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Stephen Anderson



Articles by Stephen Anderson

Personal Medical Bankruptcy: Made in DC

April 9, 2024

[unable to retrieve full-text content]When the government wants to make something more affordable, that usually means new subsidies, laws, and regulations that drive up the real price. Higher medical prices will mean more medical bankruptcies.
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US States Have a Long History of Defaulting

March 8, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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US States Have a Long History of Defaulting

February 23, 2024

The American bankruptcy show of the twenty-first century continues unabated with federal and state government spending. History reveals that some states have defaulted through not meeting a required bond payment, leaving the bondholders and that state’s taxpayers with a debt problem. Today, we might call a state government bond payment default a bankruptcy.
Many bankruptcy filings today are governed by Chapters 7, 9, 11, and 13 of the United States bankruptcy code, which are supervised, reviewed, and completed by federal bankruptcy courts. Federal bankruptcy law does not allow a state to declare bankruptcy, however. Federal law also prohibits individual states from printing their own money as a way out of debt. Government (state and federal) money issued and

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America’s Corn Crop Comes from “Corny” Subsidies

December 19, 2023

Corn is grown in the United States as a staple crop for human food, as cattle feed, and as input for conversion to corn ethanol. The federal laws and rules for the corn ethanol industry were initiated in the 1970s and have continued today with ethanol subsidies. The federal corn ethanol sales pitch is for the United States to gain energy independence by lowering vehicle tailpipe emissions through the required blending of ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions.
Corn Belt growers and their federal representatives embrace and push federal corn subsidies and other interventions into law. The Corn Belt is centered in the US Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.
Corn ethanol is energy intensive

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What Would Mises Think? Austria Is Applying (Some) Austrian Economics

December 17, 2023

While Austria is not the free-market republic Ludwig von Mises hoped it would be, the country has made many steps in the right direction, freeing markets and protecting private property.
Original Article: What Would Mises Think? Austria Is Applying (Some) Austrian Economics

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What Would Mises Think? Austria Is Applying (Some) Austrian Economics

December 1, 2023

Austria is one part of the name “Austrian economics.” How has the country of Austria prospered by applying Austrian economic concepts? The nation regained full sovereignty in 1955. Their form of government is a parliamentary coalition with a prime minister as head of state and a ceremonial office of president.
How would Ludwig von Mises view Austria today implementing Austrian economics? He would not recognize the country he fled in 1934 ahead of the German war machine and its purposeful discrimination of people of Jewish descent. He would probably be thankful Austria’s Jewish population is thriving. He would also see its standard of living and economy flourishing today.
Austria has large services and industrial sectors, and it has a small, highly developed

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Federal Flood Insurance Drains Taxpayers

November 13, 2023

Federal flood insurance was created ostensibly to provide insurance to people who live in flood-prone areas. Not surprisingly, it subsidizes bad home-building decisions and wastes billions of dollars.
Original Article: Federal Flood Insurance Drains Taxpayers

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Oil Export Bans Make for Crude Politics

October 15, 2023

In the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo of 50 years ago, Congress banned U.S. export sales of crude oil. The results were different than what government "experts" imagined.

Original Article: Oil Export Bans Make for Crude Politics

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Oil Export Bans Make for Crude Politics

September 26, 2023

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) embargo on sales of crude oil from their member countries to the United States was a response to US support for Israel in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War against invading Egyptian and Syrian military forces. This oil embargo raised barrel prices on the open market and, when combined with US price controls, reduced the amount of oil available in the US for refining into gasoline, leading to domestic gasoline shortages and higher prices at the pump.
The federal government banned oil exports in December 1975 with the intent of preserving it for domestic refiners to produce gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The ban did not function as intended and was lifted by President Obama in December 2015, forty years to

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Thatcher’s New Style of Government

September 6, 2023

The possible bankruptcy of Thames Water Company in Great Britain brings to mind the heady days 40 years ago when Margaret Thatcher’s government was privatizing state-owned enterprises, including TW. Not all privatization stories have happy endings.

Original Article: "Thatcher’s New Style of Government"

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How Conscription Ended Fifty Years Ago

August 31, 2023

For the past fifty years, the US has not had a military draft. Unfortunately, the end of conscription did not mean US military interventions abroad ended.

Original Article: "How Conscription Ended Fifty Years Ago"

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States Can Curb Federal Power through “Soft Secession”

August 8, 2023

The use of interstate compacts by US states shows that the states don’t need the federal government to dictate or manage interstate relations. 

Original Article: "States Can Curb Federal Power through "Soft Secession""

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How Conscription Ended Fifty Years Ago

August 7, 2023

United States military conscription, or the draft, ended on January 27, 1973, with the winding down of the Vietnam War. The draft law was due to expire at the end of June 1971. But US President Richard Nixon decided it needed to continue and asked Congress to approve a two-year extension. In March 1973, 1974, and 1975, the Selective Service assigned draft priority numbers for all men born in 1954, 1955, and 1956, in case the draft was extended—but it never was.
Nixon thought ending the draft could be an effective political weapon against the burgeoning antiwar movement. In his 1968 presidential campaign, he had promised to end the draft. During his time out of office, he had become interested in the prospect of an all-volunteer force, being influenced by Martin

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States Can Curb Federal Power through “Soft Secession”

July 13, 2023

Former Mises Institute president Jeff Deist wrote on the concept of “soft secession” in September 2021. The article talks about how left-leaning states have an opportunity to embrace an abundance of progressive policies for their citizens—without leaving an open door for real violence to occur—through the pursuit of soft state secession. Some people in the left-thinking world are starting to get it. This soft secession principle applies to those living in the right-leaning states as well.
The article also talks about how people from certain ideological and geographic perspectives in the United States are embracing soft secession by moving to a state that more reflects their worldview. The 2020 US Census data and the currently updated estimated census figures show

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In the Event of an Official US Bankruptcy

May 29, 2023

Economically speaking, the US government is bankrupt even if the government won’t admit what is obvious. But how would an actual bankruptcy proceeding go? 

Original Article: "In the Event of an Official US Bankruptcy"

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In the Event of an Official US Bankruptcy

May 12, 2023

The current known federal debt is $31.7 trillion according to the web site, US Debt Clock, which is about $94,726 for every man, woman, and child who are citizens as of April 24, 2023. Can you write a check right now made payable to the United States Treasury for the known share of the federal debt of each member of your family after liquidating the assets you own?
A report released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Branch on March 6, 2023, stated a similar figure for the total known federal debt of about $31.4 trillion as of December 31, 2022. The federal debt size is so great, it can never be repaid in its current form.
Some of us have been in or known families or businesses who had financial debt that could not be paid, when adjustments like reducing expenses,

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