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From: J
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2018 10:22 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Austro-libertarian perspective on disclosure

Good Evening Dr. Block, My name is J and I am a new Austro-libertarian attempting to flesh out the consequences of Austro-libertarian principles. The non-aggression principle, respect for and enforcement of property rights, and voluntary engagement in contracts form the basis for a more peaceful society. I’ve recently seen videos in which you lay out logical consequences of these principles, and these arguments have added a lot to my understanding of Austro-libertarian theory. Specifically, your explanations that the strict definition of property rights trumps voluntary contractual agreements to result in the moral invalidation of fractional reserve banking, the no-win situation that companies are put in with the existence of anti-trust law, and your pushing the limits of possibilities of privatization of any and all sectors of society have opened my eyes to the breadth of Austro-libertarian thought. So before proceeding any further, I’d like to thank you for helping me in my own journey to see just how profound and sweeping these ideas and their logical consequences are. In that vein, I’ve been trying to explore how Austro-libertarian thought would apply to some of the particulars of voluntary contracts. Specifically, I’ve been hung up on what burden, if any, is on the seller of a good/service in a voluntary transaction to disclose information about the good/service to the seller. Would a used car salesman be obligated in any way to inform a potential buyer that the he/she suspects/knows a specific car part will catastrophically fail shortly after the purchase? Is it the fully the responsibility of the buyer to inform himself or herself of the condition of the good/service, and is there a reciprocal responsibility of the seller to grant access for the buyer to inspect the good/service in order to absolve the seller of responsibility? Does a ‘buyer agrees to buy the good/service as is’ clause in the contract fully absolve the seller of liability in all cases? All of this assumes that the seller does not outright lie to the buyer, as this could be construed as breach of any agreed upon contract. Again, I’m appreciative of your contributions to Austro-libertarian thought, and I feel lucky to have stumbled upon videos of you illuminating these topics. Any response to my questions of disclosure and contract particulars would be greatly appreciated as well. I wish you well in your continued spreading and strengthening understanding of Austro-libertarian ideas. Sincerely, J

Dear J: This is a difficult challenge you present. But, it is a normative not a positive one; therefore, it pertains solely to libertarian, not Austrian, theory.

In my view, the doctrine of caveat emptor, buyer beware, is the best response. Yes, an outright lie would indeed be fraud. But, if the seller says to all customer queries: “No comment. This is an ‘as is’ sale. I make no claims about the product.” Then, I don’t think he should be held responsible for any flaws in the product. On the other hand, if he purposefully places a time bomb in the product, ready to go off 24 hours later, then, he is in effect not only to be held liable, but, also, to be considered a murderer. I think there is an implicit contract in all sales that would preclude that sort of behavior. So, I’m a “moderate” on this question. I’m not a total supporter of caveat emptor. I make an exception for that sort of thing. It’s not for nothing that I am known far and wide, at least in my own mind, as Walter Moderate Block.

See on this:


And also this:

Block, Walter E. 1988. “Caveat Emptor,” The Freeman Ideas on Liberty, May, pp. 180-181, https://fee.org/media/16328/1988-05.pdf


8:12 pm on May 6, 2018

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My libel lawsuit against the NYTimes will soon be heard in court. They wrote that I thought “slavery was not so bad.” What I said to them was, roughly, “slavery was not so bad, if it was voluntary, if no one was forced to be a slave.” They didn’t entirely leave out the latter part, but stuck it several paragraphs away from this accusation of theirs against me, such that many people concluded that yes, indeed, I did not think slavery was all that bad.

But the reality was that I was just trying to explain to the NYTimes interviewer WHY slavery is an abomination: it wasn’t due to picking cotton or eating gruel or living in a shack. Rather, it was because of the compulsory nature of this institution. In my view, actual slavery was so horrendous that actual reparations to the grandchildren of slaves is justified. For evidence of these claims, see below.

The lower court dismissed my case with prejudice, which meant that I would have to pay the legal bills of the NYTimes for in effect bringing a frivolous lawsuit. Happily, the higher court overturned this decision. One of those judges opined that the NYTimes did to me what a journalist would do if he quoted Churchill as saying “Democracy is the worst system of them all” and left out his qualifier: “except for all the other systems.” Yes, this hypothetical “journalist” would have used Churchill’s exact words, as did the NYTimes use mine, but when you leave out the qualifier, you change the meaning of the statement by 180 degrees.

How can you people help me?

For my lawsuit, I need to establish damages, personal, financial or of any other type or variety. It is difficult to establish such a negative. Can you please help me? If you are a Loyola student who will not take my courses, or even talk to me because you think, due directly or indirectly to this NYTimes story, that I favor slavery, please get in touch with me and say so, in your own words. If you are a faculty colleague of mine who for this reason will have nothing to do with me, will not have lunch with me, will not engage in a public dialogue with me, will not talk to me, please let me know. If you would have invited me to your campus or think tank or institution to give a speech (paid or unpaid), or hired me as an expert witness, or in any other way associated with me, but did not do so due directly or indirectly to this NYTimes story, please notify me of this fact. If you know of anyone else who fits any of these categories, if you feel comfortable about it, give me their names, phone numbers and e mail addresses. If you do not feel comfortable about doing that, just tell me how many such people you know of, and categorize them: are they students at Loyola? Students elsewhere who will not enroll at Loyola because I am on the faculty? Are they faculty members at Loyola? Located elsewhere? Are they people who would have invited me to give a public speech, serve as an expert witness, etc?

1. The NYTimes article; I link to it here:

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Reply to the Scurrilous, Libelous, Venomous, Scandalous New York Times Smear Campaign.” January 30; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/01/walter-e-block/scurrilous-libelous-venomous/;

2. My support for reparations:

Block, Walter E. 2002. “On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery,” Human Rights Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, July-September, pp. 53-73;
http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/reparations_slavery.pdf; https://link.springer.com/journal/12142/3/4/page/1; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12142-002-1003-4

3. Fr. Wildes’ SJ view of this matter (he is the president of Loyola University)

Wildes, Kevin. 2014. “Letter: Walter Block has made too many assumptions and contradictions.” February 6; http://www.loyolamaroon.com/108039/opinions/letter-walter-block-has-made-too-many-assumptions-and-contradictions/


8:49 pm on May 5, 2018

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Open Letter to Ph.D. Economists on Tariffs, Part II

I fear I mislead everyone with this blog posting of mine, calling for economists to sign on to my open letter in opposition to protectionism: https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/open-letter-to-ph-d-economists-on-tariffs/. I apologize for this error of mine.

I thank Steve Horwitz for alerting me to the fact that Bryan Riley, Director of the NTU Free Trade Initiative, has already done magnificent work in this regard. I am hence ceasing all of my efforts to in effect replicate what he has done, and ask that everyone sign up for his initiative. I have already done so. Here is more information on that:

Next week we are delivering a letter on trade policy from more than 1,000 economists, including 15 Nobel laureates, to President Trump and Congress. This effort was inspired by a letter in opposition to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that was signed by 1,028 economists.

Economists may use this link to review the letter and submit your signature. I can also be emailed if the link does not work.

A detailed history of the 1930 letter that inspired this effort is available at Smoot-Hawley letter

If you have any questions, please contact briley@ntu.org. Cell 316-269-5027

Thank you for your time.

Bryan Riley
Director, NTU Free Trade Initiative


In 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Today, Americans face a host of new protectionist activity, including threats to withdraw from trade agreements, misguided calls for new tariffs in response to trade imbalances, and the imposition of tariffs on washing machines, solar components, and even steel and aluminum used by U.S. manufacturers.
Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930. The undersigned American economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake. Much has changed since 1930 — for example, trade is now much more important to our economy — but the fundamental economic principles as explained at the time have not …
First Signers:
Alvin Roth, Stanford University
Richard H. Thaler, University of Chicago
Oliver D. Hart, Harvard University
Daron Acemoglu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Roger Myerson, University of Chicago
N. Gregory Mankiw, Harvard University
Avinash K. Dixit, Princeton University
James Heckman, University of Chicago
Gene Grossman, Princeton University
Robert C. Merton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Raymond Riezman, University of Iowa
James E. Anderson, Boston College
Donald J. Boudreaux, George Mason University
Robert Shiller, Yale University
Vernon Smith, Chapman University
J. Bradford Jensen, Georgetown University
Gary Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Robert E. Lucas, Jr., University of Chicago
Robert Engle, New York University
Eric Maskin, Harvard University
Gordon Hanson, UC San Diego
Eugene F. Fama, University of Chicago

Bryan Riley
NTU Free Trade Initiative
“America must be an unrelenting advocate of free trade.” Ronald Reagan
“I cannot picture Uncle Sam as a supine, white-livered, flabby-muscled old man, cooling his heels in the shade of our tariff walls.” Franklin Roosevelt


6:19 pm on April 29, 2018

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I am writing to you in behalf of a committee organizing an open letter to protest Mr. Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, in particular and his protectionist policies in general. The committee consists of me, Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans, Deirdre McCloskey, Emerita, University of Illinois at Chicago, Michael Munger, Duke University and Vernon Smith, Chapman University (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002).

1028 economists signed an open letter in opposition to the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, and it is our hope that we can mobilize more signatures than that to oppose President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum and general promotion of tariffs. We do not fool ourselves into thinking such a letter will cancel this administration’s protectionism any more than the anti Smoot-Hawley letter stopped that pernicious policy. Mr. Trump seems adamant regarding this disastrous policy of his. But, we do not know what else to do as members of our profession other than to put ourselves on the record that we, at least, disapprove of this interference with international trade. On the other hand, Bush reversed his mercantilist executive action in a year, and this time congress is making sounds of acting to limit Trump’s executive power. If we can’t change the world we at least make it plain that we won’t let it change us. So, please, consider signing on to the following open letter petition:

“The more radical of us favor a US unilateral declaration of free trade with all other nations, regardless of their own tariff and quota policies. This was the position favored by such luminaries as Milton Friedman. The less radical of our number support international trade agreements such as Nafta, Cafta, EU, WTO TPP and GATT as a means of trade liberalization. But all of us disapprove of Donald Trump’s present protectionist initiatives. We take note of the fact that one of the reasons for the economic success of the US is that it constitutes a gigantic internal free trade zone. What is obviously true for this large microeconomic example cannot be utterly false for the entire world.”

If you are willing to list your name alongside those of this committee, please respond, giving me your present academic affiliation and the date and place of your Ph.D. Please use this format: Walter E. Block Ph.D. Columbia University, 1972; Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans

Hopefully, we will amass more than 1028 names. The committee intends to publicize this letter and all signatories when in its view sufficient support is garnered. Please forward this letter to all eligible people you know and ask them to join me in this initiative.


2:56 pm on April 29, 2018

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Lying Versus Fraud

From: B
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2018 8:48 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: correction

I left out an important part of the definition of fraud: The intentionally making a false statement of fact with intent to deceive. A novelist deliberately makes false statements of fact with the intention of gaining something of value (book sales), but there is no fraud because there is no intent to deceive. The readers understand the novelist is telling an invented story for the purpose of entertainment.

Dear B: I now make a false statement with the intent to decieve you. My statement is: “2+2=5.” Ha! Were you fooled? However, this is not fraudulent. Fraud, for the libertarian, is limited to cases where theft takes place. That is a necessary, albeit not sufficient condition. I have not stolen anything from you by making this false statement, on the basis of which I purposefully attempted to deceive you.

However, I now sell you a bag of potatoes for $5 (I tell you there are potatoes in the bag), and it actually contains rocks, not potatoes, then I stole $5 from you. (Don’t tell the NYTimes I did this to you; they’ll label me as a theif, a fraudster). Fraud requires theft, and in the mathematical equation I sent you, above, I didn’t steal anything from you. So, I didn’t commit fraud. I just lied to you. (Hey, NYTimes, I didn’t really lie to him. I am not a liar here. I’m just employing a reductio ad absurdum.)


3:03 pm on April 28, 2018

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Is Religion Fraudulent? Yes and No.

From: N
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2018 10:59 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Religion and Fraud

There are some religions out there that tell people that if they convert, donate a lot of money, and then perform a special ritual, their cancer will be healed. Should this be regarded as fraud or protected as religious freedom? Second, if you regard it as fraud, why? I think the most common answer would be that it’s fraud because there is no evidence that the ritual and donation cure cancer. If you take that to its logical conclusion shouldn’t we regard many religions as fraudulent, as many say convert and pay me money and I’ll enable you to live forever. Now there is no evidence that religion enables people to live forever, so isn’t this fraud? It seems to me that we have to accept both conclusions or neither.

Dear N: As an atheist, I think all religion (which promise afterlives, heaven, hell, etc.) is fraudulent. That is, they offer false narratives. However, as a libertarian, my claim is no one should be found guilty of a crime without overwhelming evidence. That is, the burden of proof rests with the prosecutor, and he has no (and can have no) evidence that these religious claims are false.


12:15 pm on April 27, 2018

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—–Original Message—–
From: N
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 4:43 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Children’s rights vs. property rights

Dear Professor Block,

As I was listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in the car while running errands, I was reminded how much I owe my intellectual development regarding political philosophy and economics to you. Having absorbed hours of your teaching via youtube, as well as interviews and written commentary, I believe I even qualify as a “Blockhead”. As such I’ve taken your cue and made a contribution to the Mises Institute. And I hope to do it again!

…Given your willingness to confront controversial and even distasteful concepts head on, I pose the following: If under strict libertarian theory we own our bodies, AND we own the product of our labor, why would we not own our children?

I believe you have addressed this already (likely abundantly), so I thank you in advance for any citations regarding this problem.

Best regards, N

P.S. If you happen to run this question on the LRC blog will you kindly redact my name and email?

Dear N: Thanks for your exceedingly kind comment. Anything by Bach is magnificent, and his Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 almost makes me, a confirmed atheist, believe in God. Thanks for donating money to the Mises Institute. Were it not for them, you and I would not be having this conversation. Were it not for their Herculean efforts, liberty, and good (Austrian!) economics would be far less encouraged, studied, promoted and defended than at present. I run all interesting letters such as yours on the LRC blog anonymously.

You pose one of the most difficult challenges to libertarianism I have ever faced. Not to put too fine a point on it, I really don’t have an answer to this intractable question of yours. This is not for lack of trying, see below. There, I list the only three articles that have attempted to wrestle with this issue that I know of. If anyone knows of any other publications on this matter, please share them with me. Here goes:

Block, 2016; Kinsella, 2006; Steiner, 1994, pp. 242-248

Block, Walter E. 2016. “How we come to own ourselves.” Polish Academich Journal – Societas et Ius Version; Issue 5; http://apcz.umk.pl/czasopisma/index.php/SeI/issue/view/1107/showToc; http://apcz.umk.pl/czasopisma/index.php/SeI/article/view/SEI.2016.001;

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 2006. “How We Come to Own Ourselves.” September 7; http://www.mises.org/story/2291

Steiner, Hillel. 1994. An Essay on Rights. Oxford: Blackwell; https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2mi4-xFgT7NNWhEQWNhbXB6enc/view


8:20 pm on April 24, 2018

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From: m
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2018 8:39 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Gaus piece on Lewrockwell (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/my-unanswered-letter-to-prof-gerald-gaus/),

Dear Walter, Good piece written with your usual verve.


1) Rand cult? Indubitably. No Rothbard cult? Well…Of course, MR encouraged no “cult,” but I’m not so sure about what has happened posthumously. Some seem at least a little cultish with respect to Rothbard (e.g. taking him for a shrewd political guru when I can scarcely think of a winning candidate he backed) — but that may be the case for any such strong intellect and strong personality combined. He was a shrewd political guru even if he never backed a winning candidate? For example, he backed Ron Paul to the hilt for pres. Ron never became pres. Yet, Murray promoted liberty in this way. I regard that as shrewd.

<< A cultist is someone who encourages a cult. Murray, never, ever, not once, did anything of the sort (I’m evidence for this; he and I were always on good terms, despite the fact that I publicly criticized his views on more than one occasion; see below). Murray can’t help it if, during his life, and certainly not afterward, other people treated him as a cult figure. 2) Hayek, I think, is less of a pinko compromiser in The Road to Serfdom than a salesman, trying to “sell” as much of classical liberalism and free market economics as he could at the time and to his audience (cf. St. Paul, “all things to all men,” 1 Cor 9:22). Likewise, I think Hayek may be less a great economist than a great philosopher–one who explored lots of various ideas in daring and unexpected ways. Like his cousin, Wittgenstein, I think Hayek floated ideas that will be paying dividends for centuries to come. << Hayek tried to “sell” libertarianism by giving away the store. That’s pinkoism. Yes, he was daring and imaginative in philosophy, but that doesn’t undermine my claim that he was also a pinko. Nor was this uber compromising needed in order to “sell” liberty. There were plenty of very successful libertarian scholars writing at that time who did not compromise at all. Watering down the message of liberty in order to sell it is almost to commit fraud.

Block, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014; Barnett and Block, 2005, 2005-2006, 2006A, 2006B, 2007; Block, Barnett and Salerno, 2006; Block and Callahan, 2003; Block, Klein and Hansen, 2007; Block, Futerman and Farber, 2016; Futerman, Farber and Block, 2016.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, summer, pp. 167-186; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_4.pdf

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

Block, Walter E. 2007. “A Libertarian War in Afghanistan?” July 30; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block80.html

Block, Walter E. 2009. “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

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

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. 2014. August 5. Interview with Daniel Rothschild: a critique of fractional reserve banking and of Murray N. Rothbard’s analysis of Israeli land claims; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4A5hpzYb94.

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “Money: Capital Good, Consumers’ Good, or (Media of) Exchange Good?” Review of Austrian Economics. 18 (2): 179-194;
http://www.gmu.edu/rae/archives/VOL18_2_2005/4_Barnett.pdf; http://www.academia.edu/1359987/Money_Capital_Good_Consumers_Good_or_Media_of_Exchange_Good

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block. 2005-2006. “Mises, Rothbard and Salerno on Costs.” Corporate Ownership & Control, Winter, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 204-206

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block. 2006A “Rothbard on V shaped average and
total cost curves.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall, pp. 61-66; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae9_3_4.pdf

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2006B. “On Hayekian Triangles.” Procesos De Mercado: Revista Europea De Economia Politica; Vol. III, No. 2, Fall, pp. 39-141; http://tinyurl.com/2zkvj7; http://mises.org/journals/scholar/block18.pdf; http://www.academia.edu/1359916/On_Hayekian_Triangles

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Saving and Investment: A Praxeological Approach.” New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 129 – 138;
http://pcpe.libinst.cz/nppe/3_2/nppe3_2_1.pdf;; http://www.academia.edu/1359832/Saving_and_Investment_A_Praxeological_Approach
no future goods (fn 16)

Block, Walter E., William Barnett II and Joseph Salerno. 2006. “Relationship between wealth or income and time preference is empirical, not apodictic: critique of Rothbard and Hoppe,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 69-80; http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11138-006-6094-8; http://www.gmu.edu/rae/archives/VOL19_1_2006/4-Block_Barnett_Salerno.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Gene Callahan. 2003. “Is There A Right to Immigration? A Libertarian Perspective,” Human Rights Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, October-December, pp. 46-71;

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

Block, Walter E., Alan G. Futerman and Rafi Farber. 2016A. “A Libertarian Approach to the Legal Status of the State of Israel.” Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law. Vol. 3, Issue, 2, June, pp. 435-553; (a critique of Murray Rothbard)
https://thejewishlibertarian.com/tag/the-legal-status-of-the-state-of-israel/ https://thejewishlibertarian.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/israel-rothbard-defense.pdf https://thejewishlibertarian.com/israel-vs-rothbard/

Futerman, Alan, Rafi Farber and Walter E. Block. 2016B. “The Libertarian Case for Israel.” October 13; The Forward; http://forward.com/scribe/351957/tk-tk/;


6:54 pm on April 23, 2018

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Loyola Professor Attacks Austrian Economics

Dear Colleague:

I congratulate you for your interest and involvement in the betterment of our university in general and our college in particular.

However, I cannot agree with this statement of yours:

“Austrian Economics is not inline with Ignatian tradition. Fr. Wildes and entire Loyno ministry would attest to this.” Well, let me clarify that. I agree, fully, with the second part of your statement, not with the first, though.

Let me explain.

The School of Salamanca (https://www.google.com/search?q=school+of+salamanca&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab) was established in by Dominicans and Jesuits in the 16th century. It was very free enterprise oriented. For the Salamancans, the just price was the market price, the just rate of interest was the market rate of interest; government intervention into the economy was roundly condemned. The School of Salamanca is a precursor of the Austrian School of economics (https://www.google.com/search?q=School+of+Salamanca+is+a+precursor+of+the+Austrian+School+of+economics&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab). We Austrians write in the grand tradition of the Salamancans.

Thus, it is the Austrian School that is in accord with the Ignatian tradition, not “Fr. Wildes and entire Loyno ministry.” The modern Jesuits, with but a few honorable exceptions, have moved just about 180 degrees away from their historical roots. Thus, it is Fr. Wildes and entire Loyno ministry who are not in accord with the Ignatian tradition.

I therefore find this statement of yours to be problematic:

“Therefore, all of the intellectual contributions in the field of Austrian economics are not inline with Loyno CoB mission. Therefore, we should discourage Drs. Block, Barnett, Levendis and Krasnozhon to have intellectual contributions in the field of Austrian Economics. It is defined by the CoB faculty performance criteria (title 4 of the by-laws) that teaching is prioritized. Thus, we should encourage Drs. Block, Barnett, Levendis and Krasnozhon to publish in practical and pedagogical Economics field instead.”

I would say the very opposite is the case. The contributions of the four members of the economics department are indeed in accord with the Jesuit tradition (of its founding). It is rather Fr. Wildes and entire Loyno ministry, and pretty much the entire modern Jesuit community who take stances on political economy which are incompatible with the founding of the Jesuit tradition, the School of Salamanca.

However, I agree with you about the importance of publishing in education and “pedagogical Economics.” See below for some of my publications in that field.

I’m not sure what you mean by “practical economics,” please explain.

Have you published in pedagogy of your field? In its “practical” aspect? If so, please send me the relevant cites.

Barnett and Block, 2008; Block, 1991A, 1991B, 1991C, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014; Block and Cwik, 2007; Block and Dauterive, 2007; 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; 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. 2007. “My Case of and for Coauthoring,” Dialogue, pp. 93-116; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2007/3.07.WB.pdf; https://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; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) https://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.; 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

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;

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

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;

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/home; http://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

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;;
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/2dwelf;;

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.pdf; http://www.mises.org/story/2216; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/enterprising_education.pdf; http://www.mises.org/story/2216;
Block, Walter E. 1992. “Political Correctness, Free Speech and Economic Liberty,” Fraser Forum, March, p. 38.

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318
New Orleans, LA 70118
Skype: Walter.Block4
tel: (504) 864-7934


2:31 pm on April 22, 2018

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Laffer Curve and Austrians

From: Y
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:44 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Laffer Curve
Hi Professor Block, what is the Austrian Economics position on the laffer curve which is taken to illustrate there exists a taxation rate where revenue is maximized. Some mainstream economists claim the empirical evidence shows that tax rate is 33%. If we take it that only voluntary interactions tend toward pareto optimality from welfare economics is the laffer curve ignoring the utility derived from leisure. What other considerations is the laffer curve ignoring when it comes to taxes. Thanks

Dear Y: I don’t know about and Austrian position on the Laffer Curve. Corralling us is like herding cats. Here are my two publications on this subject. I hope and trust they will be of help to you.

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.pdf; http://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


5:03 pm on April 20, 2018

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