Issue CLXXVIII

November 20 - December 3, 2008

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Economics
Did the Fed, or Asian Saving, Cause the Housing Bubble?:
Robert P. Murphy

November 21, 2008
Robert P. Murphy writes that, ironically, at the very moment of the free-market economists’ intellectual victory, some in our camp want to take away the champagne. Specifically, Tyler Cowen has repeatedly argued on his very popular blog that it was not the Fed but rather an increase in foreigners’ savings and appetite for risk, that caused the boom. And in a recent Cato paper, David Henderson and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel defend Greenspan’s record, going so far as to say that “Alan Greenspan stands out as the most competent—and arguably the only competent—helmsman of United States monetary policy since the creation of the Federal Reserve System.” Dr. Murphy refutes the arguments of Henderson and Hummel and argues that Greenspan was indeed significantly responsible for the housing bubble.

The Bailout Surge:
Ron Paul

November 25, 2008
With each bailout we hear rhetoric that this is the mother of all bailouts.  This will fix the problem once and for all, and that this is absolutely necessary to avert disaster.  This sense of panic squeezes astonishing amounts of dollars out of reluctant but hopeful legislators, who hate the position they are being put in, but are relieved that it will be the last time. However, writes Rep. Ron Paul, it is never the last time, and again and again we are faced with the same scenarios and the same fears. 

An Open Letter to Gary Becker Regarding Depressions:
Robert P. Murphy

November 25, 2008
Dr. Robert Murphy is pleased to see Gary Becker acknowledging that recessions and depressions may not be entirely negative in their affects. However, Dr. Murphy also believes that Dr. Becker misunderstands the Austrian view of the business cycle, the inevitability of busts following booms, and the consequences of artificially prolonging booms via government intervention.

Politics
Voting Responsibly and Morally: A Reply to Gennady Stolyarov II:
Kyrel Zantonavitch

November 20, 2008
Kyrel Zantonavitch offers a reply to Mr. Stolyarov's essay, "On Voting
, Dissent, Violence, and the Path to Freedom." Mr. Zantonavitch agrees with the majority of Mr. Stolyarov's article, but expresses some differences with regard to which approach to electoral politics is most likely to bring about a free society fastest.

Nuclear Power Reality Check:
Roy Innis

November 20, 2008
Nuclear plants generate electricity over 90% of the time, every year. They provide one-fifth of the electricity America relies on to make jobs, health, living standards, and civil rights possible. And yet myths abound regarding the safety of this vital energy resource, and the viability of supposed alternatives.
This article by Roy Innis explores these important issues in depth, from the perspective of a civil rights veteran who has been at the helm of the Congress of Racial Equality for many decades and is intimately familiar with the nation’s energy situation.

Videos
What's Going Wrong in the Stock Market -- Video:
Stefan Molyneux

November 26, 2008
In this highly engaging and informative video presentation, Mr. Stefan Molyneux describes how government intervention beginning in the early 1980s completely transformed and perverted the stock market into the supercharged monstrosity of recent years. These government interventions, among others, produced unsustainable conditions in financial markets and were the cause of the inevitable recent collapses.

Arguments for Bills of Rights -- Part 1 of 4 -- Video:
G. Stolyarov II

November 30, 2008
What are bills of rights and what is their intended function? Mr. Stolyarov explains why bills of rights, as parchment barriers against abuses of power, can in fact be remarkably effective.

Arguments for Bills of Rights -- Part 2 of 4 -- Video:
G. Stolyarov II

December 1, 2008
Mr. Stolyarov considers and refutes some arguments traditionally put forth against bills of rights, including the claim that culture and tradition suffice at protecting individual rights, as well as Alexander Hamilton's contention that only monarchies require bills of rights, while representative governments do not.

Arguments for Bills of Rights -- Part 3 of 4 -- Video:
G. Stolyarov II

December 2, 2008
Mr. Stolyarov discusses why the simple enumeration of government powers in the constitution is insufficient for protecting liberty.

Arguments for Bills of Rights -- Part 4 of 4 -- Video:
G. Stolyarov II

December 3, 2008
Mr. Stolyarov argues that, along with bills of rights, there is a need for explicit constitutional clauses restricting governmental powers.

"The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity." 
~ Ayn Rand

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