VOL 2 NO 1 – Special Political Riddles Edition

  1. EDITORIAL: Riddled with Government, starring Bert Kelly and Gina Rinehart
  2. EDUCATION POLICY: Moral Hazard in Education, by Simon Lee
  3. INTERNATIONAL FINANCE: Is Gold or the Dollar Overvalued?, by Patrick Barron
  4. INTERNATIONAL FINANCE: Dangerous Complacency, by Bill Stacey
  5. HEALTH POLICY: A Four-Step Health-Care Solution, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
  6. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: The Tale of the Slave, by Robert Nozick
  7. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: Try This on Your Friends, by F.A. Harper
  8. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: A Thought Experiment for a Fresh Look at Government, by Rothbard
  9. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: Repeatedly Ask Central Bankers This Question, by Hoppe
  10. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: A Question That Will Destroy the Governments of Hong Kong, Australia, the US, the UK and Everywhere Else, by Benjamin Marks

EDITORIAL: Riddled with Government

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

How can government services be more efficient than private services when government service provision is separated from the payment for them? The greatest Australian politician and journalist, Bert Kelly, when he was 72 wrote:

When I die, I hope people will remember me by the proverb: “You can always tell a man who is dining out on an expense account by the enthusiasm with which he summons the waiter.”

(Think of the passion of advocates of government spending.)

Free-market advocates could not go wrong adding more such knockout punches, sharp wit, debate reframers, pickup lines, fresh bait and new strategies to their repertoire. That’s what this issue of Capitalism.HK aims to provide, especially in the last five articles. Read the rest of this entry

Moral Hazard in Education: False Hope and the Culture of Dependency

by Simon Lee of the Lion Rock Institute

I care about kids. I am a father of two. The most important thing to me is not about us, but our kids and their education.

Education, ideally, helps kids to be independent. In modern society, however, education is not about helping our kids to be independent but to make them dependent on a grand illusion. Read the rest of this entry

The Tale of the Slave

by Robert Nozick, originally published in his Anarchy, State, and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974), pp. 290-92.

Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you.

1: There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.

2: The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.

3: The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.

4: The master allows his slaves four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own. Read the rest of this entry

Try This on Your Friends

by F. A. Harper, originally published in Faith and Freedom, January 1955, p. 19.

The elections are over and the campaign dirt has settled a bit.

Do you enjoy riddles? This one challenges many students of liberty. Once we see the problem, lack of a solution will bedevil us until we can solve it logically to the satisfaction of our own conscience.

We want to answer this question: To what extent should politicians be enthroned to rule affairs in our daily lives? What should be the proper domain of political rulership — that is, government? Read the rest of this entry

A Thought Experiment for a Fresh Look at Government

by Murray Rothbard, originally published in his For A New Liberty (Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2006 [1973]), p. 84.

An argument statists never respond to

Let us try to transcend the fact that for as long as we can remember, the State has monopolized police and judicial services in society. Suppose that we were all starting completely from scratch, and that millions of us had been dropped down upon the earth, fully grown and developed, from some other planet. Debate begins as to how protection (police and judicial services) will be provided. Someone says:

Let’s all give all of our weapons to Joe Jones over there, and to his relatives. And let Jones and his family decide all disputes among us. In that way, the Joneses will be able to protect all of us from any aggression or fraud that anyone else may commit. With all the power and all the ability to make ultimate decisions on disputes in the hands of Jones, we will all be protected from one another. And then let us allow the Joneses to obtain their income from this great service by using their weapons, and by exacting as much revenue by coercion as they shall desire.

Read the rest of this entry

Repeatedly Ask Central Bankers This Question

by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
in a Q & A session at the 2012 Property and Freedom Society Meeting

Ben Bernanke

It is very important in these replies to people like Krugman that we don’t get involved in technical details, but ask them questions almost like a child:

Explain to me how increase in paper pieces can possibly make a society richer? If that were the case, explain to me why there is still poverty in the world? Isn’t every central bank in the world capable of printing as much paper as they want? And do you then think society as a whole would be richer? Read the rest of this entry

VOL 1 NO 4 – Contents and Cover

  1. EDITORIAL: About the Cover Photo
  2. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: The Intellectual Cover for Socialism, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
  3. CELEBRATION: The World’s Greatest Inventions, by H.L. Mencken
  4. FINANCE: The Only International Economic Policy that a Country Needs, by Patrick Barron
  5. FINANCE: A Golden Deutsche Mark Can Save the World, by Godfrey Bloom and Patrick Barron
  6. BOOK REVIEW: Beyond Democracy, Toward Freedom, by Chris Bassil, a review of Karel Beckman and Frank Karsten’s Beyond Democracy
  8. HONG KONG COMMENTARY: Head in the Clouds, by Bill Stacey
  9. CALL TO ARMS: How to stand aside when it’s time to be counted, by Bert Kelly
  10. POPULATION POLICY: A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift
  11. LABOUR POLICY: Working Hours, by George Jean Nathan

EDITORIAL: About the Cover Photo

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

The director of Mises Institute Brazil, Fernando Fiori Chiocca, explains the significance of the cover photo: “This can advance libertarianism as never before. Every single person that sees this image will want to know who the heck is this guy with a bow-tie and shorts and what he thinks. Then they will discover freedom.” Read the rest of this entry

The Intellectual Cover for Socialism

by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Originally published in
The Free Market, February 1988.

Compared with life in Western countries, where the socialist sector is sizeable, life under total socialism is miserable.

The standard of living is so deplorable that, in 1961, the socialist East German government built a system of walls, barbed wire, electrified fences, minefields, automatic shooting devices, watchtowers, watchdogs, and watchmen, almost 900 miles long, to keep people from running away from socialism.

The empirical evidence shows that socialism is an obvious failure. And the cause of socialism’s failure is crystal clear: there is almost no private ownership of the means of production, and almost all factors of production are owned in common in precisely the same way that Americans own the Postal Service.

Why, then, do seemingly serious people still advocate socialism? And why are there still thousands of social scientists who want to put more and more factors of production under social instead of private control? Read the rest of this entry