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Economics Is All Well And Good, But It Does Not Apply To People?

(E is a theologian)

From: E
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2019 7:58 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: response

Walter, Peace

Of course I agree with you that, other things being equal, the higher price, the less the sales.  Similarly, the higher the wage, the likelihood that fewer people will be hired.

There is, as you note, one hitch.  That hitch is people.

This is true of prices for goods.  I checked with my students about prices of toothpaste.  They have no idea whether any tube is better than another tube.  But they do know that the box is bright red and it promises “brighter teeth.”  So they buy it.

On the other hand, the problem of wages is people.

They need to eat.  They have dignity.

So, yes, absent people, the libertarian economy might be the way to go. E

Dear E:

You wouldn’t tell a chemist that, would you? That his chemical theories are all well and good, regarding chemicals, animals, vegetables, rocks, but not people, would you (poisons work on animals, not people)? Why pick on economics. We’re a science too. You wouldn’t tell a biologist that, would you? That his chemical theories are all well and good, regarding animals, but not people? You wouldn’t tell a physicist that, would you? That his physical theories are all well and good, regarding magnets, space, etc., but not people? That gravity won’t pull people down to earth, in addition to pulling down other non human objects?

Yes, some people are fooled by the red color of toothpaste wrapping, but I fail to see the relevance of that. Who would you rather hire to wash your car, do your laundry, repair your bicycle, A or B? Each is equally capable, equally productive, but A charges $50 per hour and B charges $5 per hour. QED. You might as well say theology applies to God, but not to people. If the minimum wage law puts people in jail for paying less than $5 per hour, then, all those with productivity less than that will be consigned to unemployment. . If the minimum wage law puts people in jail for paying less than $10 per hour, then, all those with productivity less than that will be consigned to unemployment.  If the minimum wage law puts people in jail for paying less than $15 per hour (the level favored by Bernie and other economic illiterates), then, all those with productivity less than that will be consigned to unemployment. Why do you want to consign ANYONE to unemployment?

I don’t understand you. You say: “the higher the wage, the likelihood that fewer people will be hired.” But only PEOPLE get wages. You admit fewer people will be hired the higher the law compels employers to pay. Why are you against people, that is PEOPLE, working for an honest living?

Walter

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2:01 am on July 1, 2019

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Under Libertarian Law, Can You Own The Value of Your Home?

From: C

Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2019 8:19 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Property values and altering your own property

Dr. Block,

This may seem a bit silly, but I would love to get your opinion on this. In the thread that I linked, this person is saying that painting your own house pink is a violation of the NAP- because it negatively affects the neighbor’s property value.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Anarcho_Capitalism/comments/axsihn/good_for_him/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]

Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2019 8:39 PM

To: C

Subject: RE: Property values and altering your own property

Dear C:

That person is wrong. I suggest that he read this:

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann and Walter E. Block. 2002. “Property and Exploitation,” International Journal of Value-Based Management, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 225-236; http://www.mises.org/etexts/propertyexploitation.pdf

Best regards,

Walter

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2:17 am on June 29, 2019

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Reason Foundation Does Not Pass the Ron Paul Litmus Test

From: S
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2019 11:30 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Ron Paul vs. Reason

Dr. Block,

Referencing the phrase “I regard a person’s view of Ron Paul as a litmus test for libertarianism. Reason has not passed the test”, how has Reason failed this criteria? If you could be so kind as to share this with me, it would be greatly appreciated. Have been a devoted follower of lewrockwell.com since the year 2000 and Ron Paul since the 2008 election and am intrigued by this litmus test (you might have expounded on it previously and I missed it). Have never been a big fan of Reason’s website, doesn’t begin to intrigue regarding the political landscape (and other types of issues) the way lewrockwell.com does, not even close. Thank you for your  tireless efforts regarding the advancement of Austro-libertarianism (Rothbard Libertarianism, Ron Paul Libertarianism – hopefully one of these covers your economic and philosophical discipline), it is greatly appreciated.

Scott Key

Dear S:

You are entirely correct. In this note of mine

A Debate Between Walter E. Block and Adrian Moore, Vice President of the Reason Foundation, on Marijuana-Impaired Driving https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/a-debate-between-walter-e-block-and-adrian-moore-vice-president-of-the-reason-foundation-on-marijuana-impaired-driving-and-for-the-soul-of-libertarianism/

I did indeed take Reason to task for failing my “Ron Paul litmus test.” How so?

It was due to an interview that Katherine Mangu-Ward did on Ron, during his campaign for president:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Katherine+Mangu-Ward+interview+Ron+Paul&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS724US724&oq=Katherine+Mangu-Ward+interview+Ron+Paul&aqs=chrome..69i57.7701j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?309657-Even-Reason-s-Katherine-Mangu-Ward-is-drinking-the-quot-ron-paul-can-t-win-quot-kool-aid

To say the least, she was very negative about my man Ron; she showed no admiration, deference, esteem for him. I asked Brian Doherty, also of Reason, why she was not fired immediately. His response was that Reason allows a variety of opinions on the part of its spokesmen. Suppose an employee of the Mises Institute were to trash Ron Paul like she did. The very idea is inconceivable. Such a person would never have been hired in the first place by this organization. And, while I cannot of course speak for the MI, if such a person were, somehow, mistakenly hired by that organization, he would have been summarily let go.

This is not because the MI does not also allow a variety of opinions.  I do not agree with Ron on 100% of all issues; I disagree with him, for instance, on abortion. He is pro-life, I am an evictionist. But, whenever I part company from him, I do so in the most respectful, complimentary, courteous way I can, because I recognize him for what he is: one of the most important, profound, and significant leaders of the libertarian movement. The same could not at all be said for Katherine Mangu-Ward.

That is why Reason does not pass the Ron Paul litmus test.

Best regards,

Walter

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1:37 am on June 28, 2019

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Here Is One of My Best Scholarly Papers, Ever

I have published roughly 600 papers in refereed journals. This is one of my very, very best:

Levendis, John, Walter E. Block and Robert B. Eckhardt.  2019. “Evolutionary psychology, economic freedom, trade and benevolence.” Review of Economic Perspectives – Národohospodářský obzor; Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 73-92; https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/revecp/19/2/article-p73.xml; 10.2478/revecp-2019-0005; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2019-0005

Not only it is exceedingly well done in my humble modest opinion, but it focusses on perhaps one of the most important issues in our intellectual and professional lives: why have we not had more success than we have.

It makes the case for pessimism for our Austro-libertarian movement. My co -authors and I claim that the reason, in effect, Ron Paul is not now president, and the Mises Institute has not yet dissolved since it is no longer needed, because everyone supports Anarcho-capitalism, is, wait for it, biological. We are hard-wired against economic freeom. Thus, we are in my estimation, continually pushing the rock of Sisyphus up the mountain, and watching it roll back down again. Hayek once said that each generation must fight the same battles for economic freedom as the one before. No words were ever more truly spoken.

Pessimism? Yes. But, should we give up the battle? Not on your life. There are several reasons.

1. It is just so much FUN to promote liberty and good (Austrian) economics

2. It is GREAT to tweak noses, intellectually, of course.

3. It is EXHILERATING to get that proverbial one millionth of an inch closer to the TRUTH

4. Murray is up there somewhere, looking down upon us, and I want him to smile when he witnesses our efforts.

5. Murray has passed on the baton of liberty to me and Austro-libertarians of my generation. We are duty-bound to continue this process with the next generation, whether or not we succeed in our dreams of promoting liberty.

Hopefully, this article of mine will reduce burn-out, not increase it. After reading it, people are even less likely to think that total victory is around the corner. No, we are running an ultra-ultra marathon, not a sprint. If we do not expect a libertarian society in the next little while, we will be less disappointed when it does not occur.

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1:35 am on June 28, 2019

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Ol Doc Block Gives Out Some Advice on Careers in Austro-Libertarianism

From: T
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2019 2:53 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Seeking Advice

Good evening, Professor Block

My name is T. I apologize in advance for writing to you out of the blue and asking for your advice – I know that we don’t know each other – but I know that you advise students on a regular basis (I have seen some of your posts with advice to grad students, and watched the debate with Gary North), and I thought I would seek your counsel for my own situation.  Thank you in advance for helping me out, it is greatly appreciated – and I apologize, again, for writing at such great length.

I am a young professional, in my mid-twenties, living and working in XYZ. I have a family that I support, working full-time, and I have been going to college (undergraduate) online for the last few years, part-time on nights and weekends. I’m about to wrap up my degree in history from ABC, and I have my eyes set on going to grad school (MA program) to study either history or economics – again, part-time and online since I won’t leave my job. I know for certain that I can’t hack the math in a standard economics program, nor would I like to try. So, I was looking at Austrian-leaning MA economics or an ordinary (hopefully not-too-Marxist) MA history program that are available 100% online (there aren’t any local programs here in San Antonio). As for economics programs, I have found two: University of Detroit Mercy and Universidad Francisco Marroquin. For history, I was looking at the MA program at Arizona State University.

My primary goal is to further my knowledge and understanding of the world, and the way that it works – a pursuit for its own sake. My secondary goal is to improve my potential future job/salary prospects, though I already have a career that I am content with (clearly, given the choices that I am considering, this goal is a distant second). My third goal is to use the knowledge acquired to promote liberty and free markets in some manner.  All that being said, what do you think would be the optimal choice – assuming that my interest in Austrian Economics and my interest and history are similar? Should I go to ASU to study history? Should I go to UDM, which doesn’t seem to be wholly Austrian/free-market, but is at least Austrian-friendly? Or should I go to the wholly free-market, pro-liberty UFM (my only hesitation, perhaps unjustified, is that it is located in Guatemala and not in the U.S.)?  I have been wrestling with this decision for some time, and any advice at all would be of great value to me. Thank you! T

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2019 4:53 PM
To: T
Subject: RE: Seeking Advice

Dear T:

Were I in your shoes, I’d rank the three choices this way:

1.UFM

2.UDM

And a long way third

3.ASU

Assuming UFM is in English, and/or you know Spanish. If not, then I’d cross it off the list Why? I think econ will help your achieve your goals way more than history. Second, I think UDM is very free market Austrian oriented, not just slightly.

But, I don’t want to be confined by the choices you offer me.  Instead, allow me to range further afield.  I urge you to get a phd in econ, and become an econ professor. One way to do this is to stay in the US, and go to George Mason University or Texas Tech. You say you cannot leave your home city because of your full time job and need to support your family. But, these two places are typically tuition free,  and pay you a bursary of something like $25,000 (which ought to go a long way in Lubbock, TX).

I recommend econ way more than history, because the latter academic field has been taken over by political correctness way more than the former.

A greater difficulty for you will be the fact that you’re not good in math. Just how bad are you? I recommend these two places because they are light on math. But, if you’re really horrid, then, get a masters degree anywhere (along the lines you mention above) and then go to Europe to get your phd, with virtually no math at all. No courses either. You just write a dissertation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/

I am happy to try to help you out with this decision. Please see my open letter, below. Then, if you have further questions, I’ll be glad to answer them, and/or speak to you on the phone about your future career. I am also bcc copying these contacts on this, in order to keep everyone in the picture.

At the University of Angers we have created a new master programme in Law and Finance:

http://guidohulsmann.com/pdf/Master_Law_Finance_University_Angers.pdf

Strong points:

·              Master in Law and Finance

·              Non-quantitative, interdisciplinary approach

·              All classes taught in English

·              One-year programme

·              Strong presence of Austrian economics (capital theory, Austrian amcroeconomics)

·              Possibility to go on with doctoral studies

·              French state university, therefore low tuition (about 400€/500$ in total).

·              Cost-of-living in Angers in the range of 600-1000$/month

·              Angers is a tourist destination: horse riding, rowing, sailing, wine villages, 90 min to Paris, 90 min to the beach

Please consider recommending it to the attention of your graduates.

Interested students should send me their cv, transcripts, and a letter of motivation before the end of May 2019.

Warm regards,

Guido

The Entrepreneurship Department at Syracuse University is one of the top research departments in the country. Here in the Whitman School of Management at SU, we offer a new track in political economy in our  existing PhD program in entrepreneurship.  We are limiting our recruitment to an elite group of just 3 or 4 students for the PhD track.  Our political economy students will be fellows of the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society.

Institute fellows do not pay any tuition, and they receive a stipend for the entire  calendar year, i.e. 12 months. The package offered by the Institute is highly competitive and comparable to those offered by other top business schools.  The annual gross stipend is about $26,000 per year.  In addition, the package includes benefits that faculty enjoy, including health insurance and childcare benefits.  They get a minimum allowance of $4,000 for travel over the course of their four years of study.  In fact, however, the department and the Institute have additional resources to supplement that travel allowance.  So far we have not had to decline any travel requests from entrepreneurship PhD students

The Institute’s donor supports our Austrian free-market orientation.  The students’ main professor will be Maria Minniti, who holds the Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.  Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with Roger Koppl of the finance department.  The political economy graduates from Whitman’s entrepreneurship program will be on a track to become business and economics professors in leading American research universities.  We are committed to rigorous academic training and professional success for our graduates.  From the beginning of their studies with us, our students will be networked into the entrepreneurship profession.  We encourage and facilitate close collaborations between Institute fellows and scholars in other institutions we are associated with.  Interested students should write directly to Professor Minniti at mminniti@syr.edu or to Roger Koppl at rkoppl@syr.edu.​

Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mercatus Center … http://ppe.mercatus.org/

Graduate Student Programs at Mercatus Center … http://mercatus.org/graduate-student-programs

PhD program at GMU — http://economics.gmu.edu/programs/la-phd-econ

http://www.thedailybell.com/exclusive-interviews/36026/Anthony-Wile-Peter-Boettke-The-Transformative-Rise-of-Austrian-Economics/

I have some very, very good news for you. I have just learned from Guido Hulsmann and Jesus Huerta De Soto that it is possible to get a phd in econ from them, entirely IN ENGLISH, provided only that the phd is granted from both their schools.

There is no common Angers-Madrid PhD programme; however, you can obtain a PhD with a dissertation and defence all in English, if you  work with both Profs Hulsmann and De Soto (or others outside of France) as co-directors. Administratively, this involves signing up at both universities separately.

Note from Prof. Hulsmann:

Dear Walter:

I have updated my webpage dealing with doctoral studies in economics here in Angers. Notice in particular the section deal with co-directorships.

http://guidohulsmann.com/Doctoralstudies.html

Warm regards,

Guido

Guido Hülsmann
Professeur des Universités
Faculté de Droit, d’Économie et de Gestion
Université d’Angers
www.guidohulsmann.com

Note from Prof. De Soto:

1. We are open to any agreement to proceed with a joint Ph D program with Prof. Hülsmann and the University of Angers.

2. Another possibility is to proceed with our own Rey Juan Carlos Ph D Program exclusively.

3. According to the new European legislation, the old Ph courses are now called “Master” of research course, and are compulsory before you can read the thesis (the content is established in our Brochure).

That would be, in France, from St. Angers University, and from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos  in Spain, with Jesus Huerta de Soto. Also, it is VERY cheap (something like 400 Euros per year), you don’t have to be in residence in Europe (you must attend some seminars there a few weeks a year); all you have to do is write a dissertation under the guidance of Guido and Jesus.  There is absolutely no MATH requirement.

But, to qualify, you MUST have a masters degree. I recommend Detroit Mercy, since the faculty there are Austro libertarian, but, I think, that is very expensive, $15,000; however, it is possible to get credit for courses there by correspondence through e mail. But, for the purposes of linking up with Guido and Jesus, a masters in econ anywhere will suffice. (There is also the possibility of getting a masters at St. Angers or Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)

Masters:

A new on line Austrian masters program: http://www.smcespañol.com/maestria.html or  http://www.xn--smcespaol-r6a.com/maestria.html

Here is another new masters program that I recommend on the basis that Guido Hulsmann and Philipp Bagus support it: https://mises.org/blog/new-berlin-based-masters-degree-program-austrian-economicsp; http://www.bits-hochschule.de/en/program/entrepreneurial-economics-master/

If you take this path, you might even be able to get your phd in econ sooner this way than in a US grad school. Usually, a traditional phd in the US takes six years. I estimate that a dissertation with Guido and Jesus would take two years to write. By the way, I regard Guido and Jesus as two of the top Austro libertarian theoreticians in the entire world now active.

Here are other masters programs I recommend:

Master’s Program in Europe, it is called Entrepreneurial Economics and is a hybrid program with a focus on Austrian economics and entrepreneurship / management training.
http://www.bits-hochschule.de/en/program/entrepreneurial-economics-master/

Hendrik Hagedorn <hagedornhendrik@gmail.com>

From: mnair@troy.edu [mailto:mnair@troy.edu] 
To: Walter Block
Subject: Masters Program at Troy

Dear Walter,

We have been approved for a Masters in Economics at Troy starting in the Fall of 2015. It will be a terminal free market economics program with enough math thrown in for those who want to get a PhD. There will be courses on Austrian Economics, Public Choice, Economic History, History of Thought, Monetary Economics etc in addition to the core classes, all taught by free market faculty.

We were hoping- 1) to get the program listed in your list of free market economics programs for students. 2) for you to consider recommending the program to students. The program is designed to be completed in two years or one calendar year, so we’re hoping to attract motivated kids who aren’t quite sure about a PhD yet, those who only want Masters degrees and policy careers, international students plus even non-traditional students who have become interested in these ideas.

Here is a link to the faculty page on our website: http://business.troy.edu/JohnsonCenter/faculty-staff.aspx. I will send along a brochure for the program once it is available. Your help/support would be greatly appreciated!

Best,

Malavika

From: G.P. Manish [mailto:gmanish@troy.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 11:39 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Master’s Program at Troy

Dear Walter,

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to touch base with you again regarding the Master’s program here at Troy. We now have our first batch of students and the program is shaping up really well: there is a component that focuses on mainstream micro and macroeconomics and there are electives with a heavy focus on Austrian Economics. For example, I will be teaching a course in Advanced Austrian Economics in the Spring as well as a course on the History of Economic Thought and Mal will teach a Monetary Economics course, all of which will be based around the works of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc. We also have the ability to offer scholarships (awarded on a competitive basis) that help with tuition and living expenses.

Please spread the word and let me know if you have any students that are thinking of pursuing a Master’s degree. We would love to have students from Loyola! Interested students can also reach out directly to any of the professors in our department.

Also at Troy is Prof. Dan Smith, a student of Peter Boettke’s, who also teaches a course on Austrian Econ and one on Development Economics that focuses heavily on the applicability of Austrian ideas to developing countries. And we also have a strong Public Choice/Constitutional Political Economy component to the program. These courses are taught by George Crowley and John Dove, strongly free-market WVU grads.

Best,

GP

One more thought. How good is an Austro-libertarian phd from Europe (and not Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, or any others of the most prestigious universities there) in getting you a faculty job in the US? There is just one data point on this to my knowledge: Richard Ebeling got his phd in Europe (Middlesex University in England), and has landed jobs at Hillsdale College (which he left voluntarily to become President of FEE). After he departed that organization, he landed a job (a one year visiting professorship) at Trinity University in Conn, and is now teaching at Northwood University in Michigan. Not too shabby…

Note from Dan Stastny:

We are part of the University of Economics, Prague, the largest economic 
education institution in Czech Republic. At our school (called actually 
“Faculty of Economics”), we cannot offer programs (majors) that are outright 
Austrian curriculum-wise, but are as a whole definitely very Austrian 
friendly. People interested in pursuing their PhD with us should consider 
and chose between “Economic Theory” and “Economic Policy” major. There is 
a tuition of EUR 5000 per year for a PhD in English, the program lasts 
typically 3 years. People interested in learning more about our program 
should get in touch with me. (Dan Stastny, Associate Dean for Student 
Affairs, )

By the way, if you want a real good undergraduate education in Austro libertarianism, you could do worse than my own school, Loyola University New Orleans. All 100% of our four econ faculty are either leaders in this field, or very sympathetic to it. Unhappily, though, we do not offer any graduate degrees in economics.

The ONLY places in the US where you can get a phd in econ, where there is a full program in Austrian economics, are G Mason U and Texas Tech. There is a solid core of Austrian profs at Mason. My main contacts there are Pete Boettke, and Dick Wagner; if you contact them, they will give you the full low down. Also, Dan D’Amico, a recent Mason phd, (who 5 years ago graduated from Loyola, at which time I sent him off to Pete) was for a time my junior colleague at Loyola. Pete can give you a prof’s eye view of the Mason Austrian program, and Dan can give you an (ex) students’ perspective. Update: Dan D’Amico is now a professor at Brown University. My contacts at Texas Tech are Ben Powell, Andy Young (another former student of mine from when I taught at Holy Cross) and Bob Murphy.

However, there are other universities in the U.S. where there is at least one Austro-libertarian professor who could mentor you. For example, Peter Klein, Baylor University, peter_klein@baylor.edu

Here is a note from Pete Boettke, giving advice to undergraduates for graduate study: http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2011/04/advice-to-undergraduates.html. I am in very enthusiastic agreement with all of this, with the exception of his very last paragraph.

Here are the professors at George Mason who are either heavily, or, at least, peripherally, involved in Austrian economics:

Pete Boettke

Dick Wagner

Larry White

Pete Leeson

Chris Coyne

Jack High

Mark Addelson

And as research professors:

Virgil Storr

Frederic Sautet

Paul Dragos Aligica

At Mason, students can specialize in Austrian economics, New Institutionalism, Public Choice, Constitutional Political Economy, history of economic thought, etc., and traditional fields such as money, public, industrial organization, and comparative/development.

And Dan Klein, Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts are offering the opportunity to students to specialize in Smithian political economy as well.

No such list would be complete without the mention of Bryan Caplan. I do not consider him an Austrian economist, nor, even, a fellow traveler. Rather, a critic. But, at least he is interested in Austrian economics.

Here is an important message from Peter Boettke:

Walter,

As a matter of fact, what goes on at GMU is the _required_ math is limited,

but the math options are wide.  One of our former students has been teaching

the core PhD theory course at UC-Santa Cruz and another one teachers

decision theory at Carneige Mellon.  But pursued the mathematical education

that is possible to get IF they don’t want to do the Austrian, public

choice, law and economic, etc. track.  Most of the students that pursue that

go through the lab.

The lab students DO have an advantage in the academic market place in terms

of placement at PhD programs.   But the vast majority of students need never

worry about that market because there is really only a 1-10% chance any PhD

student will end up in another PhD program teaching.  Though that is the way

we compete for all jobs.

I think the vast majority of students simply have no clue what graduate

school is like — since it is a clear departure from undergraduate school.

Finally, please do tell many of these students that basically we are

looking for students with a 3.6 GPA or higher, and 760 or higher on the GRE

math, and 600 or higher on GRE verbal.

One last thing, expect to get more requests like this because as students

become net-savey they will find out that places like Econ Job Market Rumors

say a lot of bad things about GMU and whatnot.  Please point them to my

former student page which has a list of the students who wrote under me,

gives their placement and publications, etc.

http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/pboettke/students.html

Pete

Note from Peter Klein:

Baylor University offers a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship. Peter Klein is a libertarian Austrian. Both Department of Entrepreneurship (which houses the Ph.D. program) and the Department of Economics include many non-Austrian libertarians. The university also features a Free Enterprise Center with research funding for graduate students, lectures, programs, etc. supporting free markets and limited government.

From: mises-academic@googlegroups.com [mailto:mises-academic@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Klein, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 10:41 PM
To: mises-academic@googlegroups.com
Subject: FW: Baylor Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship

Dear colleagues:

I am serving as director of Baylor’s PhD in Entrepreneurship and we are soliciting applications for the Fall 2018 entering class. A PhD in Entrepreneurship is an excellent career option for an aspiring Austrian economist. The academic field of entrepreneurship is friendly toward Austrian insights and Kirzner, Schumpeter, Hayek, and even Mises are highly cited in the mainstream entrepreneurship literature. There are many academic posts in the entrepreneurship field (and they typically pay better than equivalent economics positions).

Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary subject with economics as one of the foundational subjects, and students can write dissertations using Austrian theories, concepts, and research methods. There are required courses in quantitative methods but the field is much more eclectic, methodologically, than contemporary economics and one can do verbal theory as well as qualitative empirical work. Besides myself, there are several faculty members in the business school who are supporters or fellow-travelers of Austrian ideas and approaches.

If you have or know undergraduate or masters students interested in a PhD who might be a fit for the program, please let me know and have them contact me for more information.

Thanks,

Peter

From: Entrepreneurship Division Listserv [mailto:ENTREP@AOMLISTS.AOM.ORGOn Behalf Of Klein, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 4:30 PM
To: ENTREP@AOMLISTS.AOM.ORG
Subject: [ENTREP] Baylor Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship

Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business

Department of Entrepreneurship

 

The Department of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business invites applications for the Ph.D. Program in Entrepreneurship. The application deadline for next fall’s entering class is January 15, 2018.

Baylor is consistently ranked among the top ten US entrepreneurship programs by the Princeton Review, US News & World Report, and Businessweek. The Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship is housed within the Department of Entrepreneurship, an independent academic unit offering an undergraduate entrepreneurship major and minor, an MBA concentration, and a variety of special programs. More information on the department is available here: https://www.baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

The doctoral program builds on Baylor’s experience as a leader in the entrepreneurship field to develop the next generation of entrepreneurship scholars. The program emphasizes rigorous and relevant theoretical and empirical research in entrepreneurship and related fields, as well as extensive training in teaching, writing, editing, working with students, and other aspects of academic life. We aim to place our graduates in faculty positions at highly ranked universities and similar institutions. While the primary focus is entrepreneurship, students also receive training in strategic management and organization theory. The Department of Entrepreneurship is also home to the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, which studies the effects of public policy and institutions on entrepreneurship.

Baylor embraces an apprenticeship model in which students work directly with faculty mentors to learn the craft of research and writing. Students are expected to publish in leading journals, in collaboration with faculty mentors, during their PhD training. Entrepreneurship faculty include Kendall Artz, Daniel Bennett, Ray Bagby, Peter Klein, Boris Nikolaev, Les Palich, Steve Bradley, and Matthew Wood. Their research appears in top journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, and Organization Science

The program is a full-time, four-year residency program.  Support includes tuition remission, a competitive annual stipend (among the highest in the field), resources for attending key conferences in entrepreneurship, and competitive summer research grants from the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. Students will also have opportunities to connect with initiatives such as the Baylor Angel Network, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) incubator, the LAUNCH accelerator, and other programs. The Department of Entrepreneurship is housed in the state-of-the-art Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, opened in 2015

Further information about the Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship, including the online application, is available at http://www.baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/phd/

Contact Ph.D. Director Peter G. Klein at peter_klein@baylor.edu for questions or more information

In recent years I have sent about a dozen of my Loyola students off to grad school in econ, about half to Mason, and half to other places in the US. With one exception (and that was hisfault – he didn’t study — not that of Mason), all those who went to Mason got their phds within 4-6 years and are now either professors at US universities, or are still in the pipeline, while in every other case, they all failed out of grad school due to math requirements, inability to tolerate the hyper mathematicalization of economics that is now fashionable in most grad schools. Both groups of half dozen were of equal ability as my undergraduate students, in my assessment. So, as you can imagine, I am WILDLY in favor of Mason as a place to get your phd in econ in the U.S. Here is an important assessment of Austrian education written by Pete Boettke: http://www.superscholar.org/rankings/economics/top-austrian-free-market-programs/

Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University – Ph.D. Fellowship Opportunity

Students, who are interested in pursuing advanced study in economics from an Austrian or free market perspective, should give serious consideration to the Ph.D. Fellowship offered by the Free Market Institute (FMI) at Texas Tech University (TTU).

The university offers a Ph.D. course in Austrian economics, and in other topics/areas relevant to the study of the private enterprise system (Polycentric Governance, Economic Development, Economics of Regulation, etc.) The FMI at TTU has several Ph.D. economists on staff (or with research affiliations), who provide research and professional guidance to Ph.D. fellows.

Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, TTU faculty members directly affiliated with FMI will include:

§     Benjamin Powell – Director (www.benjaminwpowell.com)

§     Jamie Bologna – Research Fellow (http://www.jamielbologna.com/)

§     Adam Martin – Political Economy Research Fellow (http://www.adamgmartin.com/)

§     Robert Murphy – Research Assistant Professor (http://consultingbyrpm.com/)

§     Alexander Salter – Comparative Economics Research Fellow (http://www.awsalter.com/)

§     Andrew Young – Director of Graduate Students (https://sites.google.com/site/ayoungeconomist/)

Other TTU faculty members from a range of disciplines have informal affiliations or otherwise participate in FMI programming on a regular basis. Please visit the FMI Staff (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/freemarketinstitute/people.php) for a full listing of current faculty, staff, and students.

Fellowships have a three-year term and offer students full tuition support and part-time employment (up to 20 hours per week) as a research assistant with the FMI during each academic year. Compensation for the research assistant position is competitive with fellowship and stipend offers from other graduate programs.

Ph.D. Fellows pursue their degrees in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC), where they have the opportunity to develop dissertation research on a range of applied topics in the Austrian and free market tradition.

For more information about the FMI Ph.D. Fellowship opportunity, please visit the Prospective Students Page (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/freemarketinstitute/info_students.php) at the FMI’s website (www.fmi.ttu.edu) or contact FMI Senior Administrator, Charles Long, by email at charles.v.long@ttu.edu or phone at 806.742.7138.

From: Michael Makovi [mailto:michael.makovi@ttu.edu]

Sent: Friday, December 15, 2017 10:27 PM

To: Long, Charles V

Cc: Walter Block; Justin Callais; Young, A T

Subject: Re: recommendation

Let me give my impression of Texas Tech and the Free Market Institute as a 2nd year PhD student here.

First off, the math required is basically calculus and linear algebra. The professors cover all the math you need to know, so if there’s something you don’t know, don’t worry. But at the same time, you’ll be more comfortable if you already know all the math, so that it’s a refresher rather than learning it for the first time. The big thing to review is Lagrangian maximization or minimization subject to a constraint, which is covered in a typical multivariable calculus course. It’s also helpful to be familiar with matrix operations. If you have time this spring or summer to take extra courses in multivariable calculus and linear algebra, I highly recommend it.

Second, let you tell you a little bit about the program and who is who:

So the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC) is where you’d be doing your PhD. Both your coursework and your PhD dissertation must satisfy the AAEC. By contrast, the Free Market Institute (FMI) is a non-degree-granting but university-affiliated department on campus. You’ll also find yourself attending a lot of FMI seminars and asking FMI faculty to help you with your research, and obviously, you’ll be doing work for the FMI to earn your stipend, but ultimately, it’s the AAEC that will approve your dissertation and grant you the PhD. So it’s important to keep the distinction between the AAEC and FMI clear.

(The reason why it’s the AAEC is because the economics department at Texas Tech has a poor reputation.)

Anyway, the AAEC is an applied economics department, so they focus on empirics more than pure theory. For an Austrian, I think that’s actually a good thing. It means that the professors won’t look down on your being a libertarian as long as you can empirically substantiate your opinion. If you can do a case study showing why some particular regulation has negative consequences or how the market has successfully provided some public good, the applied professors will be happy. Your dissertation has to have some econometrics in it, but they won’t care if it’s Austrian or free-market or libertarian or whatever, as long as the real-world data support your argument.

In general, I’ve found virtually all of the AAEC faculty to be very friendly towards the FMI and free-market ideas. For example, Prof. Wang, who teaches production economics and optimization programming, has been doing research on Elinor Ostrom and how communities solve common pool problems without government. In addition, Prof. Wang’s class – which is the one that covers externalities – gives equal attention to Pigou and Coase, meaning that he covers the ways in which markets internalize externalities too. In another class, Prof. Hudson often likes to mention conversations he’s had with Ben Powell about free-markets. While he doesn’t always agree with Ben, he always mentions Ben’s opinions with respect. And then there’s Prof. Ryan Williams, who often comes to FMI events. So the AAEC is a very friendly place to be.

Third, let you give you a bit of a summary of what the program is like, stage-by-stage:

In your first year, you’ll take a lot of math-heavy courses and have to pass the comprehensive exams. It’s not fun. It’s REALLY not fun. You have two chances to pass: once in May and again in August. Not everyone passes the comprehensive exams the first time, in May, so don’t take them lightly. But so far, everyone has passed at least by the second time, in August. So they’re hard, but not impossibly hard. There are two exams: one in micro and one in econometrics.

In your second and third years, you’ll continue taking courses. Unlike most PhD programs, there are no field exams. That is, you do NOT have to pass exams in any of your specialties. You take whatever elective courses you want — approved by your dissertation committee — but you’re never tested on any of them outside of the classes. Every semester, an FMI professor teaches an elective course, so for the most part, you’ll take your core classes with the AAEC and your electives with the FMI.

And then, of course, there’s the dissertation.

Every year, you’re paired with one of the FMI’s faculty to be his or her research assistant.

So the biggest difference between this program and most others, I think, is that there are no field exams. Instead of picking a specialty and being tested on it, you’ll just take electives with FMI professors. You still have to pass your dissertation defense, obviously.

Obviously, I’ve never been a PhD student anywhere else, so I can’t compare it to anything. But as a former student of Walter’s, I’m very happy here.

That’s everything I can think of, but if you have any more questions, ask me.

Good luck,

Michael Makovi

Contacts:

Detroit Mercy:  Harry Veryser, stampingsinc@hotmail.com; Joe Weglarz, weglarzj@udmercy.edu

St. Angers: Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr;

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos: Jesus Huerta de Soto, huertadesoto@dimasoft.es;

George Mason: Peter Boettke, Virgil Storr, Richard Wagner, vstorr@gmu.edu; pboettke@gmu.edurwagner@gmu.edu

Brown University: Dan D’Amico,

Peter Klein, Baylor University  peter_klein@baylor.edu

Cal State San Jose, Jeff Hummel  jhummel@gguol.ggu.edu

Ben Powell, Texas Tech, benjaminwpowell@gmail.com

Andrew Young, Texas Tech; a.young.economist@gmail.com

Here is a list of my former undergraduate students who have earned phds in econ from G. Mason: from Holy Cross: Ed Stringham (now Hackley Endowed Chair for Capitalism
and Free Enterprise Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut, from Loyola: Dan D’Amico (now prof at Brown), Emily Schaeffer Skarbeck (she is a tenured professor, Lecturer at King’s College London, their ranking system is different than ours), Nick Snow who is now a Senior Lecturer at Ohio State University, where along with another faculty member — Todd Nesbit — runs the free market undergraduate group and Jenny Dirmeyer (now assistant prof at Hampden Sydney U). Loyola students of mine who are now in the midst of the Mason program are Chris Fleming, Jonathan Lingenfelter and Marc Melancon.

King’s is a world-ranked top 60 university (roughly the equivalent to Brown).  The faculty in the PhD program for Political Economy is as a whole very Austrian friendly.  The leader of this group is Mark Pennington, but beside Emily Skarbeck he also has David Skarbek, Adam Martin, Adam Tebble, John Meadowcraft, and Paul Lewis.

Here are the experiences of some of our Loyola graduates with graduate schools other than George Mason. Christie LaPorte went off to the University of Missouri for a phd in economics. My friends Peter and Sandy Klein were going to be her mentors. She took a look at her econ texts, and saw only math. She didn’t want to do math for 5-6 years, so she quit in the first week she was there. She is now finishing up with law school. Chuck Long went off to Suffolk Univesity for a phd in economics. He, too, had a mentor I trusted: Ben Powell. Yet, Chuck failed math there, and had to leave after one year. Chuck was an A student, one of our very best, with a minor in math at Loyola. Chuck is now working in Washington DC for one of the Koch foundation groups, thus a movement job. Eric Mattei went off to the Univesity of Georgia for a phd in economics. He, too, had a mentor I trusted: George Selgin. Yes, George and I have tangled on issues (fractional reserve banking, mainly), but I trusted George, totally, to put these differences aside, and do what he could for Eric. George and Eric hit it off personally; they were both into bike racing, and did that together. George was so distraught when Eric failed math courses there, and thus lost his scholarship, that George offered to give Eric some of his own endowment money. Eric is now selling insurance. When Eric was my student at Loyola, he and Dan D’Amico took several classes from me. They sat together in classes, both at the back of the room, and both of them bugged the crap out of me (I loved it!). In my estimation of their abilities during those days, I regarded Dan and Eric as equals. Their classroom participation was equal. Their grades were equal. As you know, I mark (well, midterm) exams anonymously. I remember one semester Dan got, I think, a 93 and Eric got a 92. Or, was it the other way around? I’m not sure. What I’m trying to say is that while they had equal abilities in my opinion, Dan has earned his doctorate in economics, and Eric did not.

This is not praxeology. This is mere empirical evidence. But, based on it, I recommend George Mason and Texas Tech, not any other school in the U.S.  Perhaps my experience with Nick Snow is relevant here. Nick was not one of our very top students. He went off to San Jose State for a masters in economics (he was mentored by my old Austro libertarian friend Jeff Hummel, plus Austro libertarians Ben Powell, who has since moved to Suffolk and now Texas Tech, and another former student of mine, not at Loyola but at Holy Cross, Ed Stringham, who has since moved to Trinity College, Connecticut. However, Emily Schaeffer Skarbeck, another former Loyola student of ours who got her phd at Mason is now an Assistant Professor at Kings.). So, here’s what I recommend: go to San Jose for a masters, and then apply to Mason for a phd, following in Nick’s footsteps. Or, try Detroit Mercy for a masters, and then on to Mason or Texas Tech. Or, if you want to try something totally different, go to France and study with/ be mentored by Guido Hulsman, combined with Spain and, ditto, Jesus Huerta de Soto. In addition, there are ph.d programs at other institutions, in other countries, where you can study with  other Austro-libertarian faculty. I would include in this regard the following people (some of whom I am copying on this letter):

Josef Sima, Josef.Sima@libinst.cz; Daniel Stastny,  (http://www.cevroinstitut.cz/en/Section/study/courses+for+international+students/)

Enrico Colombatto enrico.colombatto@unito.it;

Giancarlo Ibarguen Universidad Francisco Marroquín; gis@ufm.edu.gt; fthomas@ufm.edu; http://fce.ufm.edu

Swiss Management Center, Kurt Leube http://www.swissmc.ch/Programs/Distance_Learning_Programs/Online_Doctorate_Programs/PhD_in_Economics/Program_Design/

Matt Machaj, Poland mateusz.machaj@mises.pl

Here is another letter that might be of interest:

From: CALZADA ALVAREZ GABRIEL [mailto:gc@ufm.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:31 AM
To: Oliver Bardin
Cc: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Economics Graduate Schools

Thank you, Walter!

Hola, Oliver! In the Spanish speaking world there are two places were you can complete a doctorate in economics from an austrian perspective: Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala and King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain. I am associated with both programs so I can tell you from my experience in the past 8 years that the study and research atmosphere in both places is great. Spanish language is not required but is certainly recommended in both places.

The URJC has several austrian professors and lecturers in the economic department and they have developed a pure austrian master and doctorate program officially accredited by the UE. Each year the program receives about 30-35 student and at least half of them are foreign students.

The UFM, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, aka University of Free Marketeers, is an intellectual oasis for libertarians. Every student -regardless of the sort of degree he is pursuing, from medicine to economics- has to enroll in 4 courses on free-market economics with a main focus in austrian economics. The university has been very selective over the years when it comes to accept a phd student. Doctorate courses at UFM are tailor made for the specific student that is accepted.

I hope you find this information useful. And if you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck in your search of a place to complete your studies.

Saludos!

gabriel

As to a masters, if you stay in the US, I recommend Troy U, Detroit Mercy and Mason. However, I lean toward the former, since if you want to pursue Austrianism in the US, and go to Mason for that (Detroit doesn’t have a phd program) that way you’ll have different profs.

Here is yet another excellent masters program, given in English:

From: Josef Šíma [mailto:josef.sima@vsci.cz] 
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 1:33 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: RE: new PPE MA program in Prague

Please add my PPE program on the list of your graduate schools for Austrians.  If you ever have a smart student who would like to study in Europe, do not forget that we have the Mises scholarship –

http://cevroinstitut.cz/en/article/scholarships/

Best regards,

josef

prof. Josef Šíma, Ph.D.

rektor/president

Director/Philosophy, Politics, Economics

The first PPE MA program in the Czech Republichttp://www.cevroinstitut.cz/upload/Image/CI_logo_mail.jpg

CEVROINSTITUTE [school of legal and social studies]

Jungmannova 17 / 110 00 Praha 1 / Czech Republic
tel.: +420 221 506 777 /  mobil: +420 777 069 323
email: josef.sima@vsci.cz / www.cevroinstitut.cz

Jesus Huerta de Soto, huertadesoto@dimasoft.es;

Guido Hulsmann, Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr;

Josef Sima, Josef.Sima@libinst.cz;

Enrico Colombatto enrico.colombatto@unito.it;

Matt Machaj, Poland mateusz.machaj@mises.pl

StefanStein, Germany stefan.stein@bits-iserlohn.de;

stampingsinc@hotmail.com; weglarzj@udmercy.edu; ;  vstorr@gmu.edu; pboettke@gmu.edurwagner@gmu.eduJosef.Sima@libinst.cz; ; enrico.colombatto@unito.itgis@ufm.edu.gtfthomas@ufm.edubenjaminwpowell@gmail.com; a.young.economist@gmail.com; ccoyne3@gmu.edumateusz.machaj@mises.pllewrockwell@gmail.comStephen.Sweet@charleskochinstitute.orggc@ufm.edu; Edward.stringham@gmail.com; huertadesoto@dimasoft.es; Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr; Josef.Sima@libinst.czmateusz.machaj@mises.pljeffdeist@mises.orgPeter_Klein@baylor.edurkoppl@syr.edustefan.stein@bits-iserlohn.denorbert.milte@bits-hochschule.demnair@troy.edugmanish@troy.educharles.v.long@ttu.edu

this is helpful, but there are a lot of errors in it (Dan D’Amico is no longer at Loyola, he’s now at Brown U; lots of these places have either never heard of Austrian economics, or bitterly reject it): https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Where_to_study_Austrian_Economics

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

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1:14 pm on June 27, 2019

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Want To Get On My Mailing List?

I have a large mailing list. Membership mainly consists of my former Loyola students who have shown an interest in libertarianism and Austrian economics and others in the New Orleans area with similar interests. Mostly, I use it to convey information about Austro-libertarian meetings in the local area. But, from time to time I also mention articles, books, ideas, of interest to all Austro-libertarians. Also, I notify members of this list about these type of meetings that occur elsewhere (often, when I am doing public speaking in other cities).

If you want to be put on this list of mine, email my research assistant, Tom Bosson, and he’ll put you on it:  tombosson@gmail.com

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

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1:58 am on June 27, 2019

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Are Newborn Babies Immigrants From the Foreign Country, Storkovia? Yes

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2019 10:03 AM
To: M
Subject: RE: immigrant vs baby

Dear M:

You can (partially) predict the baby’s future based on what his parents are like.

But that’s not the point. I’m talking deontology, rights, not utilitarianism, pragmatism. Your points about knowing more about an adult than a newborn are entirely correct, but, irrelevant to what I see as proper libertarian law. What law that a libertarian must respect did an illegal immigrant violate who starts homesteading virgin land in the middle of Alaska? The government claims this land, but, no government official ever homesteaded this land. It is VIRGIN land!

If we’re justified in keeping 20 year old immigrants out of the country, we’re justified in keeping new babies out, too. New babies are immigrants to the country. Some people think that new babies come about from sexual intercourse. Wrong! They come from the foreign nation, Storkovia, and are brought here by a stork. If in a blue blanket, a boy; if a pink one, then a girl.

Best regards,

Walter

From: M
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2019 5:28 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: re: immigrant vs baby

Dear Walter:

You said this: “Anything you say about an immigrant (he’ll commit a crime, be a burden, change our culture, etc.), I can say about a baby, 18 years later.”

You can ascertain some of an immigrant’s properties and past. You can’t do that about a baby.

I can ascertain and say “Person Q has $10,000, doesn’t own a home, is a skilled lathe operator, is married, has 10 children…etc., etc.” You can’t say any of these things about a baby or the person that the baby will become in 18 years.

Your statement, however, refers to the future, not the past. If the past tells me anything about the future, then you can say at least some facts MORE certainly about the immigrant’s future than you can say about the baby’s future. The past DOES help predict the future. If person Q has a heart condition and requires medication, odds are it’ll continue. We do not know perfectly what’ll happen, but we are more sure of some facts about Q than we are sure of what the baby will be like in 18 years. If Q has voted Democrat every time he voted, and if voting behavior persists, we have the odds on our side to say he’ll vote that way in the future. If Q has few skills and is on food stamps, it is more probable than not that he’ll be on food stamps some time in the future. We can’t say the same kinds of things about the baby 18 years from now with the same degree of sureness.

Sincerely,

M

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3:22 pm on June 26, 2019

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A Debate Between Walter E. Block and Adrian Moore, Vice President of the Reason Foundation, on Marijuana-Impaired Driving; And For The Soul of Libertarianism

The first letter of Dr. Moore’s was not addressed to me personally. Rather, it was sent out to a list utilized by Reason Foundation, in which I am included.

Below, I say some rather critical things about the Reason Foundation and Adrian’s efforts on this matter. Let me introduce this series of letters by saying something nice about him, and them. Reason is doing great work in spreading the libertarian message. True, it is a watered down version of libertarianism, but, still, it is libertarian. They started out as a mimeographed newsletter, and are now a large organization with dozens of employees, acquainting millions of people with the case for liberty. Even though I disagree with some of what they say, I regard him, and them as a huge plus for liberty. Were they to, horrors!, disappear, our movement would be much worse off.  I am also very grateful to them for publishing no fewer than eight of my scholarly articles in their scholarly journal, Reason Papers, and one in their Reason Magazine (see below on this).

Ordinarily, I keep my correspondent in letters of this sort anonymous. But, I have his specific permission not to do so in this case. (Thanks to my friend Mike Rozeff’s suggestion, I have put this letters in date order; you can now read from the top).

The debate involves just how we libertarians should view the government. The best essay on this I have ever read is this one:

Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Do you hate the state?” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July;https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/04/murray-n-rothbard/do-you-pass-the-rothbard-test/

I only wish that Adrian, and all the other Reason people would read this, and take it to heart.

One last point before I begin. I regard a person’s view of Ron Paul as a litmus test for libertarianism. Reason has not passed this test.

Letter 1

From: Adrian Moore [mailto:adrian.moore@e.reason.org]

Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 10:02 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Dealing with marijuana impaired driving as marijuana is legalized

Walter,

My wife is a former narcotics officer and Drug Recognition Expert instructor. She has seen a great many drivers much too high to be behind the wheel, but also many drivers with marijuana in their system but who were not impaired at the time they were driving.

As states legalize marijuana for medical or adult recreational use, it is important that we ensure that we don’t see an increase in driving while high, nor punish drivers who are not high but have marijuana in their system.

In a new report A Common Sense Approach to Marijuana-Impaired Driving I team up with my wife to lay out how states can tackle this challenge. As parents we don’t want to see more driving while high, but don’t think responsible marijuana use should be punished any more than responsible drinking.

In the study we talk about what states are already doing, the challenges of a toxicology based per-se standard like the 0.08 blood alcohol level for drunk driving, and how to make more and better use of effective Drug Recognition Expert officers and field sobriety evaluations. We also discuss how to improve the transparency, accountability and fairness of these tests and impaired driving enforcement to protect everyone involved.

We hope this study will help decision makers in your state. Please share this information with anyone you know who can use it. And if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Adrian

Dr. Adrian Moore

Letter 2

On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 3:01 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Adrian:

Why not privatize the roads, and let free enterprise deal with this challenge?

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.pdf; http://mises.org/daily/3416; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/radical_privatization.pdf; audio: http://store.mises.org/Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook-P11005.aspx; http://www.audible.com/pd/Business/The-Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook/B0167IT18K?tag=misesinsti-20; http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=bf16b152ccc444bdbbcc229e4&id=6cbc90577b&e=54244ea97d

http://www.sanfranciscoreviewofbooks.com/2017/09/book-review-privatization-of-roads-and.html

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: Adrian Moore

Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 9:54 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Dealing with marijuana impaired driving as marijuana is legalized

Walter, as I think you know we have been advocating privatizing the roads for over 30 years in countless studies and several books. This study is not about that, but a different topic.

Imagine we have succeeded in privatizing the roads, and you own a nice set of them.  No one is going to pay you to use your product if you allow anyone to drive on it regardless of how drunk or high they or. Or whatever speed or vehicle.  If you want to provide a product–roads–that customers will use, it has to be a reasonably safe one.  Unfortunately for now the government still owns the roads, so the rules to make them safe are laws.  In that setting, how do we make rules for enforcing against actual, measurable, impaired driving, while not punishing people who may use pot but are not impaired. That is what our study is all about.

Adrian

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Letter 4

On Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 4:51 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Adrian:

I appreciate your point. However, I’m not in sympathy with your study. Why not? It is too much like being a (Milton Friedmanian – Bob Poolean) efficiency expert for the state. The government is evil. The way I see things, it is highly problematic for a libertarian such as yourself to offer these people suggestions for running their enterpriseses more effectively.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

From: Adrian Moore [mailto:adriantmoore@gmail.com]

Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2019 6:25 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Dealing with marijuana impaired driving as marijuana is legalized

Walter, you choose to advocate and wait for the revolution. I chose to advocate for the revolution and meanwhile work on incremental progress. Not to make the government more efficient unless that is a side effect of making it less intrusive on our liberties. The two things often go together, though not always.   The government currently dramatically impinges on our liberties in their efforts to manage the roads they own and operate. If, while working to privatize roads, I can also help move to rules and enforcement that are more fair and respectful of liberty, I will seize the opportunity to do so.  I’d argue that our two approaches are complementary and you need both to achieve real progress towards liberty.  We share the same goals, and I do not criticize your approach, but respect it while also choosing my own approach based on my theory of social change. I wish you would do the same.

Adrian

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Letter 6

On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 10:36 AM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Adrian:

I follow Murray Rothbard on this. He, too, like you (and me) “advised” the government. But, he (and I) limited himself to “advising” the government to lower taxes, pull troops back home, deregulate, end the fed, get rid of CAFÉ, socialized medicine, etc. all areas where there is a clear and unambiguous move in the direction of freedom.

However, libertarians associated with Reason, Cato, etc., do WAY more than that. They advise government entities not to disband, lower taxes, but, rather to set up voucher plans, telling the fed to raise or lower interest rates instead of disbanding, Bob Poole often advises government to do this or that on the roads, etc. Don’t you see a difference in kind?

Lookit, take peak load pricing for roads. It is one thing to write, as I often do, that this is a good system, and would be implemented most likely, by private road owners. If the government buys my book and does this, my conscience is clear. But if I testified to govt, telling them they should implement this system (especially without also telling them to privatize all roads, but even with doing so) I’d feel I’d compromised my principles.

Yes, we share the same libertarian principles, the same goals, as you say. You’re correct in saying you do not criticize your approach, but respect it. But, why does it then logically follow that I must not criticize your approach, but respect it? Is it not even logically possible that I am correct in this and you are not? Moreover, I’m criticizing your approach respectfully. I’m not calling you all vicious names. I’m not saying you all are not libertarians. You are. But, I’m offering what I consider to be constructive criticism.

Consider this debate I had with Milton Friedman. I was respectful to him. I don’t think he was, to me:

Block, Walter E. and Milton Friedman. 2006. “Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek).” 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

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 7

From: Adrian Moore

Sent: Monday, February 25, 2019 7:40 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Dealing with marijuana impaired driving as marijuana is legalized

Walter, sorry I lost track of this thread. You make a good point and I did not mean that you should not feel free to criticize or argue with us on this stuff.  I meant that we don’t feel we compromise our principles when we advocate incremental progress towards our goals.  We charge ourselves with assessing every opportunity for change and getting as much out of it as possible. If we think we can talk them into privatizing, we try to do so. If they are only willing to do peak load pricing, we push for that. Largely because we believe partial success creates opportunities to then push for more, or that it proves the concept, etc.  I honestly don’t think we can progress by only arguing on pure ideas and principles, OR only doing incremental progress. Because we need people to change their minds and come to agree with us. And some people are persuaded by principles, and some are persuaded by practical example and incremental change.

So what I was trying to argue is there is not one right answer on these things, but multiple paths to our goals and we should pick the ones we want to pursue. Which is what I think both of us have been doing.

Adrian

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Letter 8

Dear Adrian:

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t regard testifying to government as to how to make their enterprises more efficient as “incremental progress towards our goals.” I do regard a tax reduction, a privatization, as “incremental progress towards our goals.”

Best regards,

Walter

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4:03 pm on June 25, 2019

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IQ

From: E
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2019 1:34 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: how do you define IQ and tests thereof

Dr. Block:

When I was a troubled teen, I was sent to several therapists to address a diagnosis of  not up to his abilities . I was given an IQ test. Then a month later, with a different therapist, they (unknowingly) gave me the same test a second time. Guess what, I got smarter!

I’m not sure of what these tests measure since they depend on experience quite a bit. Would you agree?

Regards, E

Dear E:

I think IQ tests are pretty accurate; but not perfect.

When I was in grade school, my IQ measurement was 141 (I remember this one exactly). Later on in life, in my 30s, I forget exactly when, I wanted to join Mensa, so I took their IQ test. I failed to join. My IQ tested out at something like 125, and you needed 130, I think, to be accepted. So, I retook the exam, this time, seeing it as a speed test, not an intelligence test. On this retest, I didn’t think, I just sped through the questions. I succeeded this time, with an IQ of about 190. What I got out of this, my surmise, is that the IQ test is pretty accurate for people whose intelligence level is below that of those who wrote the exam, but not for those who are smarter than them. This is just my speculation, based on my own experience, and might be wildly inaccurate.

One further thought. In the bad old days of IQ tests, they would ask questions about a “regatta.” But some people were simply unacquainted with that sort of thing: foreigners, inner city folk, poor people. They don’t do that sort of thing any more. Nowadays, they ask things like, this big circle is to that small circle, as this big square is to what? And then they offer you choices like triangle, parallelogram, circle, small square (the latter is correct). Or they pull this one on you: repeating from memory numbers forward, and numbers backward.  The former does not much distinguish between smart and not so smart people, but the latter does. And no one can complain that repeating numbers backward is culturally or linguistically problematic, since the not so smart people just did almost as well as the smart folk in repeating numbers forward.

Here are some readings on this subject; I hope this disorganized material is of some help to you in your deliberations on this subject:

www.aier.org/ejw

Murray, Charles. 2007. “Jewish Genius.” Commentary, April

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.aip?id=10855

Jewish Genius

In Europe http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2105519,00.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2105519,00.html

http://vdare.com/misc/rushton_african_iq_map.htm

http://vdare.com/misc/rushton_african_iq.htm

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/050731_fraser.htm

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_01_15/cover.html

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47933

Mercer, Ilana. 2005. “The Silly Sex.” V-Dare.com. Janury 6.

http://www.vdare.com/misc/mercer_050106_silly.htm

One possible explanation for this discrepancy: the alleged greater variability in men’s intelligence. The “Bell Curve” of their IQ distribution seems to be less bunched around the median IQ than that of women. They are, consequently, more likely to enjoy very high but suffer very low IQs.

The subjects in which so few women have demonstrated excellence require particularly high IQs. And women, so the theory goes, simply have fewer high IQs.

However, Professor Richard Lynn, co-author of IQ And The Wealth Of Nations, argues that men enjoy an advantage in average IQ—their median may be as much as five points above that of women. This means that there are even more high IQ men than women. At an IQ of 145 there are about ten men to one woman. Other author: Tatu Vanhanen

Lynn, Richard and Tatu Vanhanen. 2002.  IQ And The Wealth Of Nations, New York, N.Y.: Praeger Publishers

Lynn, Richard and Tatu Vanhanen. 2006.  IQ and Global Inequality, Washington Summit Publishers

A very good critique of Lynn, Vanhanen:

Unz, Ron. 2012. “Race, IQ, and Wealth: What the facts tell us about a taboo subject”

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig5/unz10.1.html

See

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Mar-11-Sun-2007/news/13063858.

html

Seligman, Daniel. 1992. A Question of Intelligence, The IQ Debate in America. New York: Citadel, Carol Press

Seligman, Daniel, “Of Japanese and Jews,” in A Question of Intelligence:

the IQ Debate in America, New York: Citadel, Carol Press, 1994, pp.

118-135

Jensen, Arthur R. 1981. Straight Talk about Mental Tests. New York: Free Press; p. 249 There is also an indication that males are slightly more variable in IQ than females, who cluster closer to the general average.

Hence more males are found at the two extremes of the IQ distribution.

There are more males than females above IQ 140 (in the ration of about 1.2 to 1) and below IQ (about 1.6. to 1).”

Levin, Michael. 1987.  Feminism and Freedom. Transaction: New Brunswick, N.J. p. 86.; “The effect observed by Benbow and Stanley is statistically large, in come phases of the study amounting to half a standard deviation.

Boys’ reaching the highest levels of mathematical aptitude thirteen times as frequently as girls would be a miracle on the null hypothesis. More crucially, as I stressed earlier, a big difference is what makes a big difference. Whatever the male mathematical advantage may look like in terms of raw score data, it is large if it explains why men make all the mathematical discoveries, why mathematics is perceived as a masculine skill….”

Benbow, Camilla and Julian Stanley. 1982. “Consequences in High School and College of Sex Differences in Mathematical Reasoning: A Longitudinal Perspective.” American Education Research 19. Winter

Benbow, Camilla and Julian Stanley. 1984. “Gender and the Science Major: A Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth. Advances in Motivation and Achievement. 2.

Benbow, Camilla and Julian Stanley. 1980. Sex Differences in Mathematical

Ability: Fact or Artifact?” Science. 210. December

Benbow, Camilla and Julian Stanley. 1983. Sex Differences in Mathematical Reasoning Ability: More Facts.” Science. 222 December.

Herrnstein and Murray (1994, p. 275). When it comes to gender, the consistent story has been that men and women have nearly identical mean IQs but that men have a broader distribution. In the NLSY, for example, women had a mean on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) that was

.06 standard deviation lower than the male mean and a standard deviation that was .11 narrower. For the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the average boy tests 1.8 IQ points higher than the average girl, and boys have a standard deviation that is .8 point larger than girls. The larger variation among men means that there are more men than women at either extreme of the IQ distribution.

In my view, the cut off point of 140 is woefully low. At a more reasonable cut off point for genius, say, 160, I’ll betcha males outnumber females by a gargantuan proportion. That is the only way to explain gender disparity in chess, math, physics, etc.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009531

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009535

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009541

Murray on iq:

http://www.american.com/archive/2008/march-april-magazine-contents/why-can

2019t-a-woman-be-more-like-a-man

f-m Iq:

Burgaleta, et.al., 2012; Cooijmans, 2003; Eysenck,1981; Hedges and Nowell, 1995;  Lehrke, R. 1997; Lubinski and Benbow, 2006; Lynn, et. al, 2005; Lynn and Irwing, 2004; Lynn, 2010; Machin and Pekkarinen, 2008; Mills, 2011; Murray, 2011

Burgaleta, Miguel, Kevin Head, Juan Álvarez-Linera, Kenia Martínez, Sergio Escorial, Richard Haier, Roberto Colom. 2012. “Sex differences in brain volume are related to specific skills, not to general intelligence.”

Intelligence; Vol. 40, Issue 1, January–February, pp. 60–68;

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289611001206

Cooijmans, Paul. 2003. “Sex differences in intelligence.”

http://www.sq.4mg.com/SexIQ.htm

When it comes to the question whether or not there is difference in mean IQ between males and females, Jensen basically says no, after having considered a large amount of evidence. Eysenck is a little bit more skeptical and points out that the usual assumption of equal IQ of the sexes may be flawed. Based on data also mentioned by Jensen (R. Lynn, 1994, Sex differences in intelligence and brain size: a paradox resolved), Eysenck suggests 4 IQ points as a conservative estimate of the difference (favoring males). Lynn, on his home page, simple states in adults the difference is about 4 points.

Both Jensen and Eysenck indicate that the question is hard to answer, as IQ tests like Stanford-Binet and WAIS have traditionally been constructed to show no sex difference in total score, by leaving out or counterbalancing items that show sex differences. Such tests therefore are not capable of measuring a possible difference between the sexes.

I myself cannot observe a mean difference directly as I only deal with high-range tests. I will return to this point further on with regard to the variance difference.

The male variance in IQ is greater than that for females; Jensen says this difference is greatest in math and spatial ability. In math the male variance is 1.1 to 1.3 times greater (he does not give the difference for total IQ or g).

In the high range, my own observation to date is that at or above the 98th percentile there are about twice more males than females, while at or above the 99.9th percentile there are about 15 times more males. Trying to make this fit in terms of standard deviation (variance is the square of the standard deviation by the way), I find that when the male and female mean are both IQ 100, the male standard deviation (SD) must be about 33% greater than the female SD. However, when a mean difference of 5 points in favor of males would exist, the male SD would only need to be about 11% greater. I don’t know which is true (or if the truth lies in between) and will not be able to verify it myself as I only deal with high-range tests.

I must say though that an SD difference of 33% seems unlikely.

Eysenck, H.J. 1981. Race, Intelligence and Education. Maurice Temple Smith Ltd

Hedges, Larry V. and Amy Nowell. 1995. “Sex differences in mental test scores, variability and numbers of high-scoring individuals.” Science.

Vol. 269, No. 5220, July, pp. 41-45; http://www.jstor.org/stable/2889145

Lehrke, R. 1997. Sex linkage of intelligence: The X-Factor. NY: Praeger.

Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. M. 2006. Study of mathematically precocious youth after 35 years. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 316 – 345.

Lynn, Richard, Adrian Raine, Peter H. Venables, Sarnoff A. Mednick, and Paul Irwing. 2005. “Sex differences on the WISC-R in Mauritius.”

Intelligence, Volume 33, Issue 5, September-October, Pages 527-533;

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289605000541

Lynn, Richard and Paul Irwing. 2004. “Sex differences on the progressive

matrices: A meta-analysis,” Intelligence, Vol. 32, pp. 481–498; http://www.uam.es/personal_pdi/psicologia/pei/download/Lynn2004.pdf

Lynn, Richard. 2010. “Sorry, men ARE more brainy than women (and more stupid too!) It’s a simple scientific fact, says one of Britain’s top dons.” Mail Online, May 8; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1274952/Men-ARE-brainy-women-say

s-scientist-Professor-Richard-Lynn.html#ixzz1ZOYWFfDe;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1274952/Men-ARE-brainy-women-say

s-scientist-Professor-Richard-Lynn.html

Machin, Stephen and Tuomas Pekkarinen. 2008 . “Global Sex Differences in Test Score Variability.” Science. Vol. 322, no. 5906, pp. 1331-1332, November.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/322/5906/1331/DC1

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/322/5906/1331/suppl/DC1

Mills, Michael. 2011. “How Can There Still Be a Sex Difference, Even When There Is No Sex Difference? Why men may be more variable on some traits.”

Psychology Today. Jamuary 26;

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-how-and-why-sex-differences/201101

/how-can-there-still-be-sex-difference-even-when-there-is

“This finding of greater male variability in IQ scores has been replicated with many different populations and in more modern times. (See, for example, Hedges and Nowell (1995); and in particular see the appendix of Lubinski and Benbow (2006): Study of mathematically precocious youth after 35 years.)

You may recall that Larry Summers was forced to resign as President of Harvard University when many people simply misinterpreted his remark that males are more variable than are females on many traits:

It does appear that on many, many different human attributes-height, weight, propensity for criminality, overall IQ, mathematical ability, scientific ability-there is relatively clear evidence that whatever the difference in means-which can be debated-there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population.

Most of his critics misunderstood his remarks and presumed that he was suggesting that males are on average more intelligent than females. Or, if they understood him correctly, some may have found it interesting that there were more intellectually deficient males than females, but the sex ratio at the other tail of the distribution was less palatable. That is, they may have committed the morallistic fallacy — the assumption that if something is morally objectable, either on its face or in its possible misinterpretation or misuse, it cannot be factually correct.

However, if it is simply a fact that males are generally more variable than are females on many traits, why is this true?”

Murray, Charles. 2011. “A big step forward in understanding male-female cognitive differences.” The American Enterprise Blog; the online magazine of the American Enterprise Institute; December 6;

http://blog.american.com/2011/12/a-big-step-forward-in-understanding-male-

female-cognitive-differences/

Walter E. Block

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12:39 pm on June 25, 2019

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Dear M:

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

I found this point of yours most important:

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

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

You’ve seen this?

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38;

Best regards,

Walter

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

Walter,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All my best,

M

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1:47 am on June 25, 2019

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