Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently The Market Loves You. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. He is available for speaking and interviews via his email. Tw | FB | LinkedIn
Jeffrey A. Tucker
Articles from Jeffrey A. Tucker
Ever since the invention of cryptocurrency, people have asked whether governments will just create their own to compete directly with private issuance. Many governments have talked about doing so. In the greatest of ironies, it was Venezuela (socialist “paradise” of hunger, poverty, and massive emigration) that has made the most public attempt with the pre-sale of a new token called the Petro. It was a fiasco.
There is a reason to the rhyme of why dealers, rappers, and pimps wear their wealth. It all comes down to the legal gulf that separates their professions and art from civic practices. If you want to keep what you have earned, and take every precaution against having it pillaged by the police, it’s best to carry it with you.
If you are prevented from leaving your own nation, what kind of nation is it? Prison state comes to mind. So many people I know have come to favor closed borders because they somehow think there is a connection between big government and heterogeneous populations. What they do not seem to understand is that closed borders themselves are big government program, one that will always come back to bite its own advocates.
The parable of top-down socialism vs. bottom-up Bitcoin tempts one to adopt a general theory of the relationship between ideas and social change. It might be the case that bad ideas come from the top down and good ideas from the bottom-up, as a general expectation and principle. That seems to cover most use cases, until the point comes when liberal intellectuals become hugely influential in academia. We’ll wait a long time for that to be the case.
The news has been packed with fake economics for the weeks since the correction in stocks began. Story after story has claimed that rising wages could translate into higher inflation, setting off fear and trembling on Wall Street. These claims have caused anyone with contemporary economics knowledge to slap their heads with exasperation. This is precisely how fallacy lives on and on: it keeps being reported by journalists who don’t know better.
Some great minds are remembered mostly for one moment in time, a momentous action or revelatory piece of writing. Such is the case for John Perry Barlow, who died on February 7, 2018. Born in 1947, he was a remarkable visionary, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead who later became a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends your rights as a citizen of the digital age. He is the author of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.
We’ve worked to counter the negative opinions of people at once-mighty institutions like the Bank for International Settlements and on. And the research you read here truly matters. AIER is not just another Medium account; it is one of the world’s most respected voices in economics. We have both the credibility and longevity.
To win this battle requires both theory and practice. The sustainability of this revolution depends on both. So please pull out those wallets and donate today. The AIER needs you. Crypto needs you. The future of freedom needs you.
The large drop in financials of all sorts – both conventional and crypto – have people wondering what went wrong. What could have triggered this stunning sell off? What has spooked the markets? When there are no obvious answers, and there really aren’t this time around, it tempts people to believe that markets themselves are broken. Surely prices should behave more rationally and predictably. There is no justification for prices to swing this much. But actually, a price is a point of agreement. No more, no less. It cannot be deconstructed. It cannot be understood apart from human choice. It has no moral component to it at all. It is not about equality, justice, labor, or cost. It is just a price. Every price in a market is the right price, right now. Whatever the price is in an hour, day, week, or year, is also the right price.
Trump’s decision to declassify this memo is a great start. Declassify more. Declassify it all. What will we discover? We will find the great myth of the modern age – that government can be neutral, public spirited, and full of non-stop integrity – completely refuted. Government is not really about service to others; it’s about using power to get your way at public expense. It sets up a tragic choice for everyone involved: use the system or get used by it. There are better ways to go about organizing society.
People talk often of how technology is disruptive. That’s only part of the story. Technology also serves the oldest values and the most ancient aspirations of the human experience, and does so in a way that is organically peaceful with how we live. It’s the much-maligned market economy that makes it all possible, and does so without elections, speeches, legislation, and scary leaders we don’t like. We should love markets more than we do. Their proven benevolence forms a beautiful narrative history of our lives, connects the generations, and points to a bright future.
Nationalism emerged in the 19th century as an alternative to economic liberalism of the classical variety. Liberalism was embodied in the works of Adam Smith, J.B. Say, Thomas Jefferson, and A.RJ. Turgot. Smith summed up the creed: “What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.” In other words, there is no conflict of interests between the individual and the community, the community and the nation, and the nation and the rest of the world. That core ideal was on the ascendancy throughout the development from the end of the 18th century for another fifty years following.
What I’m suggesting here is that the divisions between these various centers of political, culture, and intellectual power are actually a good thing. I wouldn’t want anyone to win the great debates of our time. The end of division itself might be the worst possible outcome because it would imply that someone power source is now in charge. We actually don’t want anyone in charge. We want to recreate the conditions that made the West rich in the first place: tremendous diffusion of power and unending competition between all sectors of society.
Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, has died at the age of 91. He is a remarkable example of how enterprise and visionary entrepreneurship can have such a profound effect on the world. Even now, walking into an IKEA store for the first time is a riveting experience. It invites you to reassess your life priorities, how you live, how you spend your money, what you seek to do in life. It certainly did that to me, and I’ve never let go of what I learned. In some way, as I think about it, Mr. Kamprad, though I never met him, has been my teacher for a large swath of my adult life. Millions of others can say the same.
To my mind, Creative Commons is an imperfect solution to a major problem, while the best solution would simply leave the whole problem of production, ownership, and attribution to the market itself. But that is not the world we yet live in. Until then, it’s a beautiful thing that the market has found a stop-gap solution to the intractable problems caused by one-size-fits-all standards of legislative imposition.