A Journal for Western Man :  Issue LXXXIV

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Economics

 

Profit and Loss (1951):

Ludwig von Mises

December 22, 2006:

The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explains the indispensable role of profits to the capitalist system and the optimal allocation of resources to serve the demands of consumers. Profits and losses tie entrepreneurs to the will of the consumers and ensure that only the entrepreneurs that fulfill that will in the long term remain in their entrepreneurial position. Mises rejects any attempts to abolish the profit system as inevitably leading to chaos and social and economic disintegration.

 

Money and the Individual (1981):

Dr. Murray N. Rothbard

December 26, 2006:

Ludwig von Mises's The Theory of Money and Credit is, quite simply, one of the outstanding contributions to economic thought in the twentieth century. It came as the culmination and fulfillment of the "Austrian School" of economics, and yet, in so doing, founded a new school of thought of its own. This brief essay by Dr. Murray Rothbard summarizes some of the key insights and discoveries of The Theory of Money and Credit.

 

Putting the Economics Back in Christmas:

Dr. Robert P. Murphy

December 29, 2006:

Dr. Robert Murphy uses the insights of the Austrian School of Economics to challenge the claims of a recent Slate magazine article that gift-giving at Christmas is economically inefficient. The free market is a flexible nexus of sovereign individuals, in the sense that everyone has a well-defined set of property rights that others must respect. Yet in this arena, there is plenty of room for traditions such as holiday gift-giving. It is only a narrow, mechanistic branch of economics that has difficulty with such nuances. The Austrian School, in contrast, can easily handle the real world in its analyses.

 

An Introduction to Value Theory:

F. A. Harper

December 29, 2006:

When early formulators of economic theory grappled with the value concept, many if not most of them began with the assumption that a thing has value in some intrinsic manner. They thought of value as a quality similar, for example, to the pigment of a red pencil — a quality embodied in the pencil itself so that, if you threw it out the window, the pigment was still embedded in it; if you lost it forever in the forest, the pigment was still there intrinsically. The Austrian School of Economics challenged this view of economic value; F. A. Harper explains the Austrian critique and insights.

 

Fallacies of the Negative Income Tax (1969):

Henry Hazlitt

December 29, 2006:

Recognizing the calamitous erosion of incentives that would be brought about by a straight guaranteed-income plan, some reformers have advocated what they call a "negative income tax." This proposal was put forward by the prominent economist, Professor Milton Friedman, of the University of Chicago, in his book Capitalism and Freedom, which appeared in 1962. The system he proposed would be administered along with the current income tax system. In this essay, Henry Hazlitt critiques the negative income tax proposal and argues that it would lead to increasing government expenditures on relief and greater disincentives to work-- contrary to Dr. Friedman's expectations.

 

Filosofy

 

Secular Spirituality:

Dr. Edward Hudgins

December 23, 2006:

Dr. Edward Hudgins writes that the noble and spiritually uplifting does not need to be inextricably bound with religion or consigned to another world beyond this "mundane" one. Rather, one can find spiritual fulfillment in one's everyday life-- by following Nietzsche's advice to “remain true to the Earth, and believe not those who advise a hope above the world.” In this worldliness lies the key to secular spirituality. The sacred and the spiritual are to be found in the virtues, values, and creative capacities within each and every one of us, right here on Earth.

 

Life is Worth Living-- Forever:

G. Stolyarov II

December 26, 2006:

Most people are astonished when Mr. Stolyarov tells them that he would like to live forever. “Would that not get extremely boring after a long time?” many of them ask. Mr. Stolyarov responds, “Being dead—sensing nothing, thinking nothing, feeling nothing—would be far more boring. Besides, one is dead forever; once one is dead, one cannot simply recognize the misfortune of one’s situation and decide that one will not be dead anymore.” An absence of everything is far more boring than a presence of anything. In this essay, Mr. Stolyarov explains why he cannot even conceive of a necessarily uninteresting life-- because the opportunities for enjoyment that the world presents greatly exceed the amount of time in even a life of indefinite length.

 

Historical Analysis

 

Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero:

Dr. Murray N. Rothbard

December 23, 2006:

In this essay, Dr. Murray Rothbard discusses and celebrates the life and work of one of the great creative minds of our century, Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)-- who devoted his entire life to championing liberty and laissez-faire at a time when he had to stand virtually alone against a world that failed to recognize him and give him the honor he deserved.

 

Politics

 

A Failure of Competency:

Alan Caruba

December 26, 2006:

Alan Caruba writes that at the heart of the recent election results was the conclusion that, given America’s famed managerial and military skills, what had occurred in Iraq was a failure of competency at the highest levels of government. The blame cannot be placed on our soldiers, airmen, and Marines. It was not a failure of the valor of our fighting forces. Rather, it was due to government officials' failure to adequately prepare for what the troops would face in Iraq.

 

Iran-Backed Palestinian Terror Group Has Fired 68 Rockets Into Israel Since Cease-Fire Began:

The Israel Project

December 29, 2006:

Continual Qassam rocket attacks against Israel by Palestinian terror groups in Gaza are threatening to undermine a month-long cease-fire during which Israel has refrained from undertaking military actions to stop the unprovoked strikes. The cease-fire agreement went into effect on Nov. 26. Since then, Gaza-based terrorists have fired more than 68 Qassams, 53 of which fell inside Israel. This report from The Israel Project explains the threat innocent Israelis face from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an organization bent on eliminating their country and their very lives.

 

"Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation."

 

~ Milton Friedman

 

 

 

 

 

 

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