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I Become President of the U.S.

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From: N
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re:

What if you never run, but everyone writes you in to be president?

Dear N: I get elected to be president of the US during slavery. I do nothing to stop it. I am responsible for it. I must end it. If I don’t do my best to end it, I’m a murderer. It is not a positive obligation. Rather, not ending slavery when I’m in charge of it is a violation of the NAP. Ditto for rent control. Nice try. You’re not president unless you agree to be president. There’s no compulsory draft for the presidency, as there is for the army. At least I don’t think so! However, if I somehow found myself as president of the US, I’d accept the job. I’d immediately hire Dr. Ron Paul to be my chief advisor, and I’d pretty much do whatever he suggested. But first, even before he mentioned it, I’d bring all the troops home. Immediately, if not sooner.

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9:52 pm on September 12, 2017

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From: S
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Against Fiduciary Media

Walter: I read your, Hans’ and Guido’s excellent 1998 paper entitled “Against Fiduciary Media”. I appreciate that the issuance of fiduciary media constitutes a fraud, in that two people cannot both own the same property at the same time. However, my question to you, which I don’t think is addressed in this paper, is this: Who could legitimately bring an action for fraud? If the depositor knows that the bank will lend out his demand deposit and that the bank is keeping less than 100% reserves against this deposit, if the borrower from the bank also knows that the bank is doing this, if people to whom the depositor writes a check know that the bank is doing this, and if investors in the bank know that the bank is doing this, who can legitimately complain about or sue for fraud? S

Dear S: Thanks for your kind comments about this paper of mine: Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, with Guido Hulsmann and Walter E. Block. 1998. “Against Fiduciary Media,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 19-50, http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae1_1_2.pdf;
http://www.qjae.org/journals/qjae/pdf/Q11_2.pdf; translated into Spanish and published as “Contra los medios fiduciaros,” Libertas, No. 30, May 1999, pp. 23-73; 2011 translation and reprint in Romanian Economic and Business Review

Since you liked that one, you might also be interested in this one, on much the same subject:

Davidson, Laura and Walter E. Block. 2011. “The Case Against Fiduciary Media: Ethics Is The Key,” The Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 98, Issue 3, pp. 505-511; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/V.345_The-Case-Against-Fiduciary-Media-Ethics-Is-The-Key.pdf; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10551-010-0590-2

In my view, all those victimized for fraud may sue for it. That is, all of those people you mention.

Best regards,

Walter

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9:21 pm on September 12, 2017

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From: I
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Question on Libertarianism

Dear Mr. Block, I thought about your argument and the question seems to be: If I own something, do I have to take care of it? I would say not. So just because I own a cellphone doesn’t mean I have to charge it. And just because I own a slave doesn’t mean I have to feed him/her. So why would a child be any different?
Furthermore, it seems like when Rothbard says that parents can abandon their children he doesn’t mean that as long as the parents own the child they have to feed him/her, but like any other type of property, they can abandon him/her. On the contrary, Rothbard writes in The Ethics of Liberty, page 100, that from the beginning, parents do not own their children, for if they would, “that would imply the bizarre state of affairs that a fifty-year-old adult would be subject to the absolute and unquestioned jurisdiction of his seventy-year-old parent.” So rather, Rothbard’s argument that parents should have a right to starve their children to death comes from the idea that in libertarianism there are no positive obligations, and so whether or not you own something, you are still not obligated to take care of it. Another problem I have with your argument is that it won’t work in Peter Singer’s drowning child scenario (and neither would Kinsella’s argument). So if someone would see a child drowning in a pond and there is no real risk involved in saving him/her, would the law be wrong in forcing the man to save the child? Thank you very much, I

Dear I:

I want to have my cake and eat it to. I want to uphold two claims, that seemingly contradict each other.

1. Parents may not starve their children; if they no longer want to feed them, that’s ok: but they must then bring them to a hospital, an orphanage, a synagogue, a church, something like that where others will take care of the child (only if no one in the entire world wants to take them on may they legitimately be allowed to die).

2. There are no positive obligations in libertarianism.

I’ve tried to solve this, reach this goal, with my writings on abortion, abandonment, homesteading land in the donut, or bagel formet (leaving virgin land empty) in the middle of one’s homesteaded holdings. Here are my publications on this below.

Stephan Kinsella was kind enough to call what I’ve done the “Blockian proviso,” but he rejects my analysis. See my attempt to refute him, see this:

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Forestalling, positive obligations and the Lockean and Blockian provisos: Rejoinder to Stephan Kinsella.” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review. http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529

Abandonment:

Block, Walter E. 2015. “Expiration of private property rights.” The Journal of Philosophical Economics. Vol. VIII, Issue 2, Spring; http://www.jpe.ro/?id=revista&p=410;
http://www.jpe.ro/pdf.php?id=7114

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: Privatize Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers Too. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books; Rowman and Littlefield; https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498518802/Water-Capitalism-The-Case-for-Privatizing-Oceans-Rivers-Lakes-and-Aquifers (ch. 5 on abandonment)

Abortion:

Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Dyke and Block, 2011

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. Undated (1997?). “L’Aborto: Una Legittima Difesa,” Claustrofobia, anno 1, n. 3, pp. 16-22.

Block, Walter E. 1978. “Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?” Reason, Vol. 9, No. 12, April, pp. 18-25.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/27/jmp.jhu012.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586;
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhu012?ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586&keytype=ref

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Vol. 35: 429-448;
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref ; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=78eaf87fd81ebaaa7a245cca600b15bba8497c2cfbf1284c08a0260ba068d4ad&cmpgp0811Ueh016=ICD20811TEH0PkRLpL1IF; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=4b842f7f4697bce38422e0bfe03e6ccad53070377a9303d5#JAL1

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdf; http://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10834-013-9361-4

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pub

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/38-dyke-block-conjoined-twins/

Block, Walter E. 2012. “A Not So Funny Thing Happened to Me in Tampa.” August 30; http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block208.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTAmwUHcLM
http://conza.tumblr.com/tagged/evictionism
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

Read at least some of this and tell me whether and if so why you think I’ve failed in this quest. Then, I can respond to your objections.

Best regards,

Walter

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9:12 pm on September 12, 2017

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Taking Money From The Government

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From: T
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Taking money from the Government

I enjoyed your discussion with Tom Woods. The questions I’m left with relate to once the money has been taken from the government. You made a distinction between the Marxist and Libertarian professor drawing a government pay check. Would it be okay to steal the stolen money from the Marxist but not the Libertarian, or both or neither? Perhaps embezzling from Goldman Sachs would be okay? Or do we say that once the ill-gotten gains are got back from the government, they are now legitimate? The Goldman Sachs could always say, “Yes, we made evil arguments to get the money, but we didn’t believe this stuff, and we’re really working for the demise of the system.” (Just as the person stealing from the Nazi motor-pool may have told the guard that he needed the truck to round up Jews.) What counts, the motivation, or the results of activism aimed at getting into the government purse?

Dear T: I don’t want to say anything illegal, so I can’t answer your question with regard to the US or any other country I might ever visit. But, let’s suppose we are talking about the equivalents of the people, groups, you mention, only they are all located on Mars, or North Korea. Then, I would say, you have drawn the correct implications from what I wrote. By the way, Ragnar Danneskjold, my major hero in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, did precisely this.

Best regards,

Walter

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9:01 pm on September 12, 2017

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From: T
Sent:
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Question on Reparations

Dear Mr. Block, Greetings. My name is T, and I have recently familiarized myself with some of your work on reparations for American slavery. I see that you mention reparations for Japanese-American internees in various places, but I have not yet been able to determine whether you think it was moral for the American government to offer these reparations at the American taxpayers’ expense in the late 1980s. Generally speaking, do you think that the government owes reparations to people whose rights it once violated? Or do you think that only individuals can owe reparations? Thank you for taking the time to read my message. Best, T

Good question. As a methodological individualist, I believe there are only individuals who comprise groups such as the government. See, below, my publications on reparations. In my view, the individuals in govt who did this owe reparations to the children of the Japanese.

Alston and Block, 2007; Block, 1993, 2001, 2002; Block and Yeatts, 1999-2000

Alston, Wilton D. and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Reparations, Once Again.” Human Rights Review, Vol. 9, No. 3, September, pp. 379-392; http://tinyurl.com/2b75fl

Block, Walter E. 1993. “Malcolm X,” Fraser Forum, January, pp. 18-19; http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/5361.aspx

Block, Walter E. 2001. “The Moral Dimensions of Poverty, Entitlements and Theft,” The Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 83-93; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/2001_spring/block.html; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=922087; http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.marketsandmorality.com%2Findex.php%2Fmandm%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F587%2F577&ei=lBn9UuLIOtDOkQe1toHwBw&usg=AFQjCNF2MZ5XoFKKMF5UcOfOT5Kv-HQgZA&sig2=VVYWZhyl0ZmAWRAKXtkxWw

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

Block, Walter E. and Guillermo Yeatts. 1999-2000. “The Economics and Ethics of Land Reform: A Critique of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s ‘Toward a Better Distribution of Land: The Challenge of Agrarian Reform,’” Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 37-69; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/ethics_land_reform.pdf

Best regards,

Walter

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8:57 pm on September 12, 2017

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From: I
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: RE: Question on Libertarianism

Hi, I’m a libertarian Jewish teen living in the United States and recently I was disturbed to read in Murray Rothbard’s book “The Ethics of Liberty”, chapter 14 “Children and Rights”, that parents have a right to starve their children to death. I searched around on the internet and found that Doris Gordon and Stephen Kinsella attempt to solve the obvious moral problem here, by disagreeing with Rothbard and saying that since parents give birth to their children in a state where they are not self-sufficient they are obligated to support them until they become self-sufficient. However, Gordon and Kinsella did not solve the core problem here as their solution only works in some cases. For example, if A takes B on a boat ride and in the middle, decides to through him off the boat thus murdering him, Gordon and Kinsella would say he can’t, because he put B in this situation. But if B hides in A’s boat and pops out in the middle of the ride, Gordon and Kinsella would have no problem with A throwing him off. Because in this case, A didn’t put B in this situation. B did it to himself by hiding in the boat.
If we think about this a little, we quickly realize that in most cases the problem still exists. If B runs on to A’s property to escape a fire Gordon and Kinsella would allow A to murder B by throwing him off his property – right into the fire. How can it be morally justified to murder people because of property rights?
The thing about parents having a right not feed their children comes from Murray Rothbard’s book “The Ethics of Liberty”, page 100, where he writes:

Applying our theory to parents and children, this means that a parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also that the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.

In an article in Mises Daily Stephan Kinsella wrote:

Finally, and to me most decisive: the libertarian could argue that the parent has various positive obligations to his or her children, such as the obligation to feed, shelter, educate, etc. The idea here is that libertarianism does not oppose “positive rights”; it simply insists that they be voluntarily incurred. One way to do this is by contract; another is by trespassing against someone’s property. Now, if you pass by a drowning man in a lake you have no enforceable (legal) obligation to try to rescue him; but if you push someone in a lake you have a positive obligation to try to rescue him. If you don’t you could be liable for homicide. Likewise, if your voluntary actions bring into being an infant with natural needs for shelter, food, care, it is akin to throwing someone into a lake. In both cases you create a situation where another human is in dire need of help and without which he will die. By creating this situation of need you incur an obligation to provide for those needs. And surely this set of positive obligations would encompass the obligation to manumit the child at a certain point. This last argument is, to my mind, the most attractive, but it is also probably the least likely to be accepted by most libertarians, who generally seem opposed to positive obligations, even if they are incurred as the result of one’s actions. Rothbard, for example, puts forward several objections to such an approach.

Doris Gordon proposed the same thing here.

I also saw a paper in which you addressed this problem and there you say that when someone abandons something, they must first let other people know, and the chance that nobody will adopt a child that is being abandoned is very low.

However the core of the problem, namely that sometimes the non-aggression principle can cause innocent people to die, is still not completely solved. Because all that Kinsella and Gordon have said, is that if one person puts another in a situation where he needs to be helped, he is obligated to help him. So if A takes B for boat ride, he cannot just through him off the boat. Because A willingly let him on. But if B hides in a closet in A’s boat, A would have a right to through him off – even in the middle of the Atlantic where he will certainly die. This is because A did not willingly let him on, and he is not obligated to let B use his property (his boat). So my question is, how is this moral?

Thank you very much, I

Dear I:

I agree with Murray Rothbard. The parent has no obligation to feed the child, keep him alive. But, does the parent have an obligation to notify others of that decision? I argue that he does, and that this does not comprise a positive obligation. Do let me know what you think of my argument:

Kinsella, Stephan. 2007. “The Blockean Proviso.” September 11;
http://archive.mises.org/7127/the-blockean-proviso/; http://blog.mises.org/?p=007127
Block’s Proviso: http://blog.mises.org/?p=007127

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Forestalling, positive obligations and the Lockean and Blockian provisos: Rejoinder to Stephan Kinsella.” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review. http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529

Best regards, Walter

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8:40 pm on September 12, 2017

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From: D
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Are there any free market statisticians on the planet?

Please introduce me to any that you know, via email

Dear D:

Here is some empirical work on the Austrian business cycle; virtually all of these people qualify:

“Austrian business cycle theory: Empirical evidence” by Bismans and Mougeot, in the Review of Austrian Economics. http://www.citeulike.org/article/4152750

Butos, 1993; Carilli and Dempster, unpublished, forthcoming; Cochran, Yetter and Glahe, 2004; Cochran, 2011; Gallaway and Vedder, 1992; Hughes, 1997; Keeler, 2001; Montgomery, 2006; Mulligan, 2002, 2005, 2006; Murphy, 2009; Murphy, Barnett and Block, 2010, 2012; Powell, 2002; Wainhouse, 1984; Young, 2005

Butos, William N. 1993. “The Recession of 1990 and Austrian Business Cycle Theory: An Empirical Perspective,” Critical Review, 7:2/3, 277-306; http://emp.trincoll.edu/~butos/.

Carilli, Anthony M., Gregory M. Dempster and Henrik Rasmussen. Unpublished. “Is Austrian Business Cycle Theory Still Relevant?”

Carilli, Anthony M., Gregory M. Dempster and Henrik Rasmussen.
“Is the Austrian Business Cycle Theory Still Relevant?” is forthcoming in the RAE and available here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/gkm76137828r4167/

Cochran, John P. 2011. “Hayek and the 21st Century Boom-Bust and Recession-Recovery” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, vol. 14, no. 3 (Fall): 261-285.

Cochran, John P., Yetter, Noah, and Glahe, Fred R. 2004. “Capital-Based Macroeconomics: Boom and Bust in Japan and the U.S.” Indian Journal of Economics and Business, vol. 3, no. 1, 1-16.

Gallaway, Lowell, and Vedder, Richard. 1992. Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in 20th Century America. New York: Holmes and Meier

Hughes, Arthur M. 1997. “The Recession of 1990: An Austrian Explanation.” Review of Austrian Economics 10(1): 107–123.

Keeler, James P. 2001. Empirical Evidence on the Austrian Business Cycle Theory.” Review of Austrian Economics. Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 331-351

Montgomery, Michael R. 2006. “Austrian Persistence? Capital-based Business Cycle Theory and the Dynamics of Investment Spending.” Review of Austrian Economics 19(1): 17-45.

Mulligan, Robert. 2002. “A Hayekian Analysis of the Term Structure of Production,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 5(2): 17-33

Mulligan, Robert.2005. “The Austrian Business Cycle: a Vector Error-correction Model with Commercial and Industrial Loans,” Journal of Private Enterprise Fall, 22(1): 51-91

Mulligan, Robert. 2006. “An Empirical Examination of Austrian Business Cycle Theory,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 9(2): 69-93

Murphy, Robert P., William Barnett II and Walter E. Block. 2010. “Testing Austrian Business Cycle Theory? A Rejoinder to Andrew T. Young” Journal of Business and Economic Perspectives, Vol. XXXVII, No. 2, Fall/Winter, pp. 14-28; http://www.academia.edu/1359870/Testing_Austrian_Business_Cycle_Theory_A_Rejoinder_to_Andrew_T._Young

Murphy, Robert P., William Barnett II and Walter E. Block. 2012. “Testing Austrian Business Cycle Theory? A Second Rejoinder to Andrew Young.” Romanian Economic and Business Review; Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 7-20; http://ideas.repec.org/a/rau/journl/v7y2012i3p7-20.html

Murphy, Robert P. 2009. Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal, Regnery

Powell, Benjamin. 2002. “Explaining Japan’s recession,” the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics Vol. 5, No. 2 (Summer): 35–50; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae5_2_3.pdf

Wainhouse, Charles E. 1984. “Empirical Evidence for Hayek’s Theory of Economic Fluctuations,” in Barry N. Siegel, ed. Money in Crisis: the Federal Reserve, the Economy, and Monetary Reform. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Co., pp. 37-71.

Young, Andrew T. 2005. “Reallocating labor to initiate changes in capital structures: Hayek revisited.” Economics Letters. Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 275-282

Young, Andrew. http://home.olemiss.edu/~atyoung/atyoung.htm

Best regards,

Walter

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8:27 pm on September 12, 2017

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From: N
Sent:
To: walter block;
Subject: The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility: Each successive unit of a good grants its owner less utility than the previous unit. Counter Example: I have a bike missing it’s two tires, surely the first tire I buy would grant me less utility than the second. Did I go wrong? If so then where?

Dear N: This is an excellent attempt to undermine basic economics. But, do read this:

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

And search for “technological unit.” Murray fully defends basic economics.

The post Is The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility Fallacious? No appeared first on LewRockwell.

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From: J
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Jim Crow & States’ Rights

Do you believe that the repeal of state-forced segregation (not the illegalisation of private discrimination, of course) in the American South should’ve been handled at the state level, instead of in Washington? In other words, should certain been allowed to retain such laws of forced segregation if they wished, as their right as sovereign states?

Dear J: I am neither a federalist nor an anti federalist. I don’t favor the states of the feds, nor the reverse. I’m a libertarian. So, I pick and choose on the basis of the specific issue. For example, when President Reagan threatened the NYC mayor that unless he got rid of rent control, the federal govt would withhold funds from NYC, I favored the federal govt. On the other hand, when the federal government is in the wrong vis a vis the states, I favor the latter. For example, the feds should not own land in the 50 states. But, out of context, if I didn’t know the specific issue, I incline toward decentralization; states preferred to the feds. On the segregation issue, I don’t think govt has a right to impose this. So, regarding southern state segregation, I favored the federal govt that wanted to stop this. On the other hand, suppose the fed govt wanted to impose state segregation on a state. Then, and only then would I support the “sovereign” states, not because they are sovereign (for the anarcho capitalist libertarian, only the individual is sovereign) but because, then, they would be promoting justice. Best regards, Walter

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From: A
Sent:
To: Walter Block
Subject: Murder question

Dear Walter, A friend asked me this question. Any ideas? Suppose you are traveling through the desert with just enough water to get to the other side. X wants to kill you and poisons your water in the middle of the night. A few minutes later, Y, who also wants to kill you, dumps the water, not knowing it was poisoned. You then die of dehydration. Who gets charged with murder? Thanks a lot! A

Dear A: In my view, X is guilty of attempted murder. Y is guilty of murder

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