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Dear M:

Thanks for sharing with me your fascinating views on this matter.

I found this point of yours most important:

“we don’t call a person with three feet two people sharing a common foot, so a person with two heads is a single individual with split coexisting personalities.”

But, each head can have a different preference, a different will. Feet can’t do that. So, I think of conjoined twins as two people, just as I think of the mother and the fetus as not one but two different people.

You’ve seen this?

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

Best regards,


From: M
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 8:21 AM
To: wblock <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Conjoined twins


Just some off-the-cuff observations on conjoined twins…

If I understand, the reason conjoined twins are so attached, besides the obvious abnormal prenatal development, is that according to one or more physicians on their case, the “viability” of life after separation is considered very low for one or both, depending on how many organs are shared. 

So, if one or both personalities sharing the same body cannot survive apart, you could look at it like an ongoing viability issue from the 20th week. In other words, one or both will die apart. 

In fact, I do not know the cases of how many conjoined twins demand separation, but I imagine this procedure is very high risk for both, even if one or both live through the procedure.

One of the problems or errors of libertarian thought here, is assuming two individuals exist with their own separate individual rights. In fact, this also points to a fallacy in the abortion debate… that a fetus is sufficiently distinct from the mother such that it can be expected to live, or has the right to live, BEFORE it has “viability” sufficient to live outside the womb if medically extracted. 

So, in cases of involuntary pregnancy such as rape, the mother has the right not to care for the fetus before it is viable, including continuing to provide a natural incubator, and has the right to evacuate the fetus if it is viable so that it no longer makes demands of her body for care.

In the case of conjoined twins, we must treat this medical abnormality as a single individual. Just as a normal human with one head can be of two minds on an issue, a conjoined twin set is a single individual with two minds on an issue. That is, in every way the personalities share common organs and the same body, the literally split personality is still a single individual.

Therefore, it has individual, not group identity. According to it’s own biology, it must find a way for the split personalities to cooperate such that its individual existence continues.

Put another way, we don’t call a person with three feet two people sharing a common foot, so a person with two heads is a single individual with split coexisting personalities.

All my best,



12:39 pm on June 15, 2019

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Dear LRC blog readers, contributors:

When it comes to questions about Austrian economics or libertarianism, my answers may not always be correct, but, at least, I’m confident in my replies, and I don’t usually need help in answering them. Today, there is an exception. I really don’t know how to answer this important query, and I’d appreciate all the help I can get with it.

It is my understanding that at the Mises Seminar at NYU, he was continually throwing out topics for further research. I attended the last of these events (I don’t like to brag, but I actually shook hands with the Great Man; I never washed my hand since, so, if you shake hands with me, you get a bit dirty, but, you channel Ludwig von Mises!) but I don’t remember any of his suggestions.

So, if you have any, please send them to me, and I’ll pass them along to S, see below. The only thing I can think of is to do empirical illustrations (not tests; hey, I’m a praxeologist!) of Austrian insights, such as business cycle theory, minimum wage, rent control, free trade benefits, the economic disarray caused by statism, taxes, regulations, monetarism, fractional reserve banking, etc., but I don’t think this really cuts the mustard. I’d be happy to compile a list, and share it on this blog, of Austrian research topics. Please engage in a brain-storming exercise with me on this matter. When in doubt, send me your suggestions. But, don’t be limited by S’s specific requirements. I think it would be a good idea to have a general list of this sort.

Best regards,


From: S
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:10 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: advice for a thesis topic related to Austrian?

Greetings, dear Professor Block.

If you have a minute, please give me an advice.

Could you tell me if there is any online list of suggested topics or fields of research at undergrad/grad level that are relevant to Austrian Economics?

What is your personal opinion on this matter?

I need to pick a topic now and give a brief on supposed contents and methodology. The work itself can be done over a course of several months.

Since my university itself and specifically my faculty is about international business, I cannot pick a purely theoretical or political topic, or something that will sound explicitly “heterodox”. At the same time, Iʼd rather pick a topic where Austrian theory or some aspects of it can be applied, as it will give me a chance to study it better and in a more applied way.

And another consideration for me: it makes little sense to pick a subject that is already dealt with in detail by others or that is outdated within modern economic framework (general mainstream one and Austrian).

I will appreciate if you may suggest me, what you consider being worth working on.

Best regards, S


12:09 pm on June 14, 2019

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From: C
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2019 1:25 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Debate (low income housing)

Hi Mr. Block,

My name is C, and I do high-school debate. This month’s debate topic requires us to debate whether or not we should or should not promote market rate housing in urban (low income) areas. I was reading your article that you wrote about this issue, and I have a few questions.

1) How do you think market rate housing and gentrification interact with each other.

2) Do you have any interesting ideas or ways that I can spin an argument against price controls on housing? Something out of the ordinary or could catch my opponents off-guard?

Thx, C

Dear C:

See below some readings on rent control. I hope this helps

Best regards,


In 1989, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach averred: “The Americans couldn’t destroy Hanoi, but we have destroyed our city by the very low rents.” (Dhillon, 2007). According to Lindbeck, 1972: “In many cases, rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city except for bombing.” In the view of Myrdal, 1965: “Rent control has in certain western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by governments lacking courage and vision.” For further elaboration, see Baird, 1980; Block and Olsen, 1981; Block, Horton and Shorter, 1998; Block, 2002; Dhillon, 2007; Friedman and Stigler, 1946; Grampp, 1950; Grant, 1989; Hayek, 1981; Johnson, 1982;  Lindbeck, 1972; Myrdal, 1965; Salins, 1980; Tucker, 1990

Baird, Charles. 1980. Rent Control: The Perennial Folly, Washington D.C.: The Cato Institute

Block, Walter E., and Edgar Olsen, eds. 1981. ”Rent Control: Myths and Realities, Vancouver, The Fraser Institute

Block, Walter E., Joseph Horton and Ethan Shorter. 1998. “Rent Control: An Economic Abomination,” International Journal of Value Based Management, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 253-263

Dhillon, Bob. 2007. “The perversity of rent controls,” National Post, June 28, p. FP15

Friedman, Milton and George Stigler. 1946. “Roofs or Ceilings?,” September, Irvington-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education, http://www.fee.org/library/books/Roofs_or_Ceilings.asp; reprinted as Friedman, Milton, and George Stigler. 1981. “Roofs or Ceilings?” in Rent Control: Myths and Realities, Walter E. Block and Edgar Olsen, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute.

Grampp, W.S. 1950. “Some Effects of Rent Control,” Southern Economic Journal, April, pp. 425-426

Grant, R.W. 1989. “Rent Control and the War Against the Poor,” Manhattan Beach, CA: Quandary House

Hayek, Friedrich A. 1981. “The Repercussions of Rent Restrictions,” Rent Control: Myths and Realities, Walter E. Block , ed., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute

Johnson, M. Bruce, ed. 1982. ”Resolving the Housing Crisis: Government Policy, Decontrol, and the Public Interest, San Francisco: The Pacific Institute

Lindbeck, Assar. 1972. The Political Economy of the New Left, New York: Harper and Row; cited in Rydenfelt, Sven, “The Rise, Fall and Revival of Swedish Rent Control,” in Rent Control: Myths and Realities, Walter E. Block and Edgar Olsen, eds., 1981. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1981, pp. 213, 230.

Myrdal, Gunnar. 1965. “Opening Address to the Council of International Building Research in Copenhagen”; cited in ”Dagens Nyheter (Swedish Newspaper), 25 August 1965, p. 12; cited in Rydenfelt, Sven, “The Rise, Fall and Revival of Swedish Rent Control,” in Rent Control: Myths and Realities, Walter E. Block and Edgar Olsen, eds., 1981. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, p. 224; cited in Block, Walter E. 1981. “Preface.” Rent Control: Myths and Realities, Walter E. Block and Edgar Olsen, eds., 1981. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, p. xiv.

Salins, Peter D. 1980. The Ecology of Housing Destruction:  Economic Effects of Public Intervention in the Housing Market, New York: New York University Press.

Tucker, William. 1990. The Excluded Americans: Homelessness and Housing Policies, Washington D.C.: Regnery Gateway

Tenants against rent control; http://www.wclf.org/articles/2.2.1.html


12:41 pm on June 13, 2019

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From: T
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:35 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Critical theory/intersectionality

Hi Dr. Block,

I am sure you know about Critical Theory/White privilege/intersectionality. I am wondering if being philosophically for individual liberty one is able to show that this politically correct scourge being advocated by the state is dead wrong. Thanks! -T

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:42 PM
To: T
Subject: RE: Critical theory/intersectionality

Dear T:

This is all nonsense on stilts. Privilege comes out of the barrel of a gun. White and blacks, men and women, all violate the non aggression principle of libertarianism. Some of each group engage in the “political means,” not the “economic means.” Thus privilege has nothing to do with race or sex. There are criminals in all 4 categories. No one can be guilty of a NAP violation (or innocent of one) based only on pigment, sexual preference or internal plumbing.

Now, it just so happens that straight white males have contributed to civilization to a greater degree than many other groups. Think of baroque music, philosophy, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, computers (Al Gore – a member of this demographic — invented them (:)), mathematics, economics, astronomy, engineering, architecture, the list goes on and on. And on and on some more. But that does not mean that because of these magnificent contributions straight white males have exploited others (they have, but that is another story). According to intersectionality, the more characteristics a person deviates from these three, the more this person has been exploited. No evidence of any sort is ever offered to document this claim. The only “evidence” put forth is that straight white males have made more accomplishments than others, but this hardly demonstrates exploitation.

Best regards,



2:12 am on June 13, 2019

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From: E
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2019 8:24 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: is NAP sufficient for liberty


As I understand the NAP, it is about aggressive force. But what of defensive force?

The NAP does not require that I defend myself from an aggressor who would enslave me. So, wouldn’t you agree that if one does not use self defense, one is likely to lose their liberty? So, while the NAP is a good rule to decide what is legal, it is not necessarily a rule that guarantees liberty.

I can see one rebuttal, namely that a pacifist who refuses to defend themselves with defensive force would be making a choice, that they prefer non-violence more than their liberty. But wouldn’t that be like handing over your money when a robber says, “Your money or your life”. If it’s not a fully free choice, then it’s not liberty.

But maybe this is really just a problem with logic. Can a free man give up his freedom and still be free? It’s a little like who shaves the barber, if the barber shaves everyone who doesn’t shave themselves.

Regards, E

Dear E:

You raise a fascinating group of issues, challenges, to libertarianism. Thanks. This gives me a opportunity to further think about our beloved philosophy, libertarianism.

I do indeed agree that if one does not use self defense, one is likely to lose HIS liberty. If only a few people are pacifists, they can free ride on defenders of liberty willing to use violence. But, if all or most people are pacifists, I think they’ll be overrun by criminals.

The NAP does not at all “guarantee liberty.” It is only, along with private property rights, the foundation of libertarian law. In order to guarantee liberty, or at least promote it, you need a good physcial defense against criminals.

Can a free man give up his freedom and still be free? Excellent question, challenge, insight. My only answer to this is to offer you a bibliography of the literature on voluntary slavery. Well, if I had to give a yes or no answer, I’d say no. If you give up your freedom, either by voluntary slavery or conquest, then you are no longer free.

Best regards,


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

Andersson, 2007;  Block, 1969, 1979, 1988, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007A, 2007B, 2009A, 2009B; Frederick, 2014; Kershnar, 2003; Lester, 2000; Mosquito, 2014, 2015;  Nozick, 1974, pp. 58, 283, 331; Steiner, 1994, pp. 232; Thomson, 1990, pp. 283-84.

Andersson, Anna-Karin. 2007. “An alleged contradiction in Nozick’s entitlement theory.”

Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, Fall: 43–63; http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_3/21_3_3.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Boldrin, Michele & David K. Levine. 2008. Against Intellectual Monopoly. http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm

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


Kershnar, Stephen. 2003. “A Liberal Argument for Slavery,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 34

(4): 510-36.

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

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


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

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

Steiner, Hillel. 1994. An Essay on Rights, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers

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


5:06 pm on June 12, 2019

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Dear R: Thanks for your long and very thoughtful, no, extraordinarily thoughtful, criticism of my recent post on Lew Rockwell blog.

Sorry, I can’t answer each and every point you make. However, I think I cover both of your main points in previous publications.

On the gray area, or the continuum between a park and an orphanage, see this:

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

On the proper libertarian rejection of all positive obligations:

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Forestalling, positive obligations and the Lockean and Blockian provisos: Rejoinder to Stephan Kinsella.” EkonomiaWroclaw Economic Review. http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529

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

From: R

Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2019 9:57 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: your post on Lew Rockwell blog

Good evening, Walter.

I saw the three criticisms and your responses to them in your post. I have written a response to the third one, the abandonment of the autistic boy, R

Walter, you say this:

“Criticism 3.  Mrs. Jones decides she’s really tired of taking care of her autistic four year old, so she takes the kid to the park on a nice day, gives him a basket of sandwiches and soda pop, tells him to sit right here by the swingset and puts up a sign that says, “Autistic four year old, free to a good home” and walks away.”

“The Libertarian view:   She’s perfectly within her rights.  She left the kid in a safe place where many other adults can see his plight.    If someone wants him, they’ll take him home and if no one wants him, oh, well, in a week or so he’ll die and stop bothering people.”

“Response 3: Jones can’t leave him in the park. She’s gotta go to an orphanage, hospital, church, where people will very much more likely take care of the kid.   Remember, under libertarianism, ALL property, land and water, will be privately owned. The parks, too. Don’t you think the park owner would object to this sort of thing?”

Here is my response to you:

This response sounds to me very much like a positive obligation, which according to previous assertions on the subject, cannot happen under libertarian law.

“..it implies the acceptance of positive rights, anathema to this entire philosophy. In this perspective, people only have negative rights; the right not to be murdered, the right not to be raped, the right not to be enslaved, the right not to be stolen from, etc. There is no such thing in this viewpoint as positive rights…” (http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529)

As I remember, you have stressed that the placement of an abandoned child must be where there is a good probability, perhaps a near certainty, that someone will see him and rescue him. It is not good enough to put him outside in a blizzard nor to leave him to starve in a back room where no one can hear his pitiful cries. He MUST be placed where there is a reasonable expectation that he will be found in a reasonable amount of time.

Now, Mrs. Jones, who presumably lives in a well-populated area, takes her kid to a park on a nice day and leaves him there. Since it’s a nice day, there will be other people at the park as well who will see the kid and either take him home or tell someone else, even the proper authorities, about the situation. On a nice day, there might even be hundreds of people at the park, so it’s not likely that no one will see him. Since she placed him by the swing set, it is obviously a park which young children and their mothers frequent.

Why do you say that a park is not good enough? Why must she go to an orphanage, hospital, or church where the odds are better for the lad? Isn’t this just a matter of degree? Isn’t this like saying that Mrs. Jones must advertise in a newspaper for two weeks, but only if it has a readership of 50,000, which eliminates the newspaper in her town which might only reach 3500 people? What if she has no car? What if the park is within a short walking distance, but the nearest church is 1-1/2 miles away and there is no hospital nor orphanage within 20 miles?

It seems to me that taking the kid to a park on a nice day would raise his chances of survival considerably. Other mothers and young children would be there as well. Mothers of young children are probably the very people who would be most inclined to have compassion on an abandoned child. They would be highly likely to take up his cause and either adopt him themselves or see to it that someone else does.

Ownership of the park is irrelevant to this discussion. It does not matter to this lad or his mother whether the park is privately or publicly owned. All she is concerned about is leaving him where someone else can find him.

However, even if all property is privately owned, then the owners of the orphanages, hospitals, and churches could also object to abandoned children being left there, just as well as the park owner. Do they have a positive obligation to accept the child while the park owner does not? If so, why? If not, can they prohibit the abandonment of children? If owners of orphanages, hospitals, churches, and parks prohibit leaving abandoned children on their property, then what is Mrs. Jones to do? Leave him at a busy intersection, perhaps, or a school, all likewise privately owned and subject to the owner’s distaste for abandoned children? Or, maybe, decide that it’s easier and more convenient to starve him to death in a back room of her home.

According to your statement, “We can insist that the law compels the mother to offer her unwanted baby to someone else…” (http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529), all that Mrs. Jones has to do, the only thing she can be compelled to do, is to place her son in an area where someone else can find him within a reasonable amount of time. A park frequented by small children is as good as anywhere and maybe better than most. Telling her that it’s not good enough and she must go elsewhere is a positive obligation.

Thank you, R


1:56 am on June 11, 2019

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From: T

Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 11:56 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Healthcare


I have a friend looking for academic sources on the privatization of healthcare, the downfalls of UK-style healthcare, and universal healthcare.

Do you have any peer-reviewed on the topics or any other sources you would recommend? He is attempting to write a paper in defense of private healthcare in a PoliSci class.

Sincerely and for Liberty, T

Dear T:

Here’s a bibliography for you.

Best regards,


Block, 2003; Friedman, 1962; Goodman and Musgrave, 1992; Gratzer, 2005; Hamowy, 1984; Herbener, 1996; Holly, 2013; Hoppe, 1993; Johnson, et.al., 1998; Laydon and Block, 1996; Peltzman, 1973, 1974, 1987A, 1987B; Salerno, 2016; Terrell, 2003.

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Socialized Medicine is the Problem,” Surgical Neurology, Vol. 60, No. 5, November, pp. 467-46

Friedman, Milton. 1962. Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, chapter 9

Goodman, John C. and Gerald L. Musgrave, 1992. Patient Power: Solving America’s Health Care Crisis. Washington D.C.: Cato

Gratzer, David. 2005. “The Return of HillaryCare: Socialized medicine is still not a good idea. The Weekly Standard. May 23;http://www.medicalprogresstoday.com/spotlight/spotlight_indarchive.php?id=778

Hamowy, Ronald. 1984. Canadian Medicine: A Study in Restricted Entry, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute

Herbener, Jeffrey. 1996. “Socialized Medicine, Take Two.” The Free Market. Vol. 14, No. 7, July.http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=172&sortorder=articledate

Holly, Mike.2013.  “How Government Regulations Made Healthcare So Expensive.” December 17;


Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1993. “A Four-Step Health-Care Solution.” The Free Market.  Vol. 11, No. 4, April;http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=279

Johnson, Clint, Walter E. Block and Thomas Oxner. 1998. “Notes on Health Care Financing and Free Markets,” Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy, Vol. 1, No. 3, Summer 1998, pp. 488-502.

Layden, William R. and Walter E. Block. 1996. “Health Security,” Nomos, July, No. 47/48, pp. 38-45

Peltzman, Sam. 1973. “An Evaluation of Consumer Protection Legislation: The 1962 Drug Amendments.” The Journal of Political Economy. Vol. 81, No. 5, Sept-Oct, pp. 1049-1091

Peltzman, Sam. 1974. Regulation of Pharmaceutical Innovation: The 1962 Amendments. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

Peltzman, Sam. 1987A. Regulation and Health: The Case of Mandatory Prescriptions and an Extension. Managerial and Decision Economics 8(1): 41–6.

Peltzman, Sam. 1987B. The Health Effects of Mandatory Prescriptions. Journal of Law and Economics 30(2): 207–38.

Salerno, Joseph P. 2016. “Laura Hillier, RIP.” February 11;


Terrell, Timothy D. 2003. “Socialized Medicine in America.” The Free Market. Vol. 23, No. 11, November;http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=458&sortorder=articledate

The Primal Prescription: Surviving the “Sick Care” Sinkhole Book by Doug

McGuff and Robert P. Murphy

Socialized medicine: queues:

Barua, et. al., 2010; DiLorenzo, 2009; Esmail, 2009A, 2009B, 2011; Globerman and Hoye, 1990; Hazel and Esmail, 2008; Sanmartin et al., 2004;

Barua, Bacchus, Mark Rovere, and Brett J. Skinner. 2010. Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada (20th ed.). Fraser Institute.

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2009. “Socialized Healthcare vs. The Laws Of Economics,” Mises Daily,  no. 3586; July 28;http://mises.org/daily/3586

Esmail, Nadeem. 2009A. Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada (19th ed.). Fraser Institute

Esmail, Nadeem. 2009B. The Private Cost Of Public Queues, 2009. Fraser Forum (November):32-36.

Esmail, Nadeem. 2011. “The private cost of public queues.” Fraser Forum, March/April, pp. 22-27;http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/articles/private-cost-of-public-queues-march2011.pdf

Globerman, Steven, with Lorna Hoye. 1990. Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada. Fraser Institute.

Hazel, Maureen and Nadeem Esmail. 2008. The Private Cost of Public Queues. Fraser Forum (December/January):25–29.

Sanmartin, Claudia, François Gendron, Jean-Marie Berthelot, and Kellie Murphy. 2004. Access to Health Care Services in Canada, 2003. Catalogue No. 82-575-XIE.

H.T. Engelhardt, Jr., and Kevin W. Wildes, S.J., “The Four Principles of Health Care and Post-Modernity: Why a Libertarian Interpretation is Unavoidable,” Principles of Health Care Ethics, ed. Raanan Gillon (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994), pp. 135-147.



1:55 am on June 11, 2019

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What Is The Correct Libertarian Position on Odor Pollution?

From: S
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:01 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Are Foul Smells or Pollens a Violation of Property Rights?

Hello Professor Block,

I have a question for you that has me stumped. If a person is smoking marijuana in their own home and the smell wafts over to a neighbors home, where the neighbor can smell the marijuana, is the smoker of marijuana violating the property rights of the neighbor who smells the marijuana, assuming the neighbor does not like the smell of marijuana? Keep in mind that burning marijuana produces a very pungent smell. Also, for the sake of argument/discovery, let’s assume that there are no private covenants specifying the allowance or disallowance of smells in this particular community.

Along those same lines, what if someone grows a pollen-producing plant on their property and the pollen from the plant travels through the air to a neighbor who is allergic to the pollen? In this case though the pollen is not visible and produces no smell. Again assume no covenants or contracts between the two neighboring properties/property owners.

This is my first time emailing you and hopefully not my last. Thank you for everything you do! S

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:04 PM
To: S
Subject: RE: Are Foul Smells or Pollens a Violation of Property Rights?

Dear S:

It depends on who was there first, the smoker or the anti smoker.

A reading for you:

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

Best regards,



4:20 am on June 9, 2019

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Why Don’t I Reply to Mike Rozeff on Evictionism, Thick Libertarianism?

Several people have asked me this question. See below for one such. Let me say the following in response.

I am a big fan of Mike Rozeff’s. I think he has made numerous, important contributions to our philosophy. But, accomplished libertarians such as he, and if I may say so, me, do not always have to agree on everything. We are dealing with a complex perspective in political economy, and that is just to be expected. Hey, Murray Rothbard is a pro choicer, Ron Paul, a pro lifer, and it would be difficult to mention two more highly accomplished libertarians than them. Mises and Hayek parted company on matters of Austrian economics. Joe Salerno has done magnificent work on the “de-homogenization” of the latter two in this regard, demonstrating this.

I’m not comparing me and my friend Mike with Rothbard, Paul, Mises, Hayek, except to say, and I’m sure Mike would agree with me on this, that he and I are mere followers of those four giants of Austro-libertarianism. I’m only saying that it should occasion no big surprise to find disagreement in our movement.

Why don’t I reply to Mike on these issues – thickism, evictionism – that divide us? There are several reasons. One, he writes so much, it would be difficult to keep up with him. Two, I think a better venue for such disputes is in the scholarly, peer-reviewed literature, which allows for thousands of words, footnotes, etc. Three, my understanding of the purpose of the LewRocwell.com blog is not to promote heavy internal debates amongst libertarians, but, rather, to keep people up with news of interest to the LRC audience, to keep the general Austro-libertarian community informed.

—–Original Message—–

From: B

Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2019 6:56 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Thin-skinned, Thick Libertarians

Dr. Block:

I have been following with some interest the ongoing conversation among various luminaries of the libertarian movement respecting the correct parameters of the libertarian philosophy.

It seems to me that the thickees are simply thin-skinned.  They wish to include some of their own moral preferences into an otherwise simple idea:  the NAP and private property.  They do this because they are simply intolerant people.  Like you, I have no truck with intolerant people; however, I resent their ongoing attempt to justify their intolerance by demanding that the libertarian idea include their preferences.

Furthermore, this fellow who has an ongoing gripe with evictionism is way off base.  I think we can safely say they he is a thickee attempting to adorn this thickness with baseless rationalizations.  Evictionism is the only approach to the issue of abortion that is consistent with the NAP and private property.  The rest is again a baseless attempt to cram personal moral preferences into libertarianism.  I haven’t seen any response from you to any of his criticisms.  Like Ayn Rand, I suppose you prefer not to be a “fly-swatter”.

You have great patience with these thickees.  Mine is growing increasingly  “thin”.

Best regards,


Dear B:

Well said. No. I take that back. Keenly said; magnificently said. Beautifully said. You hit a bull’s eye, a home run with bases loaded (except, of course, for that “fly” business and I’m sure you’re only kidding about that).

I don’t want to get into a debate with a person who really doesn’t understand what I’m saying. Mike Rozeff is a good libertarian theorist, but, this is his Achilles Heel: he just doesn’t understand evictionism and, yes, he’s a thickster.

Best regards,



4:19 am on June 9, 2019

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Dear Bionic:

Thanks for your kindly worded disagreement with me:

Mosquito, Bionic. 2019. “Walter is So Very Wrong.” June 7

Regarding my criticism of Hans’ view of excluding certain people from society. If friends can’t have a friendly disagreement, they aren’t friends. I hope and trust my friend Hans will take my gentle criticism of him in the same way that I take yours of me.

I don’t think you are correct.

Your main criticism, your only criticism as far as I can see, apart from the context issue, is that I should have included, in addition to condo associations, the following: “homeowners’ association, amusement park, hotel, larger community…” I would add, sports arena, football stadium, streets, or any other privately owned area where people gather. It was an oversight of mine to not include this, and I thank you for your correction.

Yes, of course you are right; Hans does speak in this very  context. But, I claim, mere context is not sufficient. He never should have said these non-conservative lifestyle people should be removed, excluded, from “society.” He should have explicitly said they should be removed, excluded, only from the private property of people who wish to separate themselves from those pursuing alternative lifestyles. Hans makes the same error in his new, otherwise magnificent book of his: Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2018. Getting Libertarianism Right. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute. I have just written a long review of this book. When it is published, I’ll share it, link to it, in this venue.

Instead, I think our disagreement, Sir Mosquito, is over this:

“Libertarianism is not sufficient for liberty.  Hoppe understands this, the son understands this.  Walter and the father do not.”

You elaborate on this here:

1707 = Mosquito, Bionic. 2018. “Is Libertarianism Sufficient for Liberty?” October 12;

You and Hans are thick libertarians. You both believe there is something more that is necessary for freedom, prosperity, happiness, indeed, for liberty, than, merely, the non-aggression principle and private property rights based on homesteading. I take the position that these two foundations of libertarianism are fully sufficient for the good society. Nothing more is needed. Any additions are not only superfluous, but detract from the brilliance of libertarianism.  In my next book in my Defending series, III, I will defend the front lawn fornicator, who engages in this act on his own private property, and yet greatly discomforts his neighbors. I demonstrate how private property rights and the NAP, alone, can fully address this strong challenge to thin libertarianism.

I think this is a crucially important debate for the future of libertarians. Are we to be thicksters or thinsters? I am delighted that I shall have brilliant libertarian theorists like you and Hans, among others, with whom we thinsters can try to resolve this matter. This debate will be for the soul of the libertarian philosophy we all love and revere.

Best regards,



1:15 pm on June 7, 2019

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