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From: B
Sent: Mon 6/26/2017 1:33 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: re. a question

I’d like to get a handle on the issue of health care, focusing on both our current system and a possible free-market replacement. Under this broad heading, I’d like to better understand our current (guild) medical system, our so-called insurance system, and the roles played by government. I’d be thankful for any reading suggestions you might have. B

Dear B: See below.

Dear Everyone Else:

If you have suggestions for additions to my list, please send them to me. I’d like to compile a more complete reading list on socialized medicine, and its very opposite, the free enterprise position.

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; Salerno, 2016; Terrell, 2003.

Block, Walter. 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

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


1:57 pm on June 26, 2017

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Libertarianism: The Third Way

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I just got an over the transom message from the US Constitution Project, an organization sponsoring a debate between constitionalists and progressives.

Here is my response to them: I’m a fan of political debates, so I support your efforts. However, in my view, there are not only two viewpoints, left and right, or progressives (liberals) and conservatives (constitutionalists). There is also a third view, equidistant from both: libertarianism. Why not include us, too?


1:30 pm on June 26, 2017

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Below is a suggestion from my friend Dr. Michael Edelstein, to my ex high school buddy and former fellow track team member, Senator Bernie Sanders, that he and I have a debate. This is followed up with a (non) response from Team Bernie; not from the Man himself. Somehow, I not sure why I believe this, don’t ask me for my reasons, I don’t think this debate will occur.

A while back Bob Murphy challenged Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman to a debate, and raised pledges for something like $100,000, to be donated to Krugman’s favorite charity if he agreed to engage. You’ll never guess! No, that debate never took place either. I don’t think Bernie would debate me even if I borrowed a leaf from Bob in this regard (please don’t offer me any such pledges, but, if you want to write Bernie, see e mail address below, I won’t stop you). I wonder why these sorts of people are shy about public debates with Austro libertarians such as me and Bob??? It is probably because the socialism – capitalism debate has been settled, once and for all, with the former winning hands down. Do you think?

From Dr. Michael Edelstein
Dear Senator Sanders:
I urge you to debate Walter Block, your old Madison High School fellow track team member, and now one of the leaders of the libertarian movement.
His credentials:
Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, and senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He earned his PhD in economics at Columbia University in 1972. He has taught at Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook, Baruch CUNY, Holy Cross and the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of almost 500 refereed articles in professional journals, two dozen books, and thousands of op eds. He lectures widely on college campuses, delivers seminars around the world and appears regularly on television and radio shows. He is the Schlarbaum Laureate, Mises Institute, 2011; and has won the Loyola University Research Award (2005, 2008) and the Mises Institute’s Rothbard Medal of Freedom, 2005; and the Dux Academicus award, Loyola University, 2007.

Prof. Block counts among his friends Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard. He was converted to libertarianism by Ayn Rand. Block is old enough to have once met Ludwig von Mises, and shaken his hand. Block has never washed that hand since. So, if you shake his hand (it’s pretty dirty, but what the heck) you channel Mises.

Block is a leading Austrian School economist and an international leader of the freedom movement. His earliest work Defending the Undefendable (first edition Fleet 1976, latest edition Mises 2008, translated in 12 languages) is now, more than 30 years later, still regarded as a classic of libertarianism. This collection of essays, which argues in behalf of societal villains as economic scapegoats based on the principles of nonaggression, forces its reader to think and to rethink his initial knee-jerk emotional responses, and to gain a new and far sounder appreciation of economic theory and of the virtues and operations of the free market economy. Block’s writing was inspired by Henry Hazlitt, the author of the most widely read economics text Economics in One Lesson. Block’s latest book is: Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty.

Block has been a fixture in the libertarian movement for some four Decades. He actually met Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, and was friends with, and mentored by, Murray Rothbard. His contributions to academic libertarianism and to Austrian economics have been prodigious. Block’s writings continue to challenge the conventional wisdom (or ignorance) of how economics works and will retain its freshness for decades to come. His public speaking style has been described as a combination of that of Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce and Murray Rothbard

Dr. Block has written over 500 articles for peer reviewed refereed journals, some two dozen books, and literally thousands of op eds for magazines and newspapers. Block appears widely on radio and television. He is a contributor to such scholarly journals as The Review of Austrian Economics, Journal of Libertarian Studies, The Journal of Labor Economics, and the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is currently Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business Administration, at Loyola University New Orleans.
Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)

Possible topics:
Economics, environment (species extinction, global warming, running out of resources, pollution, environmental racism, garbage removal); labor economics (minimum wage, unemployment, unions, racial and sexual discrimination; glass ceiling, male-female wage and income gap); libertarianism; free enterprise; foreign policy; drug legalization; markets in used body parts; free trade; domestic welfare, international welfare (foreign aid); housing (rent control, urban planning, zoning, public housing); socialism; capitalism; egalitarianism; gun control; punishment theory, death penalty; privatization (roads, oceans, parks, libraries, schools); gay marriage; immigration; private property rights; monopoly and anti trust; abortion (pro choice, pro life, evictionism); Friedrich Hayek; Milton Friedman; Adam Smith; Ron Paul (I wrote an entire book about him); Ayn Rand; Ludwig von Mises; tough libertarian questions, challenges; my life as a libertarian; my life as an Austrian economist, an Austro- libertarian analysis of: pretty much anything; fractional reserve versus 100% reserve banking; gun control. Money, the fed, banking, the gold standard, Austrian business cycle theory. Why libertarians, and everyone else, should have voted for Trump/ Gary Johnson in, the election of November 2016

Thank you for considering the invitation.

Warm regards, Michael

Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
415-673-2848 (24/7)

Author of Three Minute Therapy
Features help for anxiety, depression,
relationships, panic attacks and addiction

Bernie’s “reply”:

Begin forwarded message:

From: BernieSanders.com
Subject: Re: Request
Date: June 18, 2017 at 4:37:07 PM PDT
To: Michael Edelstein


Thank you for your email! This mailbox is receiving a high volume of messages at this time and it is difficult for us to reply to every single one.

If you have not already done so, please visit our website www.berniesanders.com for more information on Bernie Sanders’ activities and priorities. There is also an interactive map that can help you locate events in your area. If you would like to unsubscribe from the mailing list, click here.

If you would like to make a contribution, you can send a check to the address below or you can donate online here. If you need help with a contribution you made online, visit ActBlue’s Donor FAQs page. You can also contact ActBlue directly by emailing them here, or give them a call at (617) 517-7600.
We hope that helps, and we thank you for your continued support!

Friends of Bernie Sanders
PO Box 391
Burlington, VT 05402




2:05 pm on June 25, 2017

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From: N
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:34 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Investing and Capital Allocation
Being a discerning investor when it comes to IPOs obviously helps the economy by enabling businesses which meet the needs and wants of consumers to gain the capital resources they need in appropriate quantities reflected by the price they get in the market for their stock. However, after a stock or bond is issued there is money to be made as an investor buy either buying underpriced assets or shorting overpriced ones. How does this activity benefit the greater economy or is it just one investor fighting for profits with another, using up resources in the process?

Dear N: Prices are to the economy as are street signs to the urban geography. Imagine that both were removed from the entire world one evening, when everyone was asleep. Millions of people would die, a few from the lack of street signs, most from the lack of prices. The latter (well, the former too) would have to be rediscovered, and, during this process, chaos would ensue. How does buying, selling, shorting, lending, borrowing, all market transactions, help us all? It moves prices, interest rates, closer to where they “should” be, based upon human desires, resource reality, information, etc. In the book “Bonfire of the Vanities” a broker was unable to tell his child the benefits of his job. They are mentioned above. Prices, accurate prices, are the difference between life and death. They enable us to rationally plan; they give us vital information. Brokers do their bit to ensure their accuracy.

The post Accurate Prices Are Crucially Important appeared first on LewRockwell.

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From: C
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 10:19 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Involuntary Commitments blog on Lewrockwell
Professor Block, I wanted to thank you for your recent post on lewrockwell about Involuntary Commitments (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/involuntary-commitments/). Yours is the first post that I’ve seen in all these years that addresses what I’ve seen as a real weakness in the libertarian community. I’ve had enough interactions with people to know that many people need help to pull themselves up. Whether it’s because of mental illness, trauma’s suffered, circumstance, an unlucky turn, you name it, life isn’t easy. Life is hard and some people get crushed underneath it. I suppose I’ve reached a point where the further away the government we’re talking about the more strict libertarian I am, but the closer to home we’re talking about the more pragmatic I become. Welfare at the federal level versus the local city or town level are two completely different things. I’ve seen too many people beaten down by the government school system, or the drug war, or poverty, or abuse, (and yes, as you mention much of this would be alleviated by a more libertarian system) that if some of my local tax dollars goes to fund a local abused woman’s shelter, or a local foodbank for the homeless, or a reading program at the local library to help children, yeah, I can get behind that. I think that where Libertarians shine brightly is in understanding the big picture, the core principles that drive big problems. But sometimes I also think that after years (or decades) of seeing all the horrible things that government has done, it becomes easy for libertarians to stick their nose up at the world (and the people suffering in it) and subtly confuse their deep understanding of what ails the country with genuine compassion. Your comments were the first I’ve seen that broaches this topic. Sincerely, the 80% Libertarian. C

Dear C: Without government, the poor would be much better off. The state takes half the GDP and wastes most of it. They use a lot of their “share” of our production to regulate us, and make us even less efficient. Even so, charitable giving is generous. Without the statists, it would be much higher. I don’t think we need fear for the plight of the helpless in the free society. Nor am I a big fan of federalism; let the cities and states solve problems, not the federal government. The state is the state is the state; it is evil at any and all levels. Yes, other things equal, we libertarians expect better from local than central governments, but this is not always the case. President Reagan once threatened NYC with dire consequences for their local rent control ordinances. I favored him over them in that episode. Hopefully, this experience will now raise you to 81% libertarian, or more.

Readings. On federalism: Block, Walter E. and Stephan Kinsella. 5/24/05. “Federalism.”

On charity, poverty:

Anderson, G., 1987; Anderson M., 1978; Beito, 2000; Block, 2001, 2011; Brown, 1987; Delery and Block, 2006; Elder, 2016; Hazlitt, 1969; Higgs, 1995; Knight, Simpson and Block, 2015; LaBletta and Block, 1999; Moscatello, McAndrews and Block, 2015; Murray, 1984, 2006; Niskanen, 2006; Olasky, 1992; Piven and Cloward, 1993; Richman, 2001; Rothbard, 1996, 1998; Sowell, 2014; Tucker, 1984; Williams, 2014. For a critique of Murray, 2006, see Gordon, 2006.

Anderson, Gary M. 1987. “Welfare Programs in the Rent Seeking Society,” Southern Economic Journal, 54: 377-386

Anderson, Martin. 1978. Welfare: The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States, Stanford: Hoover Institution

Beito, David. 2000. From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State. Chapel Hill, NC: University
of North Carolina Press.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Transfers in Kind: Why They Can be Efficient and Nonpaternalistic – Comment,” International Journal of Value-Based Management, pp. 191-199; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/transfers_in_kind.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Toward a libertarian theory of charitable donations.”
Economics, Management, and Financial Markets. Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 9-28; http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/abstracts/economics-management-and-financial-markets/volume-64-2011/toward-a-libertarian-theory-of-charitable-donations-to-criminals-governments.html; http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,103/id,23/view,category/#catid143

Brown, Arnold. 1987. “The Shadow Side of Affluence: The Welfare System and the Welfare of the Needy,” Fraser Forum, October.

Delery, Jeanette and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Corporate Welfare,” Markets and Morality; Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall, pp. 337-346; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/new/index.php?mm_id=6; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/new/article.php?article=37; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/pdf/9277645.pdf

Elder, Larry. 2016. “Black fathers matter.” June 13;

Gordon, David. 2006. “A Man, A Plan, A Flop.” Mises Daily. April 24;
http://mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=296; http://mises.org/daily/2118

Hazlitt, Henry. 1969. Man vs. the Welfare State. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House.

Higgs, Robert. 1995. “The Myth of ‘Failed’ Policies.” The Free Market. June. Vol. 13, No. 6. http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=239&sortorder=articledate

Knight, Victoria*, David Simpson*, and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Welfare: The Negative Societal Effects.” Acta Economica et Turistica. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 77-93;; http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=toc&id_broj=12165; http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=221911

LaBletta, Nicole and Walter E. Block. 1999. “The Restoration of the American Dream: A Case for Abolishing Welfare,” Humanomics, Vol. 15, No 4, pp. 55-65

Moscatello, Rick, Megan McAndrews* and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Satisfied with Poverty: An Argument for Ending Welfare.” Journal of Leadership and Management; Vol. 3, No. 5, http://leadership.net.pl/index.php/JLM/article/view/75; reprinted in Leadership and Management: Emerging, Contemporary, and Unorthodox Perspectives, Szpaderski, Adam and Christopher P. Neck, editors

Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing Ground: American Social Policy from 1950 to 1980, New York: Basic Books

Murray, Charles. 2006. In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press

Niskanen, William. 2006. ‘Build a Wall around the Welfare State, Not around the Country,’ Cato Policy Report. September/October;

Olasky, Marvin. 1992. The Tragedy of American Compassion, Chicago: Regnery Gateway.

Piven, Frances Fox and Richard Cloward. 1993. Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare, New York City, NY: Vintage.

Richman, Sheldon. 2001. Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State. Future of Freedom Foundation

Rothbard, Murray N. 1996. “Origins of the Welfare State in America,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall, pp. 193-230

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. “Welfare and the Welfare State.” In The Ethics of Liberty, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, pp. 160-193; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Sowell, Thomas.2014. “Welfare does not work.” http://www.targetliberty.com/2014/11/thomas-sowell-welfare-does-not-work.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Tucker, William. 1984. “Black Family Agonistes,” The American Spectator, July, pp. 14-17.

Williams, Walter E. 2014. “Black People Duped.” March 4;

Walter Williams documentary: http://www.suffernofoolsfilm.com/preview.php


1:11 pm on June 11, 2017

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Henry George Was Weak on Economics And Is An Example of the Rothbard Rule

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From: I
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2017 12:27 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Some Georgist Arguments
Dear Mr. Block: I know why economic redistribution with the single tax and the abolition of all rents does not work. However, I cannot see why the basic georgist argument that the increase in economic prosperity would necessitate an increase in land value cancelling out that economic gain in large part is wrong. This is of course immoral if we take a perspective that is in accordance to libertarian ethics, but how would ceasing to take gains that are explicitly from land ownership (the profit from land speculation that is more than the cost of seeking and selling land, the value added by the land value to production, etc) not increase economic efficiency? This has been a hard question for me to resolve, and I would be immensely grateful if I could get a proper answer.

First, what is the Rothbard Rule? It is that non adherents of the full free enterprise philosophy tend to specialize in what they are worst in. Fellow traveling critics of anarcho-capitalism such as Henry George were pretty good on almost every aspect of political economy, except for a single tax on land. And, what did George specialize in? A single tax on land. Milton Friedman is yet another example. He was sound as a bell on minimum wages, rent control, occupational licensure (heroically, even for doctors!), full free trade, but what did he spend most of his time and effort on? Money and school vouchers, where he was awful.

As to Georgeism, read this material:

Rothbard, Murray N. 1997. “The single tax: economic and moral implications” and “A reply to Georgist criticisms,” Logic of Action One: Applications and Criticisms from the Austrian School. London: Elgar, pp. 294-310; http://mises.org/rothbard/georgism.pdf; https://mises.org/library/single-tax-economic-and-moral-implications

September 8, 2014. Walter E. Block Debate on Henry George’s 100% tax on land with Fred Foldvary. Daniel Rothschild [mailto: daniel.y.rothschild@gmail.com], moderator. fred.foldvary@sjsu.edu; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir9471FNsh0


12:57 pm on June 9, 2017

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From: N
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 11:34 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: quick note re: “On the Benefits of Proper Intellectual Debate”
Dear Dr. Block- I just wanted to write you a brief note of support in encouraging libertarians to “never take umbrage at authors of objections to their views who do so in a polite manner”. I posted a similar comment on a prominent libertarian website last year, hoping that as libertarians we could give each other the benefit of the doubt and latitude in debate, keeping things respectful/polite especially in regard to other libertarians, so that debate is constructive.

It seems there is a tendency at times for some people to “name call” other libertarians that have differing views and my belief is that this labeling interferes with legitimate debate at times. For example, if I suggest a self identified libertarian is a communist for example(and he might be!), and he takes offense, will he actually ever understand my argument as to why I might label him such? It’s a difficult area with shades of gray(to me)- but rarely, when I label someone(or name call) in the course of debate, does it ever seem to result in a positive exchange or changed minds. So let me second your call to polite debate and it’s efficacy! (and let the debate begin on the distinction between labeling and name calling begin and when it’s appropriate to do either!) I can’t thank you enough for the massive contributions you’ve made to libertarianism in general, even though I disagree with small percentage of your viewpoints in certain areas. I still consider you a “brother in arms”. Best, N

Dear N: How DARE you disagree with me on a “small percentage of (my) viewpoints.” Don’t you realize I’m Jewish, and that thus any disagreement with me constitutes anti-Semitism, of which there is no worse sin?

On a more serious note, thanks for your lovely letter. I am delighted with your support. We cannot underestimate the importance of civil disagreement among Austro-libertarians, and, even, between us and our intellectual enemies, both of the left and of the right.

Here is yet one more example of a debate in which I partook. In rereading this, I wish I had been more civil. Ah, well, we all err; the first drafts of my contributions were even worse in this regard:

Block, 1977, 1995, 2000; Demsetz, 1979, 1997

1. Block, Walter E. 1977. “Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 2, 1977, pp. 111-115; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/1_2/1_2_4.pdf; Translation: “Coase y Demsetz sobre el derecho de propiedad privada,” Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp.5-20

2. Demsetz, Harold. 1979. “Ethics and Efficiency in Property Rights Systems,” in Time, Uncertainty and Disequilibrium: Explorations of Austrian Themes, Mario Rizzo, ed., Lexington Mass.: D.C. Heath and Co; http://mises.org/Books/timeuncertainty.pdf (see chapter 5)

3. Block, Walter E. 1995. “Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to Demsetz,” Review of Austrian Economics, 8 (2): 61-125, http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae8_2_4.pdf; Translation: “Ética, eficiencia, derechos de propiedad Coasianos e ingreso psíquico: una respuesta a Demsetz,” Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp. 71-210

4. Demsetz, Harold. 1997. “Block’s Erroneous Interpretations,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 101-109; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae10_2_6.pdf; Las interpretaciones erróneas de Block

5. Block, Walter E. 2000. “Private Property Rights, Erroneous Interpretations, Morality and Economics: Reply to Demsetz,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, pp. 63-78; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae3_1_8.pdf; translation: “Derecho de propiedad privada, interpretaciones erróneas, moralidad y economía: en respuesta a Demsetz,” Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp. 227-264

Wait. Here’s one where even now I think I was very polite:

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

The post Proper Intellectual Debate appeared first on LewRockwell.

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I recently gave several lectures in Denmark. Here is one of them I presented at CEPOS, that country’s pre-eminent free market think tank:


I spoke for about 45 minutes and then did a very interesting Q&A with the Danes for about the same amount of time

The post Lecture in Copenhagen on the Moral Case for Free Enterprise appeared first on LewRockwell.

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In a stateless society, how would involuntary commitments be dealt with in situations where an individual is genuinely suffering from a severe mental health crisis?

I think there is too much of a tendency on the part of many libertarians to think that under anarcho-capitalism, all would be radically different than at present. In my view, much would be the same, of course apart from taxes, wars, regulations, and other such issues. But, the garbage would still have to be collected, the trains might not all run exactly on time, there would still be problems with airline overbooking, etc. Our friends the Marxists believe in “socialist man” who will be unlike anyone we now know. But, libertarians, at least sensible ones, do not maintain this. Rather, there will still be criminals, and jails will be needed to keep them out of circulation. Some will be lazy and shiftless. Others, through no fault of their own, will be poverty stricken. We will of course all, on average, be richer under a regime of economic freedom, but, still, the rising tide will not raise all boats.

Also, there will be children without parents, the mentally ill, senile people. In my view, such challenges will be handled roughly as they are today. Yes, courts will have to give their imprimatur for involuntary commitments, and they will be private, not public, but, surely, there will be such needy people even in the free society (probably fewer of them than at present, mainly because government creates all sorts of problems, and takes away half the GDP some of which might well be used to address them, but that is a different issue.) These private courts will have to be make decisions about such helpless souls, and some of them, presumably, will include involuntary commitments. Errors, too, will be made; this cannot be helped. It is part of the human condition, at least on this side of the Garden of Eden. Involuntary commitment is only a violation of rights when employed against people in their right minds. But this cannot reasonably be said about orphan babies, mentally ill people, the senile.

The post Involuntary Commitments appeared first on LewRockwell.

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From: J
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2017 10:37 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Libertarianism and Catholicism
Dear Professor Block; I have been meaning to write you a note to your discussion about abortion. Your recent LRC blog post about having amiable disagreements with other libertarians propelled me to write. I have been reading the links you sent me about your views on abortion and evictionism with great interest. And many of my questions about this issue have been asked/answered/countered by an exchange between you and Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski. I could add nothing of substance to that debate but I just wanted to let you know what a joy it is to be able to discover the full range of opinion that exists in the libertarian universe. What a resource of online archives you have provided for those seeking to fully encage libertarian ideas. The biggest revelation to me is that libertarianism is truly a big tent political philosophy covered by one single precept: the NAP. How liberating it is to discover that I mustn’t rely on the prescribed opinions of Reason magazine or the Libertarian Party (whatever those opinions may be) to define what libertarianism means. I hope you will excuse this MASH note from me but I know that I am speaking for multitudes of others out here in the internet ether-sphere who are being exposed to the full range of libertarian ideas for the first time. I just wanted to send you a belated thank you for your continuing contributions to this movement. Best; J

Dear J: Yes, there is absolutely no reason why libertarians, even those who do not agree on 99% of all other issues, should not have a cordial disagreement in the literature, or, in a personal debate. And, there are important reasons for doing exactly that. How else can we improve Austrian economics and libertarian theory? You mention the argument I had with Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski on evictionism. That is certainly one case in point. Another is my argument with Gary North on the propriety, prudence and utility of, and justification for, Austro-libertarians going to grad school and getting a Ph.D. degree. I remain very good friends with both of them. That should be the model of amiable discourse for all of us, I contend.

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010A. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/16-wisniewski-block-on-abortion/

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Block’s Defense of Evictionism.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 2, Art No. 27; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-37.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2011. “Response to Block on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-6;
http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/6-winiewski-response-to-block-on-abortion-round-three/; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-6.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2013. “Abortion, Libertarianism and Evictionism: A Last Word.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 153-162; http://libertarianpapers.org/2013/6-wisniewski-abortion-libertarianism-and-evictionism/

Block, Walter E. 2010C. “Rejoinder to Wisniewski on Abortion.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 32, No. 2; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/32-block-rejoinder-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-32.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Two.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 3, Article No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/4-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion-round-two/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-6; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/37-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/

Block, Walter E. 2014D. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Four.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-14;

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/

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