May 2015

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« Mark Blaug (1927-2011), fellow traveller of Austrian economics | Main | SEA/SDAE recap with Adam Martin and Dan D'Amico »


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There is now a nerf gun that automatically shoots 18 darts from 3 clips. That kind of firepower was unimaginable as a kid. Now, I'm old enough to afford it. Viva markets.

My daughter and son-in-law got iphones for Christmas, mainly because they can talk.

I sometimes wonder if it is the important improvements in everyday life that Steve highlights that explains why it often seems that many people discount, ignore, or don't give much attention to the, also, everyday losses of personal liberty and degrees of economic freedom.

Life seems better in everyday life, and the State's encroachments seem not to be noticed by many in comparison. You shop for "goodies" everyday. But most people only infrequently fly and are irritated by security checks at the airport, etc.

Opposition to State power seems most likely to arise and become active among many in society when losses in personal and economic liberty are matched by declines or stagnation in standards and material qualities of life.

So if one wishes that State power and intrusiveness was less in society, part of the "problem" in getting many people to want this is the amount of material and standard of living "blessings" we have in our country.

Perhaps the current and worsening fiscal and related dilemmas in American society will sufficiently slow down continuing material betterment that many will really think institutional changes are needed of a significant type.

The task of friends of freedom (armed with the "Austrian" insights that bolster the argument for liberty) is to try to make sure that if and when the issue of significant institutional change really becomes part of the political discourse, the classical liberal vision will be understood and have a strong enough voice to influence the outcome.

Richard Ebeling

Several people have mentioned to me that the grievances of the founding fathers don't seem so bad today. Some writers have suggested that the founders had ulterior motives because their grievances don't seem sufficient to justify a war.

That made me realize that we have become so accustomed to tyranny that we don't notice it a such. When I said that to one person, she responded that the founders may not have seen the benefits from government that we enjoy. Which made me wonder if they would see such benefits as benefits or just more tyranny. I would think the latter.

In 2000 $s, per capita consumption in the US was about $11,000 per year in 1970, taking health care out. Byt 2005 it was about $22,000.

This article from 1953 might be of interest!

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