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Which Is Preferable: Gold or Bitcoin?

From: J
Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2019 8:32 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>


If/when the electrical grid goes down, monthly income will stop (pensions, Social Security, salaries), and regardless of money or other resources that people can lay their hands on, they will be unable to pay bills.  At this point, I’m assuming that that checks by mail will not be an option…the USPO and banks will probably not be functioning. Nevertheless, obligations will continue.  While monthly bills must be paid to far-away locations, we will not be able to do so.

Would you care to speculate on what will happen when people cannot be paid or access banking, and bills cannot be sent by businesses?  What a mess… the business backlog will be enormous.


From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2019 10:38 AM
To: J
Subject: RE:

Dear J:

I prefer gold to bitcoin as money. The former was once chosen by the people when they were “Free to Choose,” the latter never was.

Further, without electricity, our monetary system would be a gigantic mess with bitcoin. A horrid mess. Both our present system, and bitcoin, depend upon electricity. But gold as money does not. This is only a very minor reason to prefer gold as money to bitcoin.



2:34 am on October 1, 2019

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How To Deal With Bored Economics Students

This letter was written to me by a former student of mine at Loyola

From: J
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2019 12:17 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Teaching my first micro economics course

Dr. Block,

This is J, I wanted to tell you the good news that I’m now teaching economics at a university here in Saigon. I want to both thank you again for all you help allowing me to work here and pursue teaching. I’m also thinking of going back to university to get a phd in Econ.

I wanted to ask for some advice on teaching kids with no knowledge of economics at all to basic micro econ.  If you have any new book recommendations or other materials that help with class I’d happily listen. Also do you have any tips for dealing with bored students?

Thank you, J

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2019 12:26 PM

To: J

Subject: RE: Teaching my first micro economics course

Dear J:

When you’re ready to go get a phd in econ, let me know for some free advice.

Bored students? Google jokes for, on, economists, and tell them to your students. Show economic moves like Wall Street, Man in a White Suit, I’m all right Jack,  and give them homework assignments to watch while they fill them out. Then, discuss these movies. The best intro book by far is Henry Hazlitt’s econ in 1 lesson.

Best regards,



4:19 pm on September 26, 2019

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From: S
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 4:36 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Follow-up question on your blog post

Greetings, dear Professor Block!

I have seen a recent post of yours about libertarian view in regard of dead bodies:


A question arises, how are property rights over dead body defined? It’s obvious that original owner – once dead – is gone. Letʼs suppose that he/she has not expressed his/her will in regard of who shall be the owner of the dead body. Who can claim the body and on which grounds in libertarian framework? It may be common sense to say that immediate relatives can claim it, but what if no such relatives exist or are interested in acquiring such possession?

Another related question is that once someone by default has such property rights or acquires these from original owner by means of voluntary exchange, he/she should be able to do whatever he/she pleases with this new property (as long as it does not violate others’ property rights). Current, non-libertarian law is inconsistent here, as dead bodies are viewed neither as subjects of the law nor as legal property. (Well, in fact even living bodies are not accepted as property of each human being – say, in many countries voluntary prostitution or voluntary suicide are illegal, which is a violation of individual property rights by the state.) Am I right to suggest, that a dead body is an object of property, and once the owner is defined, it is perfectly fine to use such body in whatever manner conceivable – be it for medical experiments, sexual pleasure, sale to third parties, religious rituals or cooking a meal from it?

Best regards, S

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 9:14 AM

To: S

Subject: RE: Follow-up question on your blog post

Dear S:

Thanks for your important question/challenge

Murray Rothbard once wrote about homeless bums. Who would help them if they were mugged? Who would avenge them if they were murdered? His answer was twofold. One, these acts must necessarily occur on someone’s property, since under anarchocapitalism, all property would be owned (apart from the submarginal, which no one wants). So, the owner would likely take umbrage at any of his “tenants’” rights being violated. Two, for people who couldn’t afford to pay rent, there would be private charity, “friends of bums.”

I answer your question based on Murray’s as usual brilliant insights. In the free society, an cap, no government, people would anticipate such challenges, problems and solve them. The heirs of the deceased would take care of them. There would be private charities that would come to the rescue of those dead bodies who would otherwise be subjected to the insults, mal-treatment, you mention.

Would this work perfectly? No. Nothing touched by human beings can be perfect. The utilitarian question is, under which system are the indignities you mention less likely to occur. With an all-loving government, or, predicated upon the Non Aggression Principle of libertarianism. I say the latter.

Best regards,



4:18 pm on September 26, 2019

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From: T
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 3:50 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Who Should Own Dead Bodies?

Hi Walter,

I enjoyed your short interchange with “N” about who should own dead bodies. I agree with your position.


But I have a question of my own:

“Who is responsible for dead bodies?” When I was in the city of Belem, Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon River just south of the equator in 1990, I saw a large graveyard in the center of the city. As in New Orleans, due to the high water table; bodies were buried in small mausoleums above ground. These were usually made of concrete.

As you know, concrete and the tropics are not a good match. I saw many mausoleums falling apart and skeletons falling out of them onto the ground. The Belemese thought nothing of this. But I wondered about diseases that might be carried by these suddenly exposed skeletons and corpses.  Who is liable for disease from a corpse falling out of an abandoned mausoleum in a graveyard?  Of course I realize it would be hard to prove a causal trail from the suddenly exposed cadaver to deaths of the living. It really was something to see. All these skeletons falling out onto the ground. It was always Halloween in Belem. T

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2019 9:05 AM

To: T

Subject: RE: Who Should Own Dead Bodies?

Dear T:

The graveyard owner would be responsible. He accepted the dead bodies onto his land. I posit that the contract would have made him responsible for them. I’m no Coasean. I don’t say this because he would be the least cost avoider of the problem. I say this because I predict, expect, that the contract would have stipulated precisely that.

Here’s a critique of Ronald Coaseanism:

Austro libertarian critics of Coasean law and economics:: Coase critics:

Barnett and Block, 2005, 2007, 2009; Block 1977, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010A, 2010B, 2010C, 2011; Block, Barnett and Callahan, 2005; Bylund, 2014; Cordato, 1989, 1992a, 1992b, 1997, 1998, 2000; DiLorenzo, 2014; Fox, 2007; Hoppe, 2004; Krause, 1999; Krecke, 1996; Lewin, 1982; North, 1990, 1992, 2002; Rothbard, 1982, 1997; Stringham, 2001; Stringham and White, 2004; Terrell, 1999; Wysocki, 2017.

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “Professor Tullock on Austrian Business Cycle Theory,” Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, pp. 431-443

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Coase and Van Zandt on Lighthouses,” Public Finance Review, Vol. 35, No. 6, November, pp. 710-733; http://pfr.sagepub.com/content/35/6/710

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2009. “Coase and Bertrand on Lighthouses,” Public Choice; 140(1–2):1–13, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11127-008-9375-x

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

Block, Walter E. 1995. “Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to Demsetz,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 61-125, http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae8_2_4.pdfhttp://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/r82_4.pdf; reprint translation: “Ética, eficiencia, derechos de propiedad Coasianos e ingreso psíquico: una respuesta a Demsetz,” Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp. 71-210

Block, Walter 1996. “O.J.’s Defense: A Reductio Ad Absurdum of the Economics of Ronald Coase and Richard Posner,” European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 265-286; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_oj’s-defense.pdf

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

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Private property rights, economic freedom, and Professor Coase: A Critique of Friedman, McCloskey, Medema and Zorn,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer, pp. 923-951; http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go2782/is_3_26/ai_n6640908/?tag=content

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Coase and Kelo: Ominous Parallels and Reply to Lott on Rothbard on Coase,” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 997-1022; https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=27+Whittier+L.+Rev.+997&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=7abe221cecca64ce06068c3cbfa36fd1

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “A Response to Brooks’ Support of Demsetz on the Coase Theorem.” Dialogue, Vol. 2; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2010/2.10.WB.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Brooks on Coase and Demsetz.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics; Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter, pp. 56-73; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae13_4_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010C. “Rejoinder to Boettke on Coasean Economics and Communism.” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall, pp. 9-90; http://www.rebe.rau.ro/REBE%205%203.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Rejoinder to Bertrand on lighthouses.” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, Fall, pp. 49-67; http://www.rebe.rau.ro/REBE%206%203.pdf

Block, Walter E., William Barnett II and Gene Callahan. 2005. “The Paradox of Coase as a Defender of Free Markets,” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 1075-1095; http://tinyurl.com/2hbzd4http://www.nyujll.org/articles/Vol.%201%20No.%203/Vol.%201%20No.%203%20-%20Barnett,%20Block%20and%20Callahan.pdfhttp://tinyurl.com/2hbzd4

to be reprinted in Mario Rizzo, ed. forthcoming. Austrian Law and EconomicsBylund, Per L. 2014. “Ronald Coase’s ‘nature of the firm’ and the argument for economic planning.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Volume 36, Number 3, September; ISSN 1053-8372 print; ISSN 1469-9656 online/14/03000 305 – 329 © The History of Economics Society, doi:10.1017/S1053837214000352

Cordato, Roy E. 1989. “Subjective Value, Time Passage, and the Economics of Harmful Effects,” Hamline Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring, pp.229-244.

Cordato, Roy E. 1992a. “Knowledge Problems and the Problem of Social Cost” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, vol.14, Fall, pp. 209-224.

Cordato, Roy E. 1992b. Welfare Economics and Externalities in an Open-Ended Universe: A Modern Austrian Perspective, Boston: Kluwer.

Cordato, Roy E. 1997. “Market-Based Environmentalism and the Free Market: They’re Not the Same,” The Independent Review, Vol. 1, No. 3, Winter, pp. 371-386.

Cordato, Roy. 1998. “Time Passage and the Economics of Coming to the Nuisance: Reassessing the Coasean Perspective,” Campbell Law Review, vol. 20, No. 2, Spring, pp. 273-292

Cordato, Roy. 2000. “Chasing Phantoms in a Hollow Defense of Coase” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 13, No. 2, September, pp. 193-208.

DiLorenzo, Tom. 2014. “When Did Ronald Coase Become the Ayatollah of Economic Theory?” January 2; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/01/thomas-dilorenzo/the-beltarian-cult/

Fox, Glenn. 2007. “The Real Coase Theorems.” The Cato Journal: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Public Policy Analysis. Volume 27 Number 3, Fall, pp. 373-396; http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj27n3/cj27n3-5.pdf

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2004. “The Ethics and Economics of Private Property.” October 11; https://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe11.html

Krauss, Michael. 1999. “Tort Law, Moral Accountability, and Efficiency: Reflections on the Current Crisis” Markets and Morality, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/1999_spr/krauss.html

Krecke, Elisabeth. 1996. “Law and the Market Order: An Austrian Critique of the Economic Analysis of Law,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines 7(1), March, pp.19-37; Commentaries on Law&Economics, 1997 Yearbook, ed., Robert W. McGee, pp.86-109.

Lewin, Peter.  1982. “Pollution Externalities: Social Cost and Strict Liability.”  Cato Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, Spring, pp. 205-229.

North, Gary. 1990. Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics.

North, Gary. 1992. The Coase Theorem, Tyler, TX: The Institute for Christian Economics

North, Gary. 2002. “Undermining Property Rights: Coase and Becker,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 16, No. 4, Fall, pp. 75-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/16_4/16_4_5.pdf

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://www.mises.org/rothbard/lawproperty.pdfhttp://mises.org/story/2120

Rothbard, Murray N. 1997.  “Value Implications of Economic Theory,” Logic of Action I (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar), pp. 255-265.

Stringham, Edward Peter, and Mark White. 2004. “Economic Analysis of Tort Law: Austrian and Kantian Perspectives.” In Law and Economics: Alternative Economic Approaches to Legal and Regulatory Issues, ed. Margaret Oppenheimer and Nicholas Mercuro, 374-392. New York: M.E. Sharpe. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1676271 

Stringham, Edward. 2001. “Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency and the Problem of Central Planning,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer, 41-50; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae4_2_3.pdf

Terrell, Timothy D. 1999. “Property Rights and Externality: The Ethics of the Austrian School.” Journal of Markets and Morality. Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall; http://www.acton.org/publications/mandm/mandm_article_114.php

Wysocki, Igor. 2017. “Justice and Pareto-Efficiency (The Case Against Coase).” Dialogi Polityczne / Political Dialogues, pp. 33-46

Debate: Block vs. Demsetz: Block – Demsetz debate (on Ronald Coase):

1. Block, Walter E. 1977. “Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 2, 1977, pp. 111-115; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/1_2/1_2_4.pdf

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

3. Block, Walter E. 1995. “Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to Demsetz,” Review of Austrian Economics, 8 (2): 61-125, http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae8_2_4.pdf

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

5. Block, Walter E. 2000. “Private Property Rights, Erroneous Interpretations, Morality and Economics: Reply to Demsetz,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, pp. 63-78; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae3_1_8.pdf


Block-Lott Debate

Lott, John R. 1983-1984. “A Note on Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution.” Cato Journal. Volume 3 Number 3, Winter, pp. 875-878

Block responded here:

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Coase and Kelo: Ominous Parallels and Reply to Lott on Rothbard on Coase,” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 997-1022

Lott did not reply to this Block, 2006.

Best regards,



4:16 pm on September 26, 2019

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From: Danny Woods <hevymac@gmail.com>

Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2019 10:29 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Regarding family and history

Mr/Prof Walter Block

I hope this email finds you in good health and spirits. My name is Danny Buchanan Woods, 33 years old, lived in 8 countries, living in Japan (for most of my adult life) I’m writing you (Thank you internet and email) to express my kindest appreciation to you and your work over the years. I’ve been told that I can lack brevity so please excuse my wordy email. To put it succinctly , you are my role model. I, as someone with no father and who has found surrogate (metaphorically) fathers throughout my life,  have come to view your presence at the Mises institute (in YouTube form) as a constant in my life (since the good old days of Ron Paul vs Everyone 2008). Morally and intellectually. At the risk of coming across as, maybe strange, I have taken for granted your continuing existence and participation in, the libertarian and economic world. And, I would first like to thank you for your tireless (though life rarely isn’t) work and advocation for the principals moral and just behavior.

I’ve gotten into reading more and more to my children, 3 yo Gene Lebell and 1 yo William Riker, economic (eg, Economic thought before Adam Smith, Rothbard) and libertarian (eg I chose Liberty), and our favorite, ‘Privatization of Roads and Highways’, books before they go to bed. And while I’ve read plenty of books, particularly economics and political theory, I’ve only recently gotten to systematically reading through a topic and note taking while reading. Reading Mises: The last night of liberalism, and feeling greatly saddened by the lack of first hand accounts of Misis’s life, motivations, opinions, reflections, I find myself feeling a sense of urgency in contacting you.  You see, I’ve wanted to thank you for many years, for your many…. many lectures and articles that I’ve gleefully consumed over the years. And now I realise, looking at my own children growing up, that my role models are aging at the same pace. As you would no doubt point out, “I used to jump over a hurdle of some kind to illustrate the minimum wage effects on the low skilled, but now can’t”, you are getting no younger and time defeats all enemies and friends alike. Just like Mises died, so will you. And the questions I have might never be answered unless I ask them while I have the luxury of time.

Would you consent to an interview over Skype, or whatever you use? I would, of course, reimburse you for your time. I wish to find out who you are. That is to say, beyond all the esoteric questions, the why and what happened of your life. For example, I just finished Rothbard’s ‘The Betrayal of the American Right’ and he mentioned you in there! Page 197 2nd paragraph. You also have unique insights into history and men, like Rothbard.  I would be honoured in even getting a response to this email. Thank you so much for your time


Danny Woods

PS: I’ve attached a photo of me reading your book (Space capitalism) to my children

Nelson, Peter Lothian and Walter E. Block. 2018. Space capitalism: the case for privatizing space travel and colonization. Palgrave Macmillan; https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-74651-7https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/3319746502/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&condition=new&qid=1531187909&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl2&tag=economicpolicyjournal-20&linkId=959e913e476f48b289a16223d557a826http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/07/new-walter-block-book-space-capitalism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29https://filling-space.com/2019/01/18/space-capitalism-laissez-faire-in-the-heavens/

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2019 11:29 AM

To: ‘hevymac@gmail.com‘ <hevymac@gmail.com>

Cc: ‘Peter Nelson’ <p4444nelson@gmail.com>

Subject: FW: Regarding family and history

Dear Danny:

Thanks for one of the nicest e mail letters I’ve ever had in my entire life. I am very grateful to you.

Yes, I’ll do a skype interview with you, provided you send me the url for it afterward. Or, if you send me a bunch of questions you’d ask in the interview, I’d write replies.

I hope and trust you don’t mind that I send that precious picture to my co author on the Space Cap book, and also, that I share this with a few other people.

May I ask what kind of work you do?

Best regards,



11:52 am on September 25, 2019

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Advice for a High School Student About College, University Enrollment

From: J
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2019 10:19 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: I know a high school senior who’s interested in studying economics next year, however…

Hello Dr. Block,

We’ve never met or spoken before, but I have spent hours reading your writings and listening to your talks. You could say that I’m a fan. However, I am not writing to you just to express my admiration, I’m looking for some professional advice from you.

My girlfriend’s son is 17 and a senior in high school. I have recently discovered that he wants to major in economics in undergraduate school. Ultimately I think he wants to go to law school. My question to you is, what do you think the best way to introduce you, your department, and possibly Austrian economics in general to this very bright young man?

Some background…he’s been living his whole life in a lefty matrix and is impressed by people like Richard Wolff (https://www.rdwolff.com/)(yikes!). Last August his mom and I visited Cambridge MA so that we could bring him home after attending a couple of workshops at Harvard. He really wants to go to Harvard right now (I hope he gets in too, assuming that’s what he wants when it’s time to choose, if he gets the choice). So, you might have a hard sell with this guy. However, I feel like now is a very good time to at least try to point him in a different direction.

One of the many good things about him is that he is willing to discuss libertarianism and economics with me. I’ve explained to him the NAP and some basic economics (like the benefits of trade), but I’m no Walter Block (not even a shadow) or even Richard Wolff, so he’s not too impressed with me. (haha…it’s ok, I’m an engineer, not an academic). However, if you can point me to something that might catch his attention I would happily pass it along.

Thank you for your time, I’m sure you’re very busy all of the time!

Best Regards, J

Dear J:

Thanks for your kind words.

My advice to this young man is that if he can get into Harvard (or Yale or Princeton or Stanford or any of those), and, if he has a high tolerance for political correctness with no libertarianism at all in the mix, then go there. On the other hand, if he doesn’t get into any of those places, and/or, would like something of a free enterprise bent in addition to PC (of which we, too, have plenty), then he should come here. In the meantime, apply to a half dozen of those prestigious places, plus Loyola, and then see what’s what.

See the case not only for applying to Loyola, but actually enrolling here, below.

I myself went to a non prestigious undergraduate program at Brooklyn College, and then to Columbia U for my phd. So, it is possible to come here for undergrad, and then get into a prestigious law school or grad school. I think the prestige of the grad school is more important than where you go for an undergrad degree. One more piece of advice. He can always transfer here for his sophomore year if he doesn’t like where he goes for his freshman year.

Best regards,


Loyola has a high tuition; this cannot be denied. However, this Jesuit University does award scholarships, not only on a need basis. As well there is the Walter Block Scholarship, which is additional to the funds offered by Loyola: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html

Further info on the WB scholarship:

Block, Walter. 2019. “Prospective libertarian students should consider the Walter Block scholarship.” February 3;



The Walter Block Scholarship

I have been a professor of economics at Loyola since 2001. During that time, I have had numerous excellent students, who were interested in my research projects: Austrian economics and libertarian theory. I have been lucky that many of these students, while still in high school, read my publications and listened to my speeches, some in person for example at the Mises University, and others on the web. As a result, they enrolled at Loyola in order to study with me, and my half dozen fellow free enterprise professors. This might not sound like all that much, given that we have some 200 professors, but, believe me, Loyola New Orleans is a beacon of light as far as Rothbardianism and Misesianism are concerned. At next door Tulane University, with a faculty at least triple our size, there are only two professors who fit this bill. And at LSU in Baton Rouge, quadruple our size, there is not a single solitary professor who espouses such a political economic philosophy. Yes, we have numerous social justice warriors, Marxists, feminists, professors, as do virtually all universities. But, at least at Loyola, a student will be introduced to both sides of debatable issues, unlike at most universities. As well, with so many professors who appreciate economic freedom, there are many students who also do. According to research I have seen, one of the best predictors of student satisfaction is finding friends among the student body.  You will, here at Loyola.

So, if you are a student at a junior or two year university, which has no libertarian professors, and no students of this persuasion either, think of transferring to Loyola. If you are a high school student, getting ready to apply to university, consider us. If you are a parent or grandparent of a college age person, do consider suggesting that they apply for admission to Loyola, in order to study with me and my free enterprise fellow colleagues.

Just recently, a former student of mine has set up a Walter E. Block scholarship. It is worth $25,000, for the next four years, for a total of $100,000. I am now able to disburse these funds to Loyola students who demonstrate an interest in private property, free markets and limited government. Make no mistake about this, Loyola’s tuition is very high. However, my school does give generous scholarships, based on financial need, and also for other reasons. My scholarship money will be in addition to those funds, not a replacement for them. So, apply to Loyola, even if you thought our price tag was too high. With this scholarship money at my disposal, we can be financially competitive even with public universities.

This award is for students who are interested in studying the economics of free enterprise, who are supporters of the philosophy of private property rights, limited government, deregulation, free trade. Please provide me with evidence of your interest in this libertarian free market philosophy. Books you have read on this subject? Book reports on them? Term papers on this subject? Leaders of this philosophy by whom you have been influenced? As an application, please write me a letter along these lines. You can reach me at wblock@loyno.edu

Block, Walter. 2019. “Attention High School Students.” February 6;


Block, Walter E. 2017. “C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University.” June 27;


Loyola Economics Students Published Widely in Refereed Journals; http://www.loyno.edu/news/story/2017/7/17/3962


Block, Walter. 2017. “The Best Place to Study Undergraduate Economics.” June 30; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/06/the-best-place-to-study-undergraduate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2017. Interview with Walter E. Block. “The Inside Scoop on Studying Economics at Loyola University-New Orleans” September 3;



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/;


Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)


https://www.literature-map.com/max+stirner.html Literature map; some interesting writers

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)


Block, Walter E. 2018. “Scholarship Opportunity: Spring 2019 New Business Students!” December 15; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/12/walter-e-block/scholarship-opportunity-spring-2019-new-business-students/

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “An Opportunity to Study Under a Libertarian Great.” December 11;


Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Introducing the Walter E. Block Scholarship.” December 11; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Our economics department: http://www.business.loyno.edu/bios/faculty?field_bio_program_filter_value=Economics

Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, and senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He earned his PhD in economics at Columbia University in 1972. He has taught at Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook, Baruch CUNY, Holy Cross and the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of more than 500 refereed articles in professional journals, two dozen books, and thousands of op eds. He lectures widely on college campuses, delivers seminars around the world and appears regularly on television and radio shows.  He is the Schlarbaum Laureate, Mises Institute, 2011; and has won the Loyola University Research Award (2005, 2008) and the Mises Institute’s Rothbard Medal of Freedom, 2005; and the Dux Academicus award, Loyola University, 2007.

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

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

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

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

Walter E. Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans. His Ph.D. was from Columbia University. His interests include Austrian economics and libertarian theory. He has published almost 600 articles in refereed journals, 27 books, and thousands of op eds.He lectures globally at university campuses, business and civic groups. He has a series on privatization (roads, oceans and space); his most popular books are Defending the Undefendable I and II; he is now working on volume III in this series plus a libertarian analysis of abortion. His main claim to fame is that he once shook the hand of Ludwig von Mises, and never washed his hand afterward. It is now pretty dirty, but if you shake his hand, you channel this hero of his.

Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)


https://www.literature-map.com/max+stirner.html Literature map; some interesting writers

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)


Autobiography: https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block21.html















www.walterblock.com http://www.walterblock.com (Kins)

Pic: http://business.loyno.edu/faculty/wblockhttp://www.business.loyno.edu/faculty/wblock


c.v.: http://www.cba.loyno.edu/faculty.html








http://mises.org/Controls/Media/MediaPlayer.aspx?Id=4044 bsll

blog posts for the Mises Institute: http://blog.mises.org/author/walter_block/

Mises Daily articles: http://mises.org/articles.aspx?AuthorId=443

scholarly articles and book on the Mises Institute website: http://mises.org/literature.aspx?action=author&ID=443


pic: http://tinyurl.com/23br6j2;







3:06 am on September 25, 2019

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Who Should Own Dead Bodies?

From: N
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2019 5:09 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Libertarian Archeology

Dear Dr. Block,

What is the libertarian position on taking items from graves, more specifically taking items from very, very old graves as is done in archeology?

Thank you for your time and help, N

Dear N:

I don’t think the cut off point between being able to dig into old graves, and taking stuff from them hinges on their age, although there is a correlation. I think that the cut-off point is, does someone still claim ownership of them? If so, then they are private property, and off limits to archeologists, and grave robbers. If not, then they are fair game for homesteaders of these properties. Of course, the older is the grave, the less likely it is that there is an owner of it.

So, presumably, archeologists who dig into graves hundreds, thousands of years old are acting compatibly with libertarian private property rights, but not those who interfere with newer graves, not because they are newer, but, because they (still) have owners.

Best regards,



3:04 am on September 25, 2019

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From: J

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:12 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Question about rainforest fires and privatization

Hello Dr Block,

I’d like to get your thoughts on the rainforest fires in Brazil and the government of Jair Bolsonaro.

There has been an association made between Bolsonaro and libertarianism which seems to have some merit because some libertarian activists have made a pragmatic alliance with his government in order to enact certain market reforms.

See Scott Horton’s interview with Reason’s Jim Epstein:


Many have compared this situation with similar efforts by Chicago school economists to align with Pinochet in Chili.

I’d argue that even temporary alliances with figures like Pinochet and Bolsonaro risk tarnishing genuine libertarian ideology with the specter of right-wing authoritarianism.

Regarding the rainforest fires, do you think there is genuine cause for alarm?  Or are the fires well within historical averages?

This issue got me thinking about libertarian philosophy and the natural environment.  Surely humanity as a whole benefits from having certain environments left relatively unmolested by human activity?  It would seem that the rainforest is one of the principle areas where this would be the case.

But by what right could libertarians prevent the total deforestation of the rainforest if private companies were so inclined?

Maybe one answer is to respect the property rights of the small number of indigenous people who live there.  But certainly the percentage of property that they could reasonably claim is extremely small compared to the entire acreage of the rainforest.

Another answer might be that private environmentalists could buy up the rainforest in order to preserve it.

But how could a person homestead a large sector of land if the entire idea is to leave that land pristine for the good of the common welfare?  They can’t exactly mix their labor with the entirety of the rainforest without undermining the very purpose of their desire to own it.

I haven’t yet read a very good answer to this apparent dilemma.

Maybe you could point me to some good libertarian literature on the subject?

Thanks for your time. J

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 3:32 PM

To: J

Subject: RE: Question about rainforest fires and privatization

Dear J:

Yes, the left wing environmentalists should purchase forest land, and preserve them. That’s a good libertarian solution.

I don’t know much about the extent of the fires in Brazil.

I think it is a good idea for the Chicago boys to help out the economy of Chile, and, similarly, for good economists to help with the Brazilian economy. Yes, the left will then claim libertarians are fascists, but, they already do, so no big loss there.

As to this very important question: “But how could a person homestead a large sector of land if the entire idea is to leave that land pristine for the good of the common welfare?  They can’t exactly mix their labor with the entirety of the rainforest without undermining the very purpose of their desire to own it”

Read this:

Block, Walter E. and Michael R. Edelstein. 2012. “Popsicle sticks and homesteading land for nature preserves.” Romanian Economic and Business Review. Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring, pp. 7-13;


Best regards,



1:03 am on September 23, 2019

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Who Should Libertarians Support in 2020?

From: L
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:17 PM
To: walter block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Libertarians for Trump

Dear Walter,

Do you plan on reviving Libertarians for Trump for the coming election cycle? Also, who do you prefer in the Democratic primaries?

Cheers, L

Dear L:

I’m not sure, yet, about libts for Trump.

I prefer Tulsi, and Bernie. They are the best on foreign policy. But both are very poor on economics

Best regards,



12:59 am on September 23, 2019

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From: K
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:37 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Patents/Prices/Monopolies on medicine

Hi Dr. Block,

I’m grappling with an issue that is giving me trouble because of my still infantile understanding of the world and Libertarianism. Pundits with anti capitalistic agendas point to Martin Shkreli as the perfect example of the greedy business man exploiting his monopoly of medicine. Looking online I found some articles (can’t confirm how correct) stating that due to government regulations there were roadblocks preventing generic forms of that medicine to be created or sold.

Unless you know specifically that what I stated above is incorrect (in which case please modify the question) let’s assume that the above is correct. How should our current US government handle the greedy businessman with the drugs. Do we price control? Do we force him to provide the recipe for others? Do we accept that if people want to live they voluntarily pay the large sum?

I would like to note that I understand Milton Freidman’s point about the pencil and how everyone works together. No single person would created the cancer curing pill. But until the knowledge is dispersed and variations are made there will be a time where there will be a single group that has the recipe (or maybe not?)

Best regards, K

Letter 2

On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 4:03 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear K:

Astronomical prices, when not caused by government inflation, are due to government patents, or protectionism or other such interferences with the market. Under laissez faire capitalism, prices tend to be low, and there’s greater prosperity than under any other system.

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: K

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 4:31 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Patents/Prices/Monopolies on medicine

If patents are what restricts production of generic drugs. What should the role of patents then be? Should it just be to pay royalties to the original maker rather than restrict copy car drugs?

Letter 4

Dear K:

I oppose all patents as a rights violation:

Block, 2013; Boldrin and Levine, 2008; De Wachter, 2013; Kinsella, 2001, 2012;  Long, 1995; Menell, 2007A, 2007B; Mukherjee and Block, 2012; Navabi, 2015; Palmer, 1989.

Block, Walter E. 2013. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House; isbn: 978-1-908089-37-3; http://store.mises.org/Defending-the-Undefendable-2-P10932.aspx

Boldrin, Michele and David K. Levine. 2008. Against Intellectual Monopoly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htmhttp://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htmhttp://mises.org/store/Against-Intellectual-Monopoly-P552.aspx

De Wachter, Joren. 2013. “IP is a thought crime.” at TEDxLeuven. June 6;


Kinsella, N. Stephan. 2001. “Against Intellectual Property,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, Winter, pp. 1-53; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/15_2/15_2_1.pdf

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 2012. “Economic Freedom of the World Rankings and Intellectual Property: The United States’ Bad Ranking is Even Worse Than Reported.” http://c4sif.org/2012/09/economic-freedom-of-the-world-indexes-and-intellectual-property-the-united-states-bad-ranking-is-even-worse-than-reported/

Long, Roderick. 1995. “The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property Rights.” Formulations. Vol. 3, No. 1, Autumn; http://freenation.org/a/f31l1.html

Menell, Peter S. 2007. “Intellectual Property and the Property Rights Movement.” Regulation, Fall; http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv30n3/v30n3-6.pdf

Menell, Peter S. 2007. “The Property Rights Movement’s Embrace of Intellectual Property: True Love or Doomed Relationship?” Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 34.

Mukherjee, Jay and Walter E. Block. 2012. “Libertarians and the Catholic Church on Intellectual Property Laws.” Journal of Political Philosophy Las Torres de Lucca. Issue No. 1, July-December, pp. 59-75;


Navabi, Ash. 2015. “To Taylor, Love Freedom.” June 23;


Palmer, Tom. 1989. “Intellectual Property: A Non-Posnerian Law and Economics Approach” Hamline Law Review, Spring, Vol 12 No. 2.



12:58 am on September 23, 2019

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