This paper was presented at the Austrian Economic Research Conference in March 2013. Some people — known popularly these days as Greenbackers — oppose the Federal Reserve for all the wrong reasons: it doesn’t inflate enough (!), the bankers will wind up with all the money thanks to compound interest, there isn’t enough money created…
Small states must engage in free trade rather than protectionism. All government interference with foreign trade forcibly limits the range of mutually beneficial inter territorial exchanges and thus leads to relative impoverishment at home as well as abroad. But the smaller a country, the more dramatic this effect will be. A country the size of the U.S. might attain comparatively high standards of living even if it renounced all foreign trade. In contrast, if a territory the size of a city or village engaged in protectionism, this would likely spell disaster or even death.
I see history as centrally a race and conflict between “social power”— the productive consequence of voluntary interactions among men—and state power. In those eras of history when liberty—social power—has managed to race ahead of state power and control, the country and even mankind have flourished. In those eras when state power has managed to catch up with or surpass social power, mankind suffers and declines.
Instead of relying on voluntary charity and good will towards men, the federal government continues its welfare-state policy of using the IRS to forcibly take money from everyone in order to distribute the money to some, all in the name of morality and righteousness. But where is the morality in coercion, as compared to voluntary choices?
Private property eliminates the possibility that resource arrangements will be random, for each resource owner chooses a course of action only if it promises rewards to the owner that exceed the rewards promised by all other available courses. For each consumer, this means spending money on those items that best satisfy his individual tastes. For each producer, this means finding those uses that promise the highest profit. Because profit in free markets comes from satisfying as many consumers as possible, each producer is forever on the lookout for better ways to use his resources to satisfy consumers.
If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.
The poor security of U.S. airlines is a predictable outcome of government regulations and subsidies. By preventing airlines from profiting from superior procedures, and by shielding them from losses resulting from incompetence, the government has left us vulnerable to further terrorist attacks. Only through complete privatization of the industry will consumers be able to fly cheaply and safely.