Math Formatting Problems

MathJax is not consistently rendering mathematical expressions properly on the homepage. Note that this problem is not limited to raw LaTex notation being displayed. In some posts, entire mathematical expressions are missing. Mathematical expressions appear to be correct when a specific post is opened in a new tab.

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From the “Preface to the English Edition” of “The Theory of Money and Credit” by Ludwig von Mises: “All proposals that aim to do away with the consequences of perverse economic and financial policy, merely by reforming the monetary and banking system, are fundamentally misconceived. Money is nothing but a medium of exchange and it completely fulfills its function when the exchange of goods and services is carried on more easily with its help than would be possible by means of barter. Attempts to carry out economic reforms from the monetary side can never amount to anything but an artificial stimulation of economic activity by an expansion of the circulation, and this, as must constantly be emphasized, must necessarily lead to crisis and depression. Recurring economic crises are nothing but the consequence of attempts, despite all the teachings of experience and all the warnings of the economists, to stimulate economic activity by means of additional credit.

Mathematicians of the day.

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Prison: Statist Paradise

prisonsH/T Taxation is Theft.

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Violence Based Funding

vbfH/T V is For Voluntary.

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Optical Illusions by Rob Gonsalves

Gonsalves is an artist whose work is reminiscent of that of Escher. Below are some samples.

Gonsalves_SteppingStonesRGonsalves_TowardtheHorizongonsalves20

H/T Geek Press.

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55,000-Year-Old Neanderthal Tool Found in France

A team of scientists led by Dr Luc Doyon of the University of Montreal has unearthed a rare prehistoric bone tool at the Grotte du Bison in Burgundy.

The bone tool in question is believed to have been made by Neanderthals from a reindeer bone circa 55,000 years ago.

“This is the first time a multi-purpose bone tool from this period has been discovered,” said Dr Doyon, who is the senior author of a paper published in the journal Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française (in French).

“It proves that Neanderthals were able to understand the mechanical properties of bone and knew how to use it to make tools, abilities usually attributed to our species, Homo sapiens.”

“The production of bone tools by Neanderthals is open to debate. For much of the 20th century, scientists were reluctant to recognize the ability of this species to incorporate materials like bone into their technological know-how and likewise their ability to master the techniques needed to work bone. However, over the past two decades, many clues indicate the use of hard materials from animals by Neanderthals,” Dr Doyon said.

“Our discovery is an additional indicator of bone work by Neanderthals and helps put into question the linear view of the evolution of human behavior.”

neanderthal

The rest of the article can be read here.

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A Weekly Dose of Hazlitt: Transitory Magic

Transitory Magic” is the title of Henry Hazlitt’s Newsweek column from June 11, 1956. Here, in yet another discussion about inflation, Hazlitt has the courage to point out one of the great acts of fraud perpetrated by the federal government: turning war bond investments into losses.

I listen to a lot of old time radio shows. One of the most annoying features of such shows is the constant propaganda for war bonds during WW2. Not only did the stars of the shows make explicit appeals to listeners to purchase bonds, but many plots were based on bond purchase drives with constant shaming language directed at those who didn’t pour every spare penny into bonds. With the benefit of hindsight, I can only shake my head and laugh at the useful idiots who were going to be robbed by inflation.

The storm of criticism that has beaten upon the Federal
Reserve authorities since they made a small increase in
prevailing discount rates to 2. percent in April, and
the indications that as a result those authorities are now
planning to make money “easier,” raise some fundamental
questions. One of them is whether constant new
doses of easy money and inflation can really keep a “full
employment” boom going indefinitely.

It is the present prevailing belief that they can.
The most direct challenge to this popular belief from
any official source has come from the chairman of the
Federal Reserve Board himself, William McChesney
Martin, Jr., in a statement quoted in this column of May
21: “We fight inflation partly because it is the forerunner
of deflation. . . . If I thought inflation would create
jobs and prosperity, I might be for it. But I am convinced
that, apart from transitory effects, the result of
inflation is the destruction of jobs and prosperity.”

Price -Wage Race

It is hard to get people to realize this today. Moneyand-
credit inflation has seemed to work its “fullemployment”
magic in the United States for the last
fifteen years. Nevertheless, inflation can bring “full
employment” only under special conditions, which are
unlikely to prevail for more than a limited time.

The first of these special conditions is that prices
must rise faster than wage costs in order to restore or
increase profit margins. A second condition is that businessmen
must be convinced that prices will continue
to keep ahead of wage rates and other costs, otherwise
business will not embark upon ambitious expansion
plans. A third condition is that lenders, on their
side, must be convinced that the inflation has come to
an end. If they also believe that inflation will continue
into the future, they will refuse to lend except at high
rates that compensate for the expected depreciation of
their money.

Whenever any one of these three major conditions
ceases to exist, monetary inflation will cease to create
“full employment.” Yet for these three conditions
to exist, both workers and lenders must be the victims
of what the economist Irving Fisher called the “money
illusion.” The workers must fail to recognize that their
real wage rates are going down (because prices are going
up faster), and creditors must fail to recognize that they
will lose real purchasing power as a result of their loans.

The Money Illusion

An instructive table published in the May letter of the
First National City Bank of New York showed that
those who bought U.S. Savings Bonds at any time
between 1935 and 1946, and held them for a ten-year
period, suffered an actual loss from their investment.
The interest received has not been enough to compensate
for income-tax payable and the “inflation tax” levied
in the form of a shrinkage in the buying power
of the dollar. This condition continues. In the week
ended, May 22 last, for example, wholesale commodity
prices showed an average increase of more than 4
percent for the twelve-month period. This means that a
businessman who lent out his money at 4 percent or less
twelve months before got practically no real interest at
all. When lenders come to expect any such annual rate
of price increase in the future, they will insist on adding
it as a “price premium” to what the rate of interest
would otherwise be. That is why money rates tend to
soar in the late stage of an inflation. Continue reading

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The Logic of US Foreign Policy

fpH/T Dan Sanchez.

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Stephan Kinsella and Tom Woods on Corporations

On Friday, Tom Woods interviewed Stephan Kinsella about the nature of the corporation. Specifically, the discussion was about if business arrangements such as the modern corporation would exist in a Hoppean private law society. I thought that this was a very nuanced and informative discussion.

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