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Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is the editor of Mises Wire and The Austrian. Send him your article submissions, but read article guidelines first. (Contact: email; twitter.) Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

Articles by Ryan McMaken

The FBI and CIA Are Enemies of the American People

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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The Homo Economicus Myth

15 days ago

Among the larger albatrosses burdening the economics profession is the idea of Homo economicus. To this day, most economics undergraduates hear about it in the context of neoclassical economics. Homo economicus, we are told, is the ideal economic man who always seeks to maximize profits and minimize costs. He only acts “rationally,” and rationalism is defined as, well, always seeking to maximize profits and minimize costs. Even worse, “profit” is often assumed to mean “monetary profit” measurable only in dollars (or some other currency).Yes, many economists will say, “It’s just a model,” and note there are many caveats that come with its use. These protestations are often less than convincing given the use of models based on “rational” behavior. But, for now,

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A “New” Book of Essays by William Graham Sumner

16 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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Full-Time Jobs Fall Again as Total Employment Flatlines in April

16 days ago

According to a new report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics this week, the US economy added 175,000 jobs for the month of April while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9%. The new reported job growth was considered a “miss” in that it came in below expectations, and for the first time in months, the media did not declare the jobs report to be “a blowout” or “strong.” Instead, the official narrative seemed to be that the “slowing economy” will bring down CPI inflation, and thus the Federal Reserve will soon force interest rates back down and bring about the fabled “soft landing.” Not surprisingly, then, the lackluster jobs report led to a rally in stocks, as Wall Street anticipates a Fed rate cut. For anyone who has taken a more

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From the Editor March / April 2024

17 days ago

Inflation Is Destroying UsOne of the most damaging shortcomings of modern statistics-based economics is that it all too often removes the individual human person from its analysis. In this setting, “economics” becomes a matter of “macro” aggregates and data factoids like GDP and CPI. This kind of “economics” removes the individual acting person as the central, key variable.Austrian School economics, on the other hand, never loses sight of the importance of the individual in understanding economic analysis. This focus on the individual provides another advantage as well: Austrian School economists are far less likely to forget the fact that society and the economy are not machines to be fine-tuned and tinkered with. Rather, we understand that groups of individuals

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The Problem with Microlibertarianism

24 days ago

When I was still in graduate school and still in my early twenties, I was riding on the airport shuttle to an event at the Mises Institute when I encountered an interesting phenomenon. It was the phenomenon of the “libertarian” who is free-market in the small stuff, but embraces war and statism in the big things.
I still remember that shuttle ride well. I had become involved in a discussion with a man who was probably twenty years my senior. He was on the way to the same Institute conference, and was expressing the usual free-market sentiments about low taxes and the problems with government regulation.
When the topic turned to foreign policy, however, freedom and the evils of the state were quickly forgotten. This man ended up singing the praises of Washington’s

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Chapter 19. Why Indian Tribal Sovereignty Is Important

25 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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Chapter 10. If California Secedes, What Happens to Locals Who Opposed Secession?

25 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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Chapter 8. Why the US Supports Secession for Africans, but Not for Americans

25 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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Chapter 5. Secession as a Path to Self-Determination

25 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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Chapter 16. How Early Americans Decentralized Military Power

25 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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Chapter 12. When It Comes to National Defense, It’s More than Size that Matters

25 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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Postscript: A Tale of Two Megastates: Why the EU Is Better (In Some Ways) than the US

25 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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Chapter 4. Why the Classical Liberals Wanted Decentralization

25 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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Chapter 17. Before Roe v. Wade, Abortion Policy was a State and Local Matter

25 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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Frédéric Bastiat Was a Radical Opponent of War and Militarism

April 16, 2024

Frédéric Bastiat is well known for his radical free-market positions as expressed in his still-famous book The Law and in insightful essays such as "That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen." Joseph Schumpeter called Bastiat "the most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived." Bastiat’s radicalism did not end with economic policy, however. Bastiat, like most other radical liberals of his period—such as Richard Cobden, John Bright and Charles Dunoyer—was a radical anti-militarist and opponent of interventionist foreign policy. For example, Bastiat was an anti-imperialist and strongly opposed the French colonization of Algeria, stating in 1846:I have no hesitation in saying that, unless it be in order to secure independent frontiers, you will never find me,

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Seditious Conspiracy: A Fake Crime and a Danger to Free Speech

April 16, 2024

"Over the past three years, the word sedition has again become popular among regime agents and their friends in the media. It’s not the first time the word has been frequently used. In the American context, it’s frequently employed whenever the ruling class wishes us to become hysterical about some real and imagined enemy, both domestic and foreign."This event was co-hosted by the Mises Institute and the Ron Paul Institute, and recorded in Lake Jackson, Texas, on April 13, 2024.

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Trump Is Right about Abortion and Lindsey Graham Is Wrong

April 11, 2024

Donald Trump last week said he opposes any national legislation on abortion, and said he supports state governments adopting their own policies. According to USA Today:  "Former President Donald Trump said individual states should choose their own abortion restrictions, avoiding talk of any kind of federal government ban and drawing criticism from Democrats and anti-abortion Republicans alike on a pivotal election issue. …At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people." Democrats naturally condemned these remarks, insisting that the only acceptable position is support for nationwide policy mandating the legality of abortion everywhere. Trump, however, also met opposition from some Republicans who continue to cling to the (clearly unrealistic)

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Biden’s Inflation Narrative Dies as Price Growth Rises to a Seven-Month High

April 10, 2024

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest price inflation data, CPI inflation in March rose to a seven-month high, and price inflation hasn’t proven nearly as transitory as the regime’s economists have long predicted. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 3.5 percent year over year during March, without seasonal adjustment. That’s the thirty-seventh month in a row of inflation well above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. Month-over-month inflation was flat with the CPI rising by 0.4 percent from February to March, with seasonal adjustment.  Month-to-month growth had also been 0.4 percent from January to February.The ongoing price increases largely reflect growth in prices for food, services, electricity, and

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March Report: The Recession In Full-Time Jobs Is Here

April 6, 2024

According to a new report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics this week, the US economy added 303,000 jobs for the month of March while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8%. In what has become a familiar pantomime, reporters from the legacy media were sure to declare this a "blowout jobs report" while Richmond Fed president Tom Barkin described the report as "quite strong." This report showed, however, that the jobs economy continues to follow a pattern that began in December of last year: namely, full-time jobs are disappearing and the "job growth" reported so enthusiastically by the media is virtually all part-time jobs. Moreover, nearly a quarter of new payroll jobs are government jobs. If we look more closely at this report, what we

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Abolish all Treason and Sedition Laws

April 4, 2024

The word "treason" has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years—on the Left. It used to be more popular on the Right. During the Cold War, conservatives frequently employed the word to demand their ideological enemies be exiled or executed. Nowadays, anti-immigration activists frequently denounce their opponents as "the treason lobby." But it’s on the Left that the word appears to have its most devoted advocates at the moment. Robert Reich, for instance, is sure that Donald Trump is guilty of treason, and Trump has been accused of treason since at least 2018 for a variety of supposed crimes such as "collusion" with the Russians. In the wake of the January 6 riot, there has been no shortage of commentary denouncing Trump supporters overall as guilty of

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It’s Time to End Squatter’s Rights

March 29, 2024

Last month, New York City homeowner Adele Andaloro was arrested after changing the locks on a house that had been seized by squatters. According to The New York Post: "Andaloro was charged with unlawful eviction because she had changed the locks and hadn’t provided a new key to the residents. The residents, however, are squatters.Fortunately, Andaloro’s arrest was filmed and went viral, reviving an ongoing debate over squatters "rights," under which trespassers can take over an unoccupied house or piece of land and attempt to establish legal ownership.Not long after the Andaloro video surfaced, an immigrant TikToker with 500,000 followers posted a video encouraging other migrants to squat in private residences in the United States. The immigrant, Leonel Moreno,

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Federal Judges Co-Opted America’s State Constitutions

March 26, 2024

The idea that the federal Bill of Rights is the only thing standing between freedom and tyranny in America is deeply ingrained in the American mind. It is ubiquitous in our speech, for instance, as can be seen in how we use phrases like "my Second Amendment rights" or "I want to plead the Fifth [Amendment]." It is also assumed that unless the federal Supreme Court has intervened to declare that a legal right exists, then the right is virtually non-existent within the American legal system. Moreover, it is assumed that unless the federal supreme court mandates that state and local governments respect certain rights, then state and local governments will wantonly disregard the rights of their citizens. Put more bluntly, we are repeatedly told that the federal

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The Case for Secession: How Breaking Away Maximizes Liberty

March 19, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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Mises Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent the law allows. Tax ID# 52-1263436

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New Video: My Lecture on Secession at Oklahoma State University

March 19, 2024

The Free Enterprise Society at Oklahoma State University was kind enough to recently invite me to lecture on secession at the University on March 13, 2024.  This talk is significantly different from the secession debate at LibertyCon in February because this lecture covers historical, theoretical, and international aspects of secession in much greater detail. The talk is approximately an hour long:

Remote video URL
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Price Inflation Accelerates for Second Month as Biden Blames “Greed”

March 19, 2024

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest price inflation data, CPI inflation in February accelerated for the second month in a row, and price inflation hasn’t proven nearly as transitory as the regime’s economists have long predicted. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 3.2 percent year over year during February, without seasonal adjustment. That’s the thirty-sixth month in a row of inflation well above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target. Month-over-month inflation accelerated, with the CPI rising 0.4 percent from January to February, with seasonal adjustment. Month-to-month growth had been 0.3 percent from December to January.The ongoing price increases largely reflect growth in prices for food, services,

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Covid Showed Us Who Really Rules America

March 14, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Website powered by Mises Institute donors

Mises Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent the law allows. Tax ID# 52-1263436

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Employment Falls for the Third Month In Spite of 50,000 New Government Jobs

March 8, 2024

According to a new report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics this week, the US economy added 275,000 jobs for the month of February while the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%. In what has become a predictable ritual, reporters from the legacy media were sure to declare "another strong jobs report." Heather Long of the Washington Post, who is always careful to toe the regime line, announced that "the hiring boom continues" and we are in "an incredible era" for job growth.Long, however, is apparently incapable of reading much deeper into the report than the first paragraph. And she’s hardly the only one within the corporate financial media with so little interest in the details. In fact, if we look just slightly more closely at the report, even a

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