LRC Blog

Good Question

Last night on his FOX show Tucker Carlson asked former Trump campaign manage Corey Lewandowski how moving a U.S. embassy in another country from one city to another “made America great again.”  Lewandowski answered that it was important to people in Israel.  “But what about Americans?”, asked Carlson.  Good question.  Well, there are American Jews with relatives in Israel, said Lewandowski.

11:23 am on December 9, 2017

Invictus Debate; Disagreements With Rothbard

From: S
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 7:26 PM
Subject: disagreements with Rothbard

Hello Mr Walter Block, my name is S. I live in Argentina and i love your ideas i just listen to your wonderful debate with mr Invictus , and you mention some articles that enunciate the divergences between you and mr Rothbard (You mention for example the agreement of voluntary slavery) I would love to read the other articles that you mention in the Q&A that develop the other point you and Rothbard disagree. when you have some time could you send me the articles you mention? If you can’t, I still love you Mighty Block . I greatly thank you for your beautiful work.

Dear S: Thanks for your kind words.

Let me just say, before I send you that material which contains my disagreements with Murray Rothbard, my friend and mentor, that I revere this man. He was a genius. Possibly, probably, in all of these disagreements I had with him, he was correct, and I was wrong. I still can’t see my way clear to that conclusion, but I’m open to having my errors being pointed out, in this or indeed any other regard. Here is the material you requested:


6:06 pm on December 8, 2017

Why Did 9/11 Happen in 2001?

An article entitled, “Google’s true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance,” discusses the extensive cooperation—read: “funding” and “research for hire”—between the “intelligence community” and computer scientists:

In the mid 1990s, the intelligence community in America began to realize that they had an opportunity. The supercomputing community was just beginning to migrate from university settings into the private sector …[The intelligence community’s] research aim was to track digital fingerprints inside the rapidly expanding global information network, which was then known as the World Wide Web. Could an entire world of digital information be organized so that the requests humans made inside such a network be tracked and sorted? Could their queries be linked and ranked in order of importance? Could “birds of a feather” be identified inside this sea of information so that communities and groups could be tracked in an organized way?

By working with emerging commercial-data companies, [the intelligence community’s] intent was to track like-minded groups of people across the internet and identify them from the digital fingerprints they left behind, much like forensic scientists use fingerprint smudges to identify criminals….

Intriguing, isn’t it, that 9/11 transpired only a few years after this “collaboration” had resulted in tracking so comprehensive virtually no one anywhere escapes the Feds’ surveillance? As if the “intelligence community” created an emergency that would test its new abilities and legitimate its grabbing all of our data. And indeed, over at the NSA in the months preceding September 2001, the war-criminal Michael Hayden was quashing attempts to monitor only foreign “terrorists” (remember that America’s terrorists are other countries’ patriots) in favor of spying on everyone, 24/7.

Such a fascinating intersection of crisis with technical powers in search of legality…

5:20 pm on December 8, 2017

Moore Accuser Now Admits She Altered Her Yearbook

Interesting, and no wonder she and her attorney were against document experts examining the yearbook.

3:57 pm on December 8, 2017

Bloodthirsty, Nuke Crazy People

Americans. Probably mostly conservatives. Chuck Baldwin points out that an “MIT survey found that 60% of the American people would be willing to preemptively nuke Iran, knowing that 2 million civilians would be killed.” The report concludes that “today, as in 1945, the U.S. public is unlikely to serve as a serious constraint on any president who might consider using nuclear weapons in the crucible of war.”

7:45 pm on December 7, 2017

Body Shape of a Turtle, Face of a Muskrat, Spine of a Serpent, Teeth Like a Beaver, Mentality of a Leech

Swamp Creature Al Franken has resigned from the U.S. Senate to be replaced, I assume, by someone even more odious.

3:10 pm on December 7, 2017

Bipartisanship On Jerusalem: Does It Make Us Safer?

1:37 pm on December 7, 2017

Tax Evader?

From: T
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:48 AM
Subject: Defending III

Dr. Block: Will “Defending III” finally include a chapter devoted to the tax evader???

Dear T: Yes. Here are the first few words of this chapter, The Tax Evader (1061 words, so far)

“This chapter is dedicated to the memory of Vivien Kellems, Irwin Schiff and to all others savaged by a criminal gang for not forking over funds they had never agreed to pay in the first place.

“Initially, I labeled this chapter: ‘the tax cheat.’ But, in the process of writing it, I realized that this is only the way the government sees the matter. Those who do not pay their taxes due are ‘cheaters.’ But that is not at all how I look at the matter. Hence, the substitution of the more neutral term, ‘evader.’ ‘Non-payer’ might even be a better, more accurate, nomenclature.”

1:20 pm on December 7, 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center Defends Antifa

If you are a violent communist criminal who screams at those with whom you disagree, calling them Nazis and beating them bloody, setting cars and buildings on fire, throwing urine and feces at people, throwing bricks and bottles at the police, and instigating riots then there could be nothing but purity and love in your heart according to the Soviet Poverty Lie Center (SPLC), which has refused to label “Antifa” as one of its “hate groups.”  The Singing Nuns are on its list, however, as is almost every conservative and libertarian organization in America.  The American Enterprise Institute was condemned by the SPLC for “mainstreaming hate” by sponsoring a public debate on immigration policy, a topic Americans have been debating since the Louisiana Purchase.  It was the SPLC, under contract with the Department of Fatherland Security, that advised during the Obama administration that anyone with a “Ron Paul for President’ bumper sticker should be considered to be a potential terrorist.  If Antifa is not a hate group, then there is no such thing as a hate group.

8:04 am on December 7, 2017

Ward Allen R.I.P.

Dr. Ward S. Allen, for many years professor of English at Auburn University, a friend of many at the Mises Institute, and my mentor, has died at age 95. A great man, a genuine scholar, and a true Southern gentleman.

10:09 pm on December 6, 2017

Under CommieCare, Your Pet Fares Better As a Patient Than You Do

A report in a Canadian newspaper about “a private-for-profit veterinarian clinic, where, for a fee, you are able to, pardon the grotesque pun, acquire a CAT scan, along with other medical procedures, for your beloved pet quickly and efficiently” inspired our northern correspondent, David Maharaj, to the following comparison:
“Counter that situation with government-run health care in [Canada], where people routinely die on waiting lists waiting to see a specialist. In the novel, Animal Farm, Orwell speaks of some animals being more equal than others. In this country, animals are definitely more equal than humans on the health care front.”

The same fate awaits Americans if we continue down the pit of socialized medicine. The repeal of Obummercare’s mandate seems heartening—but remember that what one set of criminals in Congress repeal, the next can reinstate.

7:19 pm on December 6, 2017

Israel’s Capital: Who Decides?

12:43 pm on December 6, 2017

Defending the Undefendable, Mises University, the AERC

From: J
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:26 PM
Subject: Your Defense of the Undefendable

Hi Dr. Block! I finished reading your book, Defending the Undefendable, earlier this evening and I just wanted to say that, despite having had the urge to recoil in more than one occasion, I found myself agreeing with your analysis. Your chapters on the (non-government) counterfeiter, the curmudgeon, and the speculator struck me particularly as profound, although I found all other chapters to contain valuable insight into practical economic services as seen through the lens of the Austrian. I plan to attend the Mises University Summer Fellowship in order to further my knowledge of Austrian economics and to improve my prospects of doing research on that basis at a graduate program. Will you by any chance be there? Best regards, J

12:19 pm on December 6, 2017

Harvard’s Illiberal and Intolerant Prejudice Against Blacklisted Male Clubs

Harvard College has had private, undergraduate, male-only clubs for a very long time. The Porcellian Club, the oldest club, dates from 1791. Harvard can’t legally force the clubs to admit particular kinds of members, arranged by gender, sex, race, or other attributes. Instead, Harvard has found a stick to beat the clubs with, and that stick is to discriminate against members of clubs that it calls “unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs)”.

“Starting with Harvard’s Class of 2021, undergraduate members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations will be banned from holding athletic team captaincies and leadership positions in all recognized student groups. They will also be ineligible for College endorsement for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.”

If Harvard were a purely private institution, it would have a right to discriminate against all-male clubs. Harvard could be as prejudiced as a KKK member. As a large-scale recipient of federal money, certain federal rules come into play with respect to “diversity”, “affirmative action”, and all such witless devices that claim to achieve social ends by not recognizing basic rights, one of which is to discriminate ad libitum. Under federal rules, Harvard can still discriminate and be as prejudiced as any anti-Semitic zealot, if it discriminates in the politically correct way.

If Harvard were openly to claim that it has a right to discriminate with its scholarships, recommendations, and leadership positions, we could respect that and find it consistent with libertarian reasoning. But then Harvard would find itself having to tolerate private discrimination arising from freedom elsewhere in America as in the making of wedding cakes, the supplying of restroom facilities, the offering of jobs, the openness of motels and restaurants and dozens of other situations. This approval Harvard cannot render. So it must resort to specious justifications other than the assertion of its right to discriminate.

The foremost of these phony arguments is that freedom of males to choose or not to choose associations with others in all-male clubs must be curtailed because it harms the Harvard community’s social life. Such association doesn’t harm those who voluntarily join. How does it harm others? Does it incite their jealousy? Does it rankle them, inciting their resentment? That cannot be laid at the doorstep of an exclusive club. Freedom, exclusivity, and private property all go together. The excluded have had a right for hundreds of years to create and form clubs of their own, along any lines they desire. Harvard’s anti-USGSO policy restricts that right. It is Harvard that is now harming the social options and the social life of Harvard by its illiberal attempts to enforce diversity.

Harvard wants “to create a community where students have the fair opportunity to engage in curricular and extracurricular activities regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or other attributes unrelated to merit.” This is not an argument based on Harvard’s right, an argument Harvard cannot make without contradicting its politically correct beliefs. This is an argument that clubs are unfair and unfairly discriminate, something that Harvard cannot demonstrate. If Harvard believes this, it shouldn’t seek to remedy it by unfair discrimination of its own. It should encourage students to form new and more diverse clubs. And if generations of students believed this, they could have formed clubs or associations of their own.

Harvard is blacklisting the all-male clubs. There are no two ways about it. The futile, destructive and unjust attempt to make life “fair” by regulating the micro-behavior of every person, business, family and group in America has reached the Harvard clubs.

6:16 pm on December 5, 2017

One Thing that Is Not Being Discussed that Is in the GOP Tax Bills

One thing that is not being discussed (not even by libertarians) that is in the House and Senate GOP tax bills is the Earned Income Tax Credit. This giant welfare program is basically untouched in both bills. Yet, the refundable part of this credit should have been the first thing that was changed in the tax code. So, why wasn’t it? Because Republicans are welfare statists.

5:16 pm on December 5, 2017

A Note to Some Critics

If during the presidency of George W. Bush I had written the article of mine that was published today, my inbox would have exploded with hate mail. Now, not so much. I want to make a brief reply to six representative critics in the hope that it might help others, critic or not.

  1. Calling me names makes it look like you are unable to respond with reasonable criticism.
  2. Using profanity makes you look frustrated and foolish.
  3. Not honoring the fallen does not mean that I am mocking the military or sneering at dead soldiers.
  4. Some say that the actions of the U.S. military are all the fault of the politicians, not the soldiers, who just obey orders. But that is exactly what the problem is: obeying orders to bomb, maim, and kill people who were no threat to the United States.
  5. “Can’t help but think that if you were noticing what so many of the passengers on the plane were doing, you could not have been doing that much reading of on your phone.” Do I even need to respond to this?
  6. Saying that fallen U.S. soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in SERVICE of their country doesn’t make it so.

4:57 pm on December 5, 2017

Try This at the DMV and See What Happens

When Alex Bowen, who described himself as “pretty inebriated,” stopped at a Waffle House in South Carolina at 3 AM, he stood at the register for 10 minutes, awaiting service. Finally, he

went outside to look for an employee, and then went back in.

“That’s when I got hot on the grill with a Texas bacon cheesesteak melt,” said Bowen.

He cooked his go-to meal and even cleaned up when he was done. While he was cooking, he saw the one employee who was fast asleep.

That worker didn’t awaken, despite Mr. Bowen’s clatter in the kitchen and his taking some selfies to document his drunken escapade. When he posted his pictures on social media, “the story went viral…”

You might think Waffle House would be upset at Mr. Bowen’s trespassing and at his making a fool of the company. After all, imagine the reaction of the DMV if, after a few libations, you were to issue yourself a driver’s license while bureaucrats snoozed or, though nominally awake, were moving at their usual glacial pace; you’d be looking at years in prison for your tipsiness alone.

But we’re talking the private market here, in which Waffle House’s profits depend on the goodwill of its customers. And so

a Waffle House district manager reached out to Bowen and asked him to become a Waffle House secret shopper. He even thanked him for pointing out a flaw in their business.

Waffle House …[said] in a statement that customers shouldn’t get behind the counter — but it appears Bowen’s fun served as a job interview nonetheless.

“For safety reasons, our customers should never have to go behind the counter. Rather, they should get a quality experience delivered by friendly associates,” the statement read. “We are reviewing this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action. In a related note, obviously Alex has some cooking skills, and we’d like to talk to him about a job since we may have something for him.”

When the superiority of voluntary interactions is so patent, so heart-warming, and so overwhelming, why does the State with its soul-crushing compulsion still exist?

4:52 pm on December 5, 2017

Readings on Banking From an Austrian Point of View

From: M
Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2017 12:36 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: economics of banking
Hi Walter, Can you recommend a good book on the economics of banking. I have a basic understanding of fractional reserve banking but I just want to clarify my thinking on it. Specifically – if I go a bank or credit union and take out a mortgage to buy a house, where does the bank get the money to lend me? I used to think that if the bank took in, say, $1,000,000 in deposits and it had a 10% reserve requirement, it could lend out $900,000. But I’ve read something recently that the bank just creates the money it lends you out of thin air. If so, what is your take on it? Thanks, M

Dear M: Yes, here are some recommendations:


3:53 pm on December 5, 2017


And, “the worst bill in the history of the United States!”  That’s how Nancy Pelosi (“Pelosi Galore” according to radio talk show hosts on WCBM Radio in Baltimore where Pelosi’s father was once the mayor) described the Trump tax reform bill today.  This would suggest that someone, somewhere, must be receiving a tax cut, however small, as part of this legislation.

3:19 pm on December 5, 2017

I Can Hardly Wait . . .

. . . to see who the new congresscritter from Detroit will be now that Congressman John Conyers, the poster boy for term limits, has resigned in disgrace after fifty-three years in the House of Representatives.  I assume that whomever it is will run under the campaign slogan, “What’s Good for Detroit is Good for America.”

Conyers resigned after admitting to being a pervert whose personal “war on women” included showing up for one-on-one office meetings with female staffers wearing only his boxer shorts, groping and fondling female employees in public, etc.  He said he resigned “to preserve my reputation” and endorsed his son as his replacement.  The people who elected all those Detroit politicians who have done such a fine job there over the past 50 years will undoubtedly put the younger Conyers into the job.  But just in case, his great-nephew has also voiced interest in the job.

3:12 pm on December 5, 2017

Bake The Cake? How Should The Supremes Rule?

RPI’s Adam Dick joins the program today…

1:25 pm on December 5, 2017

Let’s Rename the TSA “The Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, John Conyers, and Bill Clinton Agency”

Says a writer for the pro-Leviathan Federal News Radio, “All of the sexual abuse and harassment news made me think of Alyssa Bermudez, the Army veteran and former Transportation Security Administration employee. … she’s been fighting TSA over both sexual harassment and whistleblower retaliation for complaining about it.”

Your Intrepid Reporter has been musing along similar lines—but not because one of the TSA’s whores can’t take what she dishes out. Rather, I’m wondering about the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of passengers the TSA’s deviants have traumatized over its 16 miserable years, such as these victims, this one, and more. Anyone for a class-action lawsuit?

3:19 pm on December 4, 2017

‘Fair’ Tax, Just War, Houston Astros and more…#AskRonPaul!

1:41 pm on December 4, 2017

John Brown, Racism, Slavery, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King

Malcolm X, during his most (anti-white) racist days, was asked, “Would any white man qualify to be a member of your group.” He said “Yes, John Brown.” (paraphrase).

I’m a big fan of Malcolm X’s. I once heard him lecture at Brooklyn College. He was absolutely riveting. I never heard a more compelling public speaker than him. He was instrumental in the “black is beautiful” movement at its very beginnnig. Famously, he urged his followers to “throw away those hair staighteners,” and stop trying to look white. He supported free enterprise. He started up all sorts of commercial Shabazz businesses: restaurants, laundries, bakeries, etc. He preached individual initiative. I only wish he had lived long enough to realize that he had strong libertarian tendencies, and explicitly embrace our philosophy.

In my view, he stands in sharp and positive contrast to that even more famous black socialist plagiarist: Martin Luther King, Jr. I refuse to place “Dr.” in front of his name, since it is clear that his Ph.D. dissertation was plagiarized. He preached welfarism, unionism, socialism.

4:24 pm on December 3, 2017

The Postcard Lie

I just read yet another article by a conservative regarding the GOP tax-reform measures. In it he repeats the lie that Americans will be able to file their taxes on a postcard once a tax-reform bill is passed. This is fantasy. The GOP tax bills will do no such thing.

9:58 am on December 3, 2017

How Long?

How long before the song “White Christmas” is banned for being too insensitive to minorities? How long before merely asking a girl on a date is deemed to be sexual harassment?

9:08 am on December 3, 2017

Converting the Heathen to the One True Faith: Libertarianism; Women Are Welcome!

From: T
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:03 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Defense and the minarchists

Walter: I have had incredible success helping high school students understand anarcho capitalism and it’s consistent application leads to a private law society. The same cannot be held for working with adults and trying to bring them to the consistent mindset of a private law society. The pushback I get is always on police or defense and especially the need that these adults see as in needing a state controlled military. I can get almost most adults to see that private police would be better, private courts would be better, and arbitration is the way to go. The welfare state is so easy to show its errors, student and adults alike seem to get to privatization quickly. The state created poverty as we know it. For my high school students, they have known War their entire lives and yet the vast majority have no idea the military is engaged anywhere in the world, they are so oblivious to what is happening, but after a short time they are often advocating an end to the warfare state. The warfare state has become so engrained in adults that they believe in the need to go “kill the terrrorists, and keep the (fill in the blank country) from invading the US by having a large military and thus need statism to support it. I have used the argument of the NAP and it’s not acceptable to kill innocent people. I have used legal arguments of a trial by jury of peers against those who violate private property rights and that does not seem to correct in their mind the need for a military, and the state to run it. I have tried Ron Paul’s argument that we have military bases in over 139 countries and blow back with no success. Of course I have argued against taxation to support the military leviathan. I have tried and tried but the minarchists who believes in the need for a strong military is basically a socialist and they don’t like that argumentation technique either. What do you suggest to help me be a better advocate for a private law society and promote peace? T

1:41 pm on December 2, 2017

George Will Gets It Right (for once)

Concerning a case before the Supreme Court regarding sports gambling, Will says that the Supreme Court should let states set their own sports gambling laws. This is a no-brainer since the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have anything to do with the regulation or prohibition of gambling on sports or anything else. I hope that Will and others who agree with him on this point will also say that states should make their own drug laws, but I suspect that that is not the case. And of course, as a libertarian, I must point out that even if these things were left up to the states, that would not mean that I would be happy. No state should make any laws concerning gambling or drugs.

11:46 am on December 2, 2017

Four Things about the Senate’s Tax Bill

1. It is, as David Stockman says, the smallest, not the biggest (as Trump says), individual tax cut in history.

2. It was approved in the early morning hours after lawmakers received a 500-page rewritten version that contained significant changes from the bill that was approved by two Senate committees. Sounds like the Republican version of the passage of Obamacare.

3. It has significant differences from the House tax bill that will have to be reconciled in a conference committee.

4. It is ultimately revenue neutral. Even though it supposedly cuts taxes enough to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, the bill is ultimately revenue neutral because of the increased taxes it will generate from economic growth. Said Senator Mitch McConnell: “I’m totally confident this is a revenue-neutral bill. I think it’s going to be a revenue producer.” See my article “The Implications of Revenue Neutral Tax Reform” for the problem with this.

The only Republican senator to vote against the bill was Bob Corker of Tennessee.

9:20 am on December 2, 2017

An Important Note from a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer

From a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer:

I just want you to know that your writings at and your book Christianity and War have convinced me to resign my commission and get out of the US Army. I am filing for Conscientious Objector status this Monday in fact, December 4th 2017. I would be honored if you added my name (Captain Matthew Glenn Auchtung, US Army Intelligence Officer) to the list of those willing to stand for the Prince of Peace and who no longer support the death and destruction that invariably follows the military profession.

He also added later:

Having grown up in the Deep South, and in the Republican/Baptist tradition taught to me by my parents and friends, I’ve lauded the military and the Messiah for almost 2 decades. Sometimes in the same breath, during prayers and during church memorial services. You’ve been one of the biggest two influences that has shown me how abominable this all is in the eyes of God. Only Leo Tolstoy’s works have come close as being as impactful. I will gladly, and in any way possible, support your efforts in ending Christian participation in the military.

The list he is referring to is at the end of this letter I wrote to a Christian young man regarding joining the military.

I could never have reached this man, and many others like him, without LRC. Please consider making an end-of-the-year donation.

4:02 pm on December 1, 2017