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From: S
Sent: Fri 12/16/2016 10:27 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Question about Race, Laziness, IQ

Dr. Block,

Do you have any good sources you’d suggest regarding productivity and race? In lectures you sometimes bluntly state that blacks have a lower productivity level than other races…which might trigger some people to twist your words and make it sound like you think blacks are lazy. I’m curious as to if there has been any scholarly work done on this. S

Dear S:

I don’t think blacks are lazy. Well, not particularly lazier than anyone else. They are certainly not lazy on the basketball court, or running the sprints or the marathon. Hey, we’re all lazy, no? It’s a human condition. We could all do more than we do.

However, I think blacks have lower productivity on average in the marketplace. Evidence? Their wages are lower, on average, and, in equilibrium, wages equal (discounted marginal revenue) productivity. In the real world, wages are forever tending in the direction of equality with productivity, but reach it only in equilibrium.

Also, there is a wealth of empirical data supporting the fact that blacks have lower IQs than whites (and that Orientals have higher IQs than whites). You could start with this book on that contention:

Herrnstein, Richard J., and Murray, Charles. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, New York: The Free Press

Here are more readings on this subject (I don’t necessarily agree with any of this material, but they are all of interest):

Levin, Michael, 1996, “Why Race Matters: A Preview,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall, pp. 287-312;

Levin, Michael. 1982. “Is Racial Discrimination Special?,” Policy Review, Vol. 22, Fall, pp. 85-95

Levin, Michael. 1997. Why Race Matters, Westport, CT: Praeger

Strakon, Nichaolas. 1996. “ Sweeping Rand’s barnyard: Racism and individualism” The Last Ditch, Whole Number 14, October 28;


Rushton, Philippe, J. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective


Rushton, Philippe, J. 1997. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective. Second Unabridged Edition. New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction publishers

Rushton, Philippe, J. 2000. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History PerspectiveI. Second Abridged Edition; copyright, self published, by J. Phillippe Rushton

Dennett, Daniel C. 1996. Darwin’s dangerous idea: evolution and the meanings of life; Simon & Schuster

Rushton, Philippe, J. 1997. “The Mismeasures of Gould.” September 15; http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mismeasures-of-gould

Sailer. Steve. 2011. “The Mismeasure of Science.” June 10;



3:50 pm on March 1, 2019

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Fractional Reserve Banking Rears Its Ugly Head, Once Again

E stands for my questioner; I’m WB below.

From: E
Sent: Sat 7/9/2016 6:00 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: FR banking blog entry

A is the depositor, B is the Bank, C is the borrower of the money A deposits with B.

E: In the LewRockwell.com blog you said: “Both A and C each think they own the deposits, but both also KNOW what is going on.” How can it be both? They either know or don’t know.

WB: ever hear of cognitive dissonance? More seriously, I don’t believe in this either. I am only considering it arguendo.

E: Don’t these contracts also usually stipulate that you have to give notice before a withdrawal? My savings and loan bank stipulates a 90 day notice.

WB: yes, usually, but not in the case of a demand deposit

E: And suppose that the contract also stipulates that their money may not be available and spells out the details of the way the reserves are treated. Is it still fraud?

WB: no. then it is a time deposit, not a demand deposit

E: So, it would seem there is a lot of “assuming” what the contract actually says in your comments. Couldn’t the contract be written in such a way that fractional reserves would NOT be fraud?

WB: if it would not be fraud, it would not be a fractional reserve DEMAND deposit

E: And finally, isn’t the real problem with fractional reserves the legal tender laws which state you must accept someone’s money even if you had contracted to use a different money.

WB: No. Legal tender laws are yet another violation of rights. Just because this is true, it doesn’t mean that frb is not fraudulent.

Here are some readings on fractional reserve banking:

I. Anti Fractional reserve banking  frb::

Baxendale (2010) is a report on a series of interview which demonstrate that the common man is ignorant of banking, not to mention the fractional reserve aspects of it: Baxendale, Toby. 2010. “Public attitudes to banking.” June 15;  http://www.cobdencentre.org/2010/06/public-attitudes-to-banking/

Bagus, 2003; Bagus, Howden and Block, 2013; Barnett and Block, 2005, 2008, 2009; Baxendale, 2010; Block, 2008; Block and Caplan, 2008; Block and Garschina, 1996; Block and Humphries, 2008; Block and Posner, 2008; Davidson, 2008; Davidson and Block, 2011; Hanke, 2008; Hazlitt, 1979; Hollenbeck, 2013, 2014; Hoppe, 1994; Hoppe, Hulsmann and Block, 1998; Howden, 2013; Huerta de Soto, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2018; Hulsmann, 1996, 2000, 2002a, 2002b, 2003, 2008; Murphy, 2010; North, 2009; Polleit, 2010; Reisman, 1996, 2009; Rothbard, 1975; 1990, 1991, 1993; Salerno, 2010A, 2010B, 2011.

Bagus, Philipp. 2003, ‘The Commons and the Tragedy of Banking’, November 12, http://mises.org/story/1373

Bagus, Philipp, David Howden and Walter E. Block. 2013. “Deposits, Loans and Banking: Clarifying the Debate,” American Journal of Economics and SociologyVolume 72, Issue 3, pages 627–644, July; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.12023/abstracthttp://bastiat.mises.org/2013/07/fractional-reserve-banking-paper/

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “In defense of fiduciary media— a comment; or, what’s wrong with “clown” or play money?” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics; Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, pp. 55-69; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae8_2_4.pdf

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2008. “Time deposits, dimensions and fraud,” Journal of Business Ethics; www.WalterBlock.com/publicationshttp://www.springerlink.com/content/100281/?k=walter+block&sortorder=asc&v=condensed&o=20www.WalterBlock.com/publications

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2009. “Financial Intermediaries, the Intertemporal-Carry Trade, and Austrian Business Cycles; or; Crash and Carry: Can Fraudulent Time deposits lead to an Austrian Business Cycle? Yes.” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics; Vol. XI, No. 1, pp. 455-469; http://www2.units.it/~etica/2009_1/BARNETT_BLOCK.pdf        

Baxendale, Tony. 2010. Free Banking, the Balance Sheet and Contract Law Approach; March 15; http://www.cobdencentre.org/2010/03/free-banking-the-balance-sheet-and-contract-law-approach/

Block, Walter and Bryan Caplan. 2008. “Walter E. Block  versus Bryan Caplan on Fractional Reserve Banking.” Nov 1; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block110.html

Block, Walter and Kenneth M. Garschina. 1996. “Hayek, Business Cycles and Fractional Reserve Banking: Continuing the De-Homoginization Process,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1995, pp. 77-94; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_1_3.pdf.

Block, Walter and John Humphries. 2008. “Humphries vs Block on fractional reserve banking.” November 17; http://alsblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/fractional-reserve-banking/

Block, Walter versus Eric Posner. 2008. “Posner vs. Block on fractional reserve banking.” November, 29; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block114.html

Davidson, Laura. 2008. “Fractional Reserve Banking Is Indeed Fraudulent,” November 17;


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.springerlink.com/content/j76323752648720g/http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0590-2; 10.1007/s10551-010-0590-2

Hanke, Steve. 2008. “Banking Crises: Plus Ça Change…” GlobeAsia, November, pp. 168-169; http://www.freemarketfoundation.com/Hanke%5CBanking%20Crises–Plus%20%C3%87a%20Change,%20November%202008.pdf

Hazlitt, Henry. 1979. “Gold versus Fractional Reserves Part 1 .” The Freeman. May;



Hollenback, Frank. 2013. “Insuring Deposits, Ensuring Insolvency.” July 24;


Hollenback, Frank. 2014. “The Fraud in Fractional Reserve Banking.” November 26; http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=7e6cc2f6072b7ebfaa847047f&id=189c14aa12&e=53fc31c1bb

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1994. “How is Fiat Money Possible? or, The Devolution of Money and Credit,” Review of Austrian Economics, 7(2), pp. 49-74.

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

Howden, David. 2013. “A Simple Math Question for Bankers.” December 28;


Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 1995. “A Critical Analysis of Central Banks and Fractional-Reserve Free Banking from the Austrian Perspective,” Review of Austrian Economics, 8(2), pp. 25-38.

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 1998, ‘A Critical Note on Fractional-Reserve Free Banking’, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 1(4), 25-49.

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2001. “A Critical Note on Fractional Reserve Free Banking,” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, No. 4, Fall, pp. 34-35

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2006. Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn AL.)

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2010. “Economic Recessions, Banking Reform, and the Future of Capitalism.” http://mises.org/daily/4817

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2018. “What Free-Banking Advocates Get Wrong.” February 26;


Hülsmann, Jorg Guido. 1996, ‘Free Banking and the Free Bankers’, Review of Austrian Economics 9(1), 3-53.

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2000. “Banks Cannot Create Money”, The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy, vol. 5, no. 1, summer, 101—110;  http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_05_1_hulsman.pdf

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2002a. “Free Banking and the Free Bankers.” Review of Austrian Economics. Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 3-53; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_1_1.pdf

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2002b. “Free Banking Fractional Reserves: Reply to Pascal Salin.” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, No. 3.


Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2003. “Has Fractional-Reserve Banking Really Passed the Market Test?,” Independent Review 7/3, Winter, 399-422.  http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=90

Hülsmann, Jorg Guido. 2008. The Ethics of Money Production Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute

Murphy, Robert P. 2011.  The Fractional-Reserve Banking Question.” June 14; http://mises.org/daily/4499

North, Gary. 2009. “What Is Money? Part 5: Fractional Reserve Banking.” October 10;


Polleit, Thorsten. 2010. “The Faults of Fractional-Reserve Banking.” December 23;


Reisman, George. 1996. Capitalism. Ottawa, Il.: Jameson Books; pp. 954-963

Reisman, George. 2009. “A Pro-Free-Market Program for Economic Recovery,” November 20; http://mises.org/daily/3870

Rothbard, Murray N.  [1963] 1975. America’s Great Depression (Sheed and Ward, Kansas City).

Rothbard, Murray N. 1990. What Has Government Done to Our Money?, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/rothmoney.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. [1962] 1991. “The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar,” In Search of a Monetary Constitution, Leland B. Yeager, ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 94-136, and Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. See also “The Logic of Action One” pp. 364-384; http://mises.org/story/1829http://mises.org/rothbard/100percent.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N.  [1962] 1993. Man, Economy, and State. Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL

Rothbard, Murray N. 1988.  The Myth of Free Banking in Scotland,  Review of Austrian Economicshttp://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE2_1_15.pdf

Salerno, Joseph T. 2010A.  Money, Sound and Unsound. Auburn, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Salerno, Joseph T. 2010B. White contra Mises on Fiduciary Media,” May 14;


Joseph T. Salerno. 2011. “Dr. Joseph Salerno Explains Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Money (But Were Afraid to Ask)”, The Daily Bell, July 3;


II. pro frb:

Horwitz, 2010; Horwitz and Bodenhorn, 1994; McElroy, 2013, 2014; Rozeff, 2010; Sechrest, 1987, 1989a, 1989b, 1991a, 1991b, 1993, 2007; Selgin, 1994, 1998, 2007A, 2007B, 2007C; Selgin and White, 1996; White, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007A, 2007B, 2007C

Horwitz, Steven and Howard Bodenhorn. 1994.  “A Property Rights Approach to Free Banking,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, 5 (4), December, pp. 505-519.

Horwitz, Steven. 2010. “My Teenage Daughter Gets Fractional Reserve Banking.” January 11; http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2010/01/my-teenage-daughter-gets-fractional-reserve-banking.html

McElroy, Wendy. 2013. “Fractional-Reserve Banking: Not Fraud, Not Folly.” May 13;


McElroy, Wendy. 2014. “Fractional-Reserve Banking is Not Fraud.” November 13;


Rozeff, Michael S. 2010. “Rothbard on Fractional Reserve Banking: A Critique,”
The Independent Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, Spring, pp. 497-512

Sechrest, Larry. 1987. “White’s Free Banking Thesis: A Case of Mistaken Identity,” Review of Austrian Economics, November, Vol. II, 247-57.

Sechrest, Larry. 1989a. Review of George Selgin’s The Theory of Free BankingJournal of Economics, Vol. XV, 196-98.

Sechrest, Larry. 1989b. “Free Banking vs. Central Banking: A Geometrical Analysis,” South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, November, Vol. II, 83-97.

Sechrest, Larry. 1991a. “Free Banking in Scotland: A Dissenting View,” Cato Journal, Winter, Vol. 10, No. 3, 799-808.

Sechrest, Larry. 1991b. “Banking, Central and Free”, pages 145-51, Magill’s Survey of Social Science: Economics, Salem Press.

Sechrest, Larry. 1993. Free Banking: Theory, History, and a Laissez-Faire Model, Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.

Sechrest, Larry. 2007. “Free Banking Basics,” The Free Radical, July/August, Vol. 76, 40-41. 

Selgin, George. 1994. “Free Banking and Monetary Control.”  Economic Journal 104: 1449-59.

Selgin, George. 1998. The Theory of Free Banking: Money Supply under Competitive Note Issue.  Totowa, New Jersey:  Rowman & Littlefield

Selgin, George. 2000. “Should We Let Banks Create Money?” The Independent Review, v.V, n.1, Summer, pp. 93–100

Selgin, George. 2007A. “Is fractional-reserve banking inflationary?” January 23. Free Market News Network; http://www.fmnn.com/Analysis/241/6794/banking.asp?nid=6794&wid=241

Selgin, George. 2007B. “Notes on free banking: fractional reserves and economic development, part I” February 14. Free Market News Network; http://www.fmnn.com/Analysis/241/6939/notes.asp?nid=6939&wid=241

Selgin, George. 2007C. “Notes on free banking: fractional reserves and economic development, part II” February 15. Free Market News Network; http://www.fmnn.com/Analysis/241/6949/notes.asp?nid=6949&wid=241

Selgin, George A., and White, Lawrence H. 1996. “In Defense of Fiduciary Media – or, We are Not Devo(lutionists), We are Misesians!,” Review of Austrian Economics,Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 83-107; http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_2_5.pdf

White, Lawrence H. 1992. Competition and Currency: Essays on Free Banking and Money. New York: New York University Press

White, Lawrence H. 1995. Free Banking in Britain: Theory, Experience, and Debate, 1800-1845, 2nd ed. London: Institute of Economic Affairs

White, Lawrence H. 1999. The Theory of Monetary Institutions. Oxford: Basil Blackwell

White, Lawrence H. 2003.  “Accounting for Fractional-Reserve Banknotes and Deposits,” Independent Review 7/3, Winter, 423-41.  http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=91

White, Lawrence H. 2007A. “Huerta de Soto’s Case Against Fractional Reserves,” Free-Market News Network (08 Jan) http://www.freemarketnews.com/Analysis/240/6709/case.asp?wid=240&nid=6709

White, Lawrence H. 2007B.  “Huerta de Soto’s View of the History of Banking,” Free-Market News Network (30 Jan) http://www.freemarketnews.com/Analysis/240/6827/soto.asp?wid=240&nid=6827

White, Lawrence H. 2007C. “Huerta de Soto on Attempts to Justify Fractional-Reserve Banking,” Free-Market News Network (05 Feb) http://www.freemarketnews.com/Analysis/240/6877/soto.asp?wid=240&nid=6877

III. Larry White and I disagree as to how to categorize these, so, at his suggestion, I’m creating a third or “ambivalent” section

Ambivalent. These are of interest but there is some question as to on which side they lie:

Callahan, 2003; van den Hauwe, 2006, 2008;  Williams, 1984.

Callahan, Gene. 2003. “The Libertarian Case Against Fractional-Reserve Banking,” Anti-State.com, July 22

van den Hauwe, Ludwig. 2006. “The Uneasy Case for Fractional-Reserve Free Banking, Procesos de Mercado, Vol. III, No. 2, pp143-96;

van den Hauwe, Ludwig. 2008, forthcoming. “Credit Expansion, the Prisoner´s Dilemma, and Free Banking as Mechanism Design, Procesos de Mercado,

Williams, Jeffrey C. 1984. “Fractional Reserve Banking in Grain,” Journal of Money Credit and Banking. 16 (4): pp. 488-496


1:26 am on February 28, 2019

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Boudreaux and Mises on Consumer Versus Individual Sovereignty

I started out this thread with this publication.

Block, Walter E. 2016. “On Don Boudreaux on consumer and individual sovereignty.” June 28; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/06/walter-block-on-don-boudreaux-consumer.html

R wrote to me as follows:


I get what you are emphasizing, but couldn’t a more generous interpretation of Boudreaux, especially his first comment, be along the lines of Mises:

“The capitalists, the enterprisers, and the farmers are instrumental in the conduct of economic affairs. They are at the helm and steer the ship. But they are not free to shape its course. They are not supreme, they are steersmen only, bound to obey unconditionally the captain’s orders. The captain is the consumer. “(Bureaucracy, “Profit Management,” p. 226 )

Here is my response to R:

You are indeed correct. Boudreaux is indeed writing in the tradition of Mises. But, Mises was wrong on this matter. He focused on consumer sovereignty (the consumer as “captain”).  Rothbard is the corrective to Mises on this issue. Murray focused, instead, on individual sovereignty, which includes BOTH consumers and producers. Why leave out producers, and tell only a part of the story, yes, an important part, but only a part?

Let me emphasize again that I’m a big fan of Don Boudreaux’s. His pulverizing, eviscerating of the minimum wage law, his defense of free trade, among many other great things he’s done, is really magnificent. But on this issue I (and Murray, I think) have to depart from him.

Best regards,



4:20 pm on February 27, 2019

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Patrick Buchanan completely disparaged the case for reparations to blacks, Indians (https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/02/patrick-j-buchanan/the-lefts-latest-demand/). Kamala Harris and Pocahantas support them, fully.

For an intermediate point of view on this, what I take to be the proper libertarian perspective, see the following (it is not for nothing that I am known, far and wide, as Walter Moderate Block, at least in my own mind.)

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.htmlhttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=922087http://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; Search for “Walter Block” under “Authors” here: http://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/search

Block, Walter E. 2002. “On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery,” Human Rights Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, July-September, pp. 53-73;


(David Horowitz, Randall Robinson)

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


1:28 am on February 27, 2019

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How Can African Elephants Be Protected In A Free Market?

From: J
Sent: Thu 6/30/2016 6:30 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Ivory Trade


I am your run of the mill Anarcho-Capitalist, could you give me the 30 second polite dinnertime response for how one answers the question about how African Elephants can be protected in a free market?

Regards, J

Dear J:

The cow never came within a million miles of extinction, the buffalo almost did. Why? The former was always privately owned, the latter was not, until recently. This is the “tragedy of the commons”: when something is not privately owned, care is not taken in its behalf. The elephant is just a buffalo from an economic point of view with big ears and a funny looking nose. Here are some readings for you:

Davison, Dwight, Jay Mukherjee, David Simpson and Walter E. Block. 2014. “Preserving Species.” Dialogue, Issue 2; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/title.asp?lang=en&title=250http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/title.asp?title=250


Anderson and Hill, 1995; French, 2012; Lora, 2007; Kreuter and Platts, 1996; Simmons and Kreuter, 1989

Anderson, Terry L. and Peter J. Hill, Editors. 1995. Wildlife in the Marketplace. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield

French, Doug. 2012. “Property Means Preservation.” May 31; http://mises.org/daily/5960/

Lora, Manuel. 2007. “If You Love Nature, Desocialize It.” May 10; http://mises.org/daily/2539

Kreuter, Urs P. and Linda E. Platts. 1996. “Why the Ivory Ban is Failing.”  Christian Science Monitor. March 20; http://perc.org/articles/why-ivory-ban-failing

Simmons, Randy, and Kreuter, Urs P. 1989. “Herd Mentality: Banning Ivory Sales is No Way to Save the Elephant,” Policy Review, Issue 50, Fall, pp. 46-49; http://agrilifecdn.tamu.edu/kreuter/files/2013/01/Simmons-Kreuter-1989_3.pdf


Anderson and Hill, 1995; Benjamin, 2012; DiLorenzo, 1998; Malek, 2007; Simon, 1981, 1996

Anderson, Terry L. and Peter J. Hill, Editors. 1995. Wildlife in the Marketplace. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield

Benjamin, Daniel. 2012. “Bye, bye bison.” April 1; http://perc.org/articles/bye-bye-bison

States DiLorenzo: “It was also official government policy to slaughter as many buffalo as possible as a means of eventually starving out the Indians. It was not just the “tragedy of the commons” that was responsible for the near extinction of the American buffalo; it was official U.S. government policy.”

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 1998. “The Feds versus the Indians.” The Free Market. January,

Volume 16, Number 1; http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=99

Malek, Ninos P. 2012. “To Protect and Conserve.” April 2;


Simon, Julian. 1981. The Ultimate Resource, Princeton: Princeton University Press

Simon, Julian. 1996. The Ultimate Resource II. Princeton University Press

Yablonski, Brian. 2007. “Bisonomics.” PERC Report. Volume 25, No.3, Fall; http://perc.org/articles/bisonomics

Public Property is not ok (tragedy of the commons):

On the tragedy of the commons, see Block, 1999; Cordato, 2004; Hardin, 1968; Rothbard, 1982; Smith, 1981. For a critique of this insight, see Ostrom, 1990. For a rejoinder to Ostrom, 1990, see Block, 2011 and Jankovic and Block, 2016.

Block, Walter E. 1999. “Review Essay of Bethell, Tom, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998,” in The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 2, No. 3, Fall, pp. 65-84; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae2_3_3.pdf;

Block, Walter E. 2011. Review essay of Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; in Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 21http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/21-block-review-of-ostroms-governing-the-commons/

Cordato, Roy E. 2004. “Toward an Austrian theory of environmental economics.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring: 3–16; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae7_1_1.pdf

Hardin, Garrett. 1968. “Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, 162: 1243-1248.


Jankovic, Ivan and Walter E. Block. 2016. “Tragedy of the Partnership: A Critique of Elinor Ostrom.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Volume 75, Issue 2, pages 289–318; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.12141/abstract;http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.12141/fullhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.12141/references;http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.2016.75.issue-2/issuetoc

Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the Commons, Cambridge Press

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

Smith, Robert J. 1981. “Resolving the Tragedy of the Commons by Creating Private Property Rights in Wildlife,” Cato Journal 1 (Fall): 439-68; http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/1981/11/cj1n2-7.pdfhttp://cei.org/studies-other-studies/resolving-tragedy-commons-creating-private-property-rights-wildlife


4:25 pm on February 26, 2019

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From: B
Sent: Wed 6/29/2016 4:49 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Trump Trade Question

Dear esteemed professor Block.

I have a question that I hoped you could help answer. I have noticed that Libertarians seem to oppose Trump’s position on trade with China and have lambasted it as protectionist. On this issue I would argue that they are getting it wrong. Specifically I’m talking about his threats of tariffs if they will not allow their dollar to float. The case being made is that Tariffs are bad and that he shouldn’t be using threats against China in the first place as it’s not our business to tell them what to do. I dismiss the “threats” part because it’s not actually a threat in the libertarian sense. Nobody is forcing them to trade with us in the first place. So it’s still their choice no matter what the tariffs are set at. No it’s not a politicians business to tell other countries what to do, but then again he isn’t forcing them to do anything. And it’s no more his business to tell them what to do than it would be for him to tell us what to do. So then we are left with “Tariffs bad”.  OK they are bad. But is it worth using some leverage to get them to float their dollar? Wouldn’t it be better for them and us if they were to allow their dollar to trade freely? His goal isn’t to actually impose tariffs it’s to get them to float their dollar which would be better for all of us. Would you please help me make some sense of this muddle. As it stands I don’t see anything un-libertarian. It’s not an actual violation of NAP. So isn’t it then simply an economic issue where he would actually bring about a positive change if he can pull it off?

Best Regards,  B

Dear B: In my view, Trump is indeed “threatening” two sets of people: Chinese and Americans who want to trade with each other. I don’t think it is relevant that “Nobody is forcing them (the Chinese) to trade with us in the first place.” Right now, no one is forcing you and I to trade with each other. But, suppose that someone said he would make it against the law for us to do so, or would tax (tariff) us if we did so. I think that would constitute a threat as libertarians understand that word. I don’t think that floating exchange rates are such a great idea, nor is it any of our business to tell the Chinese what to do with their dollar. There’s a “fixed” exchange rate between nickels and dimes, right? One to two. Nothing wrong with that. Instead, I favor a gold standard, where the different national currencies merely represent different amounts of gold.

Here are some readings you might peruse:

Anderson, 1999; Barron, 2017; Bastiat, 1848A, 1848B; Block, 1976, ch. 23, 2013, ch. 2;  Block, Horton and Walker, 1998; Boudreaux, 2010, 2016A, 2016B, 2017; Brandly, 2002; Brown, 1987; DiLorenzo, 2018; Ebeling, 2018; Epstein, 2016; Folsum, 1996; Friedman and Friedman, 1997; Gwartney, et. al, 1976; Hazlitt, 1946, ch. 11; Higgs, 2019; Johnsson, 2004; Krasnozhon, Simpson and Block, 2015; Landsburg, 2008; McGee, 1994A, 1994B; McMaken, 2016; Mises, 1927;  Mullen, 2015; Murphy, 2004; Ricardo, 1821; Roberts, 2016; Rothbard, 2005; Rouanet, 2016; Smith, 1776; Vance, 2016; Wenzel, 2018A, 2018B; Williams, 2017A, 2017B

Anderson, William L. 1999. “Tariffs Are Sanctions.” December 17;


Barron, Patrick. 2017. Two Common Objections to Unilateral Free Trade.” April 6; https://mises.org/blog/two-common-objections-unilateral-free-trade

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848A. “The Balance of Trade.” https://mises.org/library/balance-trade

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848B [2018]. “Must Free Trade Be Reciprocal?” March 14;


Block, Walter, Joseph Horton and Debbie Walker. 1998. “The Necessity of Free Trade,” Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 1, No. 2, October, pp. 192-200

Block, Walter E. 2008 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; available for free here: http://mises.org/books/defending.pdf

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 ; http://www.amazon.com/Defending-Undefendable-II-Freedom-Realms/dp/1908089377/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379098357&sr=8-1&keywords=freedom+in+all+realms

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;


Boudreaux, Donald J.  2010. “On Trade and Currency Manipulation.” January 5; http://fee.org/freeman/on-trade-and-currency-manipulation/

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2016A. “Should Gates clean his own toilets?” August 9; http://triblive.com/opinion/donaldboudreaux/10888506-74/workers-gates-wages

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2016B. “On Being Too Rigid & Dogmatic & Inflexible on Free Trade.” December 19; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/12/on-being-too-rigid-dogmatic-inflexible.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Boudreaux, Don. 2017. “Trump’s Ignorance Is Matched Only by His Thuggishness.” January 3; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/01/trumps-ignorance-is-matched-only-by-his.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;


Brown, Pamela J. 1987. “Free Thought and Free Trade: The Analogy Between Scientific and Entrepreneurial Discovery Process,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, pp. 289-292; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/8_2/8_2_8.pdf

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2018. “Trade and the Rise of Freedom.” March 7;


Ebeling, Richard. 2018. “Trump’s protectionist follies threaten a trade war.” March 5;


Epstein, Richard A. 2016. “The Rise of American Protectionism.” March 14;


Folsum, Jr., Burton W.  1996. The Industrial Revolution and Free Trade

Friedman, Milton and Rose Friedman. 1997. “The Case for Free Trade.” Hoover Digest No. 4.http://www.hooverdigest.org/974/friedman.html

Gwartney, James, Robert Lawson and Walter E. Block. 1996. Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995, Vancouver, B.C.: The Fraser Institute

Hazlitt, Henry. 2008 [1946]. Economics in One Lesson. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute;



Higgs, Robert. 2019. “What is This Mystical Magnetism that Nationalism Exerts on So Many Americans?” February 4;


Johnsson, Richard C.B. 2004. “On Ricardo and Free Trade.” January 12;


Krasnozhon, Leo, David Simpson and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Fair trade: Its Real Impact on the Working Poor.” The Review of Social and Economic Issues (RSEI). Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring, pp- 5-28; http://rsei.rau.ro/index.php/lasthttp://rsei.rau.ro/images/V1N2/Articol_1.pdf; translation by ‘Alexandru Butiseacă’ butiseaca@gmail.com

Landsburg, Steven E. 2008. “What to Expect When You’re Free Trading.” The NY Times. January 16; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/opinion/16landsburg.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Steven+E.+Landsburg&oref=slogin.

McGee, Robert W., 1994A. A Trade Policy for Free Societies: The Case Against Protectionism, Quorum Books.

McGee, Robert W. 1994B. “The Fatal Flaw in NAFTA, GATT and All Other Trade Agreements,” Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Vol. 14, No. 3, 549-565.

McMaken, Ryan. 2016. “To Oppose Free Trade Is To Embrace Violence.” https://mises.org/library/oppose-free-trade-embrace-violence

Mises, Ludwig von. Mises, Ludwig von. 1927. Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition. Auburn, AL: the Mises Institute; https://mises.org/library/liberalism-classical-tradition

Mullen, Tom. 2015. “Trump’s Protectionist Fallacies Have Been Refuted By Free Market Economists for Hundreds of Years.” August 31; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mullen/trumps-protectionist-fall_b_8056400.html

Murphy, Robert P. 2004. “Can Trade Bring Poverty?” December 24; http://www.mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1699

Ricardo, David. 1821 [1912]. The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 3rd ed., London: J. M. Dent

Roberts, Russ. 2016. “The Human Side of Trade.” December 11; https://medium.com/@russroberts/the-human-side-of-trade-7b8e024e7536#.nkypmt8hc

Rothbard, Murray N. 2005. Protectionism and the Destruction of Prosperity. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; http://mises.org/rothbard/protectionism.asp

Rouanet, Louis. 2016. “The Case for Unilateral Free Trade.” October 13;


Smith, Adam. [1776] 1979. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund

Vance, Laurence. 2016. “Free trade is fair trade.” June 1;


Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Pat Buchanan: Foundationtional War Hawk.” March 8;


Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Most Pro-Tariff and Anti-Tariff Supporters Use the Same Dumb Argument.” March 9;


Williams, Walter E. 2017A. “International Trade Thuggery.”  January 18; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/01/walter-e-williams/free-trade-3/

Williams, Walter E. 2017B. “Trade Ignorance and Demagoguery.”  May 5;



9:43 am on February 26, 2019

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A Libertarian Analysis of Conjoined Twins

From: A

Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 10:07 PM

To: Walter Block

Subject: Re: invitation to co author

Dear Walter,

A topic that has always intrigued me is Siamese Twins (I’m a descendant of Eng). How does libertarianism apply to conjoined twins? For example, Eng’s conjoined twin Chang was an alcoholic which led to Chang’s demise which brought about Eng’s end. Chang was a competent adult, so should he have been allowed to drink? Furthermore, assume one conjoined twin is angelic while her conjoined twin is a compulsive murderer. Assuming the two cannot be separated, does the good twin have to suffer for the bad? My brief searches haven’t yielded an answer to this philosophical inquiry. Consequently, I would be delighted to explore the matter with you.

Dear A: I don’t know the full solution to all the issues you raise, but I have published on this matter. Hopefully, this is a good start upon which to build. On conjoined twins, see this:

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


4:33 pm on February 25, 2019

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From: M

Sent: Saturday, June 11, 2016 7:48 AM

To: Walter Block; walter block

Subject: a libertarian question re: the civil rights act

Hi Walter, Here’s a question I would love you, or Tom Woods, to respond to.

Some background:  I’m 46 and my views are very much libertarian.  I consider government the problem, and seeing where the Democrat and Republican parties and their politicians stand pretty much puts me at perennial odds with most all of them.  I believe no man/woman and/or no group of men/women have any authority to preside over their fellow men/woman and create laws for the supposed “betterment of society”.  I do believe in laws that protect against encroachment of people’s liberties, so I am OK with government for that purpose.  Better local, though, as opposed to our nationalized system today where much of local or state gov’t just seems to serve/assist/aid and expand federal power.  But I also am always open to seeing problems with those beliefs and considering these things as best I can without a bias.

My question is regarding the problem libertarians have with the aspects of the civil rights act that, for example, prohibits business from not allowing people through their door based on race.  The classic example of the shop-owner with the sign in the window “whites allowed only”.  Libertarians believe that this shop owner has that very right to decide who can and cannot come into his store to shop.  If a shop owner chooses to be foolish and racist, we say he is free to put that sign up.  Surely, our free society will handle it best, and those that are not allowed in his store will have many other stores to choose from that offer the same products or services.  But that was essentially the problem in the post civil war South:  In any given town or county, or even any given southern state, there was no shop an African American could enter into to purchase groceries or get a hair cut, or…whatever.  These AA’s have the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we all agree.  But what if they cannot get anyone to freely sell them food, give them a job, … etc?  Are they not being denied the pursuit of happiness, from the perspective of the society they lived in seemed intent on denying them, in every possible way, their liberties?  If one had repealed every single law on the books in the South that infringed on blacks, it seems that Southern society still freely did things in quite an amazingly coordinated fashion to deny these people in every way.  I think it’s easy for libertarians today to proclaim that if these civil rights act laws i am referring to  were non-existent, there would be no problem, for surely if one idiotic grocery store owner decided to commit commercial suicide by putting the proverbial “no blacks allowed” sign in his window, that shop-owner would be run out of business, the whole town would be appalled and stop shopping there, and in the meantime, the blacks in question would have many other stores to freely purchase food, needed items, etc.  But what is the libertarian solution when the entirety of a societal system is using their free will to exclude people of a different race?  Am I not correct that the liberty of the AA to purchase food, etc has now been infringed upon by that society, except not through any government law, but through free association?

Obviously, I understand that, the way we ended up getting there in the 19th century was not due to any free movement, but rather due to government force, government codifying the legality of slavery, and of blacks being “three fifths of a person” and all that sicko stuff, created and supported by government.  So as libertarians, we do take great pains to point that out.  How would things have gone if for example, between 1776 and 1789 the laws written were explicit in saying everyone, regardless of color/race has equal standing as free people and government exists only to protect those freedoms, and no law shall be written to infringe upon those freedoms, etc etc….

But I believe we also have to take things the way they are now, and be able to discuss what a libertarian society would be like if, for example, the government had agreed with the libertarian view in 1965 and not included the provisions in the civil rights act that infringed upon a business owners right to exclude anyone they wanted to come into their store.  As a libertarian, I admit, I can see why these laws were implemented, because they had 100 years of proof that there would be no way that our African American brothers and sisters would have access to the free market the same way whites did.  Sure, you could say, the AAs could open their own stores!  But how would they get the needed capital if all the banks refused to lend to people unless they were white?  The AA might decide to operate his/her own patch of farmland to grow their own food.  But how to, in a society where all banks, with their white lending managers, are dead set on placing road blocks up to prevent that them from getting a loan to buy that land, and buy the needed seeds, etc etc?

So then one could say, well they all can just move to the North where these problems did not exist (at least not in such blatant/persistent form).  That sounds fine, unless you are a poor person in Mississippi and have no means to get yourself to Ohio or Pennsylvania or New Hampshire.

I am sure I am belaboring the point by now.

I welcome your thoughts and response.

Thank you Walter!


Dear M:

There were plenty other grocery stores for blacks to shop in. Otherwise, they would all have died, or had to leave. Neither occurred. QED. A better example would be, why didn’t other bus companies spring up to allow blacks to ride in any seat on the bus. The reason was, in order to start up a bus company you had to get a permit, and these were given out, or not, by the same people responsible for Jim Crow in the first place. In a free society that libertarians favor, anyone else could set up a bus company. Read some Tom Sowell and/or Walter Williams on this issue. See below for a bibliography.

Best regards,


If it moves, privatize it; if it doesn’t move, privatize it. Since everything either moves or doesn’t move, privatize everything.

Becker, 1957; Benbow and Stanley, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984; Block, 1982, 1985, 1992, 1998; Block, and Walker, 1985; Block and Williams, 1981; Block, Snow and Stringham, 2008; Gottfredson, 1986; Herrnstein and Murray, 1994; Jensen, 1981; Levin, 1987, 1997; Lynn and Vanhanen. 2002, 2006; McMaken, 2016; Mercer, 2005; Murray, 2007;  Rushton, 1988,1991,1995, 1996,  Rushton and Osborne, 1995; Rushton and Ankney,1993; Seligman, 1992; Sowell, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000; Walker, Dauterive, Schultz and Block, 2004; Whitehead, Block and Hardin. 1999; Whitehead, Block. 2002, 2004; Williams, 1982, 2011; Wood, P., 2015; Woods, T. 2016

Becker, Gary. 1957. The Economics of Discrimination, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

Benbow, Camilla and Julian Stanley. 1980. Sex Differences in Mathematical Ability: Fact or Artifact?” Science. 210. December

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. 1983. Sex Differences in Mathematical Reasoning Ability: More Facts.” Science. 222 December.

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

Block, Walter. 1982. “Economic Intervention, Discrimination and Unforeseen Consequences,” Discrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Walter E. Block  and Michael A. Walker, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 101-125.

Block, Walter. 1985. “Directions for Future Research in Equal Pay Legislation,” Towards Equity: Proceedings of a Colloquium on the Economic Status of Women in the Labour Market, Muriel Armstrong ed., Ottawa: The Economic Council, pp. 119-21, 134-135, 179-182.

Block, Walter. 1992. “Discrimination: An Interdisciplinary Analysis,” The Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 11, pp. 241-254; http://tinyurl.com/24yojfhttp://tinyurl.com/2fwlfchttp://tinyurl.com/2gejlp

Block, Walter. 1998. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: Discrimination,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 57, No. 2, April, 1998, pp. 223-237; http://www.babson.edu/ajes/issues/past.htm

Block, Walter E., Nicholas Snow and Edward Stringham. 2008. “Banks, Insurance Companies and Discrimination.” Business and Society Review, Vol. 113, No. 3, September, pp. 403-419;


Block, Walter and Michael A. Walker. 1985. Focus on Employment Equity: A Critique of the Abella Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, Vancouver:  The Fraser Institute.

Block, Walter and Williams, Walter, E. 1981. “Male-Female Earnings Differentials: A Critical Reappraisal,” The Journal of Labor Research, Vol. II, No. 2, Fall, pp. 385-388;


Gottfredson, Linda S. 1986. “Societal consequences of the g factor in employment.” Journal of Vocational Behavior, 29, 379-410.

Herrnstein, Richard J., and Murray, Charles. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, New York: The Free Press

Jensen, Arthur R. 1981. Straight Talk about Mental Tests. New York: Free Press

Levin, Michael. 1987. Feminism and Freedom, New York: Transaction Books

Levin, Michael. 1997. Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean, New York: Praeger.

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

McMaken, 2016. “The Trouble with “Public Accommodation.” June 3;


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


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


Rushton, J. Philippe. 1988. “The reality of racial differences: A rejoinder with new evidence,” Personality and Individual Differences, 9, pp. 1035-1040.

Rushton, J. Philippe. 1991. “Reply to Wilerman on Mongoloid-Caucasoid Differences in Brain Size,” Intelligence, 15, pp. 365-367

Rushton, J. Philippe. 1996. “Brain size and cognitive ability: Correlations with age, sex, social class and race,” Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 3 (1), pp. 21-36

Rushton, J. Philippe, and Ankney, C. D. 1993. The evolutionary selection of human races: A response to Miller. Personality and Individual Differences, 15, 677-680.

Rushton, J. Philippe, and Osborne, R.T. 1995. “Genetic and environmental contributions to cranial capacity estimated in Black and White adolescents.” Intelligence, 20, pp. 1-13

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

Sowell, Thomas. 1975. Race and Economics. New York: Longman

Sowell, Thomas. 1981. Markets and Minorities,  New York, N.Y.: Basic Books

Sowell, Thomas. 1982. “Weber and Bakke and the presuppositions of ‘Affirmative Action,’” Discrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Walter E. Block  and Michael Walker, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 37-63

Sowell, Thomas. 1983. The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective. New York, Morrow.

Sowell, Thomas. 1984. “Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality,” New York: William Morrow.

Sowell, Thomas. 2000. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books

Walker, Deborah, Jerry W. Dauterive, Elyssa Schultz and Walter E. Block. 2004.  “The Feminist Competition/Cooperation Dichotomy: A Critique,” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 55, No. 3, December, pp. 241-252;

Whitehead, Roy, Walter E. Block  and Lu Hardin. 1999. “Gender Equity in Athletics: Should We Adopt a Non-Discriminatory Model?” The University of Toledo Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, Winter, pp. 223-249;

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2002. “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: A Property Rights Perspective,” University of Utah Journal of Law and Family Studies, Vol. 4, pp.226-263;

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2004. “The Boy Scouts, Freedom of Association and the Right to Discriminate: A Legal, Philosophical and Economic Analysis,” Oklahoma City Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 3, Fall, pp. 851-882; http://tinyurl.com/24qjht

Williams, Walter, E. 1982. The State Against Blacks, New York, McGraw-Hill.


Williams, Walter, E. 2011. Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.


Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2011

The Weekend Interview  The State Against Blacks

Wood, Paul. 2015. “First They Came for the Bakers.” May 22; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/05/no_author/first-they-came-for-the-bakers/

Woods, Thomas E. 2016. “Fashionable Libertarians Declare: HERE We Need Aggression!” June 7; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/06/thomas-woods/forget-called-religious-liberty-laws/


9:57 am on February 25, 2019

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A Counter Example to the Economic Law of Downward Sloping Demand? No.

I have been having a conversation-debate with a friend of mine, E, on the minimum wage law. I asserted that the higher the wage, the fewer the workers who would be employed. If it is higher than the productivity of a given worker, he will be unemployed, at least in equilibrium. For example, if someone’s productivity is $10/hour, and the law requires he must be paid $15/hour, the employer will lose $5/hour, and will either not hire him, or tend to go broke, if he makes a pattern of this. Here is E’s response to me (I very slightly edited it):

From: E


To: Walter Block

Subject: Re: please read

Walter, Peace

I’ve written what I think are clear disproofs to what you have sent me before.  I recently demonstrated that a solution, according to your logic about the institution of the minimum wage in 1935 really should have concluded that in your view the problem was that black people got education.

Here’s a favorite story of mine.  There was a liquor company whose bourbon was decreasing in sales.  The CEO and CFO got together with marketing.  It was proposed to lower the price considerably so as to bring back sales.  Marketing suggested a different strategy.  Keep the same liquor, but double the price.  They tried that strategy, and very quickly sales were higher than ever.  AS USUAL your kind of economics forgets a small detail: human beings. E

Dear E: In equilibrium, if you double the price, you sell less, not more, other things equal. Other things were not equal in this case. Of course, we are never in equilibrium in the real world, but we are always tending in that direction.

When greens want people to stop using plastic bags, do they try to raise the price of them, through taxes, or lower the price of plastic bags, thru subsidies. Obviously, the former.

When do-gooders want people to stop smoking, do they try to raise the price of them, through taxes, or lower the price of cigarettes, thru subsidies. Obviously, the former.

Does this give you pause for thought?

Yes, the phenomenon you refer to does exist. You double the price and people think the product has higher quality. But here, other things are not equal. Namely, people’s assessment of the product. This very rarely works with luxury goods. Never, with things like apples, wheat, or, labor. But even on the occasions that it does work, the law of demand is still inviolate: it states that the higher the price OTHER THINGS EQUAL, the less will be purchased. Economists even have a word for this; it’s in Latin, to show how highly educated we are: ceteris paribus. I think that’s Latin, but I’m not sure. I’m not that highly educated.

Yes, it would be good, ceteris paribus if all people, blacks certainly included, had more education, job skills, etc. If they did, then at any given minimum wage level, they might not become unemployed. Say, their productivity increased from $10 to $16. Then, at a $15 minimum wage, they wouldn’t be unemployed. But, if this level was raised again, say, to $25/hour, then they would become unemployed. Hey, at a minimum wage level of $1/hour, very few people would be unemployed. Only, probably, the severely mentally handicapped, who education would not benefit all that much. Certainly, would not likely boost their productivity to $10 or $15/ hour.

Best regards,



2:44 am on February 24, 2019

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Brexit, Secession, Yay

From: R

Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2016 2:26 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: EU Referendum

Dear Professor Block,

I am British and I identify as a (Left-)Libertarian. Re the referendum on our membership of the EU which I find a very mixed bag. I was wondering whether you think the EU is something that a Libertarian should overall support or oppose, and if you were a British citizen whether you’d vote to remain or leave.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reading your response.  Kind regards, R

Dear R: I favor Brexit. The more the government is broken down into smaller units, the more I like it. Ideally, we should have 7 billion independent countries. Brexit is a step in that direction. I favor all secessions, ceteris paribus. Catalonia from Spain, Quebec from Canada, the US from the UK (in 1776), the South from the North (in 1861), Taiwan from China, etc. Best regards,  Walter


2:58 pm on February 23, 2019

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