Category Archives: Economics

Desocialization Revisited

Merlin

The Main Idea: Looking back on the Albanian desocialization drive of the early ’90s, the failure to securitize state-owned assets and the insistence on a disastrous policy of physical land restitution stand out as the main failings.

1. Introduction

1.1 Something more than twenty years ago, the Socialist Regimes of Eastern Europe fell one by one after the unwillingness of the Soviets to resist such development by force became known. Despite having severed all meaningful political connections to its European fellows since the ’50 and its lone Chinese ally since the ’70, the Albanian regime still could not avoid joining the fate of the overt Socialism in Europe, and by 1992 a feverish desocialization effort guided by a new government was in the works.

1.2 Looking back on that effort, what can one say about the long-term effects of the route chosen to transform a state-run economy into a mostly private one? To what extent where the Austrian prescriptions on desocialization followed, and to what effect? I will try to answer these questions, without expecting my analysis to apply to every eastern desocialization effort.

Long time no see

Long time no see

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The Euro as a proto-Gold Standard: local insights

Merlin

1. Better than nothing? 

Modern Europe: where 50 shades of gray make all the difference

Modern Europe: where 50 shades of gray make all the difference

1.1 Few of those interested in economics can afford to show no interest at all in the Euro experiment, undoubtedly the most salient monetary development of the last decade (not of the current one, though), for better or worse. To libertarians, the question of interest is such: was the adoption of the Euro an improvement over the previous situation of a multitude of national fiat currencies, or a regression to a less desirable state of affairs?

1.2 I will try to provide my answer by availing myself of the local perspective of a citizen with, as it were, a first-row seat to the Euroshow. For prior discussions of the Euro on this humble blog, see here and here.

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Bitcoins for Misesians and Hayekians

Merlin

EDIT: Our own z1235 has posted a couple of months ago a reconciliation theory of Bitcoin and the Regression Theorem which is very similar to the one exposed below. Unfortunately I managed to miss that post in due time and was reminded of it only after publishing this.

 

The main idea: Bitcoin’s current rise to prominence will both mark the end of the use of Regression Theorem to discourage any alternative to the Gold Standard, and serve as the testbed of Hayek’s monetary insights.

1

Let yours truly add his own two cents to the substantial analyses recently published on the great performance of Bitcoin (see herehere, here or here for a few Austrian perspectives), or specifically on what the its undeniable, if perhaps temporary, success may yet show to followers of the Austrian tradition.

1. Bitcoin for Misesians

Bring it on!

Bring it on!

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Pro-business or Pro-market?

[This is the second article in the left-leaning LBRT101 section of the Guided Study at Liberty HQ]

Big Business
paul bica / Amazing Photos / CC BY

One of the main concerns curious people have about libertarianism is that it is pro-business and pro-Big Business. If it ain’t multinational, it ain’t capitalism! But is being pro-market inherently the same as being pro-business? Do libertarians really love large corporations? These are questions that are often ignored, but are central to the discussion of economics.

So what do the questions mean? Isn’t being pro-market the same as being pro-business? In fact, the answer is a surprising “no.” To understand why this is the case, we need to understand the concept of corporatism as opposed to that of free markets. Free markets and libertarianism are about property rights and the freedom of choice that arises from those property rights. Corporatism, as we shall see, is the negation of both of these principles.

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Anarchists for the Euro (Yeah Baby!)

What a splendid sight the last Smiling Dave’s post has turned out to be. Who can’t appreciate the sheer deliciousness of an anarchist recommending a country (Italy) stay on the Euro. That’s what we’re all about. Right after shilling for NATO and giving a thumbs up to the NWO, we are majorly into giving the positive sides of the Euro for screwed up countries! We also like to stick up for the gulag, nuclear arms races, and a well-armed police force to keep the proles in check.

The whole process of how Smiling Dave arrives at his radical conclusion is a sight to behold. He starts by positing Italy produces “little to nothing” or “almost nothing”. That’s funny because most years Italian manufacturing output is estimated as being the 6th largest in the world. So according to Smiling Dave there are at most just five countries in the world which produce anything worthy of note. All the others make even less stuff than Italy which already makes just about jack shit!

Ever heard of Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Iveco, Aprilia, Ducati, Vespa, Beretta, Benelli, Zanussi, Ferrero, Lavazza, Parmalat, Diadora? You think you have, but actually they’re just figments of your damaged mind! Too many shrooms, bro. If they were real it would mean there is load of stuff that is Italian made, but from what we know from Smiling Dave that just isn’t possible.

Dave insightfully informs us a currency which could only be spent on Italian goods would turn into “useless garbage”. Since Italians don’t make anything anyone could use their currency would be worthless. You know, because who could have a use for a Lamborghini?

On the strength of this observation Smiling Dave concludes Italy is therefore better off staying on the Euro. If it were to go back to Lira, it would be shooting itself in the foot. Italians would not be able to import anything because they have nothing to offer in return. Because you know, what could the 8th economy in the world by exports have to export?

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Should Italy leave the Euro?

Michele asked me about Italy leaving the Euro. Here’s her question:

i’m italian and a friend of mine claims that in order to solve all our economic problems we should exit the euro and devalue the currency.
he than claims that devaluating a currency doesn’t bring inflation…

note that i just want to refute the claim that devaluations don’t bring inflation, not his entire claim.

sadly i don’t have a competent guy in economics at hand and i really need a check on the whole thing.
i’d really like to read your take on this account.

thanks

Short answer: he may be right. But he is looking at only a small part of the big picture. Leaving the Euro will be a big mistake for Italy, economically.

To understand what is going on in Italy,

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Summary of Keynes’ Theory, and the More Obvious Flaws in it.

Wisely Written by Smiling Dave, and Expertly Edited by Lady Saiga.

We have a Special Guest from Beyond the Grave with us for this article, the famed Henry Hazlitt. Using Clayton’s Universe-as-an-Acting-Being Ouija Board, we were able to establish contact with the late, great Mr Hazlitt. What follows is an exact transcript of our communication with the Next World:

SD: Mr Hazlitt, are you basing this article on your conversations with John Maynard Keynes in the afterlife?

HH: We are not in the same place, unfortunately, so I am unable to chat with him. All I say here is from my researches on Earth, as published in my book, The Critics of Keynesian Economics, Chapter 14.

SD: Could you begin by summarizing the essence of Keynes’s theory, in 25 words or less?

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