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Showing posts from March, 2019

Glimmer of (Gray) Hope

Three club owners have a meeting with the local press in the Norwegian town of Fredrikstad, airing their brewing troubles to an eager journalist. The year is 2009 and two things have collided with each other that changed the behavior of their clientele: The aftershock of the 2008 economic crisis and a change in local alcohol serving hours.



When nightclub-goers still have the need to keep the party going but have less money in their pockets and the clubs can’t stay open as long as they used to, there’s a unique pocket in the market for someone that can offer alternatives. Someone who doesn’t care about state-mandated opening hours and deal in smuggled booze: The illegal nightclubs.

That was the topic of discussion the three club-owners had with the press,[1] those pesky competitors not playing by the rules. It’s almost impossible to compete when you are handcuffed to regulations and everything you sell has an automatic 25% extra costs attached to it straight out of the gate (and that …

The Art of Memetic Warfare

“The supreme art of war, is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”   -Sun Tzu

If you’ve read any of the platonic dialogues you’re probably familiar with the following mental image: Socrates and a handful of other inquisitive Greeks sitting around as they debate, exchange and refine ideas. One participant made an argument, and Socrates then masterfully exposed their logical flaws in the hopes of reaching a better conclusion. The stronger the argument was, the more likely it was to receive support from both Socrates and the group as a whole.

Not much has changed. Indeed, this process of debating, exchanging and refining ideas has persisted as long as humans have. The methods by which this process takes place, however, are constantly evolving.

Following the face to face exchange of ideas came the written word. Books and letters were written to support and defend ideas, and then more books and letters were written to oppose them. In the 20th Century, radio and television increased both…

Hoppe on the Problems with Democracy and the Monopoly of Force

This article was republished from the MisesRevived blog with permission from the author, Stefan Kløvning.

An important reason for why possibly a majority today justify or at least put up with having a monopoly of force with the power to tax them and restrict their freedoms is the perception that "the State is us", so to speak. We all have the possibility to try to convince a majority of the population that we will better their lives and move the country in a positive direction, and therefore the distinction between "the people" and "the state" is blurred or non-existent in the eyes of many. Until about a hundred years ago, the distinction was a lot more clear, given that most countries were monarchies where power was inherited and, therefore, that conflicts of interests between the monarchical "class" and "the people" were a lot more obvious.

Most people will say that substituting a democratic electoral system for a monarchical one was…

What's the Big Deal About Economic Inequality?

This article was republished from the MisesRevived blog with permission from the author, Stefan Kløvning.

Perhaps the most common theme in the mainstream discussion about economic matters today is that of inequality of wealth and income.  The United Nations, for instance, has taken on the challenge to reduce inequality "within and among countries" as their 10th Sustainable Development Goal. "Economic growth," they proclaim, "is not sufficient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental." By "inclusive", they seem in this context to mean "economically equal", in that the different income and wealth quintiles don't have too much of a difference in terms of growth or total rates.

The debate about income inequality became more widespread after the French economist Thomas Piketty published his major work Capital in the 21st Centur…

Global Warming & Economics

Libertarians who deny the existence of global warming run the risk of making us all look like a bunch of illiterate fools.

Much like economics, being ignorant of planetology or climate science isn't a crime, but having a "loud and vociferous" opinion on the subject while remaining in a state of ignorance can be a dangerous thing. And frankly, the science behind climate change is elementary.

Sunlight enters our atmosphere and warms our planet. Earth then gives off that heat in the form of infrared radiation (this is the same principle behind those cool goggles our collapsitarian friends have). However, and this is a crucial point - the CO₂ molecules in our atmosphere do not allow IR to easily escape back into space. This is known as the greenhouse effect. As the temperature of the planet increases, polar ice caps melt and eventually surface water will begin to evaporate. Since H₂0 also prevents IR from escaping our atmosphere, the additional water vapor only compounds th…