the view of Boldrin and Levine, 2008, p. 254: “Take the case of slavery. Why should people not be allowed to sign private contracts binding them to slavery? In fact economists have consistently argued against slavery – during the 19th century David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill engaged in a heated public debate with literary luminaries such as Charles Dickens, with the economists opposing slavery, and the literary giants arguing in favor.”

Andersson, 2007;  Block, 1969, 1979, 1988, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007A, 2007B, 2009A, 2009B; Boldrin and Levine, 2008; Frederick, 2014; Kershnar, 2003; Lester, 2000; Mosquito, 2014;  Nozick, 1974, pp. 58, 283, 331; Steiner, 1994, pp. 232-233; 2013, pp. 230-244; Thomson, 1990, pp. 283-284.

Andersson, Anna-Karin. 2007. “An alleged contradiction in Nozick’s entitlement theory.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, Fall: 43–63; http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_3/21_3_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 1969. “Voluntary Slavery.” The Libertarian Connection, Vol. I, No. 3, April 13, pp. 9-11.

Block, Walter E. 1979. Book review of Nancy C. Baker, Baby Selling: the Scandal of Black Market Adoptions, New York: The Vanguard Press, 1978; in Libertarian Review, January, Vol. 7, No. 12, pp. 44-45.

Block, Walter E. 1988. “Rent-a-womb market,” Thunder Bay Ontario Daily; June 26.

Block, Walter E. 1999. “Market Inalienability Once Again: Reply to Radin,” Thomas Jefferson Law Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1, Fall, pp. 37-88; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/market_inalienability.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Alienability, Inalienability, Paternalism and the Law: Reply to Kronman,” American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 28, No. 3, Summer, pp. 351-371; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/reply_to_kronman.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2002. “A Libertarian Theory of Secession and Slavery,” June 10; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block15.htmlhttp://libertariantruth.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/a-libertarian-theory-of-secession-and-slavery/

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Inalienability: A Critique of Rothbard, Barnett, Gordon, Smith, Kinsella and Epstein,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol.17, No. 2, Spring, pp. 39-85; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/17_2/17_2_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Are Alienability and the Apriori of Argument Logically Incompatible?” Dialogue, Vol. 1, No. 1. http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2004/256gord6.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2005. “Ayn Rand and Austrian Economics: Two Peas in a Pod.” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Vol. 6, No. 2, Spring, pp. 259-269

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Epstein on alienation: a rejoinder” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 33, Nos. 3-4, pp. 241-260

Block, Walter E. 2007A. “Secession,” Dialogue. No. 4; pp. 1-14;  http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2007/4.07.WB.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2007B. “Alienability: Reply to Kuflik.” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 117-136; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=0685BBB744173274A5E7CE3803132413?contentType=Article&contentId=1626605

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Yes, Sell Rivers! And Make Legal Some Slave Contracts” The Tyee. July 25; http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2009/07/24/SellRivers/

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Privatizing Rivers and Voluntary Slave Contracts” July 27;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block134.html

Boldrin, Michele and David K. Levine. 2008. Against Intellectual Monopoly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htmhttp://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htmhttp://mises.org/store/Against-Intellectual-Monopoly-P552.aspx

Frederick, Danny. 2014. “Voluntary Slavery,” Las Torres de Lucca 4: 115-37, http://www.lastorresdelucca.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=145:laesclavitud-

voluntaria&Itemid=24&lang=en

Kershnar, Stephen. 2003. “A Liberal Argument for Slavery,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 34 (4): 510-36

Lester, Jan Clifford. 2000. Escape from Leviathan. St. Martin’s Press. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312234163/qid%3D989845939/107-8070279-6411737

Mosquito, Bionic. 2014. “The Sanctity of Contract.” April 19;

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-sanctity-of-contract.html

Nozick, Robert. 1974. Anarchy, State and Utopia, New York: Basic Books, http://www.amazon.com/Anarchy-State-Utopia-Robert-Nozick/dp/0465097200

Steiner, Hillel. 1994. An Essay on Rights, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers; https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2mi4-xFgT7NNWhEQWNhbXB6enc/view

Steiner, Hillel. 2013. “Directed Duties and Inalienable Rights.” Ethics 123 ( January): pp. 230–244

Thomson, Judith Jarvis. 1990. The Realm of Rights, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press

*

Con:

Barnett, 1986, 1988; Calabresi and Melamed, 1972; Epstein, 1985; Evers, 1977; Gordon, 1999; Kinsella, 1998-1999, 2003; Kronman, 1983; Kuflik, 1984, 1986; Long, 1994-1995; McConnell, 1984, 1996; Radin, 1986, 1987; Reisman, 1996, pp. 455f., 634-636; Rothbard, 1998; Smith, 1996, 1997; Unknown, nd.

Barnett, Randy E. 1986. “Contract Remedies and Inalienable Rights” Social Philosophy & Policy Vol. 4, Issue 1, Autumn, pp. 179-202

Barnett, Randy E. 1988. The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Barnett, Randy E. 2007. “Libertarians and the War.”July 17;

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB118463507387568429

Calabresi, Guido and Melamed, Douglas. 1972. “Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 6, April, pp. 1089-1128

Epstein, Richard. 1985.  “Why Restrain Alienation,” Columbia Law Review, vol. 85, 970

Evers, Williamson. 1977. “Toward a Reformulation of the Law of Contracts,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 1, Winter, pp. 3-13; http://mises.org/journals/jls/1_1/1_1_2.pdf

Gordon, David. 1999.  “Private Property’s Philosopher,” The Mises Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring, pp. 1-7

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 1998-1999. “Reply to George Smith: A Victim’s Right to Punish,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 79-93

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 1998-1999.  “Inalienability and Punishment: A Reply to George Smith,” Winter, Journal of Libertarian Studies.

Kinsella, N. Stephan.  2003. A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, and Inalienability, Journal of Libertarian Studies 17, no. 2 (Spring): 11-37

Kronman, Anthony. 1983. “Paternalism and the Law of Contracts,” 92 Yale Law Journal

https://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/58459.html

Kuflik, Arthur. 1984. “The Inalienability of Autonomy,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 4, Fall, pp. 271-298

Kuflik, Arthur. 1986. “The Utilitarian Logic of Inalienable Rights,” Ethics, 97, Oct. 1986, pp. 75-87

Long, Roderick. 1994-1995. “Slavery Contracts and Inalienable Rights: A Formulation.” Formulations. Winter; http://libertariannation.org/a/f22l1.html

McConnell, Terrance. 1984. “The Nature and Basis of Inalienable Rights,” Law and Philosophy, Vol. 3, No. 1,  pp. 25-59

McConnell, Terrance. 1996. “The Inalienable Right of Conscience: A Madisonian Argument,” Social Theory & Practice, Fall, Vol. 22, Issue 3, pp. 397-416

Radin, Margaret Jane. 1986. “Time, Possession and Alienation,” 64 Washington University Law Quarterly, 739

Radin, Margaret Jane. 1987. “Market-Inalienability,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 100, No. 8, June, pp. 1849-1937

Reisman, George. 1996. Capitalism. Ottawa, Il.: Jameson Books

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, N.J., 1998 [1982], pp. 40-41, 135-136; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Smith, George. 1996. “A Killer’s Right to Life,” Liberty, Vol. 10, No. 2, November, pp. 46-54

Smith, George. 1997. “Inalienable Rights?,” Liberty, Vol. 10, No. 6, July, p. 51

Unknown Author. No date. “But What About Voluntary Slaves?”

https://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/but-what-about-voluntary-slaves/

Best regards,

Walter

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3:02 am on July 21, 2020

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Dear John:

Thanks. Few of my correspondents admit they were wrong and acknowledge changing their minds. I salute your courage. I too try to do this. For example, I did so in this article of mine, in one of the first footnotes:

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2006. “On Hayekian Triangles.” Procesos De Mercado: Revista Europea De Economia Politica; Vol. III, No. 2, Fall, pp. 39-141; http://mises.org/journals/scholar/block18.pdfhttp://www.academia.edu/1359916/On_Hayekian_Triangleshttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1880543

Best regards,

Walter

From: John McClain

Subject: Re: Caveat Emptor

Dear Walter,

I have to admit, you are exactly right.  I’ve been watching it from the beginning, and I guess I’m not over the incredibly stupid engineering choice.  I try not to let feelings come through, but I guess I did this time.  I only hope it is Boeing that pays the price, not “taxpayers”.  Thanks for taking a moment and setting me straight.

Semper Fi,

John

From: “wblock” <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: “John McClain”

Subject: RE: Caveat Emptor

Dear John:

Let us stipulate that you are correct. Does this change anything I said? I think not. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, still applies. I am only absolving Boeing of criminal charges.  Under your assumption, they will pay a penalty in the market. They will lose customers

Best regards,

Walter

From: John

To: wblock <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Caveat Emptor

Dear Dr. Block,

While I agree in principle with your stance, I have to say, as an aviation professional, expert in avionics, in particular, communications, navigation, with my beginning in Marine Corps aviation, at a time when electronics was being integrated into flight controls, I have to say, Boeing made a very bad engineering choice, when faced with competition it truly couldn’t equal, except by ignoring standard design concepts.

Airbus had opened a new avenue, having been prepared to put turbo-fan engines on their oldest flying airliners, sufficient ground clearance, they could mount such engines without detrimentally affecting center of gravity, flight balance characteristics, something long standardized for all aircraft.

The 737 was built prior, was very efficient in its time, cost effective, however it didn’t have ground clearance for turbo-fan engines, and airports were and are refusing flights by turbo thrust engine airliners, for both noise and pollution.  The efficiency is for customers to decide.

There is no excuse for completely ignoring factors of weight and balance, known since the Wright brothers, and always considered, in all aircraft ever built.  Boeing chose to mount those turbo-fan engines in the only way they could, without re-engineering the whole aircraft for them to fit, and knew at the start, they’d violated the single most basic concept of flight, natural balance, the ability to load the aircraft such that it is neutral in flight, and all its controls, used to deal with external aspect imposing on flying.

I’ve spent much time dissecting the data on these aircraft, and there was no excuse for trying to overcome a basic flaw in design, by building an electronic control box, to counter a deadly engineering fault, from taxiing on the ground, to its least dangerous carrying intentions in flight.  The whole notion of “electronic flight controls” without direct physical connection of controls to flight control surfaces is fraught with danger that can’t be ameliorated, tube based electronics was simple, reliable, and broke when a tube burned out, usually, generally possible to predict, but not with any certainty.

With integrated circuits, there are “anomalous failures” predicated only on quantum effects, and this with only one integrated circuit, the rest simply solid state design, i.e., transistors, resistors, capacitors, sized and power to match low current, voltage solid state electronics.

The moment one gets to modern electronics, as per 90’s, tech, when I retired, we have the effects everyone who uses a computer in play, the fact they are so complex, so much of their action, hard programmed in integrated circuits, inside “large scale integration”, where transistors are thousands per square inch, or even denser, such low current and voltages in stages, an anomalous stray voltage, even the least bit of static, will completely reset “the program”, as in “cars, stopping dead in the road, to reset”, to build an airplane that is physically completely unable to fly, unbalanced, without constant counteraction by flight controls, is utterly derelict as engineers, and as testers, passing such disasters, on the premise we can trust electronics to always work.

I worked on CH-46’s, the best chopper ever built, for landing Marines in hot LZ’s, able to “air taxi” at 15 to 20 knots, dump a whole squad of combat laden Marines in some five or six seconds, and be at an hundred knots, in less than a minute, to round robin again, and to be such, the pilots could literally take hands off controls, without losing control of flight.

A-4’s and F-4’s were also my job, and without electric power, they could continue in air combat, and win, if it were necessary, and the best of pilots.  We transitioned to fly by wire, F-18’s and 22’s before I retired, something I’d never work on, not for any reason, a completely irrational way of flying.  The “737 max” is about as useful as a Harrier, A model, B model,

F-35 model, all of which are far inferior to the Russian aircraft, just as the 737 max, doesn’t hold a candle to the Airbus equivalent, which is in fact, a fully balanced, standard product aircraft.

I’ve driven double clutching, mechanical transfer case, ten ton military trucks, dump trucks, having to steer with a knee, same leg operating the double clutch, going through eight gears to get up to fifty, without power steering, and while it’s possible, necessary in fact, in its time, it would in no way meet current safety standards for the road, given how easy it is to have air assist transfer case shift, and today, automatic transmissions, and transfer cases.

If I had to, I’d drive the fifty series, modified in sixties deuce and a half’s, five ton’s, ten ton’s, to survive, fight in war, work in a hurricane, but there would be no excuse to use such on the roads today, they are built for war, off-road use, and fifty years, superseded. What Boeing did was in no way in keeping with standard safety of flight standards, they violated the most basic principles of flight, and I hope they fail, utterly, because such “chief executives” should never be able to reach such power.

The Boeing engineers fought this “max” all the way, many leaving, some fired, only those who went along, allowed to stay.

I build machinery for a living, have for fifty years or so, I’ve flown small six passenger aircraft, a couple of choppers, raced cars, motorcycles, bicycles, I’ve built my own frames, engines, converted “stock cars” to “stock cars for racing” on clay half mile tracks as a teen, and I have no respect for any engineer who would suggest this was not a death trap, known by all competent engineers.

I stopped flying because of the imposition of idiocy, on common airlines, complicated by having multiple sclerosis, the altitude messing with my water and my nervous system, haven’t flown in almost two decades, and don’t see it in my future, unless TSA goes away forever, and even then, my m.s. will factor into any possible flying.  The simple fact Boeing, knowingly put this over on the FAA, deceptively, and has backed its choice to the the hilt, says they aren’t qualified to build aircraft anymore, without a vast change in management and culture of design and production.

As a senior Marine, I’ve been fired, for refusing to support something I knew was illegal, dangerous, and ultimately, overridden by the Commanding Officer, killed two pilots, for the sake of “not losing flight pay for all flight officers not having birds to get their mandatory flight hours in”.

That happened in 79, out of Kaneohe Marine air station, Hawaii.  I wasn’t in charge at the time, just an observer, having been working in the engine test cell, built in 57, down for repairs, parts to be made, and causing four squadrons to fail to fly for over six months.  The C.O. demanded engine shop put an engine, ‘their best’, in a bird, “high power test it” chained down to the flight line, against all NATOPS regulations, and it was launched that evening, after the engine shop NCOIC, was fired, a sergeant fired, corporal fired, for refusing to certify the engine without testing in the test cell, and brow-beating a Lance Corporal into signing off the engine, and that TA-4M got almost fifty feet past the end of the runway, engine locked, bird flipped, and both pilots ejected down, into the ocean, dead the moment they hit the water, the inertia of the locked engine rotor, causing the aircraft to roll 180 as it stopped at 100% power.  We spent two weeks, collecting parts, got part of one pilot, a limb, and part of head and helmet of the other, the rest fed the hammerhead sharks in Kaneohe bay.

I was a Staff Sergeant, years later, and refused to sign off avionics, I knew was bad, and fired.  I barely walked out the door, and was greeted by my new boss, who took me precisely because of what I did.  Five or six years later, I was fired as a Gunnery Sergeant, in charge of Comm/Nav at Cherry Point’s advanced schoolhouse, confronting my boss, a Captain, for illegally sending a student of mine, to be interrogated by CID, (Criminal Investigation Department) when the student was positive for codeine, in a piss test, having had wisdom teeth pulled, and prescription tylex, annotated on the log, an illegal act, done before the formal results were returned from the lab.

Again, I was met by my new boss, and put in charge of the first shop I ever was assigned to, in 77, and retired, lauded for my integrity in doing my job as a leader.  There is no excuse for refusing engineering demands, that have stood a century, every time violated, killing pilots, mostly, in combat, and only occasionally civilians, and mostly “test pilots”.

I was forced to receive three classified vaccines, experimental, untested, to go to the Gulf in 89.  I have multiple sclerosis, acquired since my return, and only a decade later, the government admitted their “anthrax vaccine was indeed, a major issue in ‘Gulf War Syndrome’”.

Thousands of Service members have been denied disability because the V.A.

refuses to use common practice medicine to evaluate vets, they denied my six year diagnosed m.s., without any formal test, simply running a pencil up my plantar facia, my bottom of my foot, and seeing the natural reflex movement of my foot, sufficient for them to ignore everything else.  I’ve been on various shot therapies, three, five years tolerated each, antibody shots, and 13 years of Tysabre, infused monoclonal antibodies, and walking, as no other person I know in treatment does, without cane or other aids, cognitive, knowledgeable, solely because I fought the disease and the doctors, from 90, to the present, knowing more about my m.s., than my neurologist, having figured out my worst symptom of 28 years, solely because of all the protesting virologists, neurologists, denying this “carnivorous clown posse” over the false claims.

Dr. Block, I stand on the engineering studies, before, during and post.

God Bless you and yours,

Semper Fidelis,

John McClain

Vanceboro, NC

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2:59 am on July 21, 2020

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What’s the Libertarian View on Forgiving Federal Student Loans?

From: Noah Smith

Subject: Defending the Undefendable

Dr. Block –

Years ago (more than 10 or 12) I wrote you and asked what I could do to help the movement. You said, “Donate to the Mises Institution”.

Ok, I did that. Since you are related to that august institution, I’m coming back with a challenge for you.

I think the libertarian position on federally-held student loans should be to forgive them. I would like to say that this specifically should be a one-time deal and only for loans held on the federal balance sheet. It should be accompanied by policy and legal changes to prevent new acquisitions by the state.

My points are as follows:

1. The money to acquire the debt is already out the window. Taxpayers will never see an offset in taxes proportional to the acquisition. From a taxpayer perspective, we will never recoup interest or principal.

2. The debt has an 10-11% default rate. After the pandemic, I’m guessing the delinquency rate will go up. Banks and loan processors are already getting paid to not collect – this “asset” has very little actual value. It has a lot of risk. Taxpayers will never recoup the investment or returns and will be on the hook for all liabilities.

3. The debt is enforced via violence. It cannot be discharged. It is unethical to support a fiscal instrument that is enforced by violence. If you entered into an unethical contract enforced by violence, a judge would dismiss it. This is a commonly accepted outcome as a result of egregious contracts.

4. It helps to strangle the government and reduces leverage. That huge line item is used as a political football and talking point. Getting rid of it gives positive leverage to Libertarians and reduces the leverage that the left and right have in kicking it around every year.

5. It’s a highly populist move with very few downsides.

6. Individuals should be allowed to make their own fiscal decisions – including discharge. Keeping this debt on the books is not like a private contract. It is collectivist. We should not be supporting collective actions at the state level.

7. It is unethical for libertarians to support state contracts. The state should be strangled at every point. If I were asked to support a private contract between consenting adults, I would be in favor (although I would not pay to help one party enforce on the other). The state’s position is that we should all be forced to help pay to enforce their contract.

As an addendum, the states and Feds should also stop granting loans, guaranteeing payments, offsetting interest, and enforcing collections.

So, this is me calling you out – I think I’m right. I think you should accept my position and defend this in your toughest market – other libertarians.

Regards,

Noah

Dear Noah:

Thanks for your support of the Mises Institute, and for your very thoughtful letter about forgiving student loan debt.

I agree with you, but only partially. I think student loan debt ought to be forgiven for all student who are libertarians, or a political. Not for the others.

I’ve pubished a little bit about this:

Block, 1972, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009A, 2009B, 2010, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 2012, 2016; Block and Arakaky, 2008, Block and Barnett, 2008, D’Amico and Block, 2007

Block, Walter E. 1972. “The Polish Ham Question.” The Libertarian Forum. June-July, Vol. 4, No. 6-7, p. 5; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1972/1972_06-07.pdfhttp://mises.org/daily/4054https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block143.html

Block, Walter E. 2002. “Accepting Government Subsidies,” Fraser Forum, February, p. 27; http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/forum/2002/02/section_13.html

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. 2007. “Ron Paul and Matching Funds,” October 1;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block86.html

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Replies to readers” September 23;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block108.html (libertarians hypocrites for using public school?)

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism” in Hulsmann, Jorg Guido and Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 137-148; http://mises.org/books/hulsmann-kinsella_property-freedom-society-2009.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010. “You are a rotten kid (rent control and libertarianism),” February 27;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block150.html

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “It’s Ayn Rand Bashing Time, Once Again.” February 18; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block172.html

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “May a Libertarian Take Money From the Government?” March 11; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block175.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/03/walter-e-block/may-a-libertarian-take-money-from-the-government/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 665-675; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_33.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011D. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Is It Compatible With Libertarianism to be a Banker? Yes!” September 29; https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/compatible-libertarianism-banker-yes/

Block, Walter E. and Chris Arakaky. 2008. “Taking Government Money for Grad School?” May 23; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block100.html

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

D’Amico, Dan and Walter E. Block. 2007. “A Legal and Economic Analysis of Graffiti” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 29-38; http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/damico.pdfhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=24713http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008525

This book of mine might be of interest to you:

Block, Walter E. 2012. Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty. Ishi Press; http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873234;

http://www.amazon.com/Paul-President-2012-Liberty-ebook/dp/B0085IEQB8/http://www.dailypaul.com/232336/new-book-on-ron-paul-by-walter-block;

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0085IEQB8#reader_4871873234http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871873234;

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ron-paul-for-president-in-2012-walter-block/1110505571?ean=9784871873239;

http://jfrp.org/2012/05/10/just-released-walter-blocks-new-book-on-ron-paul/?preview=true&preview_id=73&preview_nonce=242eff3860;

http://runronpaul.com/economy/why-do-economists-say-that-ron-paul-would-be-the-best-president-for-the-economy/http://bastiat.mises.org/2012/06/defending-the-defendable/;

http://www.libertarianbookclub.com/2012/06/02/4750/;

http://www.loyno.edu/news/laag/20120601/3729?utm_source=LAAG&utm_medium=enews&utm_content=20120601&utm_campaign=PublicAffairs;

http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873234/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=lewrockwell&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=4871873234&adid=022PCECJPWPJ8DJNW8YP;

Dear :

Best regards,

Walter

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2:57 am on July 21, 2020

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