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Jeff Deist

Articles by Jeff Deist

What Biden/Harris Will Do

January 24, 2021

Paraphrasing the late Murray Rothbard, the “two party” system in America during the twentieth century worked something like this: Democrats engineered the Great Leaps Forward, and Republicans consolidated the gains. Wilson, Roosevelt, and Johnson were the transformative presidents; Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan offered only rhetoric and weak tea compromises. In politics, being for something always beats being against something, and Republicans were never much against expanding federal power provided they had a place at the trough.
George W. Bush challenged this dynamic in the early twenty-first century. Despite his own intellectual incuriosity, he used the terrorist events of 9-11 to advance a particularly noxious “conservative” foreign policy and justify a

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Surviving Tech Purges: What We’re Doing at the Mises Institute

January 14, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]In the early 1980s few outlets existed for anyone interested in the Austrian school of economics or robust libertarian scholarship. Few universities taught Hayek, much less Mises or Rothbard. Libraries and bookstores carried little of interest for serious economists and thinkers in the old liberal tradition.

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2021: Welcome to Post-persuasion America

January 8, 2021

Mobilization and separation, not persuasion, is the way forward.

Original Article:
Welcome to 2021 in post-persuasion America!

I first heard this term used by Steve Bannon, architect of the surprising 2016 Trump campaign, in a PBS Frontline documentary titled America’s Great Divide. Speaking way back in the precovid days of early 2020, Bannon asserted the information age makes us less curious and willing to consider worldviews unlike our own. We have access to virtually all of humanity’s accumulated knowledge and history on devices in our pockets, but the sheer information overload causes us to dig in rather than open up. Anyone who wants to change their mind can find a whole universe of alternative viewpoints online, but very few people do (especially

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Jeff Deist on Hoppe’s Democracy: The God That Failed

November 3, 2020

Why don’t elections bring harmony and closure rather than ever greater political friction? Hans-Hermann Hoppe explained all of the fundamental problems with mass democracy more than 20 years ago in Democracy: The God That Failed.
Jeff Deist finishes his series on this devastating classic with a look at Hoppe’s final chapters, critiquing conservatism, liberalism, and constitutionalism. Why do both conservatism and liberalism fail? (hint: democratic mechanisms). Liberalism is property, not majority rule, and all governments tend to attack rather than defend property over time. So what is the best way forward, combining a liberal economic program with the old conservative understanding of natural order? And how do we get there? Don’t miss this discussion of Hoppe’s

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The Absurdity of Covid “Cases”

October 5, 2020

Today’s headlines announced Donald and Melania Trump “tested positive” for covid-19. Another claims nineteen thousand Amazon workers “got” covid-19 on the job. Both of these pseudostories are sure to ignite another absurd media frenzy.
As always, the story keeps changing: Remember ventilators, flatten the curve, the next two weeks are crucial, etc.? Remember Nancy Pelosi in Chinatown back in February, urging everyone to visit? Remember Fauci dismissing masks as useless? Why should we believe anything the political/media complex tells us now?
So what do these headlines really mean? What exactly is a covid “case”?
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, most US media outlets have been exceedingly credulous and complicit in their reporting. Journalists

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The Search for Yield

June 9, 2020

A no-holds-barred discussion of the economy after the coronavirus shutdown and George Floyd protests. Are we facing another Great Depression? Can there be a V-shaped recovery or is this wishful thinking? What will all the new money and credit created by Congress and the Fed mean for the dollar? What kind of economic mess will Trump or Biden inherit in 2021? How far will Fed chair Powell go to keep markets propped up? And how can you protect yourself and your savings?
Recorded at Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham, Alabama, on June 6, 2020. Special thanks to Mark Walker for sponsoring this event.

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How Bad Is It?

May 15, 2020

How bad is it?
That is the question on everyone’s mind as we come to grips with the economic carnage caused by global economic shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, and ongoing quarantines of million of people. Do we face another Great Depression, or simply a deep recession more like 2008? And equally important, are soft Americans prepared for either? Have we started to process all of this psychologically? Have we really come to terms with the enormity of the situation, with the unprecedented risk posed by business shutdowns? Are Americans so accustomed to a certain material standard of living that they do not understand how fragile it is?
Here is what we know.
Since February, 30 to 40 million of Americans have been thrown out of work. Four or 5 million file new

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How to Think About the Fed Now

April 18, 2020

[This text is excerpted from the introduction to The Anatomy of the Crash, a Mises Institute ebook to be released in April 2020.]
The Great Crash of 2020 was not caused by a virus. It was precipitated by the virus, and made worse by the crazed decisions of governments around the world to shut down business and travel. But it was caused by economic fragility. The supposed greatest economy in US history actually was a walking sick man, made comfortable with painkillers, and looking far better than he felt—yet ultimately fragile and infirm. The coronavirus pandemic simply exposed the underlying sickness of the US economy. If anything, the crash was overdue.
Too much debt, too much malinvestment, and too little honest pricing of assets and interest rates made

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Mises and the “New Economics”

February 26, 2020

[This article is excerpted from a talk delivered on February 22, 2020 at the Austrian Student Scholars Conference, hosted by Grove City College in Pennsylvania.]
I. Introduction
What a wonderful gathering of students today, on this impressive and beautiful campus. We can see why Hans Sennholz loved this place, and why Drs. Herbener and Ritenour so enjoy living and teaching here. You are all too young to serve as the “remnant,” so we will consider you the vanguard instead. I’m always impressed by young people with an interest in serious scholarship and ideas, who have the intellect to read 900-page books. We are told nobody reads anymore, and certainly not dense tomes about economic theory, but this raises a question: are the rare people who do read such books

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Jeff Deist: The Tom Woods Interview

January 25, 2020

TOM WOODS: This is the Tom Woods Show, and today I welcome Jeff Deist.
Everybody wants to know the sheer nuts and bolts of how somebody becomes Ron Paul’s chief of staff. I’ll tell a little story most people don’t know. About ten years ago, Dr. Paul was approached about doing an autobiography; he would have gotten a huge advance. There was big demand for it! But he just couldn’t believe people were interested in the details of his life. His heart wasn’t in it, so he decided to say no. I know you’re kind of the same way, but doggone it, Jeff Deist, there are some details I want to wring out of you!
You start off as a lawyer in California and have a successful career in the financial world, and then, somehow, you’re Ron Paul’s chief of staff, and somewhere along the

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Understanding Money Mechanics

January 4, 2020

Dr. Bob Murphy joins the Human Action Podcast to discuss one of the most important issues of all: how money and credit work in today’s society. Jeff Deist recently commissioned Murphy to write a series of articles on money mechanics, an exceedingly important topic for critics of the Fed—and today’s podcast serves as an introduction to the project. The articles will be compiled into an e-book, with plenty of graphics to simplify the basic process of money creation in a fractional reserve system. If you want to understand how the Fed works, how money and credit come into being, how interest rates arise, and what it all means for you, don’t miss this great upcoming series at

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The Cultural Consequences of Negative Interest Rates

December 4, 2019

Negative interest rates are now entrenched reality in Europe, and not just for buyers of sovereign or corporate debt – even retail savings accounts are affected. What does this mean for real people trying to save for retirement? And more broadly, what does it mean for Europe culturally? Not to mention America, since Alan Greenspan tells us negative rates are coming here soon?

Our guest Rahim Taghizadegan from the independent Viennese Scholarium joins the show to discuss the anti-economics of negative rates. He is co-author of a new book titled The Zero Interest Trap. He is also a co-author of Austrian School for Investors.

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Does Economic Theory Work in Business?

November 20, 2019

Marketing guru and fund investor Hunter Hastings joins the Human Action podcast for a look at Economics for Entrepreneurs, a new platform which uses Austrian theory to teach actionable entrepreneurship.

Can business acumen be taught, or is it innate? Hunter and Jeff examine consumer sovereignty, value creation, and the theory of the firm, all from a unique Austrian perspective. Austrians have a lot to say about how entrepreneurs ought to think, while business schools fail to adjust to the new decentralized, agile world. Austrian economics provides entrepreneurs with a different set of tools than any business book or MBA program, and our new podcast series will help anyone improve their business or career bottom line.
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