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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8183/good-questions-wanted/

Good Questions Wanted

June 9, 2008 by

Tomorrow at 2:00pm ET I’ll be joined by Bob Murphy, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, on my new weekly program at Revolution Broadcasting. Got any nagging questions you’d like answered? Any swipes at the market economy that have you stumped? Or anything you’d like to ask or say that’s just plain interesting? Email them here!


Person June 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Hm, okay, how about everything I’ve said in response to his articles about global warming and related policies? Will send an internet email.

I told you it was a bad idea to dismiss my criticisms, Bob_Murphy.

Tom Alvarez June 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I am new to understanding how the Fed works so forgive me if these questions have been answered many times before.

When member banks borrow money from the Fed, when do they have to pay the money back? What happens if they don’t pay the money back? How often do the banks default? What good is it to the Fed to create money, loan it out, have the money given back to them plus additional money (interest) that they must have issued at some point?

Libertas est Veritas June 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm

I don’t know if you are looking for more theoretical questions, but I think addressing the “insufficient regulations caused a speculative boom in commodities” narrative would be advantageous.

Inquisitor June 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Yeah, because if you dismiss Person’s criticisms he’ll stalk you forever and ever and ever. He’s creepy that way.

David Bratton June 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm

If you answer Person’s criticisms he’ll still stalk you for ever and ever.

Stefan June 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

I have a question about speculators cornering a market, to the point that the market cannot function “freely”…

I am fairly new to the study of economics and was wondering what the “free-market” view of this would be…

It is my understanding there has been government intervention to prevent this cornering from happening. I find it rather confusing that there is an intervention to ensure a free-market system!

I hope you can help answer! :)

Scott D June 9, 2008 at 5:40 pm

It seems we have another person-al vendetta. How droll.

Fred Furash June 9, 2008 at 5:49 pm

You are quite right Stefan, the only reason the government intervenes is to setup a monopoly, and not to break it up. The only monopoly that is illegitimate is one that uses force to sustain itself, e.g. the government.

Any monopoly derived by out-competing others is perfectly fine, since as soon as that monopolist decides to let up on quality or price, or anything else, new competitors will come up to steal their market share :)

Brent June 9, 2008 at 6:13 pm

“Any monopoly derived by out-competing others is perfectly fine, since as soon as that monopolist decides to let up on quality or price, or anything else, new competitors will come up to steal their market share :)”

Technically, neoclassical economics says a monopoly is anytime there is one firm / resource owner. So each of us, to the extent that we have different qualities and abilities, could be seen as a monopolist of our own labor.

Perhaps in this way, the DOJ could use antitrust law to enforce stop-loss for the DOD!

Dan June 9, 2008 at 8:34 pm

I’ve not read Rothbard’s “The Panic of 1819″ but have seen excerpts, critiques, and commentary on it. (It’s on the reading list – http://mises.org/rothbard/panic1819.pdf) One thing I don’t quite understand is the difference between the central banking we have today and the central banking of the early 19th century. In particular, how did the government “protect” the bank(s) from runs once people figured out the money was being inflated?

Tom Woods June 9, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Dan, I think the quick answer is that the government allowed the banks to suspend specie payment, sometimes for years at a time.

I was just saying at the Rothbard Graduate Seminar today, though, that we need much more good work by Austrians on the history of American banking, gold and silver, etc.

Dan June 9, 2008 at 9:19 pm

I have to say I’m a bit star-struck. Having direct access to a highly distinguished scholar such as Dr. Woods is a little overwhelming. I’ll suspend, however, the squealing groupie act to ask this next question.

Dr. Woods has written and spoken at length about several key labor strikes in U.S. labor history, particularly the Homestead, PA strike in the early 1890′s. I live 5 minutes away from the plaque that commemorates the deaths that resulted from the dispute. Streets and buildings all over the area honor the names of the “evil” corporate players of the time – Frick and Carnegie. However, the following account from PBS
seems to portray Frick as the “norm” for how management of the day dealt with labor, insinuating that managers typically were bent on crushing organized labor at all costs. In contrast, the account holds out hope that Carnegie was in some sense a maverick “progressive” tycoon that was curiously concerned with workers rights and conditions. To what extent is this account true or untrue?

Vince Daliessio June 9, 2008 at 11:55 pm

WOW Tom, both yours and particularly Bob’s “Politically Incorrect Guides,” to American History and Capitalism respectively, are among my favorite books, please convey that to Bob.

We all either know or suspect that current intellectual property law (patent and copyright) confers unnatural rights upon certain individuals at the expense of all others, and needs to be radically modified or eliminated to restore a just order of property. Two questions arise;

1) How do we do it?

2)What mechanism will replace copyright in particular to ensure proper credit, the integrity of works, and the fair compensation of producers of works? How do we work within an integral property rights system to punish fraudulently altered works, or complete frauds published under an author’s name? Would standard legal remedies be available?


Jay D June 10, 2008 at 10:23 am

Should someone feel guilty for allowing a house to be foreclosed on them even if they could keep up with payments if they tried?

I don’t see any reason why they should, but I would like to hear the argument on why they should feel guilty.

They are not leaving an outstanding debt. The bank gets the house. The house fulfills the obligations, right? That’s what a mortgage is, isn’t it? If they pay off the mortgage, they get to own the house. If not, they don’t.

Is the house “upside-down”? If so, then that was a bad investment on the part of the bank. They’re the bank aren’t they? It is there job to know the market and make sound business decisions. They didn’t? Oops on their part.

newson June 10, 2008 at 10:28 am

here’s a question re: the eventual return to some sort of formal gold standard.

conceivably at some point in the worldwide inflationary vortex, one country will decide to save it’s currency from total destruction.

politically, this renegade nation risks getting offside with some pretty stroppy giants, by going hard money. but what about the risk of being deluged with flight capital from everywhere else? and therefore domestic inflation?

historically, i’m thinking of the dutch republic in the early 17th century, who’s relative monetary integrity resulted in enormous capital inflows and consequent inflationary bubbles (without any help from frb).

Bob Murphy June 10, 2008 at 10:32 am

I think you should ask Murphy to split all royalties from your respective PIG books 50/50. I anticipate an affirmative answer.

newson June 10, 2008 at 10:34 am

“whose monetary integrity…”

newson June 10, 2008 at 10:46 am

one other thing: why has the klf (kopyright liberation front) not been adopted as mises pet punk rock band? their monetary high-jinx shone a light where the bank of england would prefer remain dark. they deserve to be part of mises’ t-shirt gallery.

IMHO June 10, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Great show, Tom. Will listen again next week and will spread the word amongst libertarians I know.

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