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What Jobs Could An Economics Major Have In An Anarcho-Capitalist World?

—–Original Message—–
From: A
Sent: Tue 8/15/2017 4:57 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Price Gouging, CEO Salaries

Thanks sir. I was wondering what jobs an economics major could have in an anarcho-capitalist world? The only thing I can think of is in the financial services industry and academia? What would you think an econ major could get as a job in an anarcho-capitalist world?

Dear A: To your list I would add banking, insurance, investment. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. These are occupations for which a major in economics would be directly applicable. But economics, properly taught, is an integral part of a liberal arts education. Not one that includes feminist studies, black studies, queer studies, snowflake studies, whining studies, micro-aggression studies, sociology, etc. Rather, one that include the classics, fine literature, music, the sciences, mathematics, logic, etc. All of these, economics most assuredly included, prepare graduates for any job at all in the free economy that requires, rewards, clear thinking, common sense, sechel (in Yiddish). The dismal science, too, is a rigorous discipline, which preeminently can prepare its majors for virtually any intellectual field: medicine, law, business of any sort not just “the financial services industry.” Then, too, it is a precursor to graduate school in many academic disciplines, such as history, philosophy, political science, and, yes, ugh (for at least the way this is conducted nowadays), sociology too.


10:20 pm on December 16, 2018

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From: M
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:49 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: re: Rothbard on Coase

Dear Walter,

Rothbard on Coase is worth reading. (Rothbard is always worth reading, of course.)

See pp. 253-256 in his “Strictly Confidential The Private Volker Fund Memos”.

He doesn’t say that Coase bitterly opposes private property.

Sincerely, M

Dear M

I say, over and over again, that Coase bitterly opposed private property rights.

Murray doesn’t say that 2+2=4 at that point (pp. 253-256 in his “Strictly Confidential) either; that doesn’t mean Murray doesn’t buy into this equation. Murray is adamant that at least on social costs, Coase’s main “contribution” he was simply awful (see below). This is not to deny that Coase did make some important contributions. Radio waves, the firm, freedom of speech. But he is mainly known for his Law and Econoimcs and social costs, and there he was dreadful.

For an Austro-libertarian critique of the evil Coase, see this material:

Barnett and Block, 2005, 2007, 2009; Block 1977, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010A, 2010B, 2010C, 2011; Block, Barnett and Callahan, 2005; Bylund, 2014; Cordato, 1989, 1992a, 1992b, 1997, 1998, 2000; DiLorenzo, 2014; Fox, 2007; Hoppe, 2004; Krause, 1999; Krecke, 1996; Lewin, 1982; North, 1990, 1992, 2002; Rothbard, 1982, 1997; Stringham, 2001; Stringham and White, 2004; Terrell, 1999; Wysocki, 2017.

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “Professor Tullock on Austrian Business Cycle Theory,” Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, pp. 431-443

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Coase and Van Zandt on Lighthouses,” Public Finance Review, Vol. 35, No. 6, November, pp. 710-733; http://pfr.sagepub.com/content/35/6/710

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2009. “Coase and Bertrand on Lighthouses,” Public Choice; 140(1–2):1–13, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11127-008-9375-x

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 2, Spring, pp. 111-115, http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/1_2/1_2_4.pdf; reprint translation: “Coase y Demsetz sobre el derecho de propiedad privada,” Libertas 37, Octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp.5-20.

Block, Walter E. 1995. “Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to Demsetz,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 61-125, http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae8_2_4.pdf; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/r82_4.pdf; reprint translation: “Ética, eficiencia, derechos de propiedad Coasianos e ingreso psíquico: una respuesta a Demsetz,” Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp. 71-210

Block, Walter 1996. “O.J.’s Defense: A Reductio Ad Absurdum of the Economics of Ronald Coase and Richard Posner,” European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 265-286; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_oj’s-defense.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2000. “Private Property Rights, Erroneous Interpretations, Morality and Economics: Reply to Demsetz,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, pp. 63-78; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae3_1_8.pdf; reprint translation: “Derecho de propiedad privada, interpretaciones erróneas, moralidad y economía: en respuesta a Demsetz,” Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp. 227-264

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Private property rights, economic freedom, and Professor Coase: A Critique of Friedman, McCloskey, Medema and Zorn,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer, pp. 923-951; http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go2782/is_3_26/ai_n6640908/?tag=content

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Coase and Kelo: Ominous Parallels and Reply to Lott on Rothbard on Coase,” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 997-1022; https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=27+Whittier+L.+Rev.+997&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=7abe221cecca64ce06068c3cbfa36fd1

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “A Response to Brooks’ Support of Demsetz on the Coase Theorem.” Dialogue, Vol. 2; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2010/2.10.WB.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Brooks on Coase and Demsetz.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics; Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter, pp. 56-73; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae13_4_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010C. “Rejoinder to Boettke on Coasean Economics and Communism.” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall, pp. 9-90; http://www.rebe.rau.ro/REBE%205%203.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Rejoinder to Bertrand on lighthouses.” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, Fall, pp. 49-67; http://www.rebe.rau.ro/REBE%206%203.pdf

Block, Walter E., William Barnett II and Gene Callahan. 2005. “The Paradox of Coase as a Defender of Free Markets,” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 1075-1095; http://tinyurl.com/2hbzd4; http://www.nyujll.org/articles/Vol.%201%20No.%203/Vol.%201%20No.%203%20-%20Barnett,%20Block%20and%20Callahan.pdf; http://tinyurl.com/2hbzd4
to be reprinted in Mario Rizzo, ed. forthcoming. Austrian Law and Economics

Bylund, Per L. 2014. “Ronald Coase’s ‘nature of the firm’ and the argument for economic planning.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Volume 36, Number 3, September; ISSN 1053-8372 print; ISSN 1469-9656 online/14/03000 305 – 329 © The History of Economics Society, doi:10.1017/S1053837214000352

Cordato, Roy E. 1989. “Subjective Value, Time Passage, and the Economics of Harmful Effects,” Hamline Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring, pp.229-244.

Cordato, Roy E. 1992a. “Knowledge Problems and the Problem of Social Cost” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, vol.14, Fall, pp. 209-224.

Cordato, Roy E. 1992b. Welfare Economics and Externalities in an Open-Ended Universe: A Modern Austrian Perspective, Boston: Kluwer.

Cordato, Roy E. 1997. “Market-Based Environmentalism and the Free Market: They’re Not the Same,” The Independent Review, Vol. 1, No. 3, Winter, pp. 371-386.

Cordato, Roy. 1998. “Time Passage and the Economics of Coming to the Nuisance: Reassessing the Coasean Perspective,” Campbell Law Review, vol. 20, No. 2, Spring, pp. 273-292

Cordato, Roy. 2000. “Chasing Phantoms in a Hollow Defense of Coase” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 13, No. 2, September, pp. 193-208.

DiLorenzo, Tom. 2014. “When Did Ronald Coase Become the Ayatollah of Economic Theory?” January 2; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/01/thomas-dilorenzo/the-beltarian-cult/

Fox, Glenn. 2007. “The Real Coase Theorems.” The Cato Journal: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Public Policy Analysis. Volume 27 Number 3, Fall, pp. 373-396; http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj27n3/cj27n3-5.pdf

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2004. “The Ethics and Economics of Private Property.” October 11; https://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe11.html

Krauss, Michael. 1999. “Tort Law, Moral Accountability, and Efficiency: Reflections on the Current Crisis” Markets and Morality, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/1999_spr/krauss.html

Krecke, Elisabeth. 1996. “Law and the Market Order: An Austrian Critique of the Economic Analysis of Law,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines 7(1), March, pp.19-37; Commentaries on Law&Economics, 1997 Yearbook, ed., Robert W. McGee, pp.86-109.

Lewin, Peter. 1982. “Pollution Externalities: Social Cost and Strict Liability.” Cato Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, Spring, pp. 205-229.

North, Gary. 1990. Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics.

North, Gary. 1992. The Coase Theorem, Tyler, TX: The Institute for Christian Economics

North, Gary. 2002. “Undermining Property Rights: Coase and Becker,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 16, No. 4, Fall, pp. 75-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/16_4/16_4_5.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1982. “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution,” Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; reprinted in Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation, Walter E. Block , ed., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1990, pp. 233-279. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/lawproperty.pdf; http://mises.org/story/2120

Rothbard, Murray N. 1997. “Value Implications of Economic Theory,” Logic of Action I (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar), pp. 255-265.

Stringham, Edward Peter, and Mark White. 2004. “Economic Analysis of Tort Law: Austrian and Kantian Perspectives.” In Law and Economics: Alternative Economic Approaches to Legal and Regulatory Issues, ed. Margaret Oppenheimer and Nicholas Mercuro, 374-392. New York: M.E. Sharpe. http://www.sjsu.edu/stringham/docs/Stringham.and.White2005.pdf

Stringham, Edward. 2001. “Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency and the Problem of Central Planning,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer, 41-50; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae4_2_3.pdf

Terrell, Timothy D. 1999. “Property Rights and Externality: The Ethics of the Austrian School.” Journal of Markets and Morality. Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall; http://www.acton.org/publications/mandm/mandm_article_114.php

Wysocki, Igor. 2017. “Justice and Pareto-Efficiency (The Case Against Coase).” Dialogi Polityczne / Political Dialogues, pp. 33-46

Debate: Block vs. Demsetz: Block – Demsetz debate (on Ronald Coase):

1. Block, Walter E. 1977. “Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 2, 1977, pp. 111-115; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/1_2/1_2_4.pdf

2. Demsetz, Harold. 1979. “Ethics and Efficiency in Property Rights Systems,” in Time, Uncertainty and Disequilibrium: Explorations of Austrian Themes, Mario Rizzo, ed., Lexington Mass.: D.C. Heath and Co; http://mises.org/Books/timeuncertainty.pdf (see chapter 5)

3. Block, Walter E. 1995. “Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to Demsetz,” Review of Austrian Economics, 8 (2): 61-125, http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae8_2_4.pdf

4. Demsetz, Harold. 1997. “Block’s Erroneous Interpretations,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 101-109; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae10_2_6.pdf

5. Block, Walter E. 2000. “Private Property Rights, Erroneous Interpretations, Morality and Economics: Reply to Demsetz,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, pp. 63-78; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae3_1_8.pdf

Block-Lott Debate

Lott, John R. 1983-1984. “A Note on Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution.” Cato Journal. Volume 3 Number 3, Winter, pp. 875-878

Block responded here:

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Coase and Kelo: Ominous Parallels and Reply to Lott on Rothbard on Coase,” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 997-1022

Lott did not reply to this Block, 2006.


7:20 pm on December 14, 2018

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What Should Be The Libertarian Party’s Official Position On Abortion?

I think the LP position on abortion should be this:

Just as is the general public is divided on the very contentious issue of abortion, so are the members of the LP. Therefore, we take no position whatsoever on this matter. Murray Rothbard was strongly pro choice. Ron Paul is just as adamantly pro life. There are not two libertarian theorists with better credentials than these two. If they can disagree with each other, cordially, on this matter, then, so can we all.

Of course, in my view, both positions are wrong. That’s why at the next LP convention I feel it important to have a panel of three people, one pro choice, the other pro life and my own view, evictionism. I really think we can get some good publicity if the LP adopts my own view. But, that is a discussion for another day. In the meantime, I think my above statement will well serve the LP. This business of “We’re pro choice on everything” will lose us a significant following, and, for no good reason.

From: t
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:28 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Blockian Proviso

Parents do not have a positive right to make someone else pay for the consequences of their voluntary choices or abuse of drugs, etc. So if a voluntary sexual act results in the conception of a new human being, they also do not have the right to violate the N.A.P. against that new person.

That means more than the fact that they cannot murder it. It means more, since they are responsible for that person’s existence. They are obligated to ensure the well-being of that person until that child is of the age that it can live on its own, according to the principles you have previously described.

For example, the child cannot be accused of parasitic behavior as a welfare recipient or a thief might be. The child did not aggress in the slightest. The mother and father have “made the child helpless”.

Therefore in my opinion this makes an “eviction” of a child with no takers for adoption, is equivalent to murder. If you aggress against someone in a way that robs all means of self-sustenance from him, you owe him a living until he is able to fend for himself or someone else “adopts” him.

Dear T:
I have written lots about this. Please read what I have written; see below. Then, if you still have this query, do get back to me.

All: Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B, 2014; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Davies, 2012; Dyke and Block, 2011; Parr, 2011, 2013; Rothbard, 1978; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

I. Here are Walter E. Block’s publications and speeches on abortion, pro life, pro choice, evictionism, followed by critiques of his views, followed by his responses to these critiques:

Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Dyke and Block, 2011

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. Undated (1997?). “L’Aborto: Una Legittima Difesa,” Claustrofobia, anno 1, n. 3, pp. 16-22.

Block, Walter E. 1978. “Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?” Reason, Vol. 9, No. 12, April, pp. 18-25.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdf; https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/03068290410518256; https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/03068290410518256?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijse

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/27/jmp.jhu012.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586;

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Vol. 35: 429-448;
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref ; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=78eaf87fd81ebaaa7a245cca600b15bba8497c2cfbf1284c08a0260ba068d4ad&cmpgp0811Ueh016=ICD20811TEH0PkRLpL1IF; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=4b842f7f4697bce38422e0bfe03e6ccad53070377a9303d5#JAL1

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdf; http://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2012. “A Not So Funny Thing Happened to Me in Tampa.” August 30; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block208.html

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2014E. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June; Volume 35, Issue 2, pp. 290-294; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10834-013-9361-4;
http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10834-013-9361-4; http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/463/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10834-013-9361-4.pdf?auth66=1385583057_5dd1e3442d2db3f98c91dcf5a5d5fa43&ext=.pdf; http://www.springer.com/home?SGWID=0-0-1003-0-0&aqId=2507833&download=1&checkval=feff928fe5dfc72bc210032f220ca40a.

Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pub

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/38-dyke-block-conjoined-twins/

ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

II. Critics of evictionism::

Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Davies, 2012; Feser, 2004; Goodwin, 2014; Parr, 2011, 2013; Mosquito, 2014, 2015; Rothbard, ; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012; Rothbard, 1978; Vance, 2008, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

Akers, Becky. 2012A. “Not My Definition — or Webster’s Either — of ‘Trespassing’” September 6; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120226.html
Akers, Becky. 2012B. “What if the ‘Fetus’ Could Shoot Back?” September 12; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120728.html
Davies, Jim. 2012. “Abortion.” September 24;

Feser, Edward. 2004. “Self-ownership, abortion, and the rights of children: toward a more conservative libertarianism.” Journal of Libertarian Studies. Volume 18, no. 3 (Summer), pp. 91-114; http://www.indytruth.org/library/journals/libertarianstudies/18/18_3_5.pdf

Goodwin, Jonathan. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;

Mosquito, Bionic. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;

Mosquito, Bionic. 2015. “Walter Block, Specific Performance Contracts, and Abortion.” July 12; http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2015/07/walter-block-specific-performance.html

Parr, Sean. 2011. “Departurism and the Libertarian Axiom of Gentleness.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 34, http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-34.doc

Parr, Sean. 2013. “Departurism Redeemed – A Response to Walter Block’s ‘Evictionism is Libertarian; Departurism is Not: Critical Comment on Parr.’” Journal of Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 109-123; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/home/departurism-redeemed-a-response-to-walter-blocks-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr

Presley, Sharon and Robert Cooke (aka Morgan Edwards). 1979. “The right to abortion: a libertarian defense.” Association of libertarian feminists discussion paper

Rothbard, Murray N. 1978. “The editor replies.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, p. 3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Sadowsky, S.J., James. 1978. “Abortion and Rights of the Child.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, pp. 2-3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Shaffer, Butler. 2012. “Of Children and Fetuses.” September 17;

Vance, Laurence. 2008. “Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?” January 29; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance133.html

Vance, Laurence. 2012. “Libertarianism and Abortion.” July 17;

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010A. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/16-wisniewski-block-on-abortion/

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Block’s Defense of Evictionism.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 2, Art No. 27; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-37.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2011. “Response to Block on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-6;
http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/6-winiewski-response-to-block-on-abortion-round-three/; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-6.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2013. “Abortion, Libertarianism and Evictionism: A Last Word.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 153-162; http://libertarianpapers.org/2013/6-wisniewski-abortion-libertarianism-and-evictionism/

III. Block responds to critics:

Block, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2014; forthcoming

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “Objections to the Libertarian Stem Cell Compromise,” Libertarian Papers 2, 34; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/34-block-objections-to-the-libertarian-stem-cell-compromise/

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Wisniewski on Abortion.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 32, No. 2; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/32-block-rejoinder-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-32.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Two.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 3, Article No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/4-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion-round-two/

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 6; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/37-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Evictionism is libertarian; departurism is not: critical comment on Parr.” Vol. 3, Article 36, Libertarian Papers;

Block, Walter E. 2014D. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Four.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-14;

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Parr on Evictionism and Departurism” Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 125-138; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/current-issue.html; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/5/5/14558572/journalpeaceprosperityfreedom_single.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2017. “Abortion Once Again; a response to Feser, Goodwin, Mosquito, Sadowsky, Vance and Watkins.” Journal of Constitutional Research (Brazil); Vol 4, No. 1, pp. 11-41; http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/article/view/50328; http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/issue/view/2292/showToc

From: L
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 2:06 PM
To: Walter Block


6:31 pm on December 13, 2018

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Privatize All Bodies of Water: Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, Aquifers, and Mud Puddles Too!

From: M
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:37 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Water Values Podcast
Dr. Block, I want to thank you for appearing on the Water Values Podcast and for authoring Water Capitalism with Peter Nelson. I wrote to the host of this podcast and encouraged him to invite you on his show. This type of show is pretty niche to water professionals, especially younger ones like myself, and the ideas and concepts Peter and yourself brought to the listeners was badly needed. A few months ago, the host was basically worshipping the slimiest, most corrupt former EPA lawyer that appeared on his show, a common theme on many of the shows unfortunately. Feeling strongly that worshiping this high priest in the revolving door of the federal bureaucracy is the worst way forward for water, I felt strongly that others in the water industry need to know there is better way. As Peter stated so nicely, a more moral and just way, and as you obviously laid at the listener’s feet, the path to wealth and abundance. Thank you again! M in DFW, Texas

Dear M: Thanks for your kind comment. I wanted “Mud Puddles” in the title of this book. I was balked. Ah, well, you can’t win them all.

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-Aquifers. https://mises.org/library/case-privatizing-oceans-and-rivers

Best regards, Walter


10:42 am on December 12, 2018

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Why Such Smart Jews Are Nevertheless Disproportionately Socialist

From: M
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:21 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: An enigna
Dr Block,
Your post on libertarian Jews really brings up some interesting points. The Jewish folk I have known here in southside Virginia are mostly of the progressive bent, politically speaking. My son has several Jewish friends and he says the same thing. The point is not their progressivism but how conservatively they live their own lives. They are wonderful folk who have a reverence for tradition, strong families, not given to excessive drinking, in synagogue weekly, tend to marry within their own group, are thrifty, modest, practice deferred gratification and self reliance. All of these tend to point to a conservative person. Not that conservatives are libertarian but conservatives certainly are not progressive. Anyway just and interesting thought. Kind of an enigma. Thanks for your work. Every time I read one of your posts or articles I tend to spend a lot of time thinking!!
Sincerely, M

Dear M:

Thanks for your kind words.

Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQs of any such group. Yet, they are disproportionately socialist. Why? Here are some readings that attempt to wrestle with this conundrum:

Best regards,

Billingsley, 1998; Block, 2004; Frankel, 1983; Friedman, Manny. 2012; Friedman, Milton. 1985a, 1985b,1985c; Gabler, 1989; Hayek, 1988, 1990; Lefkowitz, 1993; Liggio, 1997; Lilla, 2001; MacDonald, 1998; Mises, 1972; Nozick, 1997; Podhoretz, 2009; Rothbard, 1990; Sombart, 1913 ; Stein and Stein. 1979; Twain, 1898; Van den Haag, 2000/2001

Billingsley, Kenneth Lloyd. 1998. Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced The American Film Industry In The 1930s And 1940s; Prima Publishing

Block, Walter E. 2004. “The Jews and Capitalism: A love-hate enigma.” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Fall, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 305-326; http://tinyurl.com/2zgs5s; http://tinyurl.com/25qdpq; reprinted as: Block, Walter E., 2005. “The Jews and Capitalism: A Love-Hate Relationship.” Business and Religion: A Clash of Civilizations? Nicholas Capaldi, ed. Salem, MA: M&M Scrivener Press, pp. 65-79; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block98.html

Frankel, S. Herbert, “Modern Capitalism and the Jews,” Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, 1983, reprinted as “Comment on Milton Friedman’s ‘Capitalism and the Jews’,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute: 1985, pp. 429-442

Friedman, Manny. 2012. “Jews DO control the media.” The Times of Israel, July 1; http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-do-control-the-media/

Friedman, Milton. 1985a. “Capitalism and the Jews,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 401-418.

Friedman, Milton. 1985b. “Reply to Frankel,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 443-446.

Friedman, Milton. 1985c.”Discussion,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute

Gabler, Neal. 1989. An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood; Anchor

Hayek, Friedrich A. 1988. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press

Hayek, Friedrich A. 1990. The Intellectuals and Socialism, Fairfax, VA: Institute for Humane Studies; reprinted from the University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, Spring 1949; http://mises.org/document/1019

Lefkowitz, Jay P. 1993. “Jewish Voters and the Democrats,” Commentary, April, Vol. 95, No. 4, pp. 38-41

Liggio, Leonard P. 1997. “Market and Money in Jewish and Christian Thought in the Hellenistic and Roman Ages,” An Austrian in France: Festschrift in honour of Jaques Garello, Kurt R. Leube, Angelo M. Petroni and James S. Sadowsky, eds., La Rosa, pp. 283-294 (originally published in The Christian Vision: Man and Morality, T.J. Burke, ed., Hillsdale, MI: the Hillsdale College Press, 1986.

Lilla, Mark. 2001. The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, New York: New York Review Books

MacDonald, Kevin. 1998. The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, New York: Praeger

Mises, Ludwig von. 1972. The Anti-Capitalist Mentality, South Holland, IL: Libertarian Press

Nozick, Robert. 1997. “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism,” in Socratic Puzzles, Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Podhoretz, Norman. 2009. “Why are Jews Liberals?” Wall Street Journal. September 10;

Rothbard, Murray N. 1990. “Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals In Social Change Toward Laissez Faire.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall, pp. 43-67.

Sombart, Werner. 1913. The Jews and Modern Capitalism, London: Unwin

Stein, Ben and Benjamin Stein. 1979. The View from Sunset Boulevard: America As Brought To You By The People Who Make Television; Basic Books

Twain, Mark. 1898. “Concerning the Jews.” Harper’s Magazine. March;

Van den Haag, Ernest. 2000/2001. “The Hostility of Intellectuals to Capitalism,” The Intercollegiate Review, Vo. 36, Nos. 1-2, Fall/Spring, pp. 56-63


7:46 pm on December 11, 2018

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Are Supporters of the Minimum Wage Law Criminals? Possibly, But Not Necessarily. Some Are, Some Are Not.

From: A
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2017 7:57 PM
To: walter block

Dear A: I can’t bring myself to agree with this analysis of yours, but I am in awe of its beauty. The aesthete in my cries out in congratulation to you for thinking of this way of looking at the matter. Why can’t I agree with it, even though I greatly admire it? Consider the following. A rams his car into C’s because A hates C and wants to damage the latter. He is clearly a criminal. B also rams his car into C’s, but he bears C no ill will. B’s infliction of damage on C’s property was totally accidental. Is B, too, a criminal like A? No. B is only a tort feasor. B owes C only an amount sufficient to make C “whole” again, but not like A, in addition, punitive damages, being subjected to very Draconian libertarian punishment theory. Now, consider the man on the street who knows no economics at all. He supports the minimum wage law, he votes for it, he urges others to do so. Why? Because he erroneously thinks that this law will actually raise the compensation of the poor and unskilled. The last thing on his mind is that it will create unemployment, or that fulfilling this law will unleash violence against those who disobey it. In my view, such a person is more akin to B, in my car story, than to A. I don’t think that people who vote for, support, etc., minimum wage laws are out and out criminals. They are just (invincibly) ignorant. This statement of Murray Rothbard’s is pertinent: “”It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” So I ask, is the minimum wage supporter a criminal? I answer in the negative. Is such a person “irresponsible”? Yes, of course, he is. But irresponsibility is not a criminal offense.

Every time I teach an introductory microeconomics course, I start off by taking a survey of my mainly freshman students. I offer them the following choices.
1. The minumum wage level should be increased
2. The minumum wage level should remain as is
3. The minumum wage level should be decreased
4. The minumum wage level should be eliminated
5. The minumum wage level should be eliminated, and those responsible for implementing it should be imprisoned.
Note, I don’t offer these kids any other option, such as, “unsure.”
Here are the percentage responses I usually get.
1. 95%
2. 3%
3. 0%
4. 0%
5. 2% (these are from students who enroll at Loyola because they came here to study with me and are already an caps)
Should 98% of my ignorant freshman students be considered criminals? I find it very difficult to agree with your assessment. But, note, I share your outlook regarding those who are responsible for implementing such unjust laws, such as congressmen who voted for it (watch out Bernie!), judges and cops who enforce it, etc. I have published a bit on this:

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/6392; http://periodicos.unicesumar.edu.br/index.php/revjuridica/article/view/6392/3190


11:49 am on December 10, 2018

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It Is Ok To Give Money to the State Under Duress; Just Don’t Donate Any to Them

Dear B: I don’t like taxation, but I discuss it all the time. See below for my publications defending the right of libertarians to take a public salary. Short summary: it is ok to take money from government; it is not ok to donate any money to them, over and above what is coerced from you by them. It is also ok to use their museums, parks, fiat currency, schools. They are a criminal gang. In the view of Rothbard (1973, p. 49): “if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”
Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

—–Original Message—–
From: B
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:13 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: LRC Blog – LewRockwell

Dear professor Block-

In your blog post on LRC today you answered a question from a reader as to whether a libertarian has a right to a public salary.

In our last very congenial correspondence you said you didn’t like discussing taxes because you find it uncomfortable, as an e capitalist.
Yet in your reply you quote the mantra that taxation is theft.

But in the case of federal wages in particular, since you do not wish to engage in what I have been saying, the mantra is incorrect.

Think of paying taxes on a federal salary as merely a condition of employment. It is not theft because you do not have a right to a federal job. It is a privilege to work for the feds. Under the rule of sovereignty, the feds can Tax that which they have created, in this case a job.
Of course any private employer could do the same, but market forces usually preclude extra fees for employment.

This is why my friend P for fifteen years has been able to get many many millions in complete refunds for those who challenge the information returns issued by most private employer s.

Once challenged in the administrative process, the feds must prove a tax liability. From their own knowledge, or form witnesses.

The only way the federal government has personal knowledge of your receipts is from their own payroll records.

Your private employer thinks he is simply obeying the law, and is not aware, nor can he testify, to the fact that the information return he issued you is in fact an affidavit. Alleging he disbursed. Taxable income, not in any way wages as defined in the code.

I am writing you by finger typing so there will be small errors. I apologize.

I understand the libertarian conservative establishment does not want to rethink this issue, and wants to ignore me.

But with respect to the so called income tax, the theft lies not in the tax itself, but the way it has been coercively collected since WW 2

Reno NV

Sent from my iPad

Block, 1972, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009A, 2009B, 2010, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 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.pdf; http://mises.org/daily/4054; https://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;

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

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;

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.html; https://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.pdf; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=24713; http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008525


4:32 pm on December 9, 2018

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Dear T: Thanks for your long, lovely letter. I wish things were better in your chosen profession.

All I can say is that yes, the Marxists are right in that ex post, people can sometimes be “exploited” in the sense that they regret making a purchase, a loan, a rental, whatever. It sometimes happens, but not often, under laissez faire capitalism. I buy a shirt for $20, and, later, I wish I had my money back. However, the “magic of the market” is that ex ante, in the sense of anticipations, at the time I purchase this article of clothing, I valued it more than the money I had to pay for it. No other system can make any such claim. Rothbard is magnificent. So is Mises. Best regards, Walter

From: T
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:35 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Another take on debating the Marxist

Dear Walter

I regularly read your exchanges on Lou Rockwell’s site. I’m not an economist, but a biologist, and yet I’ve found myself drawn into economics because of my circumstances. And only Austrian economics makes any sense.

I’ll return to debating the Marxist, but my circumstances are as follows: I was a cancer researcher, specializing in the mechanisms of how cells receive and react to signals from growth factors and other stimuli. I then moved to a biotech company that made kits and reagents for researchers to use in their work. My job was to monitor developments in research, and understand the needs of researchers, as well as their discoveries. From that position of knowledge, I directed the development of new products, as well as the licensing of existing inventions from academic researchers. They’d get a royalty on their invention, and if it was material we licensed directly, the university would get a bigger cut.

In the mid 1990s, I felt like it was shooting fish in a barrel. I had little difficulty identifying significant, novel developments. And I’d pass those to the guy in the next office, who called up the university in question, and negotiated a license. Back then, licenses were cheap, and universities were easy to deal with. Researchers were somewhat flattered that anyone cared about their inventions enough to invest in them, and commercialize them. Getting some money out of it was gravy.

By the late 1990s, things began to change. That change has continued, unabated. Specifically, other companies began calling up that university, and asking about the same inventions. If there were even vague therapeutic implications to the invention, it was not even worth talking to them. Clearly, more money was in play, looking for returns. The price of licensing anything was going up, and the return to us, going down. Watching this happen in front of my eyes, I began to wonder what was causing it, and I quickly found that the Austrian school had all the explanations. I went on to read a lot of Rothbard’s works, although I never read Mises.

After Bernanke’s QE madness, I was already well-informed of what would likely happen. And it happened as expected. Preliminary inventions, with no immediate chance of making money for anyone, were licensed for exorbitant amounts of cash, and a company was quickly founded on those inventions, with venture capital pouring in so quickly that I imagined there was no time for actually thinking about what they were investing in. When I say “preliminary,” what I mean is that the invention would require ten or more years of basic research before anyone would even know if it was viable as something that could make money. And by then, a dozen different approaches could crack the same nut. Rationally, I’d never invest a penny into it. And yet they were turning money away. Lesson to me: Increased money and credit does not mean there are more quality investment opportunities. It only means that more money chases those that exist, eventually leading to some awfully stupid financial decisions. That’s a very Austrian conclusion, by my understanding.

Getting back to the Marxist thing. When I was at the biotech company I previously mentioned, I had an insight about something of value, and the company was able to commercialize it with mechanisms they already had in place. And they made a lot of money off my contributions. Far, far in excess of what I was paid for it. I was merely a highly valued employee, compensated merely well. Then, the company was sold, and soon the new owners closed our division. I was one of few who were offered to stay on, working from home if we did not want to relocate. But we saw how badly they handled everything, and decided to start our own company. We had a lot of expertise to choose from, since most everyone else was being let go. We got underway, but suddenly, the same decisions about product commercialization that previously generated quick profits, now floundered. Distribution agreements were not as good as previously, web site traffic wasn’t there, customers didn’t know about us or have any special reason to trust our quality out of the gate. All those things that an organization brings, had to be developed from scratch. We eventually sold the startup, lucky to get out without losing our investment.

So while the value I brought in the first situation was high, that value could only be realized if the organization was properly equipped to exploit it. Yes, I know the baggage attached to the word “exploit”, but it has a good connotation, too. A poorly run organization cannot properly exploit the value created by its workers. You can say an employee of Cisco in the 1990s was exploited because the value of their work was far more than they were compensated. But what worker in a communist country was paid better? None. And since the enterprise was probably losing money, they were paid more than their share of profits. The workers were well educated, so the difference was not the people. It was the organization, that made it possible to extract full value from the work. The organization was adding value to the work put in by the people, and without it, the same workers could not create the same value. That’s worth something, and is why it is fair for those companies to benefit from the labor.

To add a post-script, when too much money distorts a market and drives up costs, nobody can make a decent return, and it eventually ruins the industry. That’s happened in my former industry. I don’t know any company that is growing aggressively. Everyone is simply treading water.

Best Regards, T


3:52 pm on December 7, 2018

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Waves In Lake Wreck Docks. Who Is Responsible? Property Right Dilemma

Dear N:

I have co authored a book on this 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-Aquifers. https://mises.org/library/case-privatizing-oceans-and-rivers

I think I answer these sorts of questions therein. If not to your satisfaction, please do get back to me with further questions about this issue.

Best regards, Walter

From: N
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2018 10:42 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: a strange property-rights dilemma

Dr. Block,

I’m a Tom Woods Show listener and you are, by far, one of my favorite guests. I appreciate how you take the principles of private property rights into areas that other folks are afraid to go (or incapable of going).

I have an interesting dilemma, in the region where I live, that I posed to Tom’s private Facebook group (for his supporting listeners). I said I’d be interested to hear your take, and someone suggested I should simply contact you about it.

I live at the nation’s most popular recreational lake: Lake of the Ozarks, in central Missouri. (I’m the editor of a news/lifestyle website there, lakeexpo.com). The lake, interestingly, is privately owned by the utility company (Ameren) that built the dam that impounds it (Bagnell Dam), in the early 1930s.
It has 1,150 miles of shoreline, nearly all of which is privately owned and can be literally developed down to Ameren’s boundary, which is just a little above the waterline — and there are an estimated 50,000 docks on this lake.

But because it’s a dammed-up river among Ozark hills, it’s not a particularly wide lake. And as increasingly wealthy city-folk buy increasingly larger boats, it’s led to this issue where these huge “cruisers” are “plowing” through the channels and coves (“plowing” is the mid-level speed at which a boat creates the most wave-action, because it’s not going fast enough to get up “on plane” so it’s still displacing a lot of water but it’s also moving fast enough to displace a lot of water with a lot of speed… the result is enormous waves are thrown behind it). Additionally, wakeboard boats are now built to be able to throw HUGE waves behind them, so wakeboarders can have more fun. And those wakeboarders typically head into coves—where there are often dozens of docks—to have their fun.

All the increased wave action has been catastrophic for many docks. Docks that once were considered sturdy enough are now being literally broken apart by all the waves in some areas; dock owners are having to invest tens of thousands of dollars into their docks just to protect their investment.

As a result, of course, there’s been an outcry for state lawmakers to take action, and they have done so (see the article below). And of course the proposals don’t really make anyone happy.

So the question is… WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?

1) Is it Ameren? They’re the ones who own the lake and so “allow” the boats on there. They’re regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and they’re exempted from liability for injuries that happen on their lake, thanks to a state law that provides property owners liability exemption if they let their property be used recreationally by the public.

2) Is it the boaters? And if so, how could you EVER identify which boater created the wake/wave action that specifically damaged a specific dock at a specific point in time?

3) Is it simply the dock-owner’s problem, kind of a “buyer beware” type situation? (This is often the reply from boaters: “too bad, quit whining, pony-up and upgrade your dock, and if you don’t like all the waves, sell your home and move to a quieter part of the lake.” But the problem is as the lake changes over the years, different parts of it become increasingly busy due to the opening of new restaurants on the waterfront, etc. so that an area that was formerly quiet is, within the span of just a couple of years, suddenly one of the busiest parts of the lake.)
Here are a couple of articles about the ongoing issue…



On one side are the local businesses (restaurants, shops, marinas, and boat dealers), who live and die by tourist dollars. They don’t want ANYTHING that could limit boaters from coming to the Lake.

On the other side are lakefront property and dock owners. They want to enjoy the lake life, and they don’t want their expensive dock being damaged by inconsiderate boaters.

There are several other issues at play, but I would love to hear your preliminary thoughts on this.

Another nuance to this is that Missouri law has actually exempted property owners from liability for anything that happens on their property if they allow their property to be used freely by the public.

This law was front-and-center in the past couple of years when a woman sued Ameren after her children were electrocuted in the water near her family’s dock. The dock’s poor electric wiring caused them to be electrocuted. The mother tried to sue Ameren, since Ameren is the one who permitted the dock (even though, again, it was her dock), and Ameren charges a dock permit fee. Dock electric is a very tricky thing, with lots of risk, but there are tens of thousands of electric-wired docks at our lake. And Ameren requires local fire districts to provide a proof of inspection before Ameren will permit a dock. However, those aren’t annual inspections: they’re just done when the dock changes hands or is remodeled. Anyways, the state supreme court ruled that Ameren was NOT liable for the children’s death, because Missouri law exempts a property owner from liability for anything that happens on their property if that property owner has opened their property up to be freely used by the public.

So the emerging consensus within the Tom Woods FB group is that this “shielding from liability” gives Ameren—the owner of the Lake (though I’m thinking federal law still wouldn’t make them the owner of the “water”…)—zero incentive to regulate or interfere when it comes to this boat-wake issue.



2:29 pm on December 5, 2018

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Nice Letter About Me, Not So Nice About Bryan Caplan

From: M
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 10:11 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Caplan the Praxeologist
Dear Professor Block, Hello! Today I came across a blog post from Bryan Caplan which made me think of your attempts to engage him on methodology. Particularly it brought to mind the story of your dissertation and Gary Becker’s incredulity at your empirical findings. Caplan makes the same move in this post (http://www.econlib.org/archives/2018/03/priors_and_the.html) on illicit drug use. I recall that Caplan once replied to you re: Becker’s implicit praxeology along the lines that “well, there was a significant empirical literature on rent control and your findings contradicted it. Perhaps you, an unsophisticated graduate student, simply made a mistake and Becker’s years of reading on the subject gave him the good sense to tell you to try again.” But note that in the blog post above Caplan cites no literature at all. Instead he employs an axiomatic-deductive analysis to dismiss the data, and then papers it over by the use of the terms “common sense” and “good judgement” before moving on to “there must be other variables at play!” I think it’s a good one to file away in the event you debate him again. Also, and finally, thank you for your contributions to our science! I often use your arguments in the classroom, not just because I agree with them, but because they have the wonderful capacity to get the attention of students and force them to think. Sincerely, M

On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 10:53 PM, Walter Block


7:12 pm on December 4, 2018

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