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Connor O'Keeffe



Articles by Connor O'Keeffe

The Fed Is Already Political

13 days ago

Discourse about the Federal Reserve is frequently full of myths, dishonest framing, and outright lies. Listen to a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell or read an article from a major outlet’s lead Fed correspondent and you’re bound to hear at least a few. For instance, it’s common for the financial press to characterize the Fed’s current conundrum as “walking a tightrope.”It’s said that the Fed is working to guide the economy along without tipping it over into either high inflation on one side or a recession on the other. The last couple years, we’re told, saw the economy wobble too far toward the inflation side, with the Fed now attempting to pull the economy back to the thin line of stability without tipping over too far and plunging into a recession.But

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What the Campus Protesters and Their Critics Get Right and Wrong

14 days ago

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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Cowardice, Not Courage, Led House Republicans to Side with the Democrats

15 days ago

What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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What the Campus Protesters and Their Critics Get Right and Wrong

20 days ago

As the academic year draws to a close, protests have broken out on college campuses across the country. Students are protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza. Generally, they are calling for the United States government to stop arming and funding the war and, in the meantime, for their universities to divest from Israeli businesses.The current spate of protests can be drawn back to April 17, when the president of Columbia University was brought before Congress to testify about antisemitism at the school. At the same time, about a hundred Columbia students set up a “Gaza Solidarity” tent encampment on campus.This small protest would likely have dissipated after a few days or weeks, like many similar campus protests in the months since October 7. But instead, the next

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Let’s Be Honest: The Economy Is NOT Doing Well

April 10, 2024

The American economy is not all right. But to see why, you need to look beyond the dramatic numbers we keep seeing in the headlines and establishment talking points.Take, for instance, the latest jobs report. For the third month in a row, the American economy added significantly more jobs than most economists had been expecting—a total of 303,000 for March. On its face, that’s a good number.But as Ryan McMaken laid out over the weekend, things don’t look as strong when you dig into the data. For instance, virtually all the jobs added are part-time jobs. Full-time jobs have actually been disappearing since December of last year. In fact, as McMaken highlighted, “The year-over-year measure of full-time jobs has fallen into recession territory.”Also, most of these

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How State Intervention Fueled Haiti’s Descent into Chaos

April 9, 2024

[unable to retrieve full-text content]As the official government in Haiti loses control, many are calling it a failed state. Crises like this are often evoked to discredit libertarians. But blame for Haiti’s current plight lies with the actions of states, not the absence of them.
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Boeing’s Problems Are Not Due to Free Markets

March 27, 2024

On Monday, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced he will step down at the end of the year. The news comes months after a door plug blew out midflight on a Boeing 737 flying from Oregon to California. The incident gained national attention, subjecting the manufacturer to bad press and up to $4.5 billion of economic losses so far.When incidents as serious as this happen, the public is rarely satisfied with the label of “accident.” People want accountability for those responsible and the proper changes made to prevent similar emergencies from happening again.Accountability is relatively straightforward. Investigations determine how an incident happened and who is responsible. Then, depending on the nature of the actions and the extent of the resulting damage, offenders

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Is the Violence in Haiti a Preview of a Libertarian Society?

March 20, 2024

As the internationally recognized government in Haiti loses its grip on power, the small Caribbean country is descending into violence. The media reports about the situation are quick to, either implicitly or explicitly, place the overall blame for the violence on the absence of state institutions.Situations like this are often used to dismiss libertarians. Before Haiti, it was Somalia that experienced a so-called stateless period in the 1990s and early 2000s.While few will suggest that libertarians want the kind of violence and chaos we saw in Somalia and see in Haiti today, it’s frequently asserted that, regardless of what libertarians want, the changes they advocate for will inevitably lead to such lawless conditions.As straightforward as this claim may appear

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Banning TikTok Will Not Make Americans Safer

March 13, 2024

On Wednesday, the House is set to vote on a bill introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) that would ban or force the sale of the social video-sharing app TikTok. The bill is based on concerns that the Chinese Communist Party effectively controls ByteDance, the app’s parent company. Last Friday, President Joe Biden endorsed the legislation and promised to sign it into law if Congress passes it.The vote comes nearly a year after the RESTRICT Act, the last major congressional attempt to ban TikTok, fell apart. While it was framed as a TikTok ban, a closer look at the RESTRICT Act revealed that the bill would grant the executive branch extensive powers to monitor and suppress many legitimate activities that Americans conduct online.At the time, I wrote

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The Absurdity and Danger of the State of the Union

March 8, 2024

On Thursday night, tens of millions of Americans from across the political spectrum tuned in to see how President Joe Biden would perform in his third State of the Union Address. The president’s age and cognitive ability has become a top issue facing his re-election campaign. And with the primary election essentially over, Thursday’s speech was considered a pivotal opportunity for the president to demonstrate once and for all that he has the energy and capacity to stay in office until 2029. And so, as Biden finished his nearly ten-minute walk to the podium, America watched with bated breath to see how this 81-year-old man would fair reading a speech written by other people off a teleprompter. So how did he do? Well, according to his fellow Democrats and voices in

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Be on the Lookout for These Lies in Biden’s State of the Union Address

March 6, 2024

On Thursday evening, President Joe Biden is set to give his third State of the Union address. The political press has been buzzing with speculation over what the president will say. That speculation, however, is focused more on how Biden will perform, and which issues he will prioritize. Much of the speech is expected to be familiar.The story Biden will tell about what he has done as president and where the country finds itself as a result will be the same dishonest story he’s been telling since at least the summer. He’ll cite government statistics to say the economy is growing, unemployment is low, and inflation is down.Something that has been frustrating Biden, his team, and his allies in the media is that the American people do not feel as economically well off

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The Outrageous Persecution of Julian Assange

March 3, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

February 26, 2024

In 2022, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used political favors and government grants to maneuver thousands of workers into jobs producing electric trucks. But consumers aren’t interested.
Original Article: How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

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The Outrageous Persecution of Julian Assange

February 21, 2024

Today marks the second and final day in what could very well be Julian Assange’s last extradition trial in front of the British High Court. For almost five years now, the United States government has been working to get the Wikileaks founder extradited to the US to face charges that he violated the Espionage Act.
Inspired by Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers back in 1971, Julian Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006. Assange’s vision was to develop an online portal where whistleblowers could submit evidence of corporate or government wrongdoing without needing to identify themselves or risk exposure. Once submitted, teams of volunteers and journalists would parse the documents to determine legitimacy. And, if it was determined to be authentic, publish

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How Governor Whitmer Doomed Detroit Autoworkers

February 14, 2024

The new year started out on a painful note for autoworkers building electric vehicles (EVs). In the last month, thousands of workers have been laid off from General Motors (GM) and Ford plants in Michigan.
Most workers involved were, or were slated to be, working on electric versions of each brand’s signature trucks—the Chevy Silverado EV and Ford F-150 Lightning. The latter has been available for purchase since 2022, with the Silverado EV set to debut this year. Yet both have run into a problem: consumers don’t want them.
More specifically, consumers don’t want as many of these trucks as Ford and GM are currently producing. On its face, this might appear like a classic case of entrepreneurial error. But there’s more to the story because the production level of

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Biden’s Middle East Policy Puts Americans at Risk

February 10, 2024

The Biden administration’s Middle East policies are going to produce the same kind of blowback that led to the 9/11 attacks. The more reckless Biden becomes, the more American lives are placed at risk.
Original Article: Biden’s Middle East Policy Puts Americans at Risk

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The Escalating Tensions in the Red Sea Are a Bad Omen

January 14, 2024

With the Houthis in Yemen firing on commercial ships in the Red Sea, the US is contemplating yet another Middle East conflict. As we see again, aggression leads to more aggression.
Original Article: The Escalating Tensions in the Red Sea Are a Bad Omen

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The Establishment Is Unmasking Itself

January 10, 2024

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article laying out the political class’s struggle to preserve its legitimacy by fighting to regain control over the digital information space. The piece built on Martin Gurri’s thesis that the wide adoption of the internet has caused an information revolution that, similar to the adoption of the printing press, has allowed dissent to grow and spread beyond the control of the ruling classes. The results have been political shocks like the Arab Spring, the passage of Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump.
If the twenty-first century has been a war to preserve the establishment’s legitimacy, the current battle in the United States is the 2024 presidential election.
There’s truth to the familiar cliché that the next election is always the

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A Free and Open Internet Is a Threat to the Establishment

January 9, 2024

Using the rhetoric of “protecting democracy,” American ruling elites have tried to censor the internet because they don’t like the results of democracy when information no longer is filtered by the political classes.
Original Article: A Free and Open Internet Is a Threat to the Establishment

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The Escalating Tensions in the Red Sea Are a Bad Omen

January 3, 2024

On New Year’s Eve, US Navy helicopters in the Red Sea engaged and sank three boats belonging to Yemen’s Houthis, killing ten. According to US Central Command, the boats were attacking a container ship and fired on the helicopters as they responded to the ship’s distress call. The encounter represents a significant escalation that risks forcing a whole new war on the American public and the Middle East.
The Red Sea region has become one of the world’s most volatile flashpoints in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks in southern Israel. The Houthis of Yemen see it as their “humanitarian and moral duty” to use their location along one of the world’s most important shipping lanes to hamper and disrupt Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza.
Despite what US officials say,

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A Free and Open Internet Is a Threat to the Establishment

December 27, 2023

Last week, a video clip of Francis Fukuyama went viral. In the clip, the political scientist called freedom of speech and a marketplace of ideas “18th century notions that really have been belied (or shown to be false) by a lot of what’s happened in recent decades.”
Fukuyama then reflects on how a censorship regime could be enacted in the United States.
But the question then becomes, how do you actually regulate content that you think is noxious, harmful, and the like—and do it in a way that’s consistent with the First Amendment? Now, I think you can push the boundaries a bit because the First Amendment does not allow you to say anything you want. But among liberal democracies, our First Amendment law is among the most expansive of any developed democracy.
And you

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The Dishonesty of the New York Times Revealed

December 20, 2023

Last May, the chairman and publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, wrote a twelve-thousand-word feature in the Columbia Journalism Review appealing to the importance of independent journalism and framing the Times as a news organization committed to this ideal.
Sulzberger defines his model of independent journalism, writing that it “elevates values grounded in humility—fairness, impartiality, and (to use perhaps the most fraught and argued-over word in journalism) objectivity—as ideals to be pursued, even if they can never be perfectly achieved.”
He then identifies several arguments used against the model—such as the insistence that journalists use appeals to objectivity to hide their liberal worldview or to prioritize a straight, white, male perspective

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The Immorality of COP28

December 13, 2023

For the last two weeks, delegates from the world’s governments have met in the United Arab Emirates for COP28, the United Nation’s annual climate change conference. Over one hundred thousand attendees, ranging from heads of state to climate bureaucrats, corporate leaders, nongovernmental organization representatives, and activists, descended on the lavish Dubai venue to hash out new policies for governments to force on their citizens in the name of fighting climate change.
These annual meetings are designed to culminate in a final resolution where all 198 governments agree to pursue certain goals. In the draft of this year’s agreement, released Monday, the world’s governments agreed to work toward “tripling the global capacity for renewables by 2030, doubling the

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The United States Needs Its Own Javier Milei

December 10, 2023

While the United States has not fallen as far economically as Argentina, the fact is that the present economic policies are ruinous. We need someone like Javier Milei to speak the truth about what is happening.
Original Article: The United States Needs Its Own Javier Milei

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What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

December 9, 2023

The standard line from US political elites is that failure to aid Ukraine would mean Russia’s destruction of what is left of the country. However, the likely result would be a negotiated peace.
Original Article: What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

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What Would Happen If the US Stopped Supporting Ukraine?

December 6, 2023

Over the weekend, border-policy negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans fell apart. The talks were meant to firm up Republican support for the president’s massive $105 billion military support proposal ahead of Wednesday’s vote by including additional funds for border security in the spending package. Now, with no imminent approval of further aid to Ukraine, hawks in government and the media are trying to stoke panic about what will happen if Kyiv is cut off from US support.
In a letter to Congress Monday, White House budget director Shalanda Young told Congress the funds will dry up by the end of the year:
I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for

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Progressive Interventionism Is Ruining American Healthcare

December 5, 2023

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is at it again: demanding government intervention in the nation’s healthcare system to deal with problems caused by earlier government intervention.
Original Article: Progressive Interventionism Is Ruining American Healthcare

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The United States Needs Its Own Javier Milei

November 22, 2023

On Sunday, the populist Austrolibertarian Javier Milei was elected president of Argentina. In the United States, the reaction ranged from concerned curiosity on the part of the political establishment to enthusiastic celebration across the populist Right—including, notably, some economic nationalists. Several renowned libertarians also brought attention to some of Milei’s many flaws, such as his views on geopolitics.
Milei’s libertarian skeptics make many good points. And odds are a man with a legislature stacked against him will not be able to address Argentina’s many problems without some political backup. But still, there is much to admire about Milei’s rise and plenty to learn from his campaign’s bold, spirited rhetoric. Because our country is also in

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