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From: T
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2018 11:59 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Mises U Picture

Walter, Here is the picture we took together at Mises U 2018. I also wanted to follow up about something we talked about last July. I was looking for PhD programs that would be Austro-Libertarian friendly. The main programs I’m looking for is Philosophy (especially Political Philosophy), Economics, and Political Theory. Do you have any leads on universities I should consider? Sincerely and for Liberty, T

Dear T: You are asking about what is commonly called PPE phd programs (politics, philosophy and economics). I recommend against all such graduate programs, that is, if you want to get an academic job. There are very few universities at which you could get a PPE job. In more than 99.9% of the cases, university jobs are in but ONE of these areas, not all three. With a phd in PPE, you’d be competing for a job in any one of these areas with recent grads who specialized in only one of them. You’d be at a serious disadvantage. So which one of these three do I recommend? I recommend economics. For two reasons. One, in academia, departments in econ are much more receptive to Austro-libertarians, than either philo or poli sci. Two, there are far more non academic jobs available for the E, rather than either of the P’s. Below, see my leads on universities, which are heavily biased against econ phd programs which mainly consist of math, stats. They point in the direction of phd econ programs more oriented toward (philosophical) Austrian economics.

If you are interested in attending a PPE conference, here is some info on that:

March 28-30, 2019. PPE conference. Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette in the French Quarter. https://ppesociety.web.unc.edu/call-for-submissions-for-the-2019-ppe-society-meeting/. Geoff Sayre-McCord [mailto:sayre-mccord@unc.edu]
http://ppesociety.web.unc.edu/2019-ppe-meeting-submission-form/; http://ppesociety.web.unc.edu/call-for-submissions-for-the-2019-ppe-society-meeting/

Here is my form letter on this sort of thing. If this doesn’t suffice, please get back to me.

I am honored that you would ask me to advise you on so important a decision. It takes, oh, 4-6 years to get a phd in economics. What the market for newly minted economics phds with an Austro-libertarian persuasion will be in 2019-2021 is hard to predict. All I can say is that as of the present, there are about a half dozen universities including my own that would regard this as a distinct plus in all hiring decisions. Also, it has been my experience that most hiring committees have never so much as heard of Austrian economics, so that as long as you don’t mention this, you lose out to none of your competitors for a job on that basis. Universities, in general, also oppose libertarianism, but economics departments least of all, which is why I recommend economics rather than other ways to promote liberty and good economics as a professor such as philosophy, political science, history, sociology, law, etc. There are several groups that will financially support graduate students who are Austro libertarians, to a greater or lesser degree. I would include under this rubric, in alphabetical order, Cato, Institute for Humane Studies, Koch Foundation, Mises Institute, Reason Foundation.

You may be interested in a debate I had with Gary North on issues of this sort:

July 24-30, 2011 Auburn, AL, Mises University; Debate with Gary North on higher education; http://mises.org/events/110;
https://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/93031.html; http://www.garynorth.com/public/9121.cfm

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/
I am copying some people bcc on this. If you want to go abroad, I recommend either Juan Carlos in Spain (Huerta de Soto) or Angers (Hulsmann) in France (they do have a combined program), or Sima in Prague or Machaj in Poland. As for the US, I recommend George Mason (Boettke and lots more), Baylor (Klein), Texas Tech (Powell, Young and Murphy). The Europeans place less emphasis on math and stats. If you want a phd in the US and you’re not good at this subject, you might well have to take a year off to study math and stats. Good news! The Economics Department at AUBURN (http://www.cla.auburn.edu/economics/) now offers the Ph.D. degree. While there are to the best of my knowledge no Austrian economists on their faculty (Roger Garrison is now emeritus), I still recommend them because the world famous Mises Institute (http://mises.org/) is also located in Auburn, Alabama. The geographical synergism cannot help but be beneficial for any graduate student who enrolls at Auburn University.

I am happy to try to help you out with this decision. Please see my open letter, below. Then, if you have further questions, I’ll be glad to answer them, and/or speak to you on the phone about your future career. I am also bcc copying these contacts on this, in order to keep everyone in the picture.

Open Letter (also see this http://mises.org/classroom/gradschool.pdf): to all those who want to promote liberty by getting a Ph.D. in Austrian economics and becoming a college professor in that subject, but are afraid to attend a traditional graduate school, for fear of failing out due to their excessive math requirements; or, who want to pursue graduate studies for any other reason in a school where Austrian economics is neither denigrated (rare), or ignored (widespread).

At the University of Angers we have created a new master programme in Law and Finance:
Strong points:
• Master in Law and Finance
• Non-quantitative, interdisciplinary approach
• All classes taught in English
• One-year programme
• Strong presence of Austrian economics (capital theory, Austrian amcroeconomics)
• Possibility to go on with doctoral studies
• French state university, therefore low tuition (about 400€/500$ in total).
• Cost-of-living in Angers in the range of 600-1000$/month
• Angers is a tourist destination: horse riding, rowing, sailing, wine villages, 90 min to Paris, 90 min to the beach
Please consider recommending it to the attention of your graduates.
Interested students should send me their cv, transcripts, and a letter of motivation before the end of May 2019.
Warm regards,

Message from Roger Koppl at Syracuse University:

The Entrepreneurship Department at Syracuse University is one of the top research departments in the country. Here in the Whitman School of Management at SU, we offer a new track in political economy in our existing PhD program in entrepreneurship. We are limiting our recruitment to an elite group of just 3 or 4 students for the PhD track. Our political economy students will be fellows of the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society.

Institute fellows do not pay any tuition, and they receive a stipend for the entire calendar year, i.e. 12 months. The package offered by the Institute is highly competitive and comparable to those offered by other top business schools. The annual gross stipend is about $26,000 per year. In addition, the package includes benefits that faculty enjoy, including health insurance and childcare benefits. They get a minimum allowance of $4,000 for travel over the course of their four years of study. In fact, however, the department and the Institute have additional resources to supplement that travel allowance. So far we have not had to decline any travel requests from entrepreneurship PhD students.

The Institute’s donor supports our Austrian free-market orientation. The students’ main professor will be Maria Minniti, who holds the Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy. Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with Roger Koppl of the finance department. The political economy graduates from Whitman’s entrepreneurship program will be on a track to become business and economics professors in leading American research universities. We are committed to rigorous academic training and professional success for our graduates. From the beginning of their studies with us, our students will be networked into the entrepreneurship profession. We encourage and facilitate close collaborations between Institute fellows and scholars in other institutions we are associated with. Interested students should write directly to Professor Minniti at mminniti@syr.edu or to Roger Koppl at rkoppl@syr.edu.

Message from Peter Klein: http://mises.org/media/5246/Professional-Strategies-and-New-Directions-for-Austrians

Messages from Pete Boettke:

Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mercatus Center … http://ppe.mercatus.org/

Graduate Student Programs at Mercatus Center … http://mercatus.org/graduate-student-programs

PhD program at GMU — http://economics.gmu.edu/programs/la-phd-econ

Peter Boettke: The Transformative Rise of Austrian Economics

I have some very, very good news for you. I have just learned from Guido Hulsmann and Jesus Huerta De Soto that it is possible to get a phd in econ from them, entirely IN ENGLISH, provided only that the phd is granted from both their schools.

There is no common Angers-Madrid PhD programme; however, you can obtain a PhD with a dissertation and defence all in English, if you work with both Profs Hulsmann and De Soto (or others outside of France) as co-directors. Administratively, this involves signing up at both universities separately.

Note from Prof. Hulsmann:

Dear Walter:

I have updated my webpage dealing with doctoral studies in economics here in Angers. Notice in particular the section deal with co-directorships.

Warm regards,

Guido Hülsmann
Professeur des Universités
Faculté de Droit, d’Économie et de Gestion
Université d’Angers

Note from Prof. De Soto:

1. We are open to any agreement to proceed with a joint Ph D program with Prof. Hülsmann and the University of Angers.

2. Another possibility is to proceed with our own Rey Juan Carlos Ph D Program exclusively.

3. According to the new European legislation, the old Ph courses are now called “Master” of research course, and are compulsory before you can read the thesis (the content is established in our Brochure).

That would be, in France, from St. Angers University, and from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain, with Jesus Huerta de Soto. Also, it is VERY cheap (something like 400 Euros per year), you don’t have to be in residence in Europe (you must attend some seminars there a few weeks a year); all you have to do is write a dissertation under the guidance of Guido and Jesus. There is absolutely no MATH requirement.

But, to qualify, you MUST have a masters degree. I recommend Detroit Mercy, since the faculty there are Austro libertarian, but, I think, that is very expensive, $15,000; however, it is possible to get credit for courses there by correspondence through e mail. But, for the purposes of linking up with Guido and Jesus, a masters in econ anywhere will suffice. (There is also the possibility of getting a masters at St. Angers or Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)


A new on line Austrian masters program: http://www.smcespañol.com/maestria.html or http://www.xn--smcespaol-r6a.com/maestria.html

Here is another new masters program that I recommend on the basis that Guido Hulsmann and Philipp Bagus support it: https://mises.org/blog/new-berlin-based-masters-degree-program-austrian-economicsp; http://www.bits-hochschule.de/en/program/entrepreneurial-economics-master/

If you take this path, you might even be able to get your phd in econ sooner this way than in a US grad school. Usually, a traditional phd in the US takes six years. I estimate that a dissertation with Guido and Jesus would take two years to write. By the way, I regard Guido and Jesus as two of the top Austro libertarian theoreticians in the entire world now active.

Here are other masters programs I recommend:

Master’s Program in Europe, it is called Entrepreneurial Economics and is a hybrid program with a focus on Austrian economics and entrepreneurship / management training.
Hendrik Hagedorn

From: mnair@troy.edu [mailto:mnair@troy.edu]
To: Walter Block
Subject: Masters Program at Troy

Dear Walter,

We have been approved for a Masters in Economics at Troy starting in the Fall of 2015. It will be a terminal free market economics program with enough math thrown in for those who want to get a PhD. There will be courses on Austrian Economics, Public Choice, Economic History, History of Thought, Monetary Economics etc in addition to the core classes, all taught by free market faculty.

We were hoping- 1) to get the program listed in your list of free market economics programs for students. 2) for you to consider recommending the program to students. The program is designed to be completed in two years or one calendar year, so we’re hoping to attract motivated kids who aren’t quite sure about a PhD yet, those who only want Masters degrees and policy careers, international students plus even non-traditional students who have become interested in these ideas.

Here is a link to the faculty page on our website: http://business.troy.edu/JohnsonCenter/faculty-staff.aspx. I will send along a brochure for the program once it is available. Your help/support would be greatly appreciated!


From: G.P. Manish [mailto:gmanish@troy.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 11:39 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Master’s Program at Troy
Dear Walter,
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to touch base with you again regarding the Master’s program here at Troy. We now have our first batch of students and the program is shaping up really well: there is a component that focuses on mainstream micro and macroeconomics and there are electives with a heavy focus on Austrian Economics. For example, I will be teaching a course in Advanced Austrian Economics in the Spring as well as a course on the History of Economic Thought and Mal will teach a Monetary Economics course, all of which will be based around the works of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc. We also have the ability to offer scholarships (awarded on a competitive basis) that help with tuition and living expenses.
Please spread the word and let me know if you have any students that are thinking of pursuing a Master’s degree. We would love to have students from Loyola! Interested students can also reach out directly to any of the professors in our department.
Also at Troy is Prof. Dan Smith, a student of Peter Boettke’s, who also teaches a course on Austrian Econ and one on Development Economics that focuses heavily on the applicability of Austrian ideas to developing countries. And we also have a strong Public Choice/Constitutional Political Economy component to the program. These courses are taught by George Crowley and John Dove, strongly free-market WVU grads.

One more thought. How good is an Austro-libertarian phd from Europe (and not Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, or any others of the most prestigious universities there) in getting you a faculty job in the US? There is just one data point on this to my knowledge: Richard Ebeling got his phd in Europe (Middlesex University in England), and has landed jobs at Hillsdale College (which he left voluntarily to become President of FEE). After he departed that organization, he landed a job (a one year visiting professorship) at Trinity University in Conn, and is now teaching at Northwood University in Michigan. Not too shabby…

Note from Dan Stastny:

We are part of the University of Economics, Prague, the largest economic
education institution in Czech Republic. At our school (called actually
“Faculty of Economics”), we cannot offer programs (majors) that are outright
Austrian curriculum-wise, but are as a whole definitely very Austrian
friendly. People interested in pursuing their PhD with us should consider
and chose between “Economic Theory” and “Economic Policy” major. There is
a tuition of EUR 5000 per year for a PhD in English, the program lasts
typically 3 years. People interested in learning more about our program
should get in touch with me. (Dan Stastny, Associate Dean for Student
Affairs, )

By the way, if you want a real good undergraduate education in Austro libertarianism, you could do worse than my own school, Loyola University New Orleans. All 100% of our four econ faculty are either leaders in this field, or very sympathetic to it. Unhappily, though, we do not offer any graduate degrees in economics.

The ONLY places in the US where you can get a phd in econ, where there is a full program in Austrian economics, are G Mason U and Texas Tech. There is a solid core of Austrian profs at Mason. My main contacts there are Pete Boettke, and Dick Wagner; if you contact them, they will give you the full low down. Also, Dan D’Amico, a recent Mason phd, (who 5 years ago graduated from Loyola, at which time I sent him off to Pete) was for a time my junior colleague at Loyola. Pete can give you a prof’s eye view of the Mason Austrian program, and Dan can give you an (ex) students’ perspective. Update: Dan D’Amico is now a professor at Brown University. My contacts at Texas Tech are Ben Powell, Andy Young (another former student of mine from when I taught at Holy Cross) and Bob Murphy.

However, there are other universities in the U.S. where there is at least one Austro-libertarian professor who could mentor you. For example, Peter Klein, Baylor University, peter_klein@baylor.edu

Here is a note from Pete Boettke, giving advice to undergraduates for graduate study: http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2011/04/advice-to-undergraduates.html. I am in very enthusiastic agreement with all of this, with the exception of his very last paragraph.

Here are the professors at George Mason who are either heavily, or, at least, peripherally, involved in Austrian economics:

Pete Boettke
Dick Wagner
Larry White
Pete Leeson
Chris Coyne
Jack High
Mark Addelson

And as research professors:

Virgil Storr
Frederic Sautet
Paul Dragos Aligica

At Mason, students can specialize in Austrian economics, New Institutionalism, Public Choice, Constitutional Political Economy, history of economic thought, etc., and traditional fields such as money, public, industrial organization, and comparative/development.

And Dan Klein, Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts are offering the opportunity to students to specialize in Smithian political economy as well.

No such list would be complete without the mention of Bryan Caplan. I do not consider him an Austrian economist, nor, even, a fellow traveler. Rather, a critic. But, at least he is interested in Austrian economics.

Here is an important message from Peter Boettke:


As a matter of fact, what goes on at GMU is the _required_ math is limited,
but the math options are wide. One of our former students has been teaching
the core PhD theory course at UC-Santa Cruz and another one teachers
decision theory at Carneige Mellon. But pursued the mathematical education
that is possible to get IF they don’t want to do the Austrian, public
choice, law and economic, etc. track. Most of the students that pursue that
go through the lab.

The lab students DO have an advantage in the academic market place in terms
of placement at PhD programs. But the vast majority of students need never
worry about that market because there is really only a 1-10% chance any PhD
student will end up in another PhD program teaching. Though that is the way
we compete for all jobs.

I think the vast majority of students simply have no clue what graduate
school is like — since it is a clear departure from undergraduate school.
Finally, please do tell many of these students that basically we are
looking for students with a 3.6 GPA or higher, and 760 or higher on the GRE
math, and 600 or higher on GRE verbal.

One last thing, expect to get more requests like this because as students
become net-savey they will find out that places like Econ Job Market Rumors
say a lot of bad things about GMU and whatnot. Please point them to my
former student page which has a list of the students who wrote under me,
gives their placement and publications, etc.


Note from Peter Klein:

Baylor University offers a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship. Peter Klein is a libertarian Austrian. Both Department of Entrepreneurship (which houses the Ph.D. program) and the Department of Economics include many non-Austrian libertarians. The university also features a Free Enterprise Center with research funding for graduate students, lectures, programs, etc. supporting free markets and limited government.
From: mises-academic@googlegroups.com [mailto:mises-academic@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Klein, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 10:41 PM
To: mises-academic@googlegroups.com
Subject: FW: Baylor Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship
Dear colleagues:
I am serving as director of Baylor’s PhD in Entrepreneurship and we are soliciting applications for the Fall 2018 entering class. A PhD in Entrepreneurship is an excellent career option for an aspiring Austrian economist. The academic field of entrepreneurship is friendly toward Austrian insights and Kirzner, Schumpeter, Hayek, and even Mises are highly cited in the mainstream entrepreneurship literature. There are many academic posts in the entrepreneurship field (and they typically pay better than equivalent economics positions).
Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary subject with economics as one of the foundational subjects, and students can write dissertations using Austrian theories, concepts, and research methods. There are required courses in quantitative methods but the field is much more eclectic, methodologically, than contemporary economics and one can do verbal theory as well as qualitative empirical work. Besides myself, there are several faculty members in the business school who are supporters or fellow-travelers of Austrian ideas and approaches.
If you have or know undergraduate or masters students interested in a PhD who might be a fit for the program, please let me know and have them contact me for more information.
From: Entrepreneurship Division Listserv [mailto:ENTREP@AOMLISTS.AOM.ORG] On Behalf Of Klein, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 4:30 PM
Subject: [ENTREP] Baylor Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship
Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business
Department of Entrepreneurship

The Department of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business invites applications for the Ph.D. Program in Entrepreneurship. The application deadline for next fall’s entering class is January 15, 2018.

Baylor is consistently ranked among the top ten US entrepreneurship programs by the Princeton Review, US News & World Report, and Businessweek. The Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship is housed within the Department of Entrepreneurship, an independent academic unit offering an undergraduate entrepreneurship major and minor, an MBA concentration, and a variety of special programs. More information on the department is available here: https://www.baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

The doctoral program builds on Baylor’s experience as a leader in the entrepreneurship field to develop the next generation of entrepreneurship scholars. The program emphasizes rigorous and relevant theoretical and empirical research in entrepreneurship and related fields, as well as extensive training in teaching, writing, editing, working with students, and other aspects of academic life. We aim to place our graduates in faculty positions at highly ranked universities and similar institutions. While the primary focus is entrepreneurship, students also receive training in strategic management and organization theory. The Department of Entrepreneurship is also home to the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, which studies the effects of public policy and institutions on entrepreneurship.

Baylor embraces an apprenticeship model in which students work directly with faculty mentors to learn the craft of research and writing. Students are expected to publish in leading journals, in collaboration with faculty mentors, during their PhD training. Entrepreneurship faculty include Kendall Artz, Daniel Bennett, Ray Bagby, Peter Klein, Boris Nikolaev, Les Palich, Steve Bradley, and Matthew Wood. Their research appears in top journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, and Organization Science.

The program is a full-time, four-year residency program. Support includes tuition remission, a competitive annual stipend (among the highest in the field), resources for attending key conferences in entrepreneurship, and competitive summer research grants from the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. Students will also have opportunities to connect with initiatives such as the Baylor Angel Network, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) incubator, the LAUNCH accelerator, and other programs. The Department of Entrepreneurship is housed in the state-of-the-art Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, opened in 2015.

Further information about the Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship, including the online application, is available at http://www.baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/phd/.

Contact Ph.D. Director Peter G. Klein at peter_klein@baylor.edu for questions or more information.

In recent years I have sent about a dozen of my Loyola students off to grad school in econ, about half to Mason, and half to other places in the US. With one exception (and that was his fault – he didn’t study — not that of Mason), all those who went to Mason got their phds within 4-6 years and are now either professors at US universities, or are still in the pipeline, while in every other case, they all failed out of grad school due to math requirements, inability to tolerate the hyper mathematicalization of economics that is now fashionable in most grad schools. Both groups of half dozen were of equal ability as my undergraduate students, in my assessment. So, as you can imagine, I am WILDLY in favor of Mason as a place to get your phd in econ in the U.S. Here is an important assessment of Austrian education written by Pete Boettke: http://www.superscholar.org/rankings/economics/top-austrian-free-market-programs/

Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University – Ph.D. Fellowship Opportunity
Students, who are interested in pursuing advanced study in economics from an Austrian or free market perspective, should give serious consideration to the Ph.D. Fellowship offered by the Free Market Institute (FMI) at Texas Tech University (TTU).
The university offers a Ph.D. course in Austrian economics, and in other topics/areas relevant to the study of the private enterprise system (Polycentric Governance, Economic Development, Economics of Regulation, etc.) The FMI at TTU has several Ph.D. economists on staff (or with research affiliations), who provide research and professional guidance to Ph.D. fellows.
Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, TTU faculty members directly affiliated with FMI will include:
 Benjamin Powell – Director (www.benjaminwpowell.com)
 Jamie Bologna – Research Fellow (http://www.jamielbologna.com/)
 Adam Martin – Political Economy Research Fellow (http://www.adamgmartin.com/)
 Robert Murphy – Research Assistant Professor (http://consultingbyrpm.com/)
 Alexander Salter – Comparative Economics Research Fellow (http://www.awsalter.com/)
 Andrew Young – Director of Graduate Students (https://sites.google.com/site/ayoungeconomist/)
Other TTU faculty members from a range of disciplines have informal affiliations or otherwise participate in FMI programming on a regular basis. Please visit the FMI Staff (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/freemarketinstitute/people.php) for a full listing of current faculty, staff, and students.
Fellowships have a three-year term and offer students full tuition support and part-time employment (up to 20 hours per week) as a research assistant with the FMI during each academic year. Compensation for the research assistant position is competitive with fellowship and stipend offers from other graduate programs.
Ph.D. Fellows pursue their degrees in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC), where they have the opportunity to develop dissertation research on a range of applied topics in the Austrian and free market tradition.
For more information about the FMI Ph.D. Fellowship opportunity, please visit the Prospective Students Page (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/freemarketinstitute/info_students.php) at the FMI’s website (www.fmi.ttu.edu) or contact FMI Senior Administrator, Charles Long, by email at charles.v.long@ttu.edu or phone at 806.742.7138.
From: Michael Makovi [mailto:michael.makovi@ttu.edu]
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2017 10:27 PM
To: Long, Charles V
Cc: Walter Block; Justin Callais; Young, A T
Subject: Re: recommendation

Let me give my impression of Texas Tech and the Free Market Institute as a 2nd year PhD student here.
First off, the math required is basically calculus and linear algebra. The professors cover all the math you need to know, so if there’s something you don’t know, don’t worry. But at the same time, you’ll be more comfortable if you already know all the math, so that it’s a refresher rather than learning it for the first time. The big thing to review is Lagrangian maximization or minimization subject to a constraint, which is covered in a typical multivariable calculus course. It’s also helpful to be familiar with matrix operations. If you have time this spring or summer to take extra courses in multivariable calculus and linear algebra, I highly recommend it.
Second, let you tell you a little bit about the program and who is who:
So the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC) is where you’d be doing your PhD. Both your coursework and your PhD dissertation must satisfy the AAEC. By contrast, the Free Market Institute (FMI) is a non-degree-granting but university-affiliated department on campus. You’ll also find yourself attending a lot of FMI seminars and asking FMI faculty to help you with your research, and obviously, you’ll be doing work for the FMI to earn your stipend, but ultimately, it’s the AAEC that will approve your dissertation and grant you the PhD. So it’s important to keep the distinction between the AAEC and FMI clear.
(The reason why it’s the AAEC is because the economics department at Texas Tech has a poor reputation.)
Anyway, the AAEC is an applied economics department, so they focus on empirics more than pure theory. For an Austrian, I think that’s actually a good thing. It means that the professors won’t look down on your being a libertarian as long as you can empirically substantiate your opinion. If you can do a case study showing why some particular regulation has negative consequences or how the market has successfully provided some public good, the applied professors will be happy. Your dissertation has to have some econometrics in it, but they won’t care if it’s Austrian or free-market or libertarian or whatever, as long as the real-world data support your argument.
In general, I’ve found virtually all of the AAEC faculty to be very friendly towards the FMI and free-market ideas. For example, Prof. Wang, who teaches production economics and optimization programming, has been doing research on Elinor Ostrom and how communities solve common pool problems without government. In addition, Prof. Wang’s class – which is the one that covers externalities – gives equal attention to Pigou and Coase, meaning that he covers the ways in which markets internalize externalities too. In another class, Prof. Hudson often likes to mention conversations he’s had with Ben Powell about free-markets. While he doesn’t always agree with Ben, he always mentions Ben’s opinions with respect. And then there’s Prof. Ryan Williams, who often comes to FMI events. So the AAEC is a very friendly place to be.
Third, let you give you a bit of a summary of what the program is like, stage-by-stage:
In your first year, you’ll take a lot of math-heavy courses and have to pass the comprehensive exams. It’s not fun. It’s REALLY not fun. You have two chances to pass: once in May and again in August. Not everyone passes the comprehensive exams the first time, in May, so don’t take them lightly. But so far, everyone has passed at least by the second time, in August. So they’re hard, but not impossibly hard. There are two exams: one in micro and one in econometrics.
In your second and third years, you’ll continue taking courses. Unlike most PhD programs, there are no field exams. That is, you do NOT have to pass exams in any of your specialties. You take whatever elective courses you want — approved by your dissertation committee — but you’re never tested on any of them outside of the classes. Every semester, an FMI professor teaches an elective course, so for the most part, you’ll take your core classes with the AAEC and your electives with the FMI.
And then, of course, there’s the dissertation.
Every year, you’re paired with one of the FMI’s faculty to be his or her research assistant.
So the biggest difference between this program and most others, I think, is that there are no field exams. Instead of picking a specialty and being tested on it, you’ll just take electives with FMI professors. You still have to pass your dissertation defense, obviously.
Obviously, I’ve never been a PhD student anywhere else, so I can’t compare it to anything. But as a former student of Walter’s, I’m very happy here.
That’s everything I can think of, but if you have any more questions, ask me.
Good luck,
Michael Makovi

Detroit Mercy: Harry Veryser, stampingsinc@hotmail.com; Joe Weglarz, weglarzj@udmercy.edu
St. Angers: Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr;
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos: Jesus Huerta de Soto, huertadesoto@dimasoft.es;
George Mason: Peter Boettke, Virgil Storr, Richard Wagner, vstorr@gmu.edu; pboettke@gmu.edu; rwagner@gmu.edu
Brown University: Dan D’Amico,
Peter Klein, Baylor University peter_klein@baylor.edu
Cal State San Jose, Jeff Hummel jhummel@gguol.ggu.edu
Ben Powell, Texas Tech, benjaminwpowell@gmail.com;
Andrew Young, Texas Tech; a.young.economist@gmail.com

Here is a list of my former undergraduate students who have earned phds in econ from G. Mason: from Holy Cross: Ed Stringham (now Hackley Endowed Chair for Capitalism
and Free Enterprise Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut, from Loyola: Dan D’Amico (now prof at Brown), Emily Schaeffer Skarbeck (she is a tenured professor, Lecturer at King’s College London, their ranking system is different than ours), Nick Snow who is now a Senior Lecturer at Ohio State University, where along with another faculty member — Todd Nesbit — runs the free market undergraduate group and Jenny Dirmeyer (now assistant prof at Hampden Sydney U). Loyola students of mine who are now in the midst of the Mason program are Chris Fleming, Jonathan Lingenfelter and Marc Melancon.

King’s is a world-ranked top 60 university (roughly the equivalent to Brown). The faculty in the PhD program for Political Economy is as a whole very Austrian friendly. The leader of this group is Mark Pennington, but beside Emily Skarbeck he also has David Skarbek, Adam Martin, Adam Tebble, John Meadowcraft, and Paul Lewis.

Here are the experiences of some of our Loyola graduates with graduate schools other than George Mason. Christie LaPorte went off to the University of Missouri for a phd in economics. My friends Peter and Sandy Klein were going to be her mentors. She took a look at her econ texts, and saw only math. She didn’t want to do math for 5-6 years, so she quit in the first week she was there. She is now finishing up with law school. Chuck Long went off to Suffolk Univesity for a phd in economics. He, too, had a mentor I trusted: Ben Powell. Yet, Chuck failed math there, and had to leave after one year. Chuck was an A student, one of our very best, with a minor in math at Loyola. Chuck is now working in Washington DC for one of the Koch foundation groups, thus a movement job. Eric Mattei went off to the Univesity of Georgia for a phd in economics. He, too, had a mentor I trusted: George Selgin. Yes, George and I have tangled on issues (fractional reserve banking, mainly), but I trusted George, totally, to put these differences aside, and do what he could for Eric. George and Eric hit it off personally; they were both into bike racing, and did that together. George was so distraught when Eric failed math courses there, and thus lost his scholarship, that George offered to give Eric some of his own endowment money. Eric is now selling insurance. When Eric was my student at Loyola, he and Dan D’Amico took several classes from me. They sat together in classes, both at the back of the room, and both of them bugged the crap out of me (I loved it!). In my estimation of their abilities during those days, I regarded Dan and Eric as equals. Their classroom participation was equal. Their grades were equal. As you know, I mark (well, midterm) exams anonymously. I remember one semester Dan got, I think, a 93 and Eric got a 92. Or, was it the other way around? I’m not sure. What I’m trying to say is that while they had equal abilities in my opinion, Dan has earned his doctorate in economics, and Eric did not.

This is not praxeology. This is mere empirical evidence. But, based on it, I recommend George Mason and Texas Tech, not any other school in the U.S. Perhaps my experience with Nick Snow is relevant here. Nick was not one of our very top students. He went off to San Jose State for a masters in economics (he was mentored by my old Austro libertarian friend Jeff Hummel, plus Austro libertarians Ben Powell, who has since moved to Suffolk and now Texas Tech, and another former student of mine, not at Loyola but at Holy Cross, Ed Stringham, who has since moved to Trinity College, Connecticut. However, Emily Schaeffer Skarbeck, another former Loyola student of ours who got her phd at Mason is now an Assistant Professor at Kings.). So, here’s what I recommend: go to San Jose for a masters, and then apply to Mason for a phd, following in Nick’s footsteps. Or, try Detroit Mercy for a masters, and then on to Mason or Texas Tech. Or, if you want to try something totally different, go to France and study with/ be mentored by Guido Hulsman, combined with Spain and, ditto, Jesus Huerta de Soto. In addition, there are ph.d programs at other institutions, in other countries, where you can study with other Austro-libertarian faculty. I would include in this regard the following people (some of whom I am copying on this letter):

Josef Sima, Josef.Sima@libinst.cz; Daniel Stastny, (http://www.cevroinstitut.cz/en/Section/study/courses+for+international+students/)
Enrico Colombatto enrico.colombatto@unito.it;
Giancarlo Ibarguen Universidad Francisco Marroquín; gis@ufm.edu.gt; fthomas@ufm.edu; http://fce.ufm.edu
Swiss Management Center, Kurt Leube http://www.swissmc.ch/Programs/Distance_Learning_Programs/Online_Doctorate_Programs/PhD_in_Economics/Program_Design/
Matt Machaj, Poland mateusz.machaj@mises.pl

Here is another letter that might be of interest:

From: CALZADA ALVAREZ GABRIEL [mailto:gc@ufm.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:31 AM
To: Oliver Bardin
Cc: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Economics Graduate Schools
Thank you, Walter!
Hola, Oliver! In the Spanish speaking world there are two places were you can complete a doctorate in economics from an austrian perspective: Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala and King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain. I am associated with both programs so I can tell you from my experience in the past 8 years that the study and research atmosphere in both places is great. Spanish language is not required but is certainly recommended in both places.
The URJC has several austrian professors and lecturers in the economic department and they have developed a pure austrian master and doctorate program officially accredited by the UE. Each year the program receives about 30-35 student and at least half of them are foreign students.
The UFM, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, aka University of Free Marketeers, is an intellectual oasis for libertarians. Every student -regardless of the sort of degree he is pursuing, from medicine to economics- has to enroll in 4 courses on free-market economics with a main focus in austrian economics. The university has been very selective over the years when it comes to accept a phd student. Doctorate courses at UFM are tailor made for the specific student that is accepted.
I hope you find this information useful. And if you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact me.
Good luck in your search of a place to complete your studies.

As to a masters, if you stay in the US, I recommend Troy U, Detroit Mercy and Mason. However, I lean toward the former, since if you want to pursue Austrianism in the US, and go to Mason for that (Detroit doesn’t have a phd program) that way you’ll have different profs.

Here is yet another excellent masters program, given in English:
From: Josef Šíma [mailto:josef.sima@vsci.cz]
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 1:33 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: RE: new PPE MA program in Prague
Please add my PPE program on the list of your graduate schools for Austrians. If you ever have a smart student who would like to study in Europe, do not forget that we have the Mises scholarship –
Best regards,
prof. Josef Šíma, Ph.D.
Director/Philosophy, Politics, Economics
The first PPE MA program in the Czech Republic

CEVROINSTITUTE [school of legal and social studies]
Jungmannova 17 / 110 00 Praha 1 / Czech Republic
tel.: +420 221 506 777 / mobil: +420 777 069 323
email: josef.sima@vsci.cz / www.cevroinstitut.cz

Jesus Huerta de Soto, huertadesoto@dimasoft.es;
Guido Hulsmann, Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr;
Josef Sima, Josef.Sima@libinst.cz;
Enrico Colombatto enrico.colombatto@unito.it;
Matt Machaj, Poland mateusz.machaj@mises.pl
Stefan Stein, Germany stefan.stein@bits-iserlohn.de;


11:51 am on August 13, 2018

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From: N
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2018 7:38 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Fake economic news follow up

Hello Professor Block, My name is N, I received my degree in (conventional) economics from xyz University a little over a year ago. I am currently working my way through the Virtual Mises University and last night I had the pleasure of viewing your lecture on fake economic news. It was unfortunate that you were not able to get into the monopsony argument, and I am reaching out to you for any resources on the subject.

Also, a note on the tariff discussion. Yesterday (8/8/18) lewrockwell.com featured this article by Pat Buchanan:

The Globalists

In the article, Mr. Buchanan makes the argument that free trade is a “political religion, a creed, a cult.” How would you respond to the anti free traders who claim that we are putting “economy before country”? Thank you, Nathan

Dear N: Here’s some intellectual ammunition on both issues:


Block, Walter E. and William Barnett. 2009. “Monopsony Theory.” American Review of Political Economy June/December, Vol. 7(1/2), pp. 67-109; https://sites.bemidjistate.edu/arpejournal/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/12/v7n1-2-block-barnett.pdf; http://www.arpejournal.com/

Free Trade:

Block, Walter E. 2018. “Trump’s Fake Fix for a Bad Economic Policy; Using tax dollars to bailout farmers hurt by President Trump’s tariffs is not the way to strengthen the economy.” New York Times, July 26; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/26/opinion/trump-tariffs-farmers-iowa-libertarian.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/07/hot-breaking-walter-block-op-ed.html

October 27, 2006. Auburn, AL. Mises Institute. Imperialism: Enemy of Freedom: Supporter’s Summit: “The case for free trade – not imperialism”; http://www.mises.org/upcomingstory.aspx?Id=88; https://mises.org/library/case-free-trade-not-imperialism

Krasnozhon, Leo, David Simpson and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Fair trade: Its Real Impact on the Working Poor.” The Review of Social and Economic Issues (RSEI). Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring, pp- 5-28; http://rsei.rau.ro/index.php/last; http://rsei.rau.ro/images/V1N2/Articol_1.pdf; http://www.rebe.rau.ro/RePEc/rau/rseijr/SP15/RSEI-SP15-A1.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2007. “NAFTA and Dr. Ron Paul: Reply to ‘Superhighway Scaremonger’s, by Terence Corcoran” August 25; http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=0d9e600d-dc7f-4b85-acf4-32b8ae4881a0

Block, Walter E., Peter Klein and Per Henrik Hansen. 2007. “The Division of Labor under Homogeneity: A Critique of Mises and Rothbard” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, April Vol. 66 Issue 2, pp. 457-464; http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/ajes/66/2;

Saliba, Michael, Walter E. Block and John Levendis. 2007. “Tariffs on Steel: Special Interests vs. Free Enterprise,” The Indian Journal of Economics and Business: Special Issue on Economic Development, Transition Economics, and Globalization: Austrian and Public Choice Perspectives, Vol. 5, Special Issue, pp. 139-151.

Dreuil, Emile, James Anderson, Walter E. Block and Michael Saliba. 2003. “The Trade Gap: The Fallacy of Anti World-Trade Sentiment,” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 45, No. 3, July, pp. 269-281; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/trade_gap.pdf;

Block, Walter E. 1999. “Optimal Export Policy for a New Product Monopoly,” Cross Cultural Management, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 29-32; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/optimal_export_policy.pdf

Gries, Michael and Walter E. Block. 1998. “Predator: Anti-Dumping Regulations,” Consent, #29, March, pp. 9-10.

Block, Walter E., Joseph Horton and Debbie Walker. 1998. “The Necessity of Free Trade,” Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 1, No. 2, October, pp. 192-200; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/1998_oct/block.html;; Search for “Walter Block” under “Authors” here: http://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/search

Yoon, Yeoman, Robert McGee and Walter E. Block. 1997. “Do we need protectionism,” Asian Economic Review, Vol. 39, pp. 237-

McGee, Robert W. and Walter E. Block. 1997. “Ethical Aspects of Initiating Anti Dumping Actions,” International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 599-608;; http://tinyurl.com/294om4; http://tinyurl.com/ystpyd

Block, Walter E. and Robert W. McGee. 1997. “Must Protectionism Violate Rights?” International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 393-407;; http://tinyurl.com/ytzl6m; http://tinyurl.com/2z3sdy

Spissinger, Kristin and Walter E. Block. 1997. “Free Trade Is The Cure,” Consent, #28, December, pp. 9-12.

Sordillo, Alizabeth and Walter E. Block. 1996. “Free Trade Is Economically Efficient,” Fundamentals of Prosperity, Essay #1, October, Center for World Capitalism of the James Madison Institute, pp. 1-7.

Block, Walter E. 1992. “Comment on ‘The Economic Approach to International Relations’: Reply to Bernholz,” Universal Economics: Assessing the Achievements of the Economic Approach, Gerard Radnitzky, ed., New York: Paragon House, pp. 413-420

Block, Walter E. 1992. “The Level Playing Field in Trade,” Economics: A Canadian Perspective, James D. Thexton, ed., Toronto: Oxford University Press, p. 509.

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. 5/10/91 “The core truth of the benefits of free trade,” Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Free Trade and Comparative Advantage,” British Columbia Report, v. 2, n. 38, May 20, p. 16.

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Free Trade,” Fraser Forum, June, pp. 26.

Block, Walter E. 1990. “A Positive Balance in Trade,” Fraser Forum, December, pp. 25.

Block, Walter E. 7/13/90. “Beggar my neighbor,” Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.

Block, Walter E. 1989. “Customs Unions—Or Real Honest to Goodness Free Trade,” Fraser Forum, August, pp. 17-18.

Block, Walter E. 2/4/89. “Better to stress strengths then raise tariff barrier,” The Financial Post.

Block, Walter E. 1989. “Take My Lumber, Please.” Consent. No. 8. May-July, pp. 5-6.

Block, Walter E. 8/4/89. Dollars and Sense: “Customs Union,” Alberni Valley Times.

Block, Walter E. 9/12/88. “Canada is for sale,” Thunder Bay Ontario Daily

Block, Walter E. 10/5/88. “Export subsidy helps economy of importer,” The Financial Post
Block, Walter E. 10/5/87. “Export subsidy helps economy of importer,” The Financial Post.

Block, Walter E. 8/23/86. “Good policy to go it alone on free trade,” The Financial Post.

Block, Walter E. 9/8/86. “The free trade question: How it relates to economic and cultural nationalism?” Grainews.

Block, Walter E. 3/5/84. “Provincial trade barriers are worse than imports,” The Whig Standard

Block, Walter E. 1983. “Understanding free enterprise: “Potato War?” Grainews, March, p. 50

Block, Walter E. 11/14/82. “Car wars hurt Canadians,” North Shore News.

Block, Walter E. 12/14/82. Dollars and Sense: “Lumber and Buns,” Peace River Block Daily News.

Block, Walter E. 12/27/80. “Why we should break trade barriers,” The Financial Post, p.10


McGee and Block, 1997; Yoon, McGee and Block, 1999

Gries, Michael and Walter E. Block. 1998. “Predator: Anti-Dumping Regulations,” Consent, #29, March, pp. 9-10.

McGee, Robert W. and Walter E. Block. 1997. “Ethical Aspects of Initiating Anti Dumping Actions,” International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 599-608;; http://tinyurl.com/294om4; http://tinyurl.com/ystpyd

Yoon, Yeomin, Robert W. McGee and Walter E. Block. 1999. “Antidumping and the People’s Republic of China: Five Case Studies,” Asian Economic Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, August, pp. 208-217

October 27, 2006. Auburn, AL. Mises Institute. Imperialism: Enemy of Freedom: Supporter’s Summit: “The case for free trade – not imperialism”; http://www.mises.org/upcomingstory.aspx?Id=88; http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7926477054877151486&q=%22walter+block%22&ei=UTBHSJKtMqeg4ALA3aSJDA&hl=en; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdqa67ao_2Q; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdqa67ao_2Q


3:26 pm on August 9, 2018

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Those Who Deny Anarcho-Capitalism Engage in a Circular Argument. That’s a Fallacy in Logic.

Letter 6

This is a 6 part series of letters between me and “A.” Here is my last contribution to this conversation. I place these letters in inverse order, so you will have to read from the bottom up if you are interested in perusing this exchange. Why do I do so? This is because A’s first letter is a long one, and I don’t want to take up too much space on this blog with that letter. My hope is that this interchange will help readers confront the statist argument offered by A.

Dear A: Who cares whether or not people who don’t want to be ruled by a government CAN leave. Only totalitarians place roadblocks against exit. The issue, the only issue, is whether they SHOULD have to leave when they do not want to be citizens of a newly formed government. And, there is no reason why they should. According to libertarian principle, they already own property there, before the state was formed, the one that now claims their obedience. So, I conclude, the formation of a government is incompatible with the libertarian emphasis on non-aggression, the Non Aggression Principle (NAP).

Letter 5

Dear Professor, I didn’t say they SHOULD leave, merely that they COULD leave under their own free will. I didn’t even say they would have to pay the tax — they could be free-riders. My scenario was intended to suggest benign initiatives — building a needed dam, fortifications (city walls), armed guards to protect against invasion, etc. (The unfortunate roughshod-running would come later.) Actually, I’ve never liked majority rule — going all the way back to elementary school, where classes sometimes voted on issues — and I was almost always in the minority. Best,A

Letter 4

On 2018-08-04 12:58, Walter Block wrote:
Why should they have to leave? They own property there. It is a
circular argument to posit they should leave. It assumes the very
point in question: that the majority has a right to run roughshod over
the minority; that the majority has a right to force the minority to
become citizens against their will

Letter 3

SENT: Saturday, August 04, 2018 9:51 AM
TO: ‘Walter Block’
SUBJECT: RE: Rand vs. Rothbard

Hi Walter,

Wait–aren’t the 5 percent folks free to “vote with their feet”? Best, A

Letter 2

FROM: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
SENT: Friday, August 03, 2018 1:55 AM
TO: ‘A’
SUBJECT: RE: Rand vs. Rothbard

Dear ASF:

The 5% are coerced. That violates the NAP

Letter 1

SENT: Wednesday, August 01, 2018 4:48 PM
TO: wblock@loyno.edu
SUBJECT: RE: Rand vs. Rothbard

Hi, “Rothbard correctly inferred from this that no state could be
justified, since it necessarily violated the NAP, by taxing people
without their consent, and demanding a monopoly of force within a
given area. Rand was illogical on this point; she contradicted
herself. Rothbard argued brilliantly on this matter.”_

I’m no scholar, but I can easily visualize a (young) state without
these two problems. At first, there are no taxes, but some project arises to which the
populace agrees (let’s assume 95%) but instead of spending their time
on it they accept a one-time tax and let a small committee run it.
Over time this occurs more often, and eventually the committee
proposes a permanent tax of some sort. Thus the state is officially
born. If it goes too far, however, the committee should be able to be
easily checked by the rest of the population if necessary.

I see a similar scenario with regard to force. Initially the people
fend for themselves or together as needed, but then it becomes easier
to create a police force (likely comprised of people who can’t do much
of anything else). This group eventually demands more money and leeway
to perfect its craft, morphing into a permanent military. Outnumbered,
this group should be able to be easily checked by the rest of the
population if necessary.

The vast majority of the populace just wants to live their lives
without hassles. However, the two groups above tend to work together
and attract the worst people. Gradually, imperceptibly, the rest of
the population comes to accept the pair’s supremacy. Regards, A


6:57 pm on August 8, 2018

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Austrians Versus Chicagoans: No More (Intellectual) War?

As a result of this interchange (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/a-correspondence-with-a-professor-from-a-very-prestigious-university/), I received the following missive from W (there are 6 letters in this conversation):

Letter 1

From: W
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2018 9:30 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re:


L said this: “I am unaware of Stigler clarifying his change of heart regarding anti-trust legislation in his later writings.” That does not mean that it does not exist. Stigler was surely never bashful about expressing his views. Since he came to believe that long-term market forces worked better than anti-trust legislation to mitigate against monopoly, I strongly suspect that it can be found among his writings.

Finally, I have always been the optimist — SR pessimist, LR optimist! I have given several talks to graduates and university audiences to that effect. Given my faith in the persistence, efficiency, and rewards of our market system compared to any current political regime, I have consistently argued that at worst we would “muddle through” and at best experience incredible growth and rising standards of living. On the other hand, it is currently my sense that never in my 50-year career has freedom, the market, and our Republican government been under greater threat. Progressives are coming out from under every rock. Socialism rather than being found only in historic dustbins is something openly espoused by major political figures and the young.

If I am correct, I strongly believe the 60-year-old battle between the Austrians and the Chicago School is a battle we can ill afford to continue waging against each other. Combined, at this time we likely do not represent more than 10 percent of the economics profession. We have a terrible important battle to fight; for the first time, I have my doubts that we can win. Fighting among ourselves will only weaken our cause. Yours truly, W

Letter 2

On Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 1:09 AM, Walter Block wrote

Dear W:

Can’t we Austrians fight a two front war? One, of course, against the commie, progressive, pinko, liberal left. But, another against the wicked Chicagoites, pushing their fed, their voucher systems, their negative income taxes, their malevolent universal basic income plans? In a sense, they are even worse than our friends from the left: they really should know better, whereas who can expect any modicum of sense from the left on economic issues?

More reading for you, from Sherwin Rosen, see below; this shows that the Chicagoites attack us Austrians, not only the other way around. Also, the Chicagoites teach at Chicago, UCLA, and many other prestigious places. Where do the Austrians hold faculty positions at? To ask this is to answer it. How about them being nice to us? When’s the last time they hired an Austrian? Never, that’s when. Friedman and Stigler blackballed Hayek from the Chicago econ dept. He taught there, but only at the committee of social thought. Did any of them ever they ever hire Rothbard? Mises?

If you can show me a publication of Stigler’s that opposed antitrust law, root and branch, not just because (borrowing a leaf from Friedman) it might cost more than its gains in reducing or eliminating the so called dead weight loss of market monopoly, I’ll eat my hat. Well, publicly apologize to Stigler.

Nor is “…to believe that long-term market forces worked better than anti-trust legislation to mitigate against monopoly,” good enough to ward off the intellectual war I propose to continue fighting against the Chicagoans (while of course continuing to give them credit on issues where they are good: free trade, rent control, minimum wage, etc).

This bespeaks a misunderstanding of the correct Austrian view. “Market forces” are totally impotent to get rid of monopoly, for that is necessarily based on a grant of government privilege, and thus impervious to the marketplace. The free enterprise system cannot “mitigate” against crony capitalist monopoly. What about large sized firms with gigantic Herfendahl indices? They are not monopolies, provided they attained their position through means compatible with libertarianism; e.g., no crony capitalism.

Here is Sherwin Rosen’s attack on Austrians:

Rosen, Sherwin. 1997. Austrian and Neoclassical Economics: Any Gains from Trade?, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 11, No. 4, Fall, pp. 139-152; http://www.econ.ucla.edu/doepke/teaching/resources/e202ros.pdf

Here is my reply to him:

Block, Walter E., Christopher Westley and Alex Padilla. 2008. “Internal vs. external explanations: a new perspective on the history of economic thought,” Procesos De Mercado: Revista Europea De Economia Politica; issue 2, pp. 35-132; http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/listaarticulos?tipo_busqueda=EJEMPLAR&revista_busqueda=6790&clave_busqueda=217457

Dear Walter:

Letter 3:

At least Sherwin Rosen took the Austrians seriously, which has been one of their valid complaints.

Letter 4:

On Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 10:49 AM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear W:

Took us seriously? Consider how Rosen trashed Austrians; he said, in effect, that Chicagoans were correct (where they disagreed, he admitted an overlap) and Austrians incorrect, since there were more of the former than the latter. But, at one time, the flat earthers outnumbered the round earthers. At one time, those who believed the sun revolved around the earth were in the majority. You can’t infer truth by a nose count, as does Rosen.

I suggest you reread the first of these, and then the second:

Rosen, Sherwin. 1997. Austrian and Neoclassical Economics: Any Gains from Trade?, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 11, No. 4, Fall, pp. 139-152; http://www.econ.ucla.edu/doepke/teaching/resources/e202ros.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2000. Austrian Journals: A Critique of Rosen, Yeager, Laband and Tollison and Vedder and Gallaway,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, No. 2, Summer, pp. 45-61; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae3_2_4.pdf

I regard the latter as a total obliteration of the former.

Letter 5:

From: W
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2018 2:11 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Larry Wimmer contact info

To Walter:

You are correct, Sherwin’s article was largely critical of Austrian Economics. When I said that at least he took Austrian Economics seriously, isn’t a critical article in a prestigious, widely read journal better than being ignored? I suspect that his article caused some contemplation and searching that might not have occurred otherwise. Along with many others, I believe Sherwin was on track for a Nobel Prize. He took time out of busy professional schedule to write a piece in the Journal of Economic Perspectives that was quite far afield from his professional emphasis. And you received a chance to write an a rejoinder that likely had a wider audience.

Letter 6:

Dear W: You are correct. I’ll let you have the last (substantive) word on this conversation. Best regards, Walter


5:46 pm on August 7, 2018

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A Correspondence With A Professor From A Very Prestigious University

This is a series of letters I had with L, a retired professor of economics from a very prestigious university. B, a former student of L’s, introduced me to him, saying that L was an admirer of mine. Our discussion ranged widely over mainstream and Austrian economics, anti-trust law and welfare economics, discussing the contributions of, among others, Milton Friedman and George Stigler. L supported these two Nobel Prize winners in economics; he was a grad student of the latter’s. I was very critical of Friedman and Stigler. I accused the latter, not just in effect, of intellectual dishonesty. This is five part letter exchange.

Letter 1
On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 1:04 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear B:

Thanks for the introduction to L.

Dear L (if I may):

B said some very nice things about you, including the fact that you and I have much in common, political-economy speaking. So, I thought I’d open up a conversation with you in this way.

Best regards,


Letter 2
From: L
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2018 1:12 PM
To: Walter Block
Cc: B
Subject: Re: contact info


Good to hear from you, and particularly by way of B. Nice to know that he has not given up his Libertarian ways!

I met you once, in fact, we had lunch together with a mutual friend and economists – D.

C and I have both retired. I am 82 and C 78. We both attend seminars, though infrequent. The Department of Economics at xyz is changing, in much the same way that Chicago (and probably the profession as a whole) is changing. MIT seems to be setting the pace. The questions seem less interesting, and the search for more sophisticated statistical tools the primary goal. We still send our share of Ph.D. students to leading universities and receive enough back that it is still a fine undergraduate program. We consider that to be the primary function at xyz – we have no interest in graduate programs of our own. Educate them and send them away. In the West, only Berkeley and Stanford send more undergraduates into Ph.D. programs than xyz. I wish they came back more interested in Political Economy than Statistics, but I can’t change that trend.

Where are Friedman and Stigler when we need them so badly?


Letter 3
On Sat, Aug 4, 2018 at 2:21 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear L:

I’m 76, so I’m the young guy in this crowd, and unusual position for me to be in, since I’m still on the faculty, and most of my colleagues are way younger than me.

I agree with you entirely about the over-mathematicalization of economics.

Friedman and Stigler? They are hardly exemplars of economic freedom.

This is from a forthcoming article of mine:

“MV make much of the distinction between Marx and Stigler, quoting the latter at length, supportively. This is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course latter is quite a bit better than the former insofar as support for free enterprise is concerned. But Stigler is no better than he should be. He is a fair weather friend of economic freedom. To wit, he was an avid supporter of anti trust law, a violation of economic freedom if ever there was one, and a sharp move in the direction of crony capitalism.

“McChesney (1991) is particularly critical of all of the leading members of the Chicago school for their support of antitrust legislation, and in particular, of George Stigler. McChesney starts off by quoting Stigler (1984, p. 46) to this effect:

“’If you propose an antitrust law, the only people who should be opposed to it are those who hope to become monopolists, and that’s a very small set of any society. So it’s a sort of public-interest law in the same sense in which I think having private property, enforcement of contracts, and suppression of crime are public-interest phenomena.’

“And then McChesney pounces:

“’Chicago’s views of antitrust face a second, and fundamentally more difficult, challenge. Much of the normative economic analysis on which Chicagoans relied in proclaiming victory is manifestly inconsistent with more fundamental positive notions of economics developed by Chicagoans themselves. In particular, Chicago’s positive approach to antitrust, viewing it as public-interest government intervention intended to correct market failure, squarely contradicts the now-dominant economic theory of regulation that Chicago itself popularized. The Chicago school of antitrust regulation, that is, runs counter to the Chicago school of regulation more generally.’

“The point is, that while MV extoll the virtues of Stigler,[1] McChesney quite properly depicts this Chicago economist and Nobel Prize winner with his pants down around his ankles. The latter blatantly contradicts himself.[2] If a firm acts in fully in accord with free enterprise principles, it commits no fraud, engages in no cronyism, is guilty of nothing along that line, but grows sufficiently through voluntary merger and/or via satisfying customers, it can still be found in violation of this profoundly anti-market law. This is a blatant contradiction of the free enterprise ethic. Antitrust is the Achilles Heel of Chicago economists in general, and Stigler in particular. Surely, there are better supporters of laissez faire capitalism than Stigler, with whom to compare to Marx.”

And here are some critiques of Milton Friedman

Block, 1999, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013; Block and Barnett, 2012-2013; McChesney, 1991; Rothbard, 2002; Friedman and Block, 2006; Friedman and Block, 2006; Kinsella, 2009; Lind, 2012; Machan, 2010; McChesney, 1991; North, 2012; Rothbard, 2002; Vance, 2005; Wapshott, 2012; Wenzel, 2012; Wilcke, 1999

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Was Milton Friedman a socialist” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST Journal); Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 11- 26; http://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2013/_02.pdf;

Block, Walter E. 1999. “The Gold Standard: A Critique of Friedman, from the free enterprise perspective, Greenspan,” Managerial Finance, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 15-33; http://giorgio.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=13529; http://www.mises.org/etexts/goldcritique.pdf

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. 2010. “Milton Friedman on Intolerance: A Critique.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 2, No. 41;
http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/41-block-milton-friedman-on-intolerance-a-critique/; http://mises.org/daily/6208/Friedman-on-Intolerance-A-Critique

Block, Walter E. 2011. “How Not To Defend the Market: A critique of Easton, Miron, Bovard, Friedman and Boudreaux .” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 581–592

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2012-2013. “Milton Friedman and the financial crisis,” American Review of Political Economy, Vol. 10, No. 1/2, June, 2012 – June 2013; pp. 2-17; http://www.ARPEJournal.com; http://arpejournal.com./ARPEvolume10number1-2/Block.pdf; arpejournal.com

Friedman, Milton and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom).” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer, pp. 61-80; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/20_3/20_3_4.pdf; https://mises.org/system/tdf/20_3_4.pdf?file=1&type=document

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009. “Milton Friedman on Intolerance, Liberty, Mises, Etc.” November 9;

Lind, Michael. 2012 . « Thank you, Milton Friedman: How conservatives’ economic hero helped make the case for big government.” August 7 ;

Machan, Tibor R. 2010. Milton Friedman and the Human Good, June 7; http://mises.org/daily/4451/Milton-Friedman-and-the-Human-Good

McChesney, Fred. 1991. “Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago’s Contradictory Views,” Cato Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, Winter, pp. 775-778

North, Gary. 2012. “Detours on the Road to Freedom: Where Milton Friedman Went Wrong.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 2002. “Milton Friedman Unraveled.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, Fall, pp. 37-54; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/16_4/16_4_3.pdf

Vance, Laurence M. 2005. “The Curse of the Withholding Tax” April, 21;

Wapshott, Nicholas. 2012. “A Lovefest Between Milton Friedman and J.M. Keynes.” July 30; http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/30/nicholas-wapshott-a-lovefest-between-milton-friedman-and-j-m-keynes.html
Libertarians worship Milton Friedman, and liberals lionize John Maynard Keynes. But a long-lost essay shows that the champion of small government admired the prince of the New Deal.

Wenzel, Robert. 2012. “How Milton Friedman Helped Make the Case for Big Government.” August 9; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/how-milton-friedman-helped-make-case.html

Wilcke, Richard R. 1999. “An appropriate ethical model for business,
and a critique of Milton Friedman,” http://mises.org/journals/scholar/Ethics.PDF

Best regards,


Letter 4

From: L
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2018 5:15 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re:


A very interesting read, and much more that I will want to return to later. I doubt that I can add anything to what you already know, but there seems to be a time period conflict here.

I am aware of Stigler’s early support of anti-trust legislation, but sometime before 1962-63, he had made a significant change — at least verbally and in his classes. In class, in 1963, Stigler made it very clear that while he started off favoring anti-trust legislation, Friedman and experience had taught him that over time market forces worked better than anti-trust legislation. I don’t know what he had in print acknowledging his “conversion,” but in class he was very clear, giving examples of US Steel, the autos, Alcoa, etc.

I thought you would want to know. I hope that there is something in print??


Letter 5

Dear L:

I don’t think this consideration you mention gets Stigler off the hook. If anything, it worsens my opinion of him, for it adds dissimulation, intellectual dishonesty, to error. It is bad enough that earlier on, Stigler published articles favoring antitrust. It is worse that after seeing the error of his ways, he did not publicly renounce them. For, teaching is a private undertaking. Only a few dozen, or, over the years, a few hundred of his students, were acquainted with the fact that he no longer supported anti trust. But what about the thousands, maybe tens of thousands of scholars, economists, lawyers, law professors, judges, etc., who looked up to him, and in that way were blinded to the flaws in this legislation? Stigler owed it (morally, not legally, of course) to this vast public of his to renounce his earlier views. He did not.

I don’t like to brag, but, at one time I favored the Hayekian triangle, used by virtually every Austrian macroeconomist. But, when I published this article (Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2006. “On Hayekian Triangles.” Procesos De Mercado: Revista Europea De Economia Politica; Vol. III, No. 2, Fall, pp. 39-141; http://mises.org/journals/scholar/block18.pdf; http://www.academia.edu/1359916/On_Hayekian_Triangles; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1880543) attacking the triangle, I singled out my own previous publications in support of that mode of analysis, and criticized myself. Block, 1; Stigler, 0.

If I insult someone, publicly, I should apologize to him, publicly, not privately. If I make an error publicly, in a refereed journal article, I should acknowledge this publicly, in the same venue, and, not just to a bunch of my students. I did that. Stigler did not.

By the way, Friedman also supported anti-trust. But he was a “moderate” on this issue. He did not say that all cases of “monopoly” should be pursued in court. For, to do so would be costly, and, maybe, more expensive than the welfare loss of monopoly that could be saved through a law suit. But, he totally bought into the fallacious notion that there was a dead weight loss associated with “monopoly” (that is, large size of companies attained through purely market efforts, not govt grants of special privilege). I suspect that Stigler’s later insight about anti trust was of this sort; that he never adopted the Austrian view that the entire analysis was misbegotten, due to interpersonal comparisons of utility, and other such welfare economic fallacies. If there is an afterlife, and Stigler, and Friedman are reading this interchange between the two of us, they might want to peruse this bibliography:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McChesney, Fred. 1991. “Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago’s Contradictory Views,” Cato Journal, Vol. 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope and trust you’ll see Friedman and Stigler in a little less glowing light. Maybe, instead, take up with Mises and Rothbard (the latter was nothing short of MAGNIFICENT on anti trust, and on much much more)


11:16 pm on August 5, 2018

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From: B
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 5:38 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: The possibility of a lasting free society

Walter What is the best response to this argument?

Even if we achieve a libertarian, an-cap, voluntarist society, it will never last. Human nature is such that eventually someone will start arguing for a state and people will be persuaded into trying it again. People will always have the capacity to do evil and commit acts of violence; there will always be lazy people looking for handouts; there will always be people that have the lust to rule, and so we will never fully eradicate the state. Murray said that the great battle of all time is between Power and Market and neither will ever truly win. Even if we achieved a system of competing insurance companies for a time, eventually they would either band together or just accumulate power, and enough people would support it for ‘the common good’. Especially if we consider the inevitability of natural disasters in the long run. There will always be crises in the future, and people will always have some fear regarding the uncertainties of life, and thus they will always retain the inclination to have someone take care of them and to look for leaders to follow. As long as there is scarcity there will always be conflicts over their use and the possibility for states to exist.

I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on this. It’s impossible to know the future, and just because we expect the worst sometimes doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the right thing.

Your book on the privatization of roads is my favorite libertarian book.

I also wanted to ask you, I’m the co-producer for the xyz show – would you be interesting in being on the show in 2 weeks? You’re Mr. Libertarian these days, so it would really be an honor.

Dear B:

Yes, I’d be delighted to be on your show, provided I get a url for my interview afterward.

You’re asking about the stability of anarchism.

The best short essay I’ve ever read on that issue is this one:

Murphy, Robert P. 2005. “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?” July 7; http://mises.org/story/1855; http://mises.org/library/wouldnt-warlords-take-over

I would add to this splendid essay of Bob’s the following consideration:

Right now, a state of anarchy exists between Albania and Argentina, between Brazil and Burundi, between Canada and Chile. There is no world government that rules any of them. All national govts are now in a state of anarchy with each other for this reason. How stable has this anarchistic system been. Very stable. The number of countries has been about the same for lo these many years, decades, even centuries.

So, keep the faith, baby, as they say.

Best regards,



3:53 pm on August 4, 2018

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Which Career Path Should This High School Student Take? Money? Promoting Liberty?

From: J
Sent: Saturday
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: High-Schooler Planning for Econ. Career

Hi Prof. Block, I’m going to be a sophomore next year at Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, MA, and I have recently been thinking about what I would like to do with my life. Through the presidential campaign of Rand Paul, I fell down the libertarian rabbit-hole in 2015, and after wrestling with the ideas of liberty for some time, I found Rothbard and became an anarcho-capitalist or private-law libertarian. Since then, I have been absolutely hooked on libertarian theory and Austrian economics. I was just curious if you have any advice that you could give me regarding how to turn Austrian economics into a profitable career for myself one day. Of course, I will not be graduating from high school until the spring of 2021, but I figure that I should begin thinking about this now. All the best, J

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2018 1:27 PM
To: J
Subject: RE: High-Schooler Planning for Econ. Career

Dear J:

“Profitable career?” In what coin? Money? Then, get a wall street type of job. Psychic income? Then, follow my path, become a prof of econ, and promote liberty that way. In either case, I’d LOVE to have you as an undergrad student, so, when you’re thinking of a university, think of us.

Might you be interested in attending this event? https://mises.org/events/mises-university-2018 (this letter was written before the MU took place)

Here is some material on Loyola U:

Block, Walter E. 2017. “C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University.” June 27; https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/cmon-new-orleans-waters-fine-enroll-loyola-university/

Loyola Economics Students Published Widely in Refereed Journals; http://www.loyno.edu/news/story/2017/7/17/3962

Block, Walter. 2017. “The Best Place to Study Undergraduate Economics.” June 30; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/06/the-best-place-to-study-undergraduate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2017. Interview with Walter E. Block. “The Inside Scoop on Studying Economics at Loyola University-New Orleans” September 3;

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/;

Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)

Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, and senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He earned his PhD in economics at Columbia University in 1972. He has taught at Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook, Baruch CUNY, Holy Cross and the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of more than 500 refereed articles in professional journals, two dozen books, and thousands of op eds. He lectures widely on college campuses, delivers seminars around the world and appears regularly on television and radio shows. He is the Schlarbaum Laureate, Mises Institute, 2011; and has won the Loyola University Research Award (2005, 2008) and the Mises Institute’s Rothbard Medal of Freedom, 2005; and the Dux Academicus award, Loyola University, 2007.

Prof. Block counts among his friends Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard. He was converted to libertarianism by Ayn Rand. Block is old enough to have once met Ludwig von Mises, and shaken his hand. Block has never washed that hand since. So, if you shake his hand (it’s pretty dirty, but what the heck) you channel Mises.
Block is a leading Austrian School economist and an international leader of the freedom movement. His earliest work Defending the Undefendable (first edition Fleet 1976, latest edition Mises 2008, translated in 12 languages) is now, more than 30 years later, still regarded as a classic of libertarianism. This collection of essays, which argues in behalf of societal villains as economic scapegoats based on the principles of nonaggression, forces its reader to think and to rethink his initial knee-jerk emotional responses, and to gain a new and far sounder appreciation of economic theory and of the virtues and operations of the free market economy. Block’s writing was inspired by Henry Hazlitt, the author of the most widely read economics text Economics in One Lesson. Block’s latest book is: Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty.

Block has been a fixture in the libertarian movement for some four Decades. He actually met Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, and was friends with, and mentored by, Murray Rothbard. His contributions to academic libertarianism and to Austrian economics have been prodigious. Block’s writings continue to challenge the conventional wisdom (or ignorance) of how economics works and will retain its freshness for decades to come. His public speaking style has been described as a combination of that of Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce and Murray Rothbard
Dr. Block has written over 500 articles for peer reviewed refereed journals, some two dozen books, and literally thousands of op eds for magazines and newspapers. Block appears widely on radio and television. He is a contributor to such scholarly journals as The Review of Austrian Economics, Journal of Libertarian Studies, The Journal of Labor Economics, and the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is currently Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business Administration, at Loyola University New Orleans.


11:48 pm on August 3, 2018

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I’m having a debate with a friend of mine who opposes racism, adamantly, and, yet, denies there is any distinction to be made between the races. Kooky, no? His main “argument” is that there is a gradation in most people; hardly anyone, nowadays, is a pure anything. Including him. He claims to be 1% black, although he admits he looks as white as I am. I’ve tried this argument on him to no avail: Roygbiv. The colors shade into one another. That doesn’t mean we can tell red from orange from yellow, etc. Similarly, the races shade into one another. That doesn’t mean we can’t tell one from the other. Neither colors nor races are social constructs. Both are part of reality. We ignore any part of reality at our peril, whether colors or races or anything else. Color blindedness is a handicap. So is race blindedness. When accused of racism, I’m now gonna claim I have at least one black friend, namely, him. It seems plain and obvious to me that whites are better than blacks in swimming and as baroque musicians, while blacks are better than whites, proportionately, at jazz, running and basketball. Yes, he would deny this, since, there is no such thing as races, or racial differences. Oh, yet, here is yet another way out on the limb claim of mine: blacks have darker skin, on average (there are some exceptions), than whites. If this be racism, count me in.


9:31 pm on August 2, 2018

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Rand Versus Rothbard

From: L
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2018 7:57 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Ayn Rand

Hello Walter, I’m not sure you would remember me, but we met briefly at the Mises Institute 2017. I am emailing you because I have listened to many interviews of yours discussing your time with Ayn Rand, and her intolerance of people questioning her beliefs, and it has me wondering if you could clarify something for me. What were the contradictions you speak of regarding Ayn Rand’s views, and what would you say are the most significant differences between Ayn Rand’s beliefs vs Murray Rothbard. Thank you for your time, L

Dear L: There are two main ways in which Rand and Rothbard differ. The first is on foreign policy. Rand was a US militarist, a war-monger. Rothbard took a more measured look at this, and concluded, on the basis of much evidence, that the US was a belligerent imperialist force, continually bombing nations that had never attacked our country. The second was that Rand was a minimal government supporter, or minarchist, and Rothbard an anarcho-capitalist. They both started with the premise of the non-aggression principle, the NAP: it is illicit to initiate or threaten violence against innocent people. Rothbard correctly inferred from this that no state could be justified, since it necessarily violated the NAP, by taxing people without their consent, and demanding a monopoly of force within a given area. Rand was illogical on this point; she contradicted herself. Rothbard argued brilliantly on this matter.


6:15 pm on August 1, 2018

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Legalize Everything That Does Not Violate the NAP

From: D
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2018 2:24 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: How to help the Black community

Want to Help the Black Community?

Walter, I’ve been enjoying your articles and blog comments for years. Lewrockwell.com has been my “go to” site for news and opinion for more than a decade.

I’m pretty much on board with drug legalization and see how it would drastically reduce “standard” drugs like pot, cocaine, and heroin. But wouldn’t there still be an underground market for meth and powerful “designer drugs”? How could they ever be regulated so they were relatively safe and legal? D

Dear D: First, let me say, as one of my readers suggested, that I should have put in that note of mine another important way to help the black community would be to get rid of restrictive entry laws which prohibit otherwise lawful activities. For example, we don’t really need licenses for hair braiding, now, do we?

As for your question about really dangerous drugs, I think the best “regulation” so that they are relatively safe is to legalize them all. The free enterprise system is the best “regulation” institution known to man. One of my mottos is, If it moves, privatize it; if it doesn’t move, privatize it; since everything moves or doesn’t move, privatize everything. In this context, my motto is, legalize everything, Everything, EVERYTHING, that is not a per se violation of the non-aggression principle (NAP). Inanimate drugs are not. What about the “Godzilla pill” which I just invented? It turns you into a monster, a werewolf, and then you start murdering people. Should that be legalized? Yes. It is inanimate. It can be used for other purposes, maybe for cancer research; who knows, I just invented it. Ingesting the pill, however, is another matter (unless you first put yourself into an iron clad straight jacket, or lock yourself up, so that you’ll not be a threat to anyone; then, someone can free you, after the effects of the drug wear off). Otherwise, as soon as you start growling, or growing hair on your palms, or whatever it is that is preliminary to your murder spree, the (hopefully private) cops should shoot you down as a defensive measure since you now constitute a dire threat.


4:20 pm on July 31, 2018

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