≡ Menu

Dear Jacob:

I think hacking is a form of trespass. It is an invasion. Is it ever justified? Sure. But only against criminals. Or evil governments. But wait. I repeat myself.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Jacob Lovell

Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 9:34 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Sequel to Defending the Undefendable

Dr. Block,

As I work through my thoughts in an organized fashion, I’ve been unable to defend hacking as it appears to ultimately be a form of fraud no matter how I frame it. I apologise for promising to get you something on this. I will be at the AERC if you want to talk through that or my other ideas.

Thanks,

-J

On Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 3:20 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Jacob:

Thanks. I appreciate this.

Send me something on hacking, please.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Jacob Lovell

Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 1:48 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Sequel to Defending the Undefendable

Dr. Block,

Enjoying your appearances on Tom Woods show. I wanted to remind you of the ideas I sent you years ago, in case you wanted to use them in the third installment, included below. I also thought of a way to defend computer hackers if you think hacking is defensible via the NAP.

Have a nice day,

-J

-The anti-gay funeral protestors – The Westboro Baptist Church is

demonized by everyone, but they’re really a marvelous group to behold.

These small-minded bigots show how their words are ultimately not

harmful in the way that breaches of the NAP are, leftist bleeding

hearts be damned.  Sticks and stones can break bones, but because

words cannot, they should never be outlawed.  Their pickets show how

society can tolerate the most crass, the most offensive, the most

disgusting utterances imaginable.  People figure out peaceful ways to

solve the problem since laws against the picketers have routinely (and

justifiably) been thrown out of court.  Instead of relying on

government, people use free speech to combat free speech, bringing in

motorcycle parades and flags and drowning out the ugliness of the

small group that’s there.  Where government fails to uphold the values

of society via government tactics, people must make their own

solutions.  A better solution than these would be to privatize the

areas where the picketers protest.  Were streets and sidewalks

private, the owners would be responsible for the message they’re

sending out from their property – private owners could still allow for

picketers to harass nearby funerals, but at least then such property

owners could be held responsible through ostracism, something you

can’t do to government to punish it for sending out a message you

don’t like.  Because government has an anything goes policy, the use

of the public space is chaotic and cannot be coordinated efficiently –

it’s a kind of tragedy of the commons, where the picketers and

anti-picketers are racing for the limited resources of protest-space

(audibly, physically, visually, etc).  The chaos that such protests

creates shows the failure of government control of public spaces, even

while statists pretend like it’s some great victory because such

intolerant people are tolerated and that must somehow be because the

government exists the way that it does.  That’s not a great victory at

all, people should have (non-violent) recourse

Internet Pirates – They drive prices down for consumers and increase

choice because content creators are forced to be more responsive to

consumers.  For example, movies and television shows become available

to purchase in stores much sooner after TV and theater showings than

they used to.  In another example, video game developers – whose

customer base is filled with tech savvy young people who are more

capable of pirating copyrighted content than the average consumers of

other forms of media – are forced to focus more on customer service

and ease of use, something that Gabe Newell (a very successful video

game maker) openly admits for being the reason that he designed his

Steam game service the way that he did.  Further, internet privacy is

a protest to the illegitimate government invention of intellectual

property, so they’re heroic.

Pornographers – Areas where pornography is legal and freely available

have seen reductions in sexual assaults according to at least one

study I’ve read.  Further, women in this profession make way more

money than men, so even if the myth that women make less than men were

true, this profession helps prevent some of that.

Child pornography distributors – obviously this doesn’t include

*makers* of child pornography, since molesting a child is a violation

of the NAP, but people who only distribute (and do not create) this

content are a different story.  By sharing this material in the sundry

depths of the internet, law enforcement is able to collect evidence

about the crimes being depicted in the pictures and videos.  In turn,

victims and abusers might be identified, and children can be rescued

from their abusive captors.  If not for these child pornography

distribution rings, these crimes might never see the light of day,

allowing for perpetrators to continue to hurt their victims in private

and with little hope of capture.  Some people claim that these

distribution networks increase the likelihood of children being

victimized because the perverts are rewarded for their crimes.  This

seems like an unconvincing argument – most child sex abuse victims do

not have pictures or video to show what’s happened to them.

Considering that these victims are the least likely to be able to

remember and communicate their abuse to those who have the power to

stop it, one would hope for such evidence to become widely available

enough to be found by someone who can stop the abuse.   It seems

probable that such perverts would still abuse children whether or not

there is a distribution ring that (may or may not) reward them for

their sick actions.  Because of government’s ham-handed approach,

child pornography distribution rings have simply become more and more

underground and less able to be found by law enforcement, cutting off

a valuable source of evidence for the actual crime of sexual assault.

Televangelists, cult leaders, and advocates of ‘alternative’ medicine

– A fool and his money are soon parted, and I think that’s a good

thing.  Excepting for cases of clear-cut fraud, these types of people

help society in a number of ways.  First, it allows for people to help

self-identify as idiots, which in turn helps those around them be wary

of said idiots.  If I’m associating with someone who starts talking

about crystal healing or how genetically modified food causes cancer,

I know that I can stop wasting my time and better allocate my limited

life to other ends.  Without such an obvious signaling mechanism, I

might not realize that I’m dealing with a moron so quickly and will

take time that I’ll later regret wasting.  Second, such people are

much more likely to die of curable diseases or become too poor to feed

themselves, thus killing off morons who probably are a drain on

society and maybe cleaning up the gene pool a little.  Third, for

those that aren’t killed by their own stupidity, people learn to be

less gullible and more realistic, so maybe they’ll avoid much more

dangerous scams in the future.

Genetic engineers – scientists have increased food production thanks

to GMO, reducing food prices and allowing for crops that are more

drought/disease/pest resistant.  These factors in turn help the

poorest people who live in the harshest areas to better be able to

purchase or grow food.  It’s too bad that governments in Africa, home

to many people who are as described above, have banned the importation

of GMO food, including the free food they are offered by richer

countries.  This in turn contributes to the crippling poverty and

starvation the people on that continent have to endure, something much

more immediate than whatever negative long-term health consequences

that GMO foods supposedly have.

Dear :

Best regards,

Walter

Share

1:00 pm on May 25, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

From: Osereme Oigbokie

Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:16 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re. Personal Property Abandonment and the Passing of that Property through Rubbish

Dear Professor Block,

I am a fellow libertarian and a current resident of Tennessee. There are a couple things that have been bothering me concerning personal property abandonment and the passing of that property through rubbish. Below are two scenarios that have been on my mind.

1. Say for instance a man decides to put an old computer on the curb outside his home to be picked up by the city waste management trucks, is he officially abandoning that old computer? Should that old computer to be given to the cities waste management facility personally?

2. Also, say for instance another man walking by sees that old computer on the curb and decides to take parts of that computer and leave the rest, would you consider that an official transfer of property rights from the man that left it there to him? Is it right foe that man to consider those computer parts “free”? Should the city waste management trucks be picking it up rather than him?

I would appreciate your input on this.

Kind Regards,

Clement Oigbokie

Dear Clement:

I’m a professor. I’ve learned early in my career that if I can’t answer a question, I change it to another question I can answer. So, I’ll try that here on you.

Suppose the government were not involved at all. There were private sidewalks, and private companies picking up garbage. Then, it all depends upon the contract the three parties (sidewalk owner, waste management firm, person who is throwing out the computer) have with each other. Presumably, the fourth person should not even touch that computer, since the garbage dump owner might want the valuable parts out of it.

It is very difficult for a libertarian to answer questions when private property is absent, and government is in control. As an anarcho-capitalist, I regard the state as a criminal enterprise, so what it says, what laws it promulgates, unless they are compatible with the NAP and private property rights (e.g., prohibiting murder, rape, theft) are invalid. With government sidewalks and garbage disposal trucks, all bets are off in terms of a clear and unambiguous answer. My feeling, however, is that the fourth person, the passerby, may do with the computer whatever he wants.

Here are some readings on abandonment:

Block, 2004, 2015; Block and Nelson, 2015; Kinsella, 2003, 2009A, 2009B, 2009C, 2011; Long, 1993; Wisniewski, 2010.

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=18709http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdfhttps://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/03068290410518256https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/03068290410518256?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijse

Block, Walter E. 2015. “Expiration of private property rights.” The Journal of Philosophical Economics. Vol. VIII, Issue 2, Spring; http://www.jpe.ro/?id=revista&p=410;

http://www.jpe.ro/pdf.php?id=7114

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

Kinsella, Stephan N. 2003. “A libertarian theory of contract: title transfer, binding promises, and inalienability” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, Spring, pp. 11–37; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/17_2/17_2_2.pdfhttp://mises.org/journals/jls/17_2/17_2_2.pdf

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009A. “A Critique of Mutualist Occupancy.” August 2;

http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/a-critique-of-mutualist-occupancy/http://blog.mises.org/10386/a-critique-of-mutualist-occupancy/

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009B. “Left-Libertarians on Rothbardian Abandonment.”  August 22; http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/left-libertarians-on-rothbardian-abandonment/

Kinsella, Stephan N. 2009C. “Homesteading, Abandonment, and Unowned Land in the Civil Law.” May 22; http://blog.mises.org/10004/homesteading-abandonment-and-unowned-land-in-the-civil-law/

Kinsella, Stephan N. 2011. “The relation between the non-aggression principle and property rights: a response to Division by Zer0.” October 4;

http://blog.mises.org/18608/the-relation-between-the-non-aggression-principle-and-property-rights-a-response-to-division-by-zer0/

Long, Roderick T. 1993. “Abortion, Abandonment, and Positive Rights: The Limits of Compulsory Altruism,” Social Philosophy and Policy vol. 10 no.1, Winter, pp. 166-191; http://praxeology.net/RTL-Abortion.htm

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16;

http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/16-wisniewski-block-on-abortion/

Best regards,

Walter

Share

3:09 am on May 25, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

From: ondu

Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2020 10:48 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: mises inconsistency – conscription

Hi.

Thank you for the replies. I know u busy and have limited time, just dont know where to ask.

Pls refer me to place where i can put my questions forward without being intrusive.

In human action he justifies conscription in case of state being on the verge survival.

Are there more inconsistencies where he puts the state need over people-personal private property?

Many thanks and good luck writing more books.

Ondrej D.

Dear Ondu:

You’re not being intrusive.

Mises was a libertarian, but not an anarcho capitalist. He supported governments. Mises also supported a draft, in the case of dire necessity. I respectfully disagree with him. I think that a volunteer army would be more compatible with libertarianism, and, also, more effective. Here are some readings for you:

Anderson, 1978; Block, 2018; Boudreaux, 1993; Friedman, 1967; Oi, 1967a, 1967b

Anderson, Martin. 1978. The Voluntary Military, Stanford: Hoover Institution

Block, Walter E. 2018. “Libertarians on the US military: A Critique of Mercer, Anderson, Boudreaux, Friedman, Oi, McCobin and Markevičiūtė.” Political Dialogues: Journal of Political Theory. pp. 57-65; http://apcz.umk.pl/czasopisma/index.php/DP/article/view/DP.2018.004/16658

Boudreaux, Donald. 1993. “A Life-Saving Lesson from Operation Desert Storm.” The Freeman, October, Vol. 43, No. 10; http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/a-life-saving-lesson-from-operation-desert-storm/

Friedman, Milton. 1967. “Why Not a Volunteer Army?” New Individualist Review, Vol. 4, No. 4, Spring, pp. 3-9

Oi, Walter Y. 1967a. “The Real Costs of a Volunteer Military,” New Individualist Review, Vol. 4, Spring, pp. 13-16

Oi, Walter Y. 1967b.  “The Economic Cost of the Draft,” American Economic Review, Vol. 57, May, pp. 39-62.

Best regards,

Walter

Share

3:08 am on May 25, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

Last week, it was a Nathan Fryzek special: my multipart correspondence with Nathan (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/nathan-fryzek/). Now it is Tim McGraw’s turn. Not all of these are fascinating, but some are. My highpoint is letter 8. The most philosophically important one is letter 13, the very last one. Here is my multipart correspondence with Tim:

Letter 1:

On Sat, Feb 29, 2020, 1:25 PM Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com> wrote:

I’ve listened to three episodes so far and really like them

You are a fascinating Libertarian thinker, author, and speaker.

Your examples to make a point are amazing. That Libertarian Concentration Camp Guard example was very interesting.

Tim

—–Original Message—–

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Sat, Feb 29, 2020 6:33 am

Subject: Re: Woods to guest: what the $#^&@ is wrong with you?

How’d you like it

On Wed, Feb 26, 2020, 9:19 PM Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com> wrote:

Hi Tom,

Walter Block is one of my heroes. We don’t agree on everything (reparations comes to mind), but I love the guy.

I look forward to listening to the Walter Block episodes on the Tom Woods Show.

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

—–Original Message—–

From: Tom Woods <tom@tomwoods.com>

To: mcgrawtim123 <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Wed, Feb 26, 2020 3:11 pm

Subject: Woods to guest: what the $#^&@ is wrong with you?

A glorious moment.

View in browser

Academics who get 40-50 articles published in peer-reviewed journals are considered to have had distinguished careers.

Walter Block has had over 600.

His famous book, Defending the Undefendable (which John Stossel says was one of three books that convinced him of libertarianism), takes a second look at a rogues’ gallery of popular villains, and explains their roles without moral condemnation.

During Walter Block week on the Tom Woods Show, we focused on some alleged villains in the economic sphere: the corporate raider, the multinational enterpriser, the hatchet man, the slumlord, the picket-line crosser, and more.

Walter is releasing a third volume in his Defending series in 2021, so I asked him for a sneak preview of the people he’ll be defending there.

As soon as he began, I shouted: “Walter, stop! Stop! I can’t take it anymore!”

My single favorite moment in nearly 1600 episodes of the Tom Woods Show.

At another point I said, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Good times.

Walter is controversial, but I know my listeners can handle it.

He’s also a great teacher. Listen to his effortless defenses of people we have been taught to despise. Brilliant.

They’re episodes 1592-1596:

http://www.tomwoods.com/episodes

Meanwhile, here’s my video on how to take your lazy bum of a website and force it to carry its own weight by bringing in some smackers for you:

http://www.tomwoods.com/monetize

Tom Woods

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 12:59 PM

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Subject: Re: Woods to guest: what the $#^&@ is wrong with you?

Tim, Tom, thanks for your kind words

Letter 2:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 12:44 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Carnies at the State Fair

Hi Walter,

I sent you the story about Patrick and I going to the Nebraska State Fair as 8th graders. We snuck into the fair and a barker lured my friend Patrick into his lair. It was a rigged game of dice and Patrick lost all his money.

What is the Libertarian theory on carnival barkers and carnies bilking kids or adults for that matter at the State Fair?

My guess is that your position will be, “It’s okay to for the carnies to bilk the adults because it is a voluntary transaction. But 8th graders shouldn’t be taken advantage of.”

And here we disagree.

I’d rather have some carny steal my money or my friend’s in 8th grade at a fairly modest cost; than learn it later in life when it could cost me a lot.

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

You are exactly correct. That is my precise position. I also think that people who count cards in poker in gambling casinos commit no crime, even though the casino owners might think they are “cheating.” But the former have a right to not allow entry to the latter.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3:

From: Tim McGraw [mailto:mcgrawtim123@aol.com]

Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 2:11 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Pacific Gas & Electric

Dear Walter,  Dec. 21, 2019

Geisha Williams was the CEO of PG & E who resigned in January, 2019 the day before PG & E declared bankruptcy (again) due to all the lawsuits from the wildfires. These four years of wildfires every fall, have killed dozens of people, destroyed over 10,000 structures, and made thousands homeless here in California. PG & E is the largest utility in the state and it is privately owned.

Geisha Williams received a $4.6 million retirement package and has disappeared from the scene here in California.

Now the state of California is fining PG & E for its negligence. The insurance companies get about $11 billion. Government entities get their billions. And the actual fire victims get, maybe, a few billion. But a state fund will be tapped also for these payments (taxpayer funds no doubt.)

So, of course everyone here in Commie California is calling for the government to take over the utility. I have not read a word about perhaps jailing Geisha Williams or at least fining her the $4.6 million she got when she resigned from PG & E as CEO.

But then, of course, she has immunity due to business law no doubt.

Sorry for the long introduction to my question.

Walter, how does one defend privatization vs. state ownership of utilities after the debacle that is, was, and probably always will be, Pacific Gas & Electric in California?

Oh, and don’t forget the San Bruno gas explosion caused by more faulty maintenance practices by PG & E. More death and destruction from greedy incompetence at the private utility.

I remember years ago I read someone who said, “Every generation you have to jail a few bankers to keep them honest.” How do you feel about that sentiment?

Cheers,

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:26 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Pacific Gas & Electric

Hi Walter,

Thanks for posting our exchange about PG & E. Of course I would not want innocent people jailed. Perhaps the bigger questions are:

How do you keep government out of private business?

How does a citizen get justice from a guilty corporation?

Or perhaps the root of the question;

Are corporations compatible with Libertarianism? The history of corporations might be an interesting topic for a Mises talk.

Thanks for your correspondence. I hope the flooding the Mississippi valley is not affecting you in New Orleans. My wife and I just flew home today from Kansas City. We were visiting my parents and helping them to pack up for their move into assisted living (they are 88). It was 19F with a wind chill of 6F when we left KC this morning. Brrr. I do not miss the Midwestern winters.

All the best,

Tim

—–Original Message—–

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Sun, Feb 16, 2020 12:39 pm

Subject: RE: Pacific Gas & Electric

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/punish-the-innocent/

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

tel: (504) 864-7934

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 1:06 PM

To: ‘Tim McGraw’ <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Subject: RE: Pacific Gas & Electric

Dear Tim:

I don’t see the problem with (pure) privatization. PG&E was always a highly regulated “private” company.

I think only guilty people should be jailed, not innocent people, in order to keep others honest.

Best regards,

Walter

Dear Tim:

I think corporations are compatible with libertairanism. Here are some readings for you:

Hessen, Robert. 1979. In Defense of the Corporation Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press,

Huebert, J. H. and Walter E. Block. 2008. “In Defense of Corporations, Tax Breaks, and Wal-Mart” November 24; http://www.jhhuebert.com/articles/corporations.html

Huebert, J. H. and Walter E. Block. 2008. “Response to Long on Corporations, Unions, and Wal-Mart.” December 12; http://jhhuebert.com/articles/response-to-long-on-corporations-unions-and-wal-mart/http://www.jhhuebert.com/articles/corporations2.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/024387.html

Block, Walter E. and J.H. Huebert. 2008-2009. “Defending Corporations (reply to van Eeghen.)” Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 39(2), pp. 363-385; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-huebert_defending-corporations-2009.pdf;

http://cumberland.samford.edu/lawreview/article/39/2

http://blog.mises.org/archives/010631.asp;

http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Re:%20reply%20to%20van%20Eeghen.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_2_block-huebert_defending-corporations-2009.pdf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/block-huebert_defending-corporations-2009.pdf?attach=1

Klein, Peter G. 2008A.  “Long on the corporation.” November 10;

http://archive.mises.org/008924/

Klein, Peter G. 2008B. “More on the Corporation.”  November 8

https://mises.org/wire/more-corporation

Here are the links to Roderick’s pieces in the exchange: https://organizationsandmarkets.com/2008/12/01/government-and-the-corporation/

Klein (2007A, 2007B, 2008A, 2008B)

Klein, Peter G. 2007A. “The Wikified Firm.” February 6;

https://web.archive.org/web/20080726193733/http://organizationsandmarkets.com/2007/02/06/the-wikified-firm/

Klein, Peter G. 2007B. “Vaguely Defined Property Rights.” April 4;

https://web.archive.org/web/20090203084358/http://organizationsandmarkets.com:80/2007/04/04/vaguely-defined-property-rights/

Klein, Peter G. 2008A. “Long on the Corporation.” November 10

https://web.archive.org/web/20081229015143/http://blog.mises.org:80/archives/008924.asp

http://archive.mises.org/008924/

Klein, Peter G. 2008B.  “More on the Corporation.” November 30

https://web.archive.org/web/20081204140416/http://blog.mises.org:80/archives/009033.asp

https://mises.org/wire/more-corporation

Long (2008A, 2008B)

Long, Roderick T. 2008A. “Corporations versus the Market; or, Whip Conflation Now.” November 10; http://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/11/10/roderick-long/corporations-versus-the-market-or-whip-conflation-now/

Long, Roderick T. 2008B. “Free Market Firms: Smaller, Flatter, and More Crowded.” November 25; https://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/11/25/roderick-t-long/free-market-firms-smaller-flatter-more-crowded

From P Klein

Policies promoting bigger firms

Fixed costs of interacting with the state  economies of scale and scope

Lobbying, communicating

Compliance

Intellectual property

Direct subsidies (Tesla, Goldman Sachs, defense contractors)

Indirect subsidies, e.g. transportation

Policies promoting smaller firms

Antitrust

Rent extraction (McChesney,

Money for Nothing, 1997)

Disclosure requirements

Direct subsidies (science parks, incubators, SBIR awards, etc.)

Indirect subsidies (energy and telecom)

Trade barriers, war, state control of education, etc.

Retard the international division of labor, reduce stocks of human capital, and lower the marginal product of labor

Thereby reduce the scale and scope economies that favor large-scale production.

Con:

P. French, P. 1975. “The Corporation as a Moral Person,” American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 16, p. 207-215.

Long, Roderick T. 2008. “Corporations versus the Market; or, Whip Conflation Now.” November 10; http://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/11/10/roderick-long/corporations-versus-the-market-or-whip-conflation-now/

Long, Roderick T. 2008. Free Market Firms: Smaller, Flatter, and More Crowded, November 25; http://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/11/25/roderick-long/free-market-firms-smaller-flatter-and-more-crowded

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 4:

Dear Tim:

I favor (private) prisons. Their function would be to compel criminals to work at hard labor, so as to pay damages to their victims. Their purpose would not to “rehabilitate” criminals.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:43 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Hi Walter,

Thanks for posting this conversation about prison labor. I’ve always had a problem with the idea of prisons. Prisons make it too easy for the state to control people. Prisons can be used, and often are, for political prisoners, and tax evaders, and those victimless crimes you mention.

But what to do with the violent humans?

Exile? Death? Or are prisons the only way?

Cheers,

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

—–Original Message—–

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Tue, Feb 18, 2020 7:08 am

Subject: RE: Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/prisons-post-offices/

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Saturday, December 28, 2019 2:22 PM

To: ‘Tim McGraw’ <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Subject: RE: Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Dear Tim:

I see nothing wrong with prison labor, nor with prisoners not keeping the benefits of their labor. (I’m talking real prisoners here, not those “guilty” of victimless crimes; the latter should all be pardoned, forthwith). The money the prisoners earn, over and above what is needed to feed, clothe and guard them, should go to their victims.

What we have now is not private prisons. What we now have is prisons that are contracted out by government. I think libertarians can favor the former, but not the latter.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Tim McGraw [mailto:mcgrawtim123@aol.com]

Sent: Friday, December 27, 2019 11:39 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/12/27/privatization-is-resurrecting-feudalism/

Hi Walter,

I just read the most recent column by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (link above.) I’m interested in how you would debate or refute the points made by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. Also, I had no idea that Britain has privatized its postal service. I mail letters and packages to the UK fairly often and the service is very fast (less than a week sometimes). Whereas mail to Canada can take weeks to get there. Canadian customs and mail are awful.

Here in California due to the PG & E utility fiasco, almost everyone is calling for the state of California to take over the large utility.

All the best,

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Letter 5:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2020 3:16 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Time and how the state regulates it

Hi Walter,

I know I’ve been writing to you a lot lately. Please feel free to ignore it and throw it in the trash. Though the Spitsbergen/Svalbard videos are beautiful and interesting.

My Libertarian question to you tonight is:

Does the state have the right to regulate how we measure time?

Of course the state regulates measurements and time is just another thing to measure, or is it?

Measurements of matter are in our 3D world. Time is of the 4th dimension. We can change matter in our 3D world. We cannot change time.

So why does the government get to supposedly regulate time?

What is the Libertarian position on time?

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

the state has no right to regulate how we measure time. Even under limited govt libertarianism

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Letter 6:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:06 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Grand Coulee Dam

Hi Walter,

I just watched the following documentary:

Grand Coulee Dam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU4qw9zYX9Y

Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt_Lake

What is the Libertarian position on huge public works projects like Grand Coulee Dam? If you go to almost the end of the video, the BLM folks finally talk about the destroyed salmon fish runs and the eminent domain used to remove both Indians and Americans from their bottom land to make way for the dam and reservoir. The BLM does give the one Indian tribe some of the money from the sale of electricity at the dam, but no specifics. Well, it is a documentary made by the BLM. The Spokane Indian Tribe has always had a tough time of it. Sherman Alexie is a Spokane Indian writer. I’ve read many of his books. He’s very good.

I’ve never been to Grand Coulee Dam. I did visit friends who lived in Kettle Falls, WA. It is maybe 65 miles uplake from Grand Coulee Dam. People like to fish on the long (150 miles) Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake. In the summer a two story houseboat would ply the waters of the lake looking for fishermen. The houseboat was a floating whorehouse and it did very good business.

Hope you are having a great St. Patrick’s Day!

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

I wrote about that here:

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

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

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 7:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2020 3:25 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Assassinations

Hi Walter,

Our enemies believe in killing humans for their own gain. We Libertarians only believe that violence can be used in self defense.

How, if possible, does a Libertarian overcome this disadvantage?

This isn’t a James Bond movie where he always escapes the assassin’s bullet, spider, shark, etc..

We die.

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

Not only self defense. Other defense too. If someone is attacking a member of your family, or even a complete stranger, you are justified in using violence, if necesseary, to stop it.

How do we win? How do we overcome? There are only two means: violence, and non-violence (books, lectures, etc.) Virtually all libertarians specialize in the latter.

Do we win? Probably not.

Levendis, John, Walter E. Block and Robert B. Eckhardt.  2019. “Evolutionary psychology, economic freedom, trade and benevolence.” Review of Economic Perspectives – Národohospodářský obzor; Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 73-92; https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/revecp/19/2/article-p73.xml; 10.2478/revecp-2019-0005; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2019-0005https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/here-is-one-of-my-best-scholarly-papers-ever/https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/evolutionary-psychology-economic-freedom-trade-and-benevolence

But, we keep on trying. Why? Because it is fun, gives meaning to our lives, is just.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 8:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:14 AM

To: arthurrobinson0@gmail.comcindyjohnson7391@sbcglobal.netclubmac@bellsouth.netcraignehring@wi.rr.compippilly@gmail.compkeady@sbcglobal.netrkscutt@gmail.combrick87@gmail.comsmiller10310@yahoo.commemcgraw63122@gmail.comJack@jjburtonsilver.com

Subject: President Richard Nixon Visit Honored Cornhuskers

President Richard Nixon Visit Honored Cornhuskers

I remember this visit of President Nixon to the University of Nebraska in January of 1971. Oh, it was a cold day. I was a freshman at the U of N that year.

If you read the article it says that one student threw a snowball at Nixon and he playfully threw one back. If I remember right it was too cold to make snowballs that day. I avoided the whole thing. But some people say that more than one snowball was headed towards Nixon’s bare head on that frigid January day. And some of them landed.

Imagine what would happen to those snow ball throwers today.

Well, back then the draft lottery for the Vietnam War was ready to give me my lucky number the following August. I truly hated the government. Nixon was a dirty word. The government has been really crummy from time to time since, but this coronavirus panic is the worst I’ve seen those bastards act since LBJ and Nixon.

It’s odd to have this same strong visceral reaction against government 50 years later.

What was the point of it all?

TJM

Dear Tim:

The way I see matters is that the “point” of this is

1.to have fun. We’ve had fun lo these many years promoting liberty

2.to bring about liberty. I am convinced that due to our efforts for these 5 decades the world now has .0000001 more liberty than it would have otherwise had but for our efforts.

3.and with this marginal increase in liberty, we’ve probably save tens of thousands of lives, if not more

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 9:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 9:44 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Defending the Undefendible: The Miser

“This witty and wonderful book is a veritable manual of the ‘joy of freedom.’ If we were only half as interested in liberty as in lust, we would not have half the problems we have.” —Dr. Thomas S. Szasz

Hi Walter,

I love the above quote about your book by Szasz. And the “Szasz” is like a name from a Marvel comic book. Of course, lust has its problems.

When I was a kid I loved cartoons and comic books. One of my favorite cartoons was about a miser. (I’ve looked everywhere for this video cartoon and can’t find it). The Miser lives in a decrepit house and wears old clothes, uses a cane, and wears dark glasses as well when he leaves his “shack”.  The inside of his house is just as badly off with torn curtains, worn furniture, and an old pot bellied stove with a crooked exhaust pipe for heat and cooking.

This is the house presented to the county tax auditor who comes by the Miser’s house for his tax assessment.

But as soon as the tax assessor leaves… the Miser flips some switches on the walls and the walls and floors and ceilings flip over to an opulent interior of fine curtains, furniture, a wood hearth, and the Miser is wearing a smoking jacket while smoking a fine cigar with caviar and champagne by his side.

Then the tax assessor comes back!

Oh, the Miser scrambles to put back on his rags and flip the switches so his house looks poor again. (I’m laughing hysterically at this point as an 8 year old.)  But the house goes out of control and some walls are poor and some are rich. The tax assessor is frightened and then gladdened for he’s caught a tax evader. And the Miser goes to jail (I think. I can’t remember the ending for sure.) I know the Miser would have to pay all kinds of fees and penalties for back taxes and perhaps tax fraud, today.

But as a Libertarian, I personally have no problem with the Miser.

Does Libertarian philosophy?

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

Thanks for your kind words.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 10:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2020 3:45 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Children

Hi Walter,

You never answered my question if it is Libertarian to have children. Is it okay to bring a human into the world without their voluntary consent?

Of course it isn’t. We are all just “lucky to be here.” As my Dad told me many times, “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”

And as Woody Allen famously said, “Life is terrible and then it ends all too soon.”

Libertarianism deals with life here on planet Earth. But Libertarianism can’t answer the bigger questions of why we are here or where we are going.

I’ve enjoyed our friendship and correspondence very much. Am looking forward to reading your book “Water Capitalism” which is here in my den.

Stay out of trouble Walter, which I think is going to be harder and harder for folks like us to do.

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

Libertarianism only forbids the initiation of violence, or the threat thereof, against innocent people or their property. I don’t see how (voluntary) sexual intercourse which leads to the birth of a baby, fits that bill. So, no, while it may not be “libertarian” to have children, it is certainly not incompatibe with our philosophy to give birth to the next generation.

But, thanks for an intruiguing question. I’ve been asked many questions about libertarianism, but never that one.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 11:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2020 2:26 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Fwd: Pontius Pilate (Governor Newsom)

Hi Walter,

Do you think me writing to my city council members is worthwhile? or is it a dangerous waste of my time in a small town in liberal California?

Do Libertarians have an obligation to speak up for liberty? Or is it okay to hide and wait for the Messiah? (well, I’m kidding there.)

I suppose the Mormons up Fitch Street with their big tabernacle and their young boys in suits coming by the house once or twice a year on missionary work is one way to go.

To me, the world is as mad as can be.

Take care, Walter,

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

—–Original Message—–

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

To: dhagele@ci.healdsburg.ca.us <dhagele@ci.healdsburg.ca.us>; jnaujokas@ci.healdsburg.ca.us <jnaujokas@ci.healdsburg.ca.us>

Sent: Tue, May 5, 2020 12:20 am

Subject: Pontius Pilate (Governor Newsom)

Hi Dave and Joe,

I know you guys aren’t politicians, but Governor Newsom just left you guys out to hang and dry over this Covid-19 panic. Newsom said, “I’ll defer to the counties and cities how they proceed with this crisis.”

Newsom just did a Pontius Pilate washing of the hands of responsibility.

Governor Newsom can now say, “At day 50 of the crisis, I turned over control of reopening our great state’s economy to local jurisdictions.”

And voila! Newsom is no longer the evil fuhrer who ruined our lives. Now it’s on you. Newsom can still run for president in four years.

But back here in Healdsburg, you and the other three on the city council and the city manager, are responsible for the 12,000 of us in Healdsburg. We don’t care about Santa Rosa, or Sacramento, or especially DC or NYC.

We care about Healdsburg.

Tim McGraw

Fitch Street

Dear Dave, Healdsburg City Councilman, May 4th, 2020

The governor said that he would defer to counties and cities about their opening up of businesses and life as it used to be.

The City Council had a meeting tonight. What did you decide?

I hope, oh, such a weak emotion, that the five of you on the city council had the guts to open Hburg immediately, but I doubt it.

Healdsburg has no NO Covid-19 patients at Healdsburg Hospital. Hell, the place is empty. Our neighbor went up there with a strained shoulder and he got examined, an X-ray, and a cortisone shot all in 45 minutes!

Dave, my wife and I hate this life of Covid confinement. This mask bullshit (they don’t work). This social distancing, again, no scientific data to back that up.

Dave, please open up our city to business. You and Joe are the only people on the city council with any knowledge of the real business world. You know how it all works. Wealth doesn’t come out of thin air.

Wishing you and your family all the best,

Tim McGraw

Fitch Street

Dear Tim:

Our only obligation, as libertarians, is to obey the NAP.

Waste of time? Probably. But, virtually all present libertarians didn’t start out that way. Someone convinced them of the righteousness of our philosophy. Present city council members, too, can change their minds and embrace the one true political philosophy.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 12:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 3:29 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Dear Walter

Dear Walter,

Are you doing okay? I just saw your list of kind letters from friends on the Lew Rockwell site. I like to think I’ve sent you kind letters, but this is about you.

Don’t let Mike Rozeff get under your skin. I’ve had communications with Mike and he’s a nice guy, but he’s not willing to go all the way. (Why do I feel like I’m suddenly talking about Catholic girls in junior high?)

Walter, you are a brilliant writer, orator, and teacher. And an athlete to boot who has avoided most of the vices in life.

You should be proud of your successful life.

Keep your sense of humor. It is your best trait and the one we rely on the most to carry us all through to the end.

Your friend,

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, Ca

PS: Sleep is difficult for us in these horrible times. But sleep we must. Good night.

TJM

Dear Tim:

Thanks. This will be on my next list of nice letters

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 13:

A:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 8:23 PM

To: craignehring@wi.rr.com

Subject: Re: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

That was a pretty good video. But is anyone listening to the resistance sarcasm anymore?

Today Debra and I went to Big John’s Grocery. We go every two weeks to stock up. They asked me “Where is your mask?” It was a masked teenaged Mexican girl at the front door. I threw my scarf over my face in disgust.

But that wasn’t good enough. The little Mexican snitch followed me into the store and saw that I didn’t have my scarf tightly around my mouth and nose so she complained to her boss who motioned to me to cover up my nose. So I did, for a second or two.

We are so fed up with this Nazi bullshit, and I did call the teenage girl a Nazi as I left the store.

Two weeks ago the store was more laid back. Folks were wearing homemade bandanas and scarves. Now everyone was wearing a mask. It was scary. It was the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Everyone has been turned into Pod People.

Masks damage human health. Rebreathing the same air and germs is very bad for the human body. People are STUPID! They are LEMMINGS!

It was a very frightening experience for us.

The people here in Healdsburg are sheep.

TJM

—–Original Message—–

From: Craig Nehring <craignehring@wi.rr.com>

Sent: Thu, May 14, 2020 2:37 pm

Subject: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

Hey dig this, a nice silly retort to the pandemic

https://youtu.be/2DDXG-dHugc

—–Original Message—–

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>; craignehring@wi.rr.com

Sent: Thu, May 14, 2020 6:42 pm

Subject: RE: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

Dear Tim:

But, it was THEIR store. If they would have asked you to get down on all fours and push a peanut down the aisle with your nose while you shopped there, they would have been within their rights (you might have shoped elsewhere if they did that, but that’s another story). It was you, I’m afraid, in this case, who was in the wrong, not them.

Best regards,

Walter

C:

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 11:45 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

Dear Walter,

If the sign out front had said it was “Store Policy is that everyone must wear a mask”. I would agree with you, but they just had the sign out front saying, “The Sonoma County Health Officer Requires Everyone Entering the Store to Wear a Mask.”

Perhaps I am splitting hairs here, but it matters to me who’s orders I’m supposedly obeying.

And I am not in the habit of following orders from teen-age girls.

Perhaps it is my pride, but there it is.

All the best,

Tim

D

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Fri, May 15, 2020 7:35 am

Subject: RE: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

Dear Tim:

But the store owner decided to follow govt policy.

Best regards,

Walter

E

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 11:48 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

Dear Walter,

These County Health Officer Demands for Masks signs are in front of every business. Some owners enforce it, some don’t. If I see a hand written sign (usually on a chalk board) from the owner saying masks are required, I wear a mask.

These store owners who hide behind the skirts of Dr. Mase and her Unconstitutional edicts piss me off. I consider them cowardly Quislings. They remind me of the “Good Germans” in Nazi Germany.

If the store owners want to follow government policy (which as Judge Napolitano has pointed out is Unconstitutional), then let the store owners put their name out there.

All the best,

Tim

F

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

To: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Fri, May 15, 2020 9:55 am

Subject: RE: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night

Dear Tim:

But the store you mentioned was clearly enforcing this rule.

Best regards,

Walter

G

From: Tim McGraw <mcgrawtim123@aol.com>

Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 12:20 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: I wear My Face Mask in My Car (Sun Glasses at Night)

Dear Walter

The store is now enforcing the rule. Two weeks ago I didn’t wear a mask in the store and nothing happened. I will of course wear a mask from now on while patronizing this store.

All the best,

Tim

H

Dear Tim:

The store enforced that mask rule via that teen aged girl while you were there. You called her a Nazi.

Best regards,

Walter

Share

2:48 am on May 24, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

Is the Government Overstepping Its Mark Re Covid-19?

From: Federico Giuliano

Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2020 2:55 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Questions about Covid-19 deaths

Hi Professor Block, I just wanted to ask a question, is the government overstepping its mark using this Covid-19 situation to trample on our constitution rights?.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hHKR9yXVk

If we look at the number of deaths, many doctors and physicians have said that the death certificates are being manipulated to make the deaths look worst than it is. People who have very mild symptoms of Covid-19 such as a cough, fever or cold and they die (due to heart attack, stroke, cancer etc) then they will write that down as a Covid-19 death when in fact it’s not true. Many hospital workers are also getting incentives for putting sick patients on ventilators.

I will link a couple of great videos that shows doctors/physicians talking about how lethal Covid-19 is and how the death certificates are being manipulated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsRay1wInBg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5wn1qs_bBk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMWdPRhu_p8

Thank you for your time.

Should We Open Up Our Economy Now?

Dear Federico:

Lots of people ask me questions about libertarian theory, or Austrian economics. I regard myself as a specialist in those two areas. If you’re asking me those questions as an expert in either of those two areas, my answer is, I don’t know. I don’t know, qua Austro libertarian, any more about covid 19 than I do about who will win the next world series, or who is going to be the next world champion in chess. I go further. I don’t think that ANY Austro libertarian, qua Austro libertarian, knows any more about this than I do. I follow the news just like everyone else.

On the other hand, if you are asking for me for my prudential judgement, just as a citizen, as a reasonably intelligent man, but NOT qua Austro libertarian, my response is this:

In order to save lives, to promote prosperity, to enhance freedom and dignity, we ought to go the Swedes one better: legally open up EVERYTHING. Let’s go back to the situation a year ago or so, when everything was humming. Yes, there is still covid. No one should compel the elderly and the infirm not to self isolate. They, too, should be free, and if they choose to do this, that, too, should be legal. The government should stop with its home arrest laws. The government should stop unemployment insurance totally, and, certainly, should not be paying people more for not working than for working. (Well, actually, we should do more as a society. Yes, the parks, beaches, streets, libraries, museums, stadiums, should be open; however, they should no longer remain in the hands of government. They should all be privatized. But that’s a different issue.)

Best regards,

Walter

Share

3:09 pm on May 21, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

From: ondu
Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 8:29 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: serious question-invasion of private property – stalking

Hi.

Modern world gives a use cellphones with cameras practically to anybody.

What is your outlook on stalking famous people by papparazzies, and selling the pictures to tabloids.

I have never come across to this kind of conversation.

Thank you.

Best regards

Ondrej

Dear Ondu:

Stalking, as long as it is not on private property that prohibits this, is compatible with libertarianism in my understanding.

No one can own a view of himself. So, if you can look at me, without my permission, you can also take a picture of me without my permission.

I’ve written a bit about this:

Block, 1998, 2008, 2014; Block and Block, 1996; Tullock, 1996

Block, Walter E. 1998. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Gordon Tullock,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 8, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 315-326; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/roads2_vol8.htmhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_roads-bridges-sunlight-reply-tullock-1998.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2014. “A Collection of Essays on Libertarian Jurisprudence: Sunshine and property rights.”  Saint Louis University Law Journal; Vol. 58, No. 2, Winter, pp. 541-547; http://slu.edu/Documents/law/Law%20Journal/Archives/LawJournal58-2/Block_Article.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Matthew A. Block. 1996. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property Rights,” Journal Des Economistes Et Des Etudes Humaines, Vol. VII, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 351-362; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/roads1_vol7.htmhttp://www.business.loyno.edu/bios/Blockarticles/roads1_vol7.htmhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-block_roads-bridges-sunlight-property-1996.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228217518_Roads_Bridges_Sunlight_and_Private_Property_Rights?ev=prf_pub

Tullock, Gordon. 1996. “Comment on ‘Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property’, by Walter E. Block and Matthew A. Block,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 7, No. 4, December, pp. 589-592.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Gordon Tullock,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 8, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 315-326; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_roads-bridges-sunlight-reply-tullock-1998.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_roads-bridges-sunlight-reply-tullock-1998.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; Block, Walter E. 2014. “A Collection of Essays on Libertarian Jurisprudence: Sunshine and property rights.”  Saint Louis University Law Journal; Vol. 58, No. 2, Winter, pp. 541-547;

Block, Walter E. and Matthew A. Block. 1996. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property Rights,” Journal Des Economistes Et Des Etudes Humaines, Vol. VII, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 351-362;  Block, Walter E. 1998. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Gordon Tullock,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 8, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 315-326. But see this for an alternative viewpoint. Tullock, Gordon. 1996. “Comment on ‘Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property’, by Walter E. Block and Matthew A. Block,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 7, No. 4, December, pp. 589-592

Best regards,

Walter

Share

1:33 am on May 21, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

Is “Big Pharma” To Blame for the Opioid Crisis?

From: M Anglese Tucker
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2020 9:33 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: another question

Professor Block,

I wanted to ask you, since you defend the undefendable, is “Big Pharma” to blame for the opioid crisis? In a Libertarian world, could pharmaceutical companies be sued, like they are being now, for lying to doctors and patients about the effects of opioids? Is the RICO law of 1970 a ‘just’ law?

From a recently published book on the opioid crisis:

“A third reaction to the opioid crisis was the dawning realization that it was self-inflicted– caused in large part by the companies manufacturing and marketing opioids.” The book goes on to say that Americans are so good at being litigious and that “many people are watching to see how much money is actually extracted [in class action suits] from Big Pharma, and what other limits may be imposed on pharmaceutical companies.”

Thank you, and best regards,

Melissa Anglese Tucker

Dear Melissa:

Lying to any customer of any product, pharm included, is fraud. A criminal act. If they did this, they are guilty.

Is “Big Pharma” to blame for the opioid crisis? I don’t know. This depends upon the facts of the matter, about which I have no special knowledge.

Best regards,

Walter

Share

1:30 am on May 21, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

The following queries have all been written to me by Nathan Fryzek, a former student of mine at Loyola University. The range from economic freedom, to free market think tanks, to outliers, to academic degrees, to child support, to cardinal utility, to whether teaching at West Point is legitimate for a libertarian, to the ideal tax, to interest rates, to deflation, to reincarnation, to which is my favorite country to live in, to Israeli politics.

They are followed by my responses to him.

1. Economic Freedom

On Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 10:39 PM Nathan Fryzek wrote:

Dear Dr. Block,

The following organizations all rank countries by economic freedom, which ranking would you trust the most?

Heritage

Fraser

Cato

Libre

Thank you for your time and help,

Nathan Fryzek.

Dear  Nathan:

Their results are all highly correlated with each other. So, I’d trust them all, equally. Except, I was one of the co authors of the first Fraser iteration, so I’m biased in its favor.

Gwartney, James, Robert Lawson and Walter E. Block. 1996. Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995 Vancouver, B.C. Canada: the Fraser Institute; reviews: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=195&hid=116&sid=781cb0b0-a517-47c5-9874-ee43ba5138d5%40sessionmgr3www.freetheworld.comhttp://www.fraserinstitute.org/researchandpublications/publications/7094.aspx

Best regards,

Walter

2. Academic degrees

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 8:20 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Quick Question

Dear Dr. Block,

Does everyone who has a PhD automatically have a masters degree? Do you technically have a masters degree from Columbia, but just don’t list it?

Thank you for your time and help,

Nathan Fryzek.

Dear Nathan:

No. I have no masters degree.

It is sort of like if you graduated from college, but not from high school, do you have a high school degree? The answer is, No, you don’t have a high school degree, just one from university.

Stay safe.

Best regards,

Walter

3. Child support

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2020 8:53 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Libertarian Question

Dear Dr. Block,

What is your libertarian analysis of mandatory, court imposed, child support?

Is it ever legitimate?

It seems reasonable that if two people are married and have a child together that the implicitly agreed to care for the child.

On the other hand, sometimes women get pregnant when they are not in a committed relationship.

Thank you for your time and help,

Nathan Fryzek.

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2020 5:26 PM

To: ‘Nathan Fryzek’ <nwfryzek@gmail.com>

Subject: RE: Libertarian Question

Dear Nathan:

I don’t think libertarianism is compatible with mandatory, court imposed, child support. I don’t see any implicit contract compelling parents to care for their kids.

However, in my work on this topic, I’ve come to the conclusion that if a parent doesn’t want to take care of a baby, he should be legally compelled to bring the baby to an orphanage or a hospital where other people will take care of the baby. Otherwise, he is guilty of owning the rights to the baby without homesteading them.

I’ve written about this on several occasions in my publications on abortion

Best regards,

Walter

4. Cardinal utility

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Friday, February 21, 2020 11:20 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Measuring Utility

Dear Dr. Block,

In psychology we often have patients rank their depression from 1-10, or 1-4, depending on the form. Isn’t this an example that quantifying utility can be useful and legitimate?

Here is an example: https://www.mdcalc.com/phq-9-patient-health-questionnaire-9

Thank you for your time and help,

Nathan Fryzek.

PS – Someday when I make a personal library I’d like to collect all of your publications. Are any of your books out of print? Is there any of your writing that isn’t published?

Dear Nathan:

Those quantifications are fine. They are sort of like complacent, 1, happy, 2, ecstatic, 3.  But happy isn’t twice as good as complacent, and ecstatic isn’t three times better.

Most of my writing eventually gets published. One of these days I’m gonna work on my web page.

Best regards,

Walter

5. Outlier

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2020 7:58 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Definition of Outliers

Dear Dr. Block,

What is the usual definition of an outlier in economics?

Thank you for your time and help,

Nathan Fryzek.

Dear Nathan:

Outlier is the same in econ as it is in anything else: different than all the others

Best regards,

Walter

6. Teach at West Point?

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Saturday, May 16, 2020 8:14 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Hypothetical

Dear Dr. Block,

If you graduated with your PhD and the only university hiring was West Point or some other military academy, would you have taught there?

Nathan Fryzek.

Dear Nathan:

Yes. I taught at several public universities in my career, SUNY Stony Brook, Baruch College, Rutgers Newark, U of Central Arkansas, and several quasi public ones: Holy Cross, and now, Loyola.

I see no big difference between those and West Point, Annapolis, etc.

My friend Richard Ebeling now teaches at the Citadel, and I assume he’s doing there, roughly what I always try to do: promoting good economics, free enterprise, and private property rights.

Best regards,

Walter

7. Inflation

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 10:50 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Hypothetical

Dear Dr. Block,

If you were made chairman of the Federal Reserve, but the only power you had was to set a price inflation rate for the next N years, what rate would you choose?

Thank you,

Nathan Fryzek.

On Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 9:25 AM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Nathan:

I am widely known, at least in my own mind, as Walter Moderate Block. But, here, I wouldn’t be moderate. If I wanted to ruin the fed, I’d go for hyperinflation. The cure might be worse than the disease, I’m not sure. On the other hand, if I wanted to do a “good” job, I’d aim either at zero, or, at a slight deflation.

Best regards,

Walter

8. Taxation

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2020 6:46 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Hypothetical

Which tax is least bad? If you had to tax X amount of dollars per year how would you do it?

Income tax?

Sales tax?

Property tax?

Wealth tax?

Etc.

Dear Nathan:

Poll tax or head tax. Everyone pays the same amount. This was Murray Rothbard’s favorite tax. Not that he actually favored it. It violates the NAP. But, if he had to choose any one tax, he’d chose this one, as the least harmful.

9. Deflation

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2020 2:59 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Hypothetical

Why would you consider a slight deflation? What rate?

On Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 3:00 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Nathan:

Here are some readings in defense of deflation:

Bagus, 2003, 2006, 2008A, 2008B; Barnett and Block, 2006, 2008; Hulsmann, 2008; Kaza, 2006; Reisman, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2007; Rockwell, 2003; Rothbard, 1976, 1991; Salerno, 2003, 2004; Selgin, 1997.

Bagus, Philipp. 2003. “Deflation? When Austrians Become Interventionists.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter, pp. 19-35

http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae6_4_3.pdf

Bagus, Philipp. 2006. “Five Common Errors about Deflation.” /Procesos de Mercado: Revista Europea de Economía Política/, 3 (1): 105-23.

Bagus, Philipp. 2008A. “Monetary Reform and Deflation – A Critique of Mises, Rothbard, Huerta de Soto and Sennholz.” /New Perspectives on Political Economy,/ 4 (2): 131-157.

Bagus, Philipp. 2008B. “Deflation, Growth and the Quality of Money – a revealing Chapter of Monetary History from 1865 to 1896” /German Review of New Austrian Economics/. 2 (2). http://www.lvmf.de/publications/german-review-of-new-austrian-

economics/2008_GRAE_Nr_1_Bagus_Ph_Deflation%20growth%20and%20the%20quality

%20of%20money.pdf/view

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Some Thoughts on Price Deflation.” New Perspectives on Political Economy. Vol. 2, No. 1, June; pp. 1-12; http://pcpe.libinst.cz/nppe/index.phphttp://pcpe.libinst.cz/nppe/2_1/nppe2_1_1.pdf

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2008. “Plain Old Inflation vs. Price Inflation” Franklin Business & Law Journal; Issue 3, pp. 139-xx; http://www.franklinpublishing.net/franklinbusinesslaw.html

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2008. Deflation and Liberty

http://mises.org/books/deflationandliberty.pdf

Kaza, Greg.  2006.  “Deflation and Economic Growth.”  Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.  Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 95-98

http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae9_2_5.pdf

Reisman, George. 1996.Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books), pp.  511-517, 519-527, 544-546, 557-559, 573-580, 588, 809-820, 889, 922, 938-941, and 955-956; http://www.capitalism.net/Capitalism/CAPITALISM_Internet.pdf.)

Reisman, George. 2000. “The Goal of Monetary Reform” THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS VOL. 3, NO. 3 (FALL): 3–18; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae3_3_1.pdf.

Reisman, George. 2003. “The Anatomy of Deflation,” Daily Article, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn Alabama, August 18, http://mises.org/story/1298

Reisman, George. 2007. “Deflation and the Gold Standard,” George Reisman’s Blog on Economics, Politics, Society, and Culture, November 5; http://georgereisman.com/blog/2007/11/deflation-and-gold-standard.html

Rockwell, Llewellyn H. 2003.  “Deflation: Hurrah!” The Free Market.  Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, Vol. 23, No. 8, August. http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=451&sortorder=articledate

Rothbard, Murray N. 1976. “Deflation Reconsidered.”  P. Corbin and M. Sabrin (eds.), Geographical Aspects of Inflationary Processes, Vol. I.  Pleasantville, NY: Redgrave Publishing Co.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1991. “Deflation, Free or Compulsory.”  The Free Market.  Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, April, pp. 1, 3-4.

Salerno, Joseph. 2003. “An Austrian Taxonomy of Deflation – with Applications to the U.S.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Winter. Vol. 6, No. 4. pp. 81-109

Salerno, Joseph. 2004. Deflation and Depression: Where’s the Link? October 5. http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=1583

Selgin, George. 1997. Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy. London: Institute of Economic Affairs. Hobart Papper No. 132.

Best regards,

Walter

10. Reincarnation

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 4:04 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Hypothetical

Dear Dr. Block,

If reincarnation were real, and you got to decide which country you’d be born into in your next life, which country would you choose to be born in?

Thank you for your time and help,

Nathan Fryzek.

Dear Nathan:

The US. Canada’s not bad. Of course, these are the only two countries I’ve ever lived in. I’ve travelled perhaps to two dozen, maybe three dozen others, and always felt comfortable there, too. But, they didn’t feel like home to me.

Another question along the same lines. Suppose I were reincarnated, who would I want to marry? My wife.

In many ways, I’m content with my life. I get paid a decent salary, I have a light teaching load, pretty much everything I write gets published, I’m promoting liberty and having fun doing it.

Who would I want to be if I were reincarnated?

Me. Well, maybe, Mises or Rothbard. Maybe Bach or Mozart.

Best regards,

Walter

11. Israeli politics

From: Nathan Fryzek

Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2020 10:20 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Israeli Politics

Dear Dr. Block,

What are your favorite Israeli political parties? What do you think of Netanyahu?

Thank you for your time,

Nathan Fryzek.

Dear Nathan:

My favorite is Zehut, Moshe Feiglin, the leader, is sometimes called the Ron Paul of Israel. Netanyahu is too soft in foreign policy, and not as free market oriented as is Feiglin.

Best regards,

Walter

Share

2:52 am on May 19, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

Me And My Friend Mike Rozeff

Mike and I have three things going with each other on this blog.

1.We agree that all direct quotes should have quote marks surrounding them. We disagree as to who’s eyesight is better. I really don’t want to spend more time on figuring this one out. I think he’s a bit younger than me (I’ll soon be 79), so I’m willing to concede the eyesight issue to him.

2.Libel

3.Abortion

I think the best way to thrash out these two issues is through the scholarly literature, not via a blog. I invite Mike to write up scholarly papers on these two issues, attacking me and Murray (and others) on libel, and me on abortion; then, publish them in a prestigious scholarly periodical such as the Journal of Libertarian Studies, and I promise to write rejoinders to both.

A word about Mike. I regard him as a gifted libertarian theorist. I am DELIGHTED that he blogs on LRC. I read LRC every day, no, correct that, several times each day, and I always look forward to reading what Mike has to say. Probably, he and I agree on, oh, 99.5% of all issues on Austro-libertarianism, but it sure is fun to disagree about the other 0.5%.

Share

3:25 pm on May 14, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }

On Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 11:38 AM Steve Smith wrote:

Hi, Walter.

I’ve just finished listening to all of Tom Woods’ “Walter Block week” episodes. The one on your libel suit against the New York Times got me to thinking, again, about libertarian theory on libel.

Rothbard’s explanation that libel laws are illegitimate, in that they posit a property right in other people’s thoughts, gave me one of those huge “aha!” moments as a libertarian. It’s an explanation I wholeheartedly accept.

The question I’ve been wrestling with is whether or not what is commonly called libel could in some cases be a species of fraud. (This has no relevancy to your own case, by the way.)

Let’s say that I, the owner of Steve’s Burgers, advertise that my hamburgers are 100% pure beef, when in reality they contain 50% filler. This is clearly fraud. I am making money by selling a product to people that is not what I claim it to be.

But let’s say my hamburgers are indeed 100% beef, and so are the hamburgers of my main competitor in town, Walter’s Burgers. However, I put out advertising (or start a whispering campaign) falsely stating or strongly suggesting that Walter’s hamburgers contain filler — maybe even ground-up worms! Under present law that would be legally actionable as libel or slander at the very least; under libertarian theory presumably it would not be.

My question is, could my action in this latter case still be legitimately prosecutable as a form of fraud?

On the one hand, it seems not, because I am not misrepresenting my own product. On the other hand, I am misrepresenting, negatively, someone else’s product in comparison to mine, and to the same end: getting people to buy my hamburger instead of yours. That at least seems fraudulent to me.

Where am I going off the rails on this, if I am?

Sincerely,

Steve Smith

Chapel Hill, NC

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 12:27 PM

To: Steve Smith

Subject: Re: Libel as a form of fraud?

What you’re hypothetically doing is nasty and libelous. This not illegal for libertarianism. Fraud should be illegal but I don’t think you’re guilty of that. This would require that you cheat, steal from, your own customers, and you’re not doing that.

Here are some readings on libel:

Block 1976, ch. 7, 2008; Rothbard, 1998, ch. 16

Block, Walter E. 2008 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute;

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Sue for libel?” December 29; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block124.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Share

2:35 am on May 14, 2020

Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments }
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://walterblock.com/
Twitter