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Job Prospects for Austrian Economists; Never Better

From: N
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 10:35 AM

Just curious how hard it is to get a masters in economics and how hard it is to get a PHD in economics. Also, how hard is it to get a post as a professor as an Austrian economist.

Dear N:

The better you are in math, the easier it will be to get a degree in econ. It is easier to get a masters in econ than a phd.  How good in math are you? That’s as far as the US is concerned. You can get a phd in Austrian economics in Europe with virtually no math at all (once you have a masters degree). As for getting a job, whether in academia or not, it is easier if you are not an Austrian. However, I know of no Austrian economist with a phd who cannot find a job in economics. I know of no Austrian economist with a phd who wants an academic post who can’t get one. Happily, nowadays, there are maybe a score of universities, including my own, where being an Austrian economist is actually a plus.

This might interest you:

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







3:56 pm on February 20, 2019

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Murder, Alone, Or, Both Murder and Trespass? Both.

From: A
Sent: Wed 5/25/2016 9:57 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Is very murder also trespass?

Dear Walter,

If A and B are both visitors to C’s property, and A kills B there, should A also be charged with trespass against C (in addition to the charge of murdering B)? Because the condition on which A was allowed to enter C’s property should include A not killing people there; so A has violated his contract with C, just like the person who shouts “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Thanks a lot! A

Dear A:

Yes, I agree. I’m glad you see the case of yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater the way I wrote about it in my book, Defending I. There is nothing wrong with this per se. If sado masochists want to do this, that should be legal. But, it is improper (unless of course there is a fire) in ordinary circumstances, due to either implicit or explicit contracts forbidding such acts.

Best regards,



3:08 pm on February 20, 2019

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A Libertarian Perspective On Dealing With the Unjust Government And Its Public Property

From: O
Sent: Fri 5/27/2016 4:00 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Public Property

Dear Professor Block,

In an anarcho-capitalist society, all property would of course be privately owned, and it would be up to those private owners to decide what would be permitted on their property. Right now though, we have a significant amount of public property, and this isn’t going to change any time soon. So what is the libertarian view on what should be permitted on public property, for as long as we have it?

Many libertarians say that as long as the action does not violate the non-aggression principle, then it should be permitted, so street prostitution, public nudity, public begging, DUI etc would all be allowed. I don’t quite agree with this though. Surely it is better to ask: if this public property were privately owned, who would it likely be owned by, and what would they likely allow & prohibit? In this way we can attempt to approximate a free society as closely as possible.

Any road company that wanted to stay in business would of course have speed limits, and ban driving while under the influence of cocaine, since people generally want to use safe roads and will pay extra for it. I suppose we can also assume that small streets would be privately owned by those who live in the homes on those streets, and that they would prohibit public nudity, begging, and street prostitution, since they are generally nuisances.

So I would say that endorsing a ban on all of these things is consistent with libertarianism. Most public property is not un-owned property, but rather de-facto privately owned. However this logic clearly must not be abused to argue that the state should (say) ban the burqa in public places, something which may well happen in an ancap society, perhaps in a conservative Christian neighborhood. I’m sure you agree however that for as long as the state owns roads, it should enforce speed and traffic light laws. So where exactly does one draw the line?

Kind regards, O

Dear O:

I draw the “line” at threats. Why do I put quotes around “line?” Because of considerations mentioned in this article:

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

So, what are threats in this context? Driving drunk, or stoned, or at 100 miles per hour is a threat. Public nudity, prostitution, are not threats. Thus, the former should be prohibited (but not by the state, see below), not the latter, at least as I see matters.

I agree with most of what you have to say, except for the last paragraph. I don’t think that endorsing a ban on all of these things is consistent with libertarianism. I don’t agree that most, or even any, public property is de-facto privately owned (it is only de-jure privately owned). According to your logic the state should indeed ban the burqa in public places, since this indeed may well happen in an ancap society, very likely in  a conservative Christian neighborhood. I do not agree that for as long as the state owns roads, it should enforce speed and traffic light laws. Right now, the government kills some 40,000 people on its roads annually. It is not at all clear, from a pragmatic point of view, that things would not improve if the state fully absented itself from this area of the economy. From a deontological point of view, it is clear that the government should immediately cease and desist ALL of its activity. I’d push that button.

I have written, at least peripherally, about these sorts of issues here:

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. 2009A. “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;

http://mises.org/books/property_freedom_society_kinsella.pdf; festschrift

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “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/http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/#comments


4:59 pm on February 19, 2019

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Tactics in 2016. Also for 2020

From: W
Sent: Thu 5/26/2016 2:33 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Libertarians for Trump

Dr. Block,

Even though Trump is now the presumptive nominee, could you see the Libertarians for Trump movement continuing into the general election if the Libertarian Party nominates Johnson-Weld?

Dear W:

Good question. The libertarians for Trump movement will support Trump vis a vis the LP candidate (unless its Ron Paul, I’m pretty sure).

As for me, I’m not sure. It’s a tactical question. I want to promote the LP. I also desperately favor Donald over Hillary (or Bernie).

How can we have our cake and eat it too? In Red states, where Trump will win by large margins, vote for Johnson-Weld; he won’t need libertarian votes. In Blue states, where Hilary will win by large margins, again vote for Johnson-Weld; libertarian votes won’t help him. But in Purple states where it will be a toss up, then and only then vote for Donald. Here, libertarians may sink or swim him.

I think a similar situation will eventuate in 2020. Probably, Donald will be the Republican candidate, and one of the extreme lefties will carry the Democratic banner. What should libertarians do, supposing we get a reasonable LP candidate (NOT someone like Bob Barr, perish the thought). Again, I think we supporters of the LP who favor Donald over Bernie or some Bernie-light type person (Pocahontas, Kamala Harris), should adopt much the same policy as I advocated for 2016: vote for Donald only in the few toss-up states, and for the LP candidate everywhere else.


5:10 pm on February 18, 2019

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From: N
Sent: Wed 5/18/2016 11:31 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Taxation/Human Shield Question

A tells B to shoot C otherwise A will shoot B. If I understand your position correctly B has no right to shoot C because B homesteaded the misfortune first. (1)

A tells B to hand A a machine gun so A can shoot C, D, E, etc. Would B have the right to hand over the gun to A to save his own life? (2)

A tells B to give A money so A can buy a tank to kills millions, does B have the right to hand over the money to save himself even though this means A will be able to murder people with the money? (3)

I just thought up this argument against taxation.

In my opinion, cases 2 and 3 are similar, and negative homesteading doesn’t apply to them. we pay taxes (3), hand over guns (2) to bad guys, under duress, and we are not criminals. when B hands over a gun, or pays taxes to A, the bad guy, he is not a criminal, he’s a victim. however, in case 1, if B shoots C, B is a murderer.

Dear N:

I deal with such important questions that you raise here:

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Response to Jakobsson on human body shields.” Libertarian Papers. http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/25-block-response-to-jakobsson-on-human-body-shields/

Block, Walter E. 2011. “The Human Body Shield” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22 , pp. 625-630; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_30.pdf

Block, Walter E. Forthcoming. “Human shields, missiles, negative homesteading and libertarianism” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review.


2:22 pm on February 18, 2019

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From: J

Sent: Sun 5/22/2016 7:31 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Dear doctor block…

 I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know how much you’ve impacted my life. You are the man that converted me from a limited government pinko to the one true faith. Ron Paul was the man that brought me to the libertarian idea, and you brought me to libertarian idea of the libertarian idea. Your views and descriptions on economics are so colorful yet simple enough so a simpleton like me can understand haha. I’ve been an anarchist for over a year now but just like everyone in the circle I have a few questions that I’d love to have you hold up to the light for me. But first I wanted to send this informing you that I revere your intellect.

Well my first question is a libertarian question, not an economic question if that’s okay? Just for fair warning it’s a pretty far branched question. So this one is rather tough for me because I was talking to some “diverse liberals.” Who were agreeing with me that marijuana should be decriminalized but would disagree when I would also say people shouldn’t be locked in cages for even worse things like cocaine etc. But one comment that was said, sparked something in my minds eye. They said to me, “what about the date rape drug?” You know I didn’t quite have an answer. Because on the one hand its not necessarily invasive. But then again what else is it used for? I guess you cold argue medicinal rights? Lol. But being the loser I am I looked more into the chemicals, and there is one drug I think that may break the non aggression principle. It’s called Scopolamine, its not just the generic idea of a date rape pill. It is completely airborne. By simply obtaining it you would be a threat to other people. This specific one if under the influence completely takes over your ability to have free will. Only molesters and robbers use it. But I’ve also read that its used for “recreational purposes.” God knows what, Sado Masochistic? Haha. Then I thought about your nuclear weapon statement saying that if my neighbor has a nuclear weapon he would be invading my border. And seeing how this specific drug isn’t the normal ruffee or werewolf pill I still leaned to resistance. Then again, if we make it illegal there would just be an Al Capone for this substance. I’m having a hard time with this continuum. I hate to start off with such an odd and extreme case but this was a recent thing that happened, I don’t know how to feel about it. If you’d like to look into the thing yourself you can YouTube Vice-Scopolamine. Because as a libertarian I dont care that people want to do it for fun, but also as a libertarian I care about someone violating someone else’s right. And this thing seems to blur this line for me, so maybe you could redefine the line for me?

Dear J:

A nuclear weapon in the basement in a crowded city is per se a threat. No pill constitutes any such threat. A chemist could want that pill to analyze it. Even the Godzilla pill, per se, should not be banned by libertarian law. But, once the person takes the pill, and starts getting fangs, growling, etc., the private police should shoot him, since he is then a threat.

On the other hand, if you give someone a drug that he isn’t aware of, or slip a “mickey” in his drink, that’s poisoning someone, and would be against libertarian law. The “date rape” drug is licit, if and only if taken voluntarily by the adult woman, and/or used for some else, again entirely voluntary, such as to cure cancer or AIDs.

On nukes, see this:

Block, Walter E. and Matthew A. Block. 2000. “Toward a Universal Libertarian Theory of Gun (Weapon) Control,” Ethics, Place and Environment, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 289-298;

On airborne drugs, that’s pollution, a trespass against private property rights, and a crime. On this issue, here’s a reading:

Rothbard, Murray N. 1982. “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution,” Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; reprinted in Block, Walter E. Ed. Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1990, pp. 233-279; http://mises.org/story/2120http://www.mises.org/rothbard/lawproperty.pdfhttps://mises.org/library/law-property-rights-and-air-pollution-0


1:26 am on February 18, 2019

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The Minimum Wage Law Helps The Unskilled? No

From: D
Sent: Sun 5/22/2016 8:10 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Minimum Wage

Hello Dr. Block.

It was a pleasure to meet you in person and to shake the hand of the hand that shook hands with Murray.

There is also a video of your leap over the minimum wage barrier from your presentation on my Read Rothbard YouTube channel:  https://youtu.be/XekCVIUmBiM

Q. – Supporters of the minimum wage argue that it will put more money into the hands of more people, thus giving a boost to the local economy that more than offsets the “modest” price increases that would result.  What is your favorite way to take this argument apart? Cordially, D

Dear D: Your argument assumes the minimum wage “will put more money into the hands of more people.” Not so, not so. Suppose we raise the minimum wage to $100 per hour. You think that the people now making, oh, $10 per hour will be paid $100? No. They will all be fired. Such a minimum wage “will put LESS money into the hands of more people.” Well, very temporarily, a very, very few people might actually get that $100. But it will only be for a short time, if at all.

Here is a bibliography of the minimum wage:

Akihari, 2016; Batemarco, et.al. 2014; Baum, 2015; Becker, 1995; Block, 1987, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2014, 2015; Block and Barnett, 2002; Boudreaux, 2015A, 2015B, 2016A, 2016B, 2016C, 2016D, 2017; Burkhauser, Couch, Wittenburg, 1996; Caplan, 2013A, 2013B, 2015; Cappelli and Block, 2012; Deere, Murphy and Welch, 1995; Ebeling, 2018; European, undated; Friedman, undated; Gallaway and Adie, 1995; Galles, 2014; Gitis, 2014; Hanke, 2014A, 2014B; Hazlitt, 1946; Hovenga, 2013; Howland, 2013; Klein and Dompe, 2007; Landsburg, 2004; Leonard, 2016; Lingenfelter, et. Al., 2017; McCaffrey, 2014; McCormick and Block, 2000; Mercer, 2015; Morse, 2018; Murphy, 2014, 2015A, 2015B; Neumark, 2015; Neumark and Wascher, 1992, 1995; North, 2014; Parker, 2018; Powell, 2013; Reisman, 2014; Riley, 2018; Rothbard, 1988, 2015A, 2015B; Rustici, 1985; Salihu, 2013; Saltsman, 2015; Schiff, undated; Shaw, 2016; Sohr and Block, 1997; Sowell, 1995; Tucker, 2915; Vedder and Gallaway. 2001; Vuk, 2006; Ward, 2016; Wenzel, 2013, 2015, 2017; Wiegold, 2014; Williams, 1982, 2013, 2014A, 2014B, 2014C, 2015A, 2015B, 2016A, 2016B, undated.

Akihari, Ferghane. 2016. “In Europe, Workers Use Minimum Wage Laws to Exclude their Competition.” July 13; https://mises.org/blog/europe-workers-use-minimum-wage-laws-exclude-their-competition

Batemarco, Robert, Charles Seltzer and Walter E. Block.  2014. “The irony of the minimum wage law: limiting choices versus expanding choices.” Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom, Vol. 3, pp. 69-83;



Baum, Caroline. 2015. “Caroline Baum Slams Paul Krugman (on minimum wage)” July 28;


Becker, Gary. 1995.  “It’s simple: Hike the minimum wage, and you put people out of work.”

Business Week. March 6. p. 22; http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/1995-03-05/its-simple-hike-the-minimum-wage-and-you-put-people-out-of-work

Block, Walter E. 1987. “Minimum Wage Law No Help to Unskilled,” Dateline Canada: Understanding Economics Through Press Reports, p. 37.

Block, Walter E. 2000. “Heritage Stumbles on Minimum Wage,” The Free Market, October, Volume 18, Number 10; http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=324

Block, Walter E. 2001. “The Minimum Wage: A Reply to Card and Krueger,” Journal of The Tennessee Economics Association, Spring; http://www.mtsu.edu/~ceconed/100minwg.pdf


Block, Walter E. 2002. “Delusions of rising wages,” New Orleans City Business, January, 28, p. 28.

Block, Walter E. 2015. “Abolish the minimum wage law.” September 6;


Block, Walter E. 2014. “The Minimum Wage Law.” January 17;


Block, Walter and William Barnett II. 2002. “The Living Wage: What’s Wrong,” The Freeman Ideas on Liberty,December, Vol. 52, No. 12, pp. 23-24

Boudreaux, Don. 2015A. “Dartmouth Remarks On the Minimum Wage.” November 17;


Boudreaux, Don. 2015B. “Noah Smith is no Adam Smith.” November 24;


Boudreaux, Don. 2016A. “The Cruelty of the Minimum Wage.” (Cartoon) January, 15; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/01/the-cruelty-of-minimum-wage.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Boudreaux, Don. 2016B. “A UMass Professor is Challenged: Should Economists Use Low-Skilled Workers as Guinea Pigs?” March 31; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/03/a-umass-professor-is-challenged-should.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Boudreaux, Don. 2016C. “Blazing Blindness in France.” May 26;


Boudreaux, Don. 2016D. “Considering the Government Policy of Mandated Theft by Workers.” September 12; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/09/considering-government-policy-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Boudreaux, Don. 2017. “Yes, Students Still Need Econ 101.” February 22;


Burkhauser, Richard V., Couch, Kenneth A., Wittenburg, David.  1996.  “Who Gets What From Minimum Wage Hikes: A Replication and Re-estimation of Card and Krueger.”  Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 49, no. 3, April, pp. 547-552.

Caplan, Bryan. 2013A. “Phase-In: A Demagogic Theory of the Minimum Wage.” December 5;


Caplan, Bryan. 2013B. “The Myopic Empiricism of the Minimum Wage.” March 12;


Caplan, Bryan. 2015. “Identificationists Beware.” June 10; http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/06/identificationi.html

Cappelli, Peter and Walter E. Block. 2012. “Debate over the minimum wage law.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets7(4), December, pp. 11-33; http://addletonacademicpublishers.com/abstracts/economics-management-and-financial-markets/volume-7-4-2012/debate-over-the-minimum-wage-law.html

Deere, Donald, Murphy, Kevin M., Welch, Finis. 1995.  “Employment and the 1990-91 Minimum-Wage Hike.”  American Economic Review. 85, no. 2, May, pp. 232-237.

Ebeling, Richard. 2018. “Freedom and the Minimum Wage.” February 13;


European countries:


Friedman, Milton. Undated. “A minimum-wage law is, in reality, a law that makes it illegal for an employer to hire a person with limited skills.” http://izquotes.com/quote/306121http://books.google.com/books?id=ck6bXqt5shkC&pg=PA292&lpg=PA292&dq=Playboy+Milton+Friedman:+%E2%80%9CA+minimum-wage+law+is,+in+reality,+a+law+that+makes+it+illegal+for+an+employer+to+hire+a+person+with+limited+skills.%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=oBhaVzo4_o&sig=tPYbXajMPWQADdFdRvvbUvPXsbs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QoU4U-fSIKeisQTIyoGQBQ&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Playboy%20Milton%20Friedman%3A%20%E2%80%9CA%20minimum-wage%20law%20is%2C%20in%20reality%2C%20a%20law%20that%20makes%20it%20illegal%20for%20an%20employer%20to%20hire%20a%20person%20with%20limited%20skills.%E2%80%9D&f=false

Gallaway, Lowell and Douglas Adie. 1995. Review of Card and Krueger’s Myth and

Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, Cato Journal, Volume 15, no.1


Galles, Gary. 2014. “Cognitive Dissonance on Minimum Wages and Maximum Rents.” April 15; https://mises.org/library/cognitive-dissonance-minimum-wages-and-maximum-rents

Gitis, Ben. 2014. “How Minimum Wage Increased Unemployment and Reduced Job Creation in 2013” March 30; http://americanactionforum.org/research/how-minimum-wage-increased-unemployment-and-reduced-job-creation-in-2013

Hanke, Steve H. 2014A. “Minimum Wage Laws Kill Jobs.” January 29;


Hanke, Steve H. 2014B. “Let the Data Speak: The Truth Behind Minimum Wage Laws.” Globe Asia, April; http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/let-data-speak-truth-behind-minimum-wage-laws

Hazlitt, Henry. 2008 [1946]. Economics in One Lesson. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute;


Hovenga, Claire, Devaja Naik and Walter E. Block. 2013. “The Detrimental Side Effects of Minimum Wage Laws.” Business and Society Review; Winter, Volume 118, Issue 4, pp. 463-487;http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/basr.2013.118.issue-2/issuetoc;


Howland, David. 2013. “Increased Minimum Wage, Decreased Economic Prosperity.”  November 16; http://mises.ca/posts/blog/increased-minimum-wage-decreased-economic-prosperity/

Klein, Daniel B. and Stewart Dompe. 2007.  “Reasons for Supporting the Minimum Wage: Asking Signatories of the ‘Raise the Minimum Wage’ Statement,” Econ Journal Watch. Vol. 4, No. 1, January, pp. 125-167

Landsburg, Steven E.  2004. “The sin of wages; the real reason to oppose the minimum wage. Slate.July 9. http://slate.msn.com/id/2103486

Leonard, Thomas C. 2016. “Minimum wages were first designed to keep women and minorities out of jobs.” April 5; http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0405-leonard-minimum-wage-20160405-story.html

Lingenfelter, Jonathan, Jose Dominguez, Leandra Garcia, Bryce Mayon and Walter E. Block. 2017. “Closing the Gap: Why Minimum Wage Laws Disproportionately Harm African-Americans.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets12(1): 11–24;; pw: AddletonAP2009

McCaffrey, Matt. 2014. “IKEA’s ‘Minimum Wage.’” July 4;


McCormick, Paul and Walter E. Block. 2000. “The Minimum Wage: Does it Really Help Workers,” Southern Connecticut State University Business Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, Fall-Spring, pp. 77-80

Mercer, Ilana. 2015. “Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly’ In The Ivy League.” May 10;


Morse, Brandon. 2018. “The ‘Fight For 15’ Crowd Is Now Protesting The Self-Checkout Machines Replacing Them.” April 10; https://www.redstate.com/brandon_morse/2018/04/10/fight-15-crowd-now-protesting-self-checkout-machines-replacing/

Murphy, Robert P. 2014. “Economists debate the minimum wage.” February 3;


Murphy, Robert P. 2015A. “The Minimum Wage ‘Experiments.’” June 16; https://mises.ca/posts/blog/the-minimum-wage-experiments/

Murphy, Robert P. 2015B. “Robert Reich Shills for $15 Minimum Wage.” June 22;


Neumark, David. 2015. “The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment.” December 21;


Neumark, David and Wascher, William. 1992. “Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws.”  Industrial and Labor Relations Review 46 (October), pp. 55-81.

Neumark, David and William Wascher. 1995. “Minimum wage effects on employment and school enrollment.” Journal of Business Economics and Statistics. Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 199-207.

North, Gary. “How Minimum Wage Laws Promote Racial Discrimination.” July 19;https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/07/gary-north/want-young-black-males-to-get-jobs/

Powell, Benjamin. 2013. “Krugman Contra Krugman on the Minimum Wage?” December 12;


Parker, James. 2018. “News With a Twist: Should Louisiana Raise the Minimum Wage?” May 5; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlb7AQC_AlU&feature=youtu.be

Reisman, George. 2014. “How Minimum Wage Laws Increase Poverty.” April 4; https://mises.org/library/how-minimum-wage-laws-increase-poverty

Riley, Jason L. 2008. “Does the Constitution Mandate Minimum Wage Hikes? A misguided court ruling ignores the history of labor laws intended to keep blacks from working.” July 31; https://www.wsj.com/articles/does-the-constitution-mandate-minimum-wage-hikes-1533078622

Rothbard, Murray N. 1988. “Outlawing Jobs: The Minimum Wage, Once More.”  The Free Market.  Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, December, 1, 7-8; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard315.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard124.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 2015A. “On the minimum wage.”July 29;


Rothbard, Murray N. 2015B. “The Crippling Nature of Minimum-Wage Laws.” November 6;


Rustici, Thomas. 1985. “A public choice view of the minimum wage.” Cato Journal. Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 103-131; http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/1985/5/cj5n1-6.pdf

Salihu, Bardhyl N. 2013. “Bending the Laws of Economics.” February 19;


Saltsman, Michael. 2015. “Minimum Wage Hike Forces a Nonprofit Restaurant to Close.” January 5; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2015/01/minimum-wage-hike-forces-nonprofit.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Schiff, Peter. Undated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLr5oWfoWRY&list=TLC1qFv76XMgWqS88S248kyGa-_uB-d-to

Shaw, Chris. 2016. “Britain’s Minimum Wage Short-Changes Young Workers.” July 21;


Sohr, Kevin and Walter E. Block. 1997. “The Minimum Wage,” The Freeman Ideas on Liberty, November, pp. 681-682.

Sowell, Thomas. 1995. “Repealing the Law of Gravity,” Forbes, May 22; p. 82.

Vedder, Richard K., and Lowell Gallaway. 2001. “Does the Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?” Employment Policies Institute, June. http://epionline.org/studies/vedder_06-2001.pdf

Vuk, Vedran. 2006. Professor Stiglitz and the Minimum Wage.” September 4; http://mises.org/daily/2266


Ward, Victor, J. 2016. “The Minimum Wage Destroys More Than Jobs; It Destroys the Opportunity for Inner-City Youth to Learn.” April 6; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/04/the-minimum-wage-destroys-more-than.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2013. “The Wrong Way to Argue Against Minimum Wage Laws.” February 17; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/02/the-wrong-way-to-argue-against-minimum.html

Wenzel, Robert. 2015. “How Minimum Wage Increases Went Bad in San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and Beyond.” June 10;  http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2015/06/how-minimum-wage-increases-went-bad-in.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2017. “How to Smash Slick Lefties Who Advocate the Minimum Wage,” July 23;http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/07/how-to-smash-slick-lefties-who-advocate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29;


Wiegold, Benjamin M. 2014. “The High Cost of Minimum Wages” May 30;


Williams, Walter, E. 1982. The State Against Blacks, New York, McGraw-Hill.

Williams, Walter, E. 2013. “Higher Minimum Wages.” February 27;


Williams, Walter, E. 2014A. “Politics and Minimum Wage.” January 8;


Williams, Walter, E. 2014B. “The State Against Blacks and the Minimum Wage.” http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/walter-e-williams-state-against-blacks.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Williams, Walter, E. 2014C. “Embarrassing Economists.” October 21;


Williams, Walter, E. 2015A. “Self-Enforcing Discrimination.” March 31;


Williams, Walter, E. 2015B. “Embarrassing Economists.” May 10;


Williams, Walter, E. 2016A. “Elitist Arrogance.” June 1;


Williams, Walter, E. 2016B. “Compensating Differences.” August 2;


Williams, Walter, E. Undated.







3:08 am on February 16, 2019

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Public-Private Partnerships Amounts To Economic Fascism: A Critique of PERC

This article appeared in an issue of the War Street Journal: Regan, Shawn. 2016. “National Parks: Lost in the wilds of neglect.” April 25; http://www.wsj.com/articles/national-parks-lost-in-the-wilds-of-neglect-1461531553

Shawn Regan is listed as a “Research Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana.”

I have long been a critic of PERC (see below). I have castigated it as a Milton Friedman-type outfit, more concerned with being an efficiency expert for the state rather than an advocate of private property rights and free enterprise.

Mr. Regan’s recent effort is, unhappily, par for that particular course. I searched in vain for the word “privatization.” Surely, this would be the libertarian, free enterprise solution to the problems faced by U.S. National Parks. But, no. All we get is suggestions for making the socialist, centrally planned National Parks more efficient. One approximation to privatization was this statement of his: “Tap the private economy to tackle infrastructure challenges and park operations. Lawmakers should look to public-private partnerships to shore up park infrastructure.”

But we have a word for “public-private partnerships.” It is fascism. The last thing that can be supported by libertarians are “public-private partnerships.” Rather, the goal should be full privatization. Under economic fascism, there is a veneer of private property rights. But the government pretty much controls the entire economy, but like under socialism. Stuka, BMW, Volkswagon, etc., were “private” firms under Hitler’s Nazi regime. But the government controlled them pretty much totally. Under PPP, which is the dog and which is the tail? To ask this is to answer it.

To be fair to PERC’s Regan, there is also this suggestion of his: “Create a franchising system for new national parks. Congress should establish a procedure whereby new parks could be owned and managed by private entities under standards and rules established by the Park Service.”  But why only “new parks?” Surely, the free market position is that ALL parks be privatized. And, even for these new ones, our PERC spokesman offers, only, what is called “contracting out”: the evil state apparatus, responsible for the horrors he very adequately describes in the first place, would still have overall responsibility for these vast resources they have so mismanaged. It would merely hire private firms to do its bidding. This is hardly a ringing endorsement for private property rights and free enterprise.

For my past critiques of PERC, continue reading (Stroup and Baden have been associated with this group):

Block, Walter E. 1990. “Earning Happiness Through Homesteading Unowned Land: a comment on ‘Buying Misery with Federal Land’ by Richard Stroup,” Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, Summer, pp. 237-253; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890894

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Fighting Fires.” July 24;https://archive.lewrockwell.com/2014/07/walter-e-block/fighting-fires-without-socialism/http://libertycrier.com/fighting-fires-without-socialism/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29http://libertycrier.com/fighting-fires-without-socialism/http://mises.ca/posts/articles/fighting-fires/  (critique of Terry Anderson)

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Libertarianism is unique; it belongs neither to the right nor the left: a critique of the views of Long, Holcombe, and Baden on the left, Hoppe, Feser and Paul on the right.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22: 127–70; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_8.pdfhttp://mises.org/journals/scholar/block15.pdfhttp://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/block15.pdf ; https://mises.org/library/libertarianism-unique-and-belongs-neither-right-nor-left-critique-views-long-holcombe-and


12:07 pm on February 15, 2019

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Is Homosexuality Incompatible With Libertarianism? Of Course Not.

From: O

Sent: Monday, May 16, 2016 2:02 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Libertarianism and libertinism

Dear Professor Block,

I just read your (now rather old!) article ‘Libertarianism and libertinism’, which I fully agree with, but have a question about. You said ‘This means that I abhor homosexuality, … and other such degenerate behaviour’. Most criticisms of homosexuality resort to religious teachings, and you have described yourself as a devout atheist, so do you have a rational argument for why homosexuality is unethical? I too find it disgusting, but I have been unable to convince myself of its immorality, and I think such ethical questions are quite interesting.

Block, Walter E. 1994. “Libertarianism and Libertinism,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 117-128;



Kind regards, O

Dear O:

I’m really not all that sure about ethics. Libertarianism deals with but a small subset of ethics, that concerning the use of violence; here, I have very strong views about the non aggression principle (NAP)  being the foundation of rights. As for overall ethics, for me, and this is entirely subjective, homosexuality doesn’t pass my smell test. I find it yucky. I contemplate engaging in sex with a male, and I am greatly put off by it. That is all I meant by saying that homosexuality is unethical. Here, I’m using “unethical” as pretty much a synonym for “off-putting,” or “distasteful,” or “yucky.” However, I full well realize that many homosexuals probably have the same feelings when they contemplate having sex with a member of the opposite gender. Certainly, I think that homosexuals should have the same (NAP and free association) rights as anyone else.  I also abhor eating eel, or spiders, or ants in much the same way as I do contemplating having sex with a male. In retrospect, I greatly regret writing that short passage about homosexuality being unethical or immoral. I wish I had stuck to what I regard as my area of specialization, libertarian theory, and not entered into the field of overall ethics, or morality, about which I am very much unsure. However, true confession: there are three males who I do kiss: my son, and my two grandsons. And I do so without any revulsion whatsoever. Also, I do hug several men: but only very good friends of mine or people I greatly admire. Hey, I’d hug Ron Paul in a second.

Let me repeat: In retrospect, I greatly regret writing that short passage about homosexuality being unethical or immoral. I greatly admire several (libertarian) homosexuals. I am friends with several of them. I don’t find them distasteful in the slightest. But the idea of having sex with any of them, with any man, I still find repugnant. I’m on the hetero team. I think most heteros feel the same way I do.

Is homosexuality incompatible with libertarianism? Of course not. The very idea is atrocious. The only thing incompatible with libertarianism is the initiation, or the threat thereof, of violence against innocent people or their property. If a gay person does this, he is acting incompatibly with libertarianism, he is a criminal, but not because he is a homosexual; it is because he would then be violating the libertarian non-aggression principle.

I march in Gay Pride parades. I do race walking. I regularly enter 5k races put on by Gay Pride organizations.

Best regards,



2:39 am on February 15, 2019

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Driverless Cars

From: N

Sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 8:47 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Driverless Cars

Dear Mr. Block,

The most recent the National Motorist Association newsletter was almost entirely devoted to the “problems” of driverless cars. “What happens when an accident occurs, who will be held liable? The occupant? The manufacturer? The software designer?” they inquire. They offer several opinions, but none seem correct to me.

I was hoping you might cut to the heart of this issue for me. Please keep up the good work, and consider email encryption!

Kind Regards,


Dear Nemo:

I have no idea as to how the courts will handle this situation. But, if we privatized the roads, as advocated in this book of mine:

Block, Walter E. 2009. The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors; Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; http://www.amazon.com/Privatization-Roads-And-Highways-Factors/dp/1279887303/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336605800&sr=1-1; available for free here:http://mises.org/books/roads_web.pdfhttp://mises.org/daily/3416http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/radical_privatization.pdf; audio: http://store.mises.org/Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook-P11005.aspxhttp://www.audible.com/pd/Business/The-Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook/B0167IT18K?tag=misesinsti-20http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=bf16b152ccc444bdbbcc229e4&id=6cbc90577b&e=54244ea97d

Then, it would be the owners of the streets and highways who would decide these issues. They would decide them, presumably, so as to maximize their profits; e.g., to best satisfy their customers’ concern for safety, convenience, etc.

Best regards,


If it moves, privatize it; if it doesn’t move, privatize it. Since everything either moves or doesn’t move, privatize everything.


3:58 pm on February 14, 2019

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