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Great books are the repository of knowledge and experience. Liberty Fund seeks to preserve the wisdom and learning of the ages and to strengthen our understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and responsibility.
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Edited and with an Introduction by Bruce Frohnen
The American Nation: Primary Sources resumes the narrative begun in its companion volume, The American Republic, which covered the first eight decades of U.S. history, ending at the onset of the Civil War. The American Nation continues the story through America’s entrance into World War II.
These resources are designed to further Liberty Fund’s educational activities. They include classic works in the tradition of limited government, as well as lively current discussions of how classical-liberal principles apply in today’s world.
Elizabeth Pape, founder of the women's clothing company Elizabeth Suzann, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about starting and running her company--a manufacturer and seller of high-end women's clothing in Nashville, Tennessee. The conversation chronicles the ups and downs of her entrepreneurial story, the recent evolution of the women's clothing market, and the challenge of competition from lower quality, lower-priced products.
The recent case of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer raises the question of whether a church can be excluded from a competitive process for awarding state aid–in this case funding rubber floors on playgrounds to protect children when they fall.
PAUL G. MAHONEY THE JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES, Volume 46, Number 1 Abstract: Law and economics scholars do not normally identify Adam Smith as an important figure in the field. However, his Lectures on Jurisprudence contain a wealth of insights and analytical techniques that law and economics scholars of the late 20th century would repeat. This […]
In this Liberty Matters online discussion Peter Boettke of George Mason University examines Israel Kirzner’s insights into the rivalrous nature of competitive behavior and the market process, his analysis of market theory and the operation of the price system, the institutional environment that enables a market economy to realize mutual gains from trade and to continuously discover gains from innovation, and to produce a system characterized by economic growth and wealth creation. Boettke concludes by arguing that Kirzner has done more than nearly any other living modern economist to improve our understanding of competitive behavior and the operation of the price system in a market economy. Boettke is joined in the discussion by Peter G. Klein, professor of entrepreneurship at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, Mario Rizzo, professor of economics at New York University, and Frédéric Sautet, associate professor at The Catholic University of America. Boettke and Sautet are the editors of Liberty Fund’s 10 volume The Collected Works of Israel M. Kirzner.
Madame de Staël on how liberty is ancient and despotism is modern (1818)
Outcomes that occur with probability zero are more relevant, and more confounding, to what we do see than we often think they are. Take, for example, the absence of nuclear war during the Cold War era. One side argued from
Adam Smith on why people obey and defer to their rulers (1759)
Author Guide: Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2015).
Ezra Klein has a good essay on the Singapore health care system. He starts off with the conservative case for the Singapore system, quoting the AEI:
What's the reason for Singapore's success? It's not government spending. The state, using taxes, funds only about one-fourth of Singapore's total health costs. Individuals and their employers pay for the rest. In fact, the latest figures show that Singapore's government spends only $381 (all dollars in this article are U.S.) per capita on health--or one-seventh what the U.S. government spends.
Singapore's system requires individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and for much of their own spending on medical care.
Most of the essay is spent partially (but not completely) debunking the conservative view. For instance:> According to the World Bank, in 2014 Singapore spent $2,752 per person on health care. America spent $9,403. Given this, it's worth asking a few questions about what Singapore's model really has to teach the US.
Are Singaporeans really more exposed to health costs than Americans? The basic argument for the Singaporean system is that Singaporeans, through Medisave and the deductibles in Medishield, pay more of the cost of their care, and so hold costs down. Americans, by contrast, have their care paid for by insurers and employers and the government, and so they have little incentive to act like shoppers and push back on prices. But is that actually true?
I’m a little late with this but why am I always right? Back in February, I commented on the “sanctuary city” litigation: [L]awsuits filed by San Francisco and some other jurisdictions are, at best, wildly premature—“unripe,” as the lawyers say. …
A one volume abridgement of the first major biography of Washington by John Marshall who became the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. An influential conservative interpretation. The volume also contains 5 of the more important writings of Washington, including his First Inaugural Adress and his Farewell Address.
A monument erected in memory of Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) in Mugron (1878); partly destroyed by the Nazis in 1942
[Gabriel-Vital Dubray, "Frédéric Bastiat" (1878)]
This engraving from the magazine Le Monde illustré appeared shortly after the inauguration of the monument in Mugron on 23 April 1878 and accompanied a report of the event. The well-known sculptor Gabriel-Vital Dubray (1813-1892) had been commissioned to design and create the monument. As the engraving above indicates, Dubray created an elaborate monument with the classical figure of "Fame" leaning against the pedestal and writing with her pen the titles of the three books for which Bastiat was best remembered and for which he deserved to be famous: the work in which he first introduced the French to the ideas on free trade of Richard Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League Cobden and the League (1845), his best selling collection of witty and clever articles debunking the economic myths of the protectionists Economic Sophisms (1845, 1848), and his incomplete magnum opus on economic theory Economic Harmonies (1850). In 1942 during the occupation of France by the Nazis any statues containing bronze were seized and broken up for their metal content. This was the unfortunate fate of the Bastiat monument - the bust of Bastiat and the figure of Fame were taken for scrap for war matériel. The bust could be reconstituted after the war because the original mold had survived, but the figure of Fame was lost forever. It is both sad and ironic that this would be the fate of Bastiat's monument as Bastiat had dedicated himself to the cause of peace and opposition to war as his writings and his participation in the Peace Congresses of the late 1840s attest.
Like many of you, I love when EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes real-world entrepreneurs to the show, as he did this week with Elizabeth Suzann founder Elizabeth Pape. Their discussion included the start-up story of the company, a fascinating exegesis of the price of an Elizabeth Suzann garment, and the practice of shopping ethically.
I hope you were as taken with this episode as I was. (And yes, I ordered a Georgia Tee, and I'll report back! And I want to know how many other new customers were created by the "EconTalk spike!"). Share your thoughts with us using the prompts below, or create your own...No matter how you choose to continue the conversation, we love to hear from you!