The slides for the first lecture of this course are provided below. The course and other matters are discussed in further detail here. All slides and “suggested readings” for the entire course are provided in the notes for KOL172.
Lecture 2: OVERVIEW OF JUSTIFICATIONS FOR IP; PROPERTY, SCARCITY, AND IDEAS
The slides for the first lecture of this course are provided below, as are the “suggested readings” for the course. The course and other matters are discussed in further detail here. I also include in this first of the 6 podcasts for this series an introductory video for the course followed by the audio and slides for all 6 lectures. The “suggested readings” for each lecture are appended to the end of this post. I’ll include individual audio and slides for the following podcasts in this series.
I was a guest yesterday (Feb. 6, 2015) on Albert Lu’s “The Economy” podcast, discussing my recent appearance on Stossel. The full episode is here; the portion including only our interview is included in this podcast feed.
Three letters-to-the-editor I wrote in the 1980s/90s that were never published are here, and repixeled below: on on inflation; one on gambling prohibition; one on free will (nature vs. nurture).
To The Economist (Nov. 11, 1992)
Editor, Letters Page
The Economist Newspaper
25 St James’s Street
London SWlA 1HG
In “Zero Inflation: How Low is Low Enough?” (November 7th) you assume that governments ought to pursue a low, stable price inflation rate in order to best benefit their economies. In a growing economy, however, a zero price inflation rate would require inflation of the money supply, which itself adversely affects market behaviour. Money inflation artificially lowers interest rates, sending false signals which cause malinvestments and temporary booms. These malinvestments must, ultimately, be liquidated by recession. Thus, the business cycle is born.
The “ideal” rate of price inflation is thus whatever rate—probably a mild deflation—accompanies a zero money inflation rate. In short, in order to avoid price inflation and harmful market disturbances, government should quit printing more money altogether.
From Tom’s show notes (with a few additions from me):
Corporations aren’t people, say protestors. Corporations are creatures of the state, say some libertarians. Is there any merit to these complaints? Should libertarians support the corporate form or not? That’s the topic of discussion on today’s episode, with guest Stephan Kinsella.
In the mid-90s I wrote a couple of law review articles, each which contained a short summary list of possible structural and related changes that could be made (say, to the Constitution) to try to limit state power and to limit the danger of legislation (really, the danger of having a legislature). Ultimately, most such changes are probably futile. Constitutions are paper limits used to prop up state power, and are interpreted and enforced by the very state that is supposed to be limited by it. But they are certainly better than useless measures such as term limits. Probably the single most important of these proposals would be the sunset proposal: every statute expires after some maximum number of years, unless positively reenacted. (For some additional suggestions regarding federalism, see my post Randy Barnett’s “Federalism Amendment”–A Counterproposal.)
For all these reasons, I do not believe that legislation is a legitimate or practical means of creating law, or even of patching it. If a legislature can be convinced to recognize and respect the right law, so can a decentralized court system, especially one competing with other courts for customers. Courts do not face the same pernicious and systematic incentives that legislators do to make bad laws, and many of them. And courts, if they go bad, at least have a more limited effect on society; whereas when legislatures go bad, there is no end to the evil that they can perpetrate.
If legislation can be considered valid at all (given a governmental system), it can only be occasional or spurious legislation that modifies the body of law which is primarily developed by a court-based, decentralized law-finding system. If we must have legislation, several constitutional safeguards should accompany its exercise, to attempt to restrict legislation to a purely secondary role in the formation of law. Certainly, a supermajority, and maybe a referendum, should be required in order to enact any statutes whatever, except perhaps for statutes that repeal prior statutes or that limit governmental power. [click to continue…]
I was interviewed today by Daniel Rothschild for his “Live Free, Die Old” Youtube channel. We discussed primarily the fallacious argument that Lockean-libertarian-based property titles are flawed if they are based on conquest or cannot be traced back to the first homesteader.
My article “Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide” was published in Mises Daily (May 27, 2011) (it includes “Discourse Ethics and Liberty: A Skeletal Ebook”). Below I note some relevant supplemental material that has been published since or that I have been made aware of that was not noted in the original article: