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From: J

Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2022 6:21 AM

To: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Subject: asking for an advice

Dear Professor Block,

I have one question for you as a more experienced colleague: my University is starting an Economics Major program and for the first time this Fall I will be teaching Intermediate Microeconomics. I am torn between doing what I think they should be learning (“Man, Economy and State” by Sensei) and what might be opportune for them to learn (standard stuff, probably Varian textbook). Any advice?

J

From: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2022 10:51 AM

To:  J

Subject: RE: asking for an advice

Dear J:

Do the Varian type text. Why?

1.you won’t get in trouble

2.the Rothbard will be unfair to your students who go on to grad school. There, Varian, not Rothbard, will help them

But, in addition to the Varian as your main text, also include several Rothbard, Mises, etc., shorter essays. Also, you don’t have to cover ALL of your main text. Three quarters will do just fine.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:38 am on July 28, 2022

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Ron Unz is one of the good guys. No, scratch that: one of the very, very, very good guys. However, his position on the minimum wage law is highly problematic.

Dear Ron:

You are truly a mensch. Very few people in your position would have published our essay, given that it is a frontal attack on your position. My co author and I are very grateful to you for that.

How shall we proceed? Shall you write a rejoinder to what you have just published of ours, and invite us to respond? Or, shall we respond to this material you just sent us beginning with the words: “Finally, the CBO conclusions seem to totally demolish…” If you have published other material on the min wage, perhaps you could send it to us (if it would take less than 2 minutes of your time) and we could respond to that, also. I think the best way to get to the truth of this matter, any matter at all for that matter, is via this sort of back and forth dialogue. Perhaps such a debate might also be of interest to your readership.

I rereading what we wrote, I regret that material about your “genius.” That was impolite and uncalled for. We promise not to do that sort of thing any more. Thanks for putting up with us despite that.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Ron Unz

Sent: Monday, June 27, 2022 9:10 PM

To: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Thanks, Walter.  Since your piece so directly challenges my own position, I think it’s only fair that I run it, and it’s now up in the Economics section:

https://www.unz.com/article/ron-unz-on-the-minimum-wage-law/

However, I really do think that there’s actually very strong evidence that monopsony effects have artificially depressed wages at the lower end.

As you might remember, during the 2014 battle over raising the minimum wage, the CBO came out with a report suggesting that the proposed $10.10 MW would probably lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs, a conclusion that was hailed and widely cited by the anti-MW camp.  A CBO analysis last year exploring a variety of different MW increases found roughly similar conclusions.  But here are a few paragraphs from a column I published at the time:

Finally, the CBO conclusions seem to totally demolish one of the central economic dogmas presented by ideological opponents of minimum wage laws.

Rigidly doctrinaire libertarians argue that minimum wage laws serve no valid purpose since our free market in labor ensures that employers must pay all workers their true economic value, no more and no less. Thus, they say that if a worker earns $8.50 per hour, that is the approximate value of the labor he produces and his job would disappear at any higher required wage. By contrast, economists who support a minimum wage suggest that low-wage businesses benefit from their “monopsony” position in the labor market, and regularly use that great market power to pay workers less than their true value, much like a monopolist can unreasonably bid up the price of his products.

This obscure technical dispute is central to the theoretical basis for minimum wage laws, and I would argue that the CBO figures decisively resolves this question. According to the CBO, some 98% of those low-wage workers impacted by a 40% hike in the minimum wage would keep their jobs at a much higher rate of pay, thereby demonstrating that their economic value to their employer was vastly greater than their current rate of pay, which had been artificially reduced due to their lack of effective bargaining power. When 98% of workers are paid below their true economic value, any assumptions of a truly efficient market in labor are absurd, and the rectifying impact of a higher minimum wage becomes absolutely justified.

Thus, on both theoretical and practical grounds, the CBO report demonstrated the exact opposite of what the contending parties in the minimum wage debate seemed to suggest. Perhaps journalists will eventually begin reporting this more correct interpretation of the stated facts.

https://www.unz.com/runz/understanding-the-cbo-analysis-of-a-minimum-wage-hike/

Best,

Ron

Dear Ron:

Please consider publishing the op ed that appears below. My coauthor and I are big fans of yours. We consider your efforts monumental in behalf of promoting liberty. But not on this one issue. We hope and trust you take this in the spirit we mean it: an attempt to convince a hero of ours of a mistake on this one issue.

As always, this is exclusive to you. If you publish this, please let me know. If I don’t hear from you on this within a week, I’ll assume you won’t be using it, and I’ll be free to send it elsewhere.

Best regards,

Walter

Ron Unz on the Minimum Wage Law (923 words)

By Walter E. Block and Frank Tipler

Ron Unz fits Winston Churchill’s famous description: he is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”  Unz has an IQ of 214. His views are for the most part conservative, even libertarian; certainly, he is an otherwise supporter of the free enterprise system. And, yet, he supports the minimum wage law.

Did this genius come up with some new twist or wrinkle that the rest of us had somehow missed? Not a bit of it. His “reasoning” is pretty much the same old tired economic balderdash offered by all other supporters of this monstrous and pernicious law:

“Once I started investigating the details it really seemed like the facts were on the other side—especially since so much of the economy has shifted from manufacturing to other industries. You can always relocate manufacturing jobs. You can’t ship McDonald’s jobs to India or Bangladesh.”

Let us try to educate this genius regarding what economics 101 has to say about a minimum wage. To start with, what determines wages in the absence of any law? Why do employers want to hire employees in the first place? Employers hire based upon a new hire’s expected productivity (actually, discounted marginal revenue product, but that is a matter for an intermediate microeconomics course). And what is this productivity? It is the amount by which having a worker on the premises will boost the company’s bottom line.

If staff person Smith increases profits by $10 hourly, that will tend to be his wage. It cannot permanently be higher than that, or the firm will lose money on this hire, and, if it persists in the folly of hiring him, it will court bankruptcy. Nor can Smith’s wage be lastingly lower than that amount. For suppose that Smith is now being paid $7 per hour. Some other company will benefit by offering him $7.01, and then another $7.02. This bidding process will tend to rise to an even $10, assuming no transaction, sorting or information costs, which disappear in the long run.

With a minimum wage of $12, Smith is no longer welcome on the shop floor or asking anyone if they “want fries with that?” Anyone hiring him will now lose $2 per hour. Smith is now unemployable, Mr. Unz to the contrary notwithstanding.

But we have to be careful about this. In 1949, the minimum wage was raised from $.40 to $.75, almost a doubling. At that time elevators were run manually. How many operators of this machinery lost their jobs the very next day? None, not a single one. Many people who should have known better thus thought this law beneficial. But over the next few months automatic elevators replaced all humans. Automatic elevators were not competitive with manual labor at the old rate, but were at the new higher one. Indeed, as Unz says, one cannot ship a MacDonald’s job to India.  But one can automate the job out of existence.  This, seemingly, has never occurred to Mr. Unz.

If a minimum wage is justified, how does one determine at what level it should be implemented? No answer has ever been given to this basis question. That is, no minimum wage law is based on first principles.

If there is no justified upper bound to the minimum wage, why not require a minimum wage of one kilogram of gold per hour?   It is estimated that only 250,000 metric tons, or 250,000,000 kilograms, of gold has ever been mined.  At a wage of 1 kilogram of gold per hour, after two hours, USA employers would owe their workers more gold than has ever been mined in the totality of human history.

Isn’t it obvious that this is nonsense? Sure, we can all favor a minimum wage of $1 million per hour. Then, we’d all be rich. No, make that $1 quadrillion per hour.

But what about monopsony or oligopsony? This would indeed place an upper bound on the minimum wage; mainstream economists who believe in this fallacious doctrine tend to place it at something like $12 – $25 hour. However, this only applies, if it applies at all, to highly skilled jobs that have only one (monopsony) or only a few (oligopsony) potential employers: professional athletes, actors, highly specialized lawyers, doctors, nerds, etc. It is entirely irrelevant to minimum wage workers.

There is of course one other explanation for Unz’s position. He really hates unskilled workers and wants them to have miserable, unemployed lives. Then, we can all admit, he is very intelligent. Evil, but highly gifted.

Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans

Frank Tipler is a Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University

Pegs:

This stopped being convincing to Unz, who made his fortune by designing software that allowed mortgages to be chopped up into securities, and whose IQ has clocked in at 214. “Once I started investigating the details,” he says, “it really seemed like the facts were on the other side—especially since so much of the economy has shifted from manufacturing to other industries. You can always relocate manufacturing jobs. You can’t ship McDonald’s jobs to India or Bangladesh.”

Source:  https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2014/01/ron-unz-the-california-libertarian-multimillionaire-is-pushing-a-minimum-wage-hike.html

In 1949, the minimum wage was raised from 40 cents an hour to 75 cents an hour for all workers and minimum wage coverage was expanded to include workers in the air transport industry.

https://www.google.com/search?q=in+what+year+was+the+minimum+wage+raised+from+40+to+75+cents%3F&oq=in+what+year+was+the+minimum+wage+raised+from+40+to+75+cents%3F&aqs=chrome..69i57.20470j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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2:37 am on July 28, 2022

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https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/how-should-a-libertarian-deal-with-the-governments-policy-on-covid/

From: Brandon
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2022 9:55 PM
To: Walter Block <[email protected]>
Subject:

Dear Professor Block,

This is less of a professional email concerning Austrian Economics or Libertarianism and more concerning personal matters that I have no one else to go to for. I’m absolutely terrified that the state is gonna reimpose COVID-19 restrictions. This was something I never thought I’d have to worry about again, but recently, there has been a surge in cases caused by the BA.5 COVID strain, which has a very high transmissibility and reinfection rate, though doesn’t pose the threat of serious illness. Nevertheless, I’ve heard that the CDC is already advising several counties in Tennessee to mask up and San Diego is already planning on imposing mask mandates. I feel as if the past few months of relative freedom are coming to a close and the state is ready to renew its absolute control over the population. For the past four days, I’ve found myself in a very dark place, absolutely horrified of the prospect of going back to masking and social distancing. I can still remember suffering daily from March of 2020 to November of 2021, sometimes sitting in the corner of my room and either sobbing or silently huddling in agony. I don’t wanna go back. I don’t wanna suffer again. I just don’t know what to do. On the bright side, I live in Florida, but I feel that even my state will somehow end up imposing restrictions. I’m sorry if this is personal, but I have absolutely no one to go to and I’m wondering whether my fears are warranted.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

Brandon

Dear Brandon:

Here is what I’ve published on this topic. I hope and trust it will give you a small modicum of comfort:

Block, Walter E. 2020. “A libertarian analysis of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1; https://jls.scholasticahq.com/article/17836-a-libertarian-analysis-of-the-covid-19-pandemic?auth_token=1jZ-UoctwxQnkYZLFJZR;

https://mises.org/library/libertarian-analysis-covid-19-pandemic

Block, Walter E. 2022. “Covid: Punishing the Unvaccinated.” May 1;

https://www.thepostil.com/covid-punishing-the-unvaccinated/

November 18, 2020 The economics of lockdown or Anti-covid measures versus freedoms (the hottest topic for everyone). The welfare state. Market Failure.

Protectionism. Economic inequalities. Alexandru Butiseacă [email protected]

https://www.facebook.com/academeya/videos/181933693555046/ (We had 2.5 K views at this event – Academeya Foundation of which you are an honorary member).

Here is the link to online TV:

https://viacluj.tv/profesorul-walter-block-la-via-cluj-tv-ne-confruntam-cu-interventionismul-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR3y4u7eyjRt4O7jDHRHCWTxwzmY7Rm9JeV3gc369hq1A4TnhHVt8ZpaNVsfile:///C:/Users/WBlock/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/RJV545UF/Aparitii%20media%20online%20conferinta%20The%20Pandemic%20Interventionism.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2020. “Quarantines.” March 10;

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TargetLiberty+(Target+Liberty);

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?fbclid=IwAR2eKAqVI1zJ-2d-aCW6IQwwJQQKRWJf_lcJsDxLHp9RIfNx-1fYuMzUrO8

Block, Walter E. 2020. “Coronavirus Maximus: a thought experiment on forced quarantine.” May 19; https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/coronavirus-maximus-a-thought-experiment-on-forced-quarantine/

April 13, 2020. Debate on the Coronavirus Quarantine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWEjU6ejEQE. the post-debate correspondence: https://xoandelugo.org/post-debate-correspondence-between-walter-block-philipp-bagus-and-bernardo-ferrero-on-the-ethics-of-the-coronavirus-quarantine/?fbclid=IwAR1ZUOlXvdeDPDC53PdJ9ZeoQn-6SYvbNIpUv2xalgRY3a2xQ8hFHn1b35A;

Block, Walter E. 2020. “Vaccinations, Part II.” May 13;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/vaccinations-part-ii/

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Forced Vaccinations.” February 4;

http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block217.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/02/walter-e-block/forced-vaccinations/

Iglesias, David and Walter E. Block. 2021. “COVID-19 Lockdowns: The Unseen Costs” Libertas: Segunda Epoca; Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 1-11; https://journallibertas.com/files/Online%20First/LIBERTAS%20-%20Iglesias%20and%20Block.pdfhttps://journallibertas.com/articulos/online_first/https://journallibertas.com/files/2021/6.2%20-%2003%20-%20Iglesias%20-%20Covid-19%20lockdowns.pdfhttps://journallibertas.com/articulos/2021/;

Best regards,

Walter

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2:36 am on July 28, 2022

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https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/is-it-compatible-with-libertarianism-to-work-for-the-state/

From: Brandon

Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2022 3:33 PM

To: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Subject: Another personal matter

Dear Professor Block,

I have another personal matter. This time, it relates to a moral dilemma as a libertarian. My mother and grandma are pressuring me to take a paid job as a poll worker for my local county. This concerns me, as I feel it is clearly unethical to accept money that my local government has confiscated through property taxation. However, I don’t want to disappoint either my mother or my grandmother, as I love them deeply. This has placed me in quite a dilemma. My mom insists that this will make me look good in my resume and give me a start in politics. What do you think?

Yours truly,

Brandon

Dear Brandon:

I have no idea as to whether doing so will help your political career.

However, I have strong feelings that doing so will NOT violate any libertarian principles.

You walk on govt sidewalks, right? You drive on govt roads, right? I previously taught at a public university. Are either of us acting incompatibly with libertarian principles? Not at all. For more on this, read these:

Is it ok for libertarians to avail themselves of government money::

Block, 1972, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009A, 2009B, 2010, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 2012, 2016, 2018A, 2018B; Block and Arakaky, 2008, Block and Barnett, 2008, D’Amico and Block, 2007; Gress and Block, 2020.

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

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

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part I” Reason Papers, Vol. 27, Fall, pp. 117-133;

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

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part II” Reason Papers, Vol. 28, Spring, pp. 85-109; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_7.pdf; (death penalty justified, net taxpayer, ruling class analysis p. 87)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Block, Walter E. 2011D. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Block, Walter E. 2018A. “Ragnar Danneskjold.” LRC Blog, Nov. 6, 2018.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/ragnar-danneskjold-2/.

Block, Walter E. 2018B. “Reconciling Liberating Property from the Unjust

Government and Reparations for Stolen Property in the Past.”

LRC Blog, Nov. 8, 2018. https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/

reconciling-liberating-property-from-the-unjust-government-andreparations-for-stolen-property-in-the-past/.

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

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

D’Amico, Dan and Walter E. Block. 2007. “A Legal and Economic Analysis of Graffiti” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 29-38; http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/damico.pdfhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=24713http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008525; file:///C:/Users/Walter/Downloads/SSRN-id1008525.pdf

Gress, Jonathan and Walter E. Block. 2020. “The Ethics of Public Spending.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 434–444;

https://cdn.mises.org/jls_24_2_gress_block.pdf

This book of mine might be of interest to you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Ron Paul’s blurb, which appears on the back cover of this book: “Walter E. Block is one of the top writers and scholars in the liberty movement. It is an honor to have Walter as a friend and supporter.”

Amazon:  $25.95; Kindle: $9.99

Best regards,

Walter

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2:35 am on July 28, 2022

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From: David

Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2022 12:23 PM

To: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Subject: Question about educational regulations

Dear Walter:

I hope you´re well. At this moment I´m developing a research on costs for private schools.

In my country, although private education is allowed, it is highly regulated. In fact, schools are classified into three freedom regimes: “regulated freedom”, “monitored freedom” and “controlled regime”. A real madness…

Based on this classification, the national Department of Education authorizes maximum percentages for the increase in tuition. For example, the regulated freedom regime, which is the most “beneficial”, allows schools to increase their prices by up to 5%.

My idea is to propose dismantling these maximum percentages, as well as those three “freedom regimes”, but of course I must make a solid theoretical defense, for which I am consulting the opinion of various experts in the economics of education, like you, with respect to this issue.

How should it be justified that private schools make their charges without taking into account maximum authorized limits?

Thanks a lot for your comments.

Best regards,

David

Dear David:

I think the best way to pursue this is to go basic: attack public education at its very roots. Without public education, there is only private education. Then, with its virtues more clear, the case for regulating it will be lessened. I think the best way to do that is to attack this book:

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

That is, chapter 6, the one on education.

I’ve written a bit on this subject; some of these publications may be of help to you:

Barnett and Block, 2008; Block, 1991A, 1991B, 1991C, 1992, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014; Block and Cwik, 2007; Block and Dauterive, 2007; Four Arrows and Walter Block, 2010; Goolsby and Block. 2003-2004; Horton and Block, 2001-2002; McGee and Block, 1991; North and Block, 2011; Reel and Block, 2012, 2013; Rome and Block. 2006; Seaman and Block, 2019; Whitehead, and Block. 1999, 2000; Young and Block. 1999;

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2008. “Economic categorization.” Laissez-Faire, Issue 28-29, March-September, pp. 4-12; http://fce.ufm.edu/Publicaciones/LaissezFaire/

Block, Walter E. 1991A. Dollars and Sense: “School Vouchers,” January 18; Nelson Daily News;

Block, Walter E. 1991B. “School Vouchers,” Fraser Forum, February, pp. 30-31.

Block, Walter E. 1991C. “School’s Out for Educational Socialism,” British Columbia Report, v. 2, n. 26, February 25, p. 4.

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Educational Socialism,” Fraser Forum, April, pp. 30-31

Block, Walter E. 1992. “Political Correctness, Free Speech and Economic Liberty,” Fraser Forum, March, p. 38.

Block, Walter E. 2007. “My Case of and for Coauthoring,” Dialogue, pp. 93-116; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2007/3.07.WB.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228196683_My_Case_of_and_for_Co-Authoring?ev=prf_pub

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Is there a Ph.D. glut in economics in academia?” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 9-26; http://tinyurl.com/yd6qwsd; reprint in Economics, Management, and Financial Markets , forthcoming, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 1; http://loyno.academia.edu/WalterBlock/Papers/1325023/Is_There_a_Ph.D._Glut_in_Economics_in_Academia; Password: AddletonAP2009.

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Is econ 101 killing America? A critique of Atkinson and Lind, and Boettke.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 10-22. doi:10.12709/mest.02.02.02.02; http://www.mest.meste.org/MEST_2_2014/4_02.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Paul Cwik. 2007. “Teaching Business Ethics: A Classificationist Approach,” Business Ethics: A European Review.  Vol. 16, No. 2 April, pp. 98-107; http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/beer/16/2.

Block, Walter E. and Jerry Dauterive. 2007. “Political Correctness and the Economics of Higher Education.” Humanomics. Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 230-239; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=A4474341C26657A036E9A278B2379E63?contentType=Article&contentId=1637489

Four Arrows and Walter E. Block. 2010. Differing Worldviews: Two Scholars Argue Cooperatively about Justice Education; Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers; http://www.amazon.ca/Differing-Worldviews-Higher-Education-Arrows/dp/9460913504/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336603241&sr=1-6[email protected][email protected]

Goolsby, Jerry R. and Walter E. Block. 2003-2004. “Education and Bureaucracy: National Testing and School Privatization,” Texas Education Review; http://www.educationreview.homestead.com/2003GoolsbyBlock.html;

http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Articles%20for%20web/National%20Testing%20and%20School%20Privatization.doc

Horton, Marshall and Walter E. Block. 2001-2002. “Was Marx an Adjunct?  An Analysis of the Proposition That Part-time Faculty Are Economically Exploited,” Texas Education Review, Vol. 1, No. IV, Winter, pp. 43-46; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/marx_an_adjunct.pdf

McGee, Robert W. and Walter E. Block. 1991. “Academic Tenure: A Law and Economics Analysis,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 14, No. 2, Spring, pp. 545-563; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/academictenure.htm; reprinted as McGee, Robert W. and Walter E. Block. “Academic Tenure: An Economic Critique,” in DeGeorge, Richard T., ed., 1997. Academic Freedom And Tenure: Ethical Issues, Rowman & Littlefield, 1997

North, Gary and Walter E. Block. July 24-30, 2011 Auburn, AL, Mises University; Debate on higher education; http://mises.org/events/110;

http://media.mises.org/mp3/MU2011/10_MisesU_20110726_Block.mp3;

http://media.mises.org/mp3/MU2011/27_MisesU_20110727_Block.mp3;

http://media.mises.org/mp3/MU2011/16_MisesU_20110726_Block-North_Debate.mp3;

http://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/93031.htmlhttp://www.garynorth.com/public/9121.cfm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwWoY3OuBYA

Reel, Jordan and Walter E. Block. 2012. “Public Education: Who is it for?” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies; Vol. 7, No. 4, October, pp. 66-72; http://www.revistainternationala.com/index.php?lang=es;

http://paper.researchbib.com/?action=viewPaperSearch

Reel, Jordan and Walter E. Block. 2013. “Educational Vouchers: Freedom to Choose?” Contemporary Economics. pp. 111-122, December, DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.126 http://we.vizja.pl/en/homehttp://ce.vizja.pl/en/issues/volume/7/issue/4#art328.

Rome, Gregory and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Schoolhouse Socialism.” Journal of Instructional Psychology, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 83-88; http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCG/is_1_33/ai_n16118909/?tag=content;col1; reprinted as “Voucher Programs Lead to Government Interference in Private Schools,” in Young, Mitchell, ed. 2012. For-Profit Education, Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, pp. 169-176

Seaman, Matthew and Walter E. Block. 2019. “Fahrenheit 451 and the Education System.” Political Dialogues: Journal of Political Theory; Vol. 27, pp. 55-62; https://apcz.umk.pl/czasopisma/index.php/DP/issue/view/1815;

https://apcz.umk.pl/czasopisma/index.php/DP/article/view/DP.2019.010

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 1999. “Mandatory Student Fees: Forcing Some to Pay for the Free Speech of Others,” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 759-781; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/mfearningdifferentials.htmhttp://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/mandatoryfees.htm

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2000. “Direct Payment of State Scholarship Funds to Church-Related Colleges Offends the Constitution and Title VI,” Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 191-207; http://tinyurl.com/2dwelfhttp://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/directpymt.htm;

http://www.academia.edu/1466695/Direct_Payment_of_State_Scholarship_Funds_to_Church-Related_Colleges_Offends_the_Constitution_and_Title_VI;

Young, Andrew and Walter E. Block. 1999. “Enterprising Education: Doing Away with the Public School System,” International Journal of Value Based Management, Vol.12, No. 3, pp. 195-207; http://www.mises.org/etexts/enterprisingedu.pdfhttp://www.mises.org/story/2216http://www.walterblock.com/publications/enterprising_education.pdfhttp://www.mises.org/story/2216https://mises.org/library/enterprising-education-doing-away-public-school-system?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=b769abd2e7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-b769abd2e7-227976965

Best regards,

Walter

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2:33 am on July 28, 2022

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Dear Mark:

Thanks for this lovely letter of yours. May I have your permission to share it with others?

I don’t think Austrianism is in the dire straights you make it out to be. There are lots of debates going on between Austrians, that occur on an open and friendly manner. As I’m sure my debate with you on this matter will also be.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, July 5, 2022 9:37 PM
To: Walter Block <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: A Plea for Help

I really can’t express my thanks and admiration for you enough, Dr. Block.  I say that not because you helped me personally in this particular situation, but rather because you are completely and fearlessly devoted to the open and free debate of ideas.  It warms my heart to know that such men exist. You are truly Rothbard’s heir in that respect, and are without equal.

I have felt for many years that the Austrian School has been moving in an unhealthy direction, and that there are professional academics at the helm now who have fought their way against all odds into academic positions, but who who now feel the need to transform the Austrian school into some sort of “respectable” school of economics like Chicago that limits the terms of debate to what is acceptable to the grey beards.  But, what that is really doing is creating almost a cult-like situation dedicated to protecting young academics with promise from real criticism and absolutely castrating debate.

We, too, need real debate.  We, too, need dissent and young Turks.  Publishing dissenting ideas should be encouraged, not stifled.

In any event, I hold you in the highest esteem for your fearless devotion to open debate. I realize that we disagree about the philosophy and definition of probability, but I am also very much open to free and open debate about this topic, and I can’t wait to read your reply to my article.

My most sincere thanks,

Mark

Dear Editor:

I urge you to publish Mark’s essay, criticizing me. I disagree with him on this matter, but I think his is a worthy critique, which breaks new ground. I promise to respond to him with a rejoinder. I think the ensuing debate between he and I would be of great interest to your readers.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Mark
Sent: Sunday, July 3, 2022 5:14 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: A Plea for Help

Dear Professor Block,

I am writing to you with what will surely be the absurdist request that you will receive all year. I am wondering if you might be willing to send a word on my behalf to the editorial committee of the journal Procesos de Mercado to encourage them to allow me to reply to your article attacking my philosophy of probability in their journal.

I fully realize the absurdity of asking you of all people to aid me in publishing a reply to your own article, but I don’t know who else to turn to in this bizarre situation where I am being barred from publishing a reply.

My reply to your article was originally scheduled to be published a year and a half ago, and then it never showed up in print. After reaching out to Sonsoles Huerta de Soto to find out what was going on, I am being told that they believe my reply should be published somewhere else and that the topic is too technical. So, I did indeed try to publish it in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, but the editor told me (rightly, I would add) my reply obviously should be published in Procesos de Mercado. 

The only reason I feel brazen enough to write to you like this is that I think know the type of person you are, and I feel that you relish free and open debate as much as any person who has ever lived.  And, I feel you would agree that it is highly unjust for a journal to allow an article to be written specifically attacking me, and then for them to rule out my ability to reply.

Sincerely,

Mark

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2:16 am on July 11, 2022

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2:10 am on July 11, 2022

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From: Mario

Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2022 11:39 AM

To: [email protected]

Subject: Laffer curve & libertarianism

Greetings Professor Block,

I was wondering how to reconcile libertarianism with lowering tax rates. Lower taxes would increase government revenue. But don’t libertarians abhor bigger government revenue?

Thank you.

From: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2022 12:17 PM

To: ‘Mario

Cc: William

Subject: RE: Laffer curve & libertarianism

Dear Mario:

I’ve wrestled with that problem. If this material doesn’t respond, fully, to your question, do get back to me:

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “On the Use and Misuse of the Laffer Curve” Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, pp. 139-152; http://www.academia.edu/1353654/On_the_Use_and_Misuse_of_the_Laffer_Curve; cited in Felipe Lorain B and Jeffrey B. Sachs. 2017. Macroeconomica, en la economia global. Tercera edition. Santiago de Chile, Pearson Education de Chile. Isbn 978-956-343- 507-8, p. 545

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Is there an ‘anomalous’ section of the Laffer curve?” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 1-11; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-6.pdfhttp://libertarianpapers.org/2010/podcast-6-is-there-an-anomalous-section-of-the-laffer-curve/;

http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/block-anomalous-laffer-curve/; reprinted in Mises: Revista Interdisciplinar de Filosofia, Direito e Economia. 2013, Vol. 1, No. 1, January-June, pp. 173-180

I hope and trust you don’t mind that I copy my co author, Bill, on this

Best regards,

Walter

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3:02 am on April 8, 2022

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Working in Academia

From: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2022 6:50 PM

Subject: RE: Dear Walter

Dear Mark:

At 60, you’re still a baby. (I’m 80).

What’s this crap about “the mandatory nonsense I would be required to use.”

In my intro course, I teach from this textbook: Mankiw, N. Gregory. Principles of Microeconomics. South-Western, Cengage sixth seventh edition, and I’ll be using that. However, any year, any edition of this book is a reasonable substitute. Isbn 9781285165905

And use this as an extra reading

Hazlitt, Henry. Economics in One Lesson. ISBN – 9780517548233

The first one third of Mankiw is very good. I give it an A-. Good stuff on free trade, min wage, rent control, etc.  The second third is crap. All about market failure. So, I present that stuff, sympathetically, and then say why its wrong. On an exam, I ask students to give both sides. The Hazlitt book of course is very good.

What’s so stultifying about that? I enjoy doing this.

You could do this too. I suggest you apply both to U Vic for a part time job as a lecturer and also to the local 2 year colleges for a full time job. You can do good in this way and have a good career. Are you limited to the Vic area? If you can locate anywhere in Canada that would open up things for you.

Best regards,

Walter

I debated my friend, the late Gary North, on this very subject:

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

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/04/loyola-professor-attacks-austrian.html

Subject: RE: Dear Walter

Dear Walter,

Yes I have an MA. Years ago I did a bit of teaching (short term contract – “fill in/substitute”) at xyz. I’m 60 now and not that interested in teaching first year students according to the mandatory nonsense I would be required to use.  I honestly don’t know how you manage it – especially today.  On the other hand, I would love to teach some young students curious about or interested in the Austrian School.

Kind regards,

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3:01 am on April 8, 2022

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