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u/zip_zap_zip · 14 pointsr/Libertarian

Hey eggshellmoudling! I'm at work so I can't pull up many references, but I'll see if I can help with some of your questions here.

First, the question of income inequality being a threat, and how it relates to redistribution. I definitely agree with your assessment of the last answer. It was more of a condonement of wealth redistribution than an explanation of the problem we (saying that as a libertarian, but I don't speak for all of us) have with calling income inequality a threat. In and of itself, wealth inequality is simply a consequence of how society is working. I think that a good argument could be made that inequality IS a threat in a system like we find ourselves in now, because money is so closely tied with power and rich people can use their money to influence the government and get richer. However, a small percentage of a population being incredibly rich isn't inherently bad. As long as they have come across their money in a fair (loaded word) way, as in without coercing or tricking people, they have given enough to society to merit having that amount of wealth. The only potential threat, which is a pretty minor one really, is that they don't spend their money responsibly. If, for example, they use their money to pay every person in the world to stop working, they would disrupt every market and people would starve to death. A more realistic example might be hoarding it in a place where it isn't effectively invested. If they are using the money to invest in other industries or employ people for tasks that add wealth to the system, which almost every rich person does, they aren't hurting anyone by simply being rich.
As far as redistribution goes, we believe that the current amount of inequality is heavily aided by things like redistribution of wealth and government regulations. For an example of that, say a really poor person finds out that they have a knack for orthodontics (not sure how they found that out :p) and that they could help a lot of people and make a ton of money practicing it. It wouldn't matter at all in today's system because they would be restricted by the barriers of entry to that field established by the government. Like I said before, you can argue that wealth inequality is bad right now, IMO, because the rich are so easily able to use their wealth to keep the poor poor through government coersion, which is unfair to the poor.

Second, how do we address the problem of a tiny minority controlling the wealth and allow people like you to thrive? I don't think you'll like my answer to this one, but please understand that I'm trying to be respectful and if anything comes off as rude or condescending I apologize. One way to think of wealth is as a big pool. Production adds wealth to the pool, and by adding to the pool people are allocated a certain portion of the pool. It might help to say this simple truth: there is only as much wealth in the world as is produced. That sounds simple but has huge implications. Mainly, it means that if everyone is doing the thing that they do most effectively, society as a whole benefits from a bigger pool. Now, back to your question. I have addressed the first part already, but when it comes to people that are trying hard but aren't getting a big enough portion of the pool, the fundamental reason (in a market society) is that they aren't contributing enough to earn a bigger portion. They are contributing less to the wealth of the world so they don't get as much wealth themselves. The ways to fix that are to either (1) grow the entire pool or (2) find a new way to gain more of the pool, thereby contributing to (1). That being said, I would be willing to bet that your situation is entirely different from that. For example, I highly doubt that you would feel maxed out on effort, talent, and luck if there weren't so many boundaries set up in society today.

I rambled a bit there but hopefully it was helpful. Let me know if you have questions about anything. If you are interested in why we (or at least I) believe that our system would be the best for every individual on average, I would highly recommend reading Economics In One Lesson or Capitalism and Freedom (this one is a little more difficult). They lay everything out very logically and had a huge impact on my belief system.

u/burntsushi · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

I'll bite.

First and foremost, there are many different breeds of libertarians (or people that call themselves libertarians). For instance, Glenn Beck has even used the word to describe himself as such--however, I don't think many libertarians really take him seriously on that claim.

More seriously, libertarians tend to be divided into two camps: those that want small government providing basic protection of individual rights (called minarchy) and those that want no government at all (usually labeled as anarcho-capitalists, voluntaryists, agorists, etc.). I consider myself a voluntaryist, which in addition to being an anarcho-capitalist, also qualifies me as someone who does not wish to participate in electoral politics and views it as an approach that really cannot help--and also means that I only prefer voluntary means through which to achieve a voluntary society.

To make matters more complicated, the anarchists of us have two different ways to speak of a free market: a David Friedman approach which concentrates on how free markets solve problems more efficiently than States, and a more deontological approach made famous by Murray Rothbard. Usually, you'll see us taking both angles--sometimes it helps to show how a free market is ipso facto better than a State, and sometimes it's better to show that we have the ethical high ground. (And some of us can be absolute in this sense--some might even recognize a failing of a free market but say that it still doesn't justify violating the ethics of libertarianism.)

There is, however a hurdle that needs to be jumped, I think, to truly grasp the libertarian position: familiarization with Austrian Economics. Austrian Economics is usually regarded as a fringe school of economics, and not taken seriously--it is taught in only a few of the colleges around the United States. In spite of that, Austrian business cycle theory, which puts the blame on fractional reserve banking, and specifically, the Federal Reserve, for the ebb and flow of today's marketplace, has proven itself time and time again. Frederick Hayek, the pioneer of this theory (and a winner of a Nobel Prize because of it), predicted the 1929 stock market crash, and more recently, Peter Schiff used it to predict the current recession. (It also explains bubbles that have inflated and popped in the past, when applied.) The best layman's explanation and the theory's real world applications that I can give you is the recent book Meltdown by Thomas Woods. It's not too long and does a great job at explaining Austrian business cycle theory.

There are many differences between Austrian Economics and the more mainstream schools, but I highlighted Austrian business cycle theory because that is the really important one. To emphasize this even more, I can say that if I could change one thing about the current State (sans abolishing it), it would be to abolish the Federal Reserve by establishing a free market currency. Unhesitatingly.

I personally arrived to my conclusion through a deontological perspective, and later familiarized myself with how free markets can provide services that most people widely regard as services that only States can provide. The deontological perspective essentially leads up to the non-aggression principle (NAP): aggression, which is defined as the initiation of physical force, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property, is inherently illegitimate. (I can hammer out the details of the NAP's justification if you like, but I've chosen to omit it here in the interest of brevity.) The most important thing to realize about the NAP is that it is proportional: if you violate my property, I don't have the right to kill you (i.e., the idea that I can shoot a little boy that trespasses onto my yard to collect his baseball). As once I have quelled your aggression, any further aggression on my part is an over-abundance, and therefore an initiation of aggression--and that is illegitimate.

So with this in light, you can see that libertarians (at least, my style, anyway) are a bit of a mix: we simultaneously believe that libertarianism is the only ethical stance consistent with the idea of liberty, and its natural conclusion, a free market, is an inherently better solution to the problem of "infinite wants" and "scare resources" then centralized control through a State. That is, the State is both illegitimate and inefficient.

So the key to the free market, or capitalism, is to understand its most fundamental truth: two individuals voluntarily committing a transaction. What does it mean to commit a transaction? It means that I am giving you X in return for Y because I value Y more than X, AND because you value X more than Y. It's a win-win scenario, and not zero-sum: we both get something we desire.

For example, if my toilet is clogged, and despite my best attempts, I cannot unclog it, I probably need to call a professional. When the plummer comes over, he tells me that it will be $100 to fix my toilet. Immediately, his actions indicate, "I value $100 more than the value of my services as a plummer." When I agree to his proposal, my action indicates, "I value your services as a plummer more than I value $100." At this most basic level, we can see the Subjective Theory of Value in action brilliantly. That is, things don't have intrinsic value, only the value that each individual assigns.

Now, with that background, I think I can answer your questions:

(Wow, I went over the character limit for comments... yikes...)

u/ChillPenguinX · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

> I actually think libertarianism is an incredibly naive worldview

I can see how someone might think that, but I don't think it's fair. Libertarians typically have the strongest understanding of economics, and libertarians are typically intellectuals. Also, transitioning from a typical Republican or Democrat to a libertarian requires a pretty substantial shift in how you view the role of government as a whole. You'll also never see a libertarian who confuses capitalism with democracy (which happens on the internet all. the. fn. time.).

But! I will admit that we have a potential blind spot that will make it difficult to ever become a major party: libertarians will choose the whole over the individual, which means we lose pretty much every emotional argument ever. The free market works most efficiency when prices aren't controlled at all, and libertarians will choose efficiency because it drives innovation and lowering of prices the fastest, which we believe is the best for the whole. It's through innovation that we raise the standard of living for everyone (e.g., Ford inventing the assembly line eventually led to cars being widely available). Where this gets tough for most people to support is that most people will choose stability over efficiency.

When you put money in a bank, you want to make sure the bank doesn't go under. When you rent an apartment, you want to make sure landlords can't force you out by raising rent. If you're working 40 hours a week, you feel like you deserve to make a living wage. If you've spent your entire life mining coal, you don't want the coal mine to go under, leaving you with no skills for another job and leaving your town w/o its largest source of income. If a hurricane hits your town, you don't want the local convenience store jacking up the price of water and flashlights. If your child gets diagnosed with cancer, you don't want money to get in the way of getting your child everything they need to survive.

All of those thoughts are completely reasonable, but libertarians put higher emphasis on the whole than the individual. Banks and auto-makers have gotten away with horrible business decisions because they're "too big to fail." Rent control works fine in the short term, but in the long term it always leads to an ever-increasing shortage of low-income housing while the quality of that housing consistently declines and no new low-income housing is constructed. Industries rise and fall all the time, and we're just no longer in need of so much coal or elevator operators or fast food cashiers. Increasing the prices on goods after a hurricane helps insure that people don't overbuy, leaving late-comers without a chance at supplies, and it incentivizes new sellers to enter the market to take advantage of the high prices, thus increasing supply, which will lower prices over time. A more free market approach to healthcare would result in much, much lower costs, and faster innovation.

The problem is that once you say that, yes, people will lose jobs and die because of poor luck, decisions, or timing, you immediately turn most of the population, and Jimmy Kimmel starts crying. It doesn't matter to them that it will be a huge net benefit for the vast majority of people if an unlucky few are willingly left behind.

I also feel like there's this huge misconception that libertarians don't care about the poor when they're probably our main concern. We believe so strongly in the free market because we think it gives the poor the highest standard of living. Anyway, I'm not a particularly eloquent person, so I recommend this book. It does a really good job of explaining why the free market best helps the poor over the long term at the cost of short term volatility. It's a pretty good read too.

u/PumpkinAnarchy · 15 pointsr/Libertarian

Both Economics in One Lesson and Basic Economics are golden, though for very different reasons.

Economics is One Lesson starts with a truth that is obvious and simple once you hear it explained. You think to yourself, "Well, yeah. Who could possibly think otherwise?" And then you hop onto Reddit and see that a substantial preponderance of Reddit are afflicted with a mindset and beliefs that fly in the face of this simple truth. It then spends time expanding on this truth and applying it to tons of different things that you wouldn't intuitively see it applying to.

Basic Economics is better though. Both are well worth reading, but Sowell's work is incredibly comprehensive. When I read it, it didn't come across as someone trying to prove any world view, as tends to be the case from so many economists. It is him simply seeking to explain economics to someone who is new to the field. To his credit, he uses terminology that is accessible to anyone and doesn't spend a single moment trying to prove to how smart he is. (Though his brilliance is immediately evident.) Its most important quality is that it doesn't ask you to partake in a string of thought experiments to reach some grand conclusions. Every assertion he makes is supported by multiple studies and historical examples. This happens time and time again. And the bolder the claim, the more evidence he provides. It's remarkable.

While it does weigh in at 700-ish pages, Basic Economics is almost certainly the perfect book for getting your feet wet when in economics.

u/iambored1234 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

>Veterans unemplotement is currently around 30%, so I would argue that the provate sector is that shallow. Some businesses are very helpful and respectful towards the men and women who have served this nation, but most, sadly, aren't. And you're right, college degrees do not automatically create success. But, college grad. unemployment is around 4% right now, while non-college educated people have an unemployment above 10%.

Even if we sent all of those unemployed veterans to college (or all of the other non-college educated), they would still face a stagnant job market with a college degree. That’s why we must seek policies that favor robust, but sound, economic expansion. Even if we assume the private sector is that shallow, which it’s not, the best way to force their hand is to generate so much growth that demand for labor outstrips supply. Siphoning more and more of their operating capital and/or increasingly regulating every corner of business simply cannot logically have this effect.

>These are not jobs added, and they would be jobs whether the tax rates on the rich are 1% or 50%.

These are jobs added/maintained. It’s simple supply/demand in this case: when more people can afford yachts, cabins in exotic locations, expensive cars, and other luxury items, demand increases. Given the prospect of profit, supply responds by increasing as well. Supply increasing doesn’t mean only existing firms expand, it also means new firms open in hopes of soaking up some of the increasing market. By taxing, you’re diminishing the demand for these products by reducing the amount of consumers who are capable of purchasing these luxury products. When demand falls, supply must respond as well: downsizing, layoffs, bankruptcies, etc. The reason is simply that the demand market for these goods can no longer sustain the existing crop of suppliers. This concept applies across the entire economy over every sector. Some firms would stay, but more would fall the more we reduce income.

> Why should we all be slaves to the rich? Why should all of oour jobs depend on what they choose to pruchese or not purchase?

We’re not slaves nor are all of our jobs dependent on what they choose to purchase. I’m only highlighting that wealthy individuals do fully/partially support certain sectors of our economy. Enormous sectors of the economy are largely supported by lower-income individuals as well: Goodwill Industries and other discount clothing retailers like TJ Maxx, McDonalds, Dollar Tree, flea-markets, etc. all quickly come to mind. Similarly, large portions of our economy are supported by the middle class” most automotive companies, casual dining restaurants, Polo Ralph Lauren, American Eagle, etc. come to mind. Importantly, though, this only represents the consumer side of our economy and not the more-important capital-investment side, but I’ll just leave it at that for now.

>They were going into bankrupcy and then government came in, and loaned them money, which they payed back, and are now workign at a profit for. Government was not in control of them under teh Bush years when thigns got fucked up to shit. Obama's stimulus package saved us from a depression, but if it was bigger, I would argure that it could have saved us from a recession.

They didn’t pay all of it back. The government still owns large shares of GM and Ally Bank, for example. Tax payers are expected to lose over 25 billion on the former. The amount of worldwide derivative debt is even larger than in 2008 (ie, the “too big to fail” banks are only bigger). All of this was only made possible by government attempting to circumvent the natural market regulation, the profit-loss incentive, which would’ve punished the firms with real bankruptcy for their mistakes and allowed their capital to redistribute to more efficient uses. Instead, their inefficient and dangerous activities were only reinforced by government, and thus they will continue until market forces ultimately win out and another bubble bursts.

Furthermore, our economic instability far pre-dates Bush and Obama. The prevailing economic philosophy, Keynesianism, in this nation has largely been unchanged since the Progressive era and all of our woes have simply been compounding. The only difference really is that the philosophy has been painted red or blue, Republican or Democrat, and called “conservative” or “liberal”. We won’t fix the economy until we fix the philosophy, which is why a large number of libertarians favor the polar-opposite philosophy of Austrian economics.

Ultimately, I think a lot of the disconnect here, as it is with the rest of the typical capitalists and the anti-capitalists is a misunderstanding of real capitalism and the result of capitalist policies. The GOP has done a wonderful job of completely misrepresenting what it means to stand for free-markets and the Democrats have done an equally wonderful job of exploiting that flawed portrayal. For that reason and since we’re limited to responding to only specific pieces of the larger argument in defense of capitalism, I strongly recommend you read these books to understand where we’re coming from. The first three are available for free (Bastiat’s are both less than 100 pages as well). These five books, along with several others, are what turned me from a born and raised neoconservative war-mongering Republican to a Libertarian today.

u/conn2005 · 6 pointsr/Libertarian


Ron Paul has said that there is some good in the OWS movement. But you are more likely to see him bite down on crony capitalism and Federal Reserve policy than redistribute wealth. The Fed and Legislators pick the winners and losers in the market with their subsidies, bailouts, tax breaks, government contracts, special land access (miss use of "right-of-way"), and other privileges granted to them by government.

On Social Programs:

Take social security for example. Even though Ron Paul doesn't support it, he has suggested to allow people 25 and younger to opt out of the program, but that the govt should still make good on their promises to the rest. You can bet that he wont increase the benefits though.

On war:

RP is the only candidate in both parties that actually wants to support the troops by bringing them home. He might not have a Nobel Peace prize but he would bring about peace.

In General:

Please read his most recent short book Liberty Defined. He describes 50 topics and how they affect freedom. If you have a question on any stance of his on any topic, its in there.

u/cdgtheory · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

If political ideology were a flat line with totalitarianism monarchism on one end and anarchism on the other, the libertarian ideology would represent about 10-15% of the line on the voluntary end of it. So different libertarians have different ideal societies involving maybe a limited welfare system - to - just police and military and courts - to - no State at all.

That's all philosophical stuff though. In practice, what I'd envision anarchy looking like, as I am an anarchist, is very locally oriented emergent communities and social law determined by local markets, customs, morals, and cultures. Some of these communities may be highly cosmopolitan, some may be highly agrarian or industrial, some autarchic, some highly "international."

As for taxes and opt-in or whatever other details, a purely libertarian society would not have them -- libertarian communities would allow people to pursue whatever kind of voluntary defense or public goods arrangements that they wish. Other less-libertarian communities may have taxes for public goods or common defense. Details are fuzzy.

Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman is a good book on the topic. Also, if you were to post a question in r/libertarian, you might get a good amount of different ideas. I personally prefer not to be too specific precisely because I think the market will sort everything out. When people get too specific they tend to cling to that idea. So you'll commonly get the answer of "private defense agency" or something similar and it can get redundant. I tend to think things that work must be adaptable to reality and not hypotheticals so I'd like to imagine that a free society would be diverse in too many ways to describe.

Hope that answer helps. If not, then I may be able to clarify where you think it's confusing.

u/indirecteffect · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

If you want to get the basics in an easily readable and fun way, I highly recommend How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes by Peter Schiff

If you had limited time and wanted it to be a fun leisure read, that's the one. It's a great intro and great to loan out to your friends who haven't been exposed to these ideas, but have an open mind.

Other great books are referenced here to help to give you a more technical understanding. I personally like Economics for Real People

Finally, consider listening to the Tom Woods Show Podcast. Commute sized interviews with experts in different areas. I learn a ton listening to this.

u/Osterstriker · 1 pointr/Libertarian

As been mentioned a few times in this thread, mutual-aid societies were a fantastic way for the lower-class to provide health care and insurance to one another. David Beito has written a a truly excellent history about them.

In addition, workers' co-ops based on free association provided livelihoods for 300,000 people in California during the Great Depression, only to be crowded out by the Works Progress Administration.

u/beyond_hate · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

(funny I am having this exact conversation in another thread)

We are operating anarchistically every day. In many ways, we succeed in SPITE OF the state, rather than because of it. The vast majority of our choices are just made with voluntary, organic interaction. Organic is the keyword here because complex systems work best when allowed to find the best-path via "bottom-up" organization (for example, skin cells forming Voronoi patterns).

Economics, as the observation of human action, "maximizes value" because of these really fundamental mathematical truths. Even services like security and rights claims are better served by a system that can adapt both in context and efficiency like this.


For a good discussion of this, see Everyday Anarchy by Stephan Molyneux (written well before he became a weird race-realist nut and abandoned his own principles for some reason I dunno maybe just that he's getting old).

For a good discussion of how such a society has worked in the past, check out the not so wild wild west paper.

u/drinkonlyscotch · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

You should read The Machinery of Freedom and/or Chaos Theory. Both books build a case for market-based alternatives to the state better than anyone will do in this thread.

However, I should also mention that Robert Nozick – who some believe to have made the best intellectual case for libertarianism in his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia – came to the conclusion that government should provide basic protective services (and only basic protective services) including police, courts, and a military. He described his ideal state as a "Night Watchman State" – and is today usually associated with minarchism. His book is the opposite of an easy read, but if you really like to nerd-out or enjoy punishment, I definitely recommend it.

In any case, my point is that academic libertarians have largely answered your questions, either by describing how a stateless society could effectively provide protective services, or by making a case for a government that is limited to providing only basic protective services.

u/FponkDamn · -1 pointsr/Libertarian

I was going to reply to your points, but when I got to this:

>Yes, the government is spending 7.8 trillion additional dollars, but the citizens of the US are making an additional 7.8 trillion dollars.

I realized that you don't actually know anything about economics. That isn't an insult or me being flippant! Lots of people don't know anything about economics - it's called "the dismal science" for a reason. And lots of those people that know nothing about economics vote and have political opinions, because one is not a prerequisite for the other. So I'm not insulting you by saying that - it's just that no one who has ever stepped foot in an economics 101 classroom on the first day, opened en econ-related book of any kind, or even Googled the word "economics" would say that.

So, instead of debating these specific points with you, I'm going to be as helpful as I can be. Here are the books you want to start with:

Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson (

Ludwig Von Mises' Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (

And Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics (

I don't mean to pile three books on you - honestly, you can just read one and get started (I would recommend Hazlitt to start). Once you have a bit more understanding of how things like GDP are calculated, how inflation affects purchasing power, how credit risk is evaluated, and so on, you'll have a better understanding of your own suggestion without needing me. Hazlitt isn't a long read - if you have an average amount of free time, you can probably be through it in a few weeks. I look forward to discussing it with you!

u/tocano · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Ahh... to apathetic people, I've said this before:

> Did your parents ever make decisions without talking to you? Was it frustrating? To feel that their decisions affected you, but that you didn't really have the opportunity to voice your opinion and ended up having very little input into those decisions? What if your parents had decided to move your curfew an hour earlier or decided you could only drive within 10 miles of the house or that you had to call before you left and once you arrived anywhere? What if those decisions were made without even talking to you? But nevertheless, if you didn't follow those rules, they could punish you? Would you have been angry? Would you have argued? Would you have fought to get them to change their minds? Or would you have remained silent and just followed the rules, even if you didn't agree with them? That's how govt works. Silence and apathy are seen as agreement with what politicians do. Do you agree that ___? (fill in the blank with something you think they'd be adamantly against) By not arguing against it, by not protesting it, by not being educated about it, they see it as agreement.

Then you can describe how govt often sees "the greater good" as more important than individuals. Then go through your list about egregious actions. Remind them that in each case, politicians were claiming that these actions were for "the greater good".

Then you can preempt some rebuttals by saying that you recognize that govt often aims to do things that are legitimately good and help individuals too - for example, make the economy stable, create jobs, make housing affordable. Then point out that, however, most of the time, govt actions have unintended side effects. You can then point out how during economic downturns, people tend to look to the govt to "fix it" and "help people" while times are tough. Then them this is dangerous because it gives govt a blank check to do "whatever is necessary" (tell them to pay attention to that phrase if they hear it) and it results in govt doing all sorts of things that, in the name of helping people, end up hurting many. I recommend The Forgotten Man and New Deal or Raw Deal and P.I.G. to Great Depression and New Deal for some really mind blowing examples of govt abuse of power.

Just my thoughts.

u/nixfu · 1 pointr/Libertarian

If your a 'recovering republican' I recommend this book:
What it means to be a Libertarian It really explains the core of what libertarianism is from the perspective of a former mainstream republican.

Then start reading some classical Libertarian works like:
The Road To Surfdom by FA Hayek, where you will be amazed to learn that Big Corporations are the best friend the far left socialists ever had and know that they are full of crap whenever they say bad things about big business. I really like Hayek's writings quite a bit. Hayek is my favourite libertarian economist. The things he predicted right after world war 2 have happened amazingly like his predictions. This book is so popular its even been made into a comic book version.

/And don't forget all the links on the right hand side of this reddit. Lots of good stuff in those links.

u/jsnef6171985 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

>High leverage risky loans from bankers crippled our economy and we are still hurting.

If you're interested in understanding a different perspective on this particular subject, the book Meltdown by Thomas Woods is an excellent resource. I greatly enjoyed it, and I think you might as well.

>it almost sounds like you are in favor of anarchy, which I believe libertarianists don't desire

You might be surprised how many of us r/libertarians are anarcho-capitalists. Don't worry, we don't throw molotov cocktails. If you're interested in learning more, here's a good start on understanding the basic theory.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/Libertarian

I'm going to have to stop you there. As much as you can say "resource distribution is based on need, not greed", you're actually removing the incentives that allows billions of people to be fed. While it sounds nice in theory (resources based on need, not greed), you're actually committing millions of people to starve, because the incentive to feed the masses is gone.

The profit system is simply the indicator of where to place the scarce resources with variable uses. Profits are that gauge.

I'm going to recommend you a book to read. You should also recommend me a book to read, and I will do so if you read mine. Does that sound like an okay deal?

The book I want you to read is Basic Economics 4th Ed: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy


u/Stackenblochen · 1 pointr/Libertarian

If your coming from the left I recommend In Defense of Global Capitalism

If your coming from the right maybe For a New Liberty (free online) or Rollback

Other classics:

Anarchy, State, and Utopia -Academic Philosophy, tough read

Economics in One Lesson - Econ, easy read

Man, Economy and State (also free) - Econ, tough read

As for critics of Libertarianism there are tons of them, from idiots like Naomi Klein and Michael Moore to well respected economists. I would check out someone like Amartya Sen. If you read about criticisms of the free market or capitalism for the love of god read someone who is actually criticizing capitalism and not corporatism.

u/Kelketek · 5 pointsr/Libertarian

AnCap here. I don't speak for all AnCaps anymore than any libertarian speaks for all libertarians. Here's my data point:

Prisons: Law would have to be reformed first. Instead of having a central legal authority we'd have different arbitration businesses who had market incentives to hold up their reputation. All law would become in the fashion of civil law as we now think of it, where enforcement becomes the recognized prerogative of the one who wins the judgement. People too poor to enforce the judgement themselves could sell part of the resulting proceeds to someone who can, or could use a rights enforcement organization to do the work.

This is not dissimilar to how a large number of historical legal systems have worked. I know David Friedman (son of Milton Friedman) is working on a book about systems like these, and his book The Machinery of Freedom has a more in depth explanation.

Prisons might be run by Rights Enforcement Agencies, or perhaps they would be companies that offer to house criminals to protect them from those avenging blood in exchange for the output of their labor. If you murdered someone and were afraid someone would be taking vengeance, you might hire a prison to shelter you while you work for them. How long you stay or how effective those prisons are at eventually helping you rebuild your life and on which terms they offer their services would determine which ones are successful.

Slavery: We catch flak for this? It's wrong. Forcing someone to work for you is wrong, whether it's in the fields, in prisons, or in the bakery.

Immigration and Borders: The only real borders are private property borders. Do immigrants use up social welfare programs? Of course-- you can't live here without interacting with government services and products. Would I do the same thing in their position? Probably. If they saw so much better opportunity here than there I can hardly blame them for doing it. Am I going to try to stop them in order to avoid them taking up social programs? No. Am I going to support social programs? No. By the time we're talking about who does and who doesn't get to cross the national border and participate in state programs, as far as I'm concerned, we've already 'divided by zero' and any solution is just as valid as any other: That is, not at all.

Race Realism: I don't care. There might be some evidence of aggregate differences between people of different genetic lines. I don't have any reason to believe these differences are likely to be larger than the differences between any two arbitrary individuals, so it hardly matters.

Even if it did matter, it's a red herring for the purposes for which it's used. I run my life, and other people run theirs. I should be free to work or not work, sell to or not sell to, buy from or not buy from, any person I please using whatever criteria I please. If I go to an establishment where I know they hate my race and try to order food there, I should expect I'll be refused. If they're forced to serve me anyway, I should expect they'll spit in my food when I'm not looking, and that I'll have more enemies in the process and no more friends than I had when I started. In such a case I'm free to build my own restaurant or patronize one that better values me. These tasks may be harder, but they give me the freedom to make my own destiny instead of depending on someone else to be nice to me, or to be forced to be nice to me.

As long as I'm not attacking or stealing from someone, or coercing someone, it's not an issue. Let people choose how they live their own lives. My expectation is that most racial tensions will eventually go away when we stop trying to either enforce them or force them to go away. Different groups will come up with different solutions, they will trade these solutions, and it will become in everyone's own selfish interest to get to know people from other races in order to profit personally. Then most of the divides will melt away of their own accord, though it may take a long time.

u/lostinTN · 1 pointr/Libertarian

If you want original, contemporary information I mentioned Mises Institute, but here are two professors who are Austrian school guys that are fairly young and very active:
Robert Murphy at Texas Tech:

Dan Smith, Middle Tennessee State University:

If you reach out to either and tell them what you are doing, I have no doubt they can refer you to lots of modern sources and peers whose research and publications you may love, that way you arent just referencing dead guys. These guys publish papers and write books right now from the Austrian perspective.

Roberty Murphy does a Podcast with Tom Woods (author of Meltdown) called "Contra Krugman"

Murphy has written books like the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression that spells out all the government intervention that brought that crash on. Its not purely about Austrian economics, but I recommend it to anyone just starting to explore central planning vs free markets:

u/bushforbrayns · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

I think your tone betrays some bias.

The argument is that lower corporate taxes along with a decreased repatriation tax will incentivize investment in our economy, since we will be relatively more competitive than other developed nations (right now we are among the least competitive). Higher investment -> more wealth creation -> more tax revenue. Dynamic scoring attempts to account for wealth increase, while static scoring assumes that the wealth is policy invariant. With regards to classical economics, the theory is solid. Whether it is empirically true is hotly contested. Personally I think it's worth a shot.

If you're interested in learning more about classical economics, this book is quite good.

u/misterdoctorproff · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Your using fucking HuffPo and TalkingPointsMemo as sources. Wow.

The chart in HuffPo is a projection from a single firm. A projection for 2019 no less. Not only that, it doesn't negate at all what I said because despite the Bush tax cuts contribution to the debt, it in no way argues that taking them away will make the rich exist inside a vacuum where behavior isn't effected by taxes nor does it argue that taking them away will still even do anything. About $90 billion in extra revenue is the best you can hope to expect. Not that much nowadays.

>In what period of time? The debt isn't really that big of a deal, we just need to worry about debt since we're borrowing nearly interest free money.

Greece said their debt wasn't a big deal either. Big cuts are needed, or the debt will continue to grow and default will eventually be the only option.

>Some of it yes, but you need to spend during times like these. That's how we got out of the first depression.

Spending did little more than lead to a decade of double digit unemployment.

>Yep, he was wrong and it's hard to do anything with record-level obstructionism.

Blaming the other party for obstructionism is classic partisanship and nowadays just comes off as being upset because you don't have a one party dictatorship. Obama had two years of a supermajority in congress and the Democrats had 6 years of a congressional majority. Like I said, naivety at best.

>Funny, nothing you just said was true. Watch

"The white house put up a video that says everything is fine, so therefore everything is fine!" You're going to have to try harder.

>Sorry, try again

This is no way contradicts what I said. More were added under Bush. So? The number is still rising under Obama who has only been in office 4 years, and is still at its highest despite his promises to turn the economy around. Really intellectually dishonest.

>It's not a plug and I already said I'm not in favor of wars

"Vote for the Democrats if you want less of this stuff to happen"
"It's not a plug."

I don't have anything to add.

>You probably shouldn't argue with emotions, it makes you say irrational things like claim that there's a net loss of 500,000 jobs when in the REAL WORLD, it's actually a gain of 300,000.

Very well, I should have said "manufacturing" but I can still argue that temporary service sector jobs that will be lost after the effects of stimulus wear off is hardly much to be proud of.

Deep recessions are followed by strong recoveries, and 300,000 stimulus jobs is not a strong recovery at all.

>Everybody knew it was going to take longer than 4 years to fix this problem.

Everybody except the Democrats who campaigned and made promises to fix everything in 2008 apparently. Obama even said that if he didn't have the economy normal by a certain time(there's a video on Youtube, but i can't find it), that he would be a one term president. He later admitted that it was "worse than he exepected." What economy did he think he was inheriting? Bhutan?

>His plate was pretty full

Pretty full going on vacations? But seriously, "he was doing other things" is not a valid excuse for corruption.

>Wrong again.

TPM is not a valid source.

>Nearly every thing you said to me was fallacious and/or completely incongruent with evidence. If anybody is taking the easy way out and just listening to talking points, it's you my friend.

I'm sure there is a mirror nearby where you can repeat that line. *edit grammar

u/allaboutthebernankes · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

I don't find this argument very compelling - he basically just tries to form a link between progressive taxation and concepts that he assumes will elicit a favorable response from the listener (democracy and free market thinkers).

The first link is to democracy. Let's grant that progressive taxation and democracy go hand in hand. Even then, you'd still have to prove that democracy is inherently good. Which is difficult to do.

The second link is to free market thinkers. Even if we ignore the fact that he misrepresents the support of progressive taxation by free market thinkers, such support doesn't necessarily mean it's right. Just because Adam Smith or George W. Bush (really?!) spoke favorably of progressive taxation, we shouldn't take those ideas as truth. Heck, Smith and Ricardo believed in the labor theory of value, but that doesn't mean that we should too.

u/liburty · 1 pointr/Libertarian


  1. an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

    Yeah sounds like what I want. People voluntarily and spontaneously trading labor or capital for goods and services, unhindered by a coercive authority. A free market whose prices are reflected by consumers and production costs, uninterrupted by government protectionist policies, and so forth. It's obviously more complex.

    Here are some good books for ya. Read up.
u/radioscott · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Ron Paul's got a brand spanking new book out today that looks like a great overview of how his views on liberty apply to a whole host of current issues. Could be a good place to start (my copy is in the mail!).

u/AncillaryCorollary · 7 pointsr/Libertarian

Yes, please! Also, please include audiobook versions wherever possible as well. I love listening to audiobooks..

I'll start!
Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman
Online Book
Real Book (you know, that that thick rectangle thing with paper in it..

u/noodlez222 · 1 pointr/Libertarian
u/hondaaccords · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

Capitalism and Freedom

One of the most important books ever published by the greatest libertarian of the 20th century, Milton Friedman

u/ThisIsEgregious · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

OP, if you're seriously exploring libertarianism (at least to properly understand it) I would suggest watching and reading the work of Milton Friedman.

  1. Power of the Market - The Pencil:

  2. Capitalism and Freedom -

    There are lots of youtube videos of Milton Friedman and I highly recommend Capitalism and Freedom. In that book, he lays out how capitalism and free enterprise works better than government systems, no matter how well-intentioned or thoroughly planned-out they are. Based on your initial post, I think you'd find many of his arguments interesting and compelling.

    Edit w/ question: holybartender, why do you believe marijuana, or any drug, should be legalized?

    I'm curious to hear your answer as I'd bet it echoes many libertarian themes...
u/pdq · 1 pointr/Libertarian

From Ron Paul's review of Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson on Amazon (apparently Amazon believes he's a Senator...):

> "I strongly recommend that every American acquire some basic knowledge of economics, monetary policy, and the intersection of politics with the economy. No formal classroom is required; a desire to read and learn will suffice. There are countless important books to consider, but the following are an excellent starting point: The Law by Frédéric Bastiat; Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; What has Government Done to our Money? by Murray Rothbard; The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek; and Economics for Real People by Gene Callahan.
If you simply read and comprehend these relatively short texts, you will know far more than most educated people about economics and government. You certainly will develop a far greater understanding of how supposedly benevolent government policies destroy prosperity. If you care about the future of this country, arm yourself with knowledge and fight back against economic ignorance. We disregard economics and history at our own peril."

> —Ron Paul, Senator [sic] from Texas

u/zip99 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

The very short and simple answer is that the Federal Reverse is the primary cause of the boom-bust cycle that constantly plagues our economy. The cycle is also sometimes called the "business cycle", bubbles and busts, downturns etc.

The Federal Reserve is the reason we had a housing bubble in 2007 and a dotcom bubble in the early 2000s. It's also the reason we had the Great Depression!

The Federal Reserve causes the business cycle when it artificially lowers the interest rate below what it would have be on the market, which in turn sends the wrong signals to entrepreneurs and investors and causes them to make bad investments (i.e. "malinvestment"). That's a bare bones explanation. You can find more information at the links below. It's a very interesting topic.

A short and simple introduction on the cause of the business cycle:

An entertaining speech on the topic:

This is a great book on the topic that explains the matter in a way that is very easy to understand:

A more advance explanation:

u/johnnyg113 · 0 pointsr/Libertarian

> When there are 50 different state regulations good luck and if you're an international company it's even worse.

You know there are companies that currently do sell insurance across state lines, right?

> The point is the government should not be able to tell anyone where to buy medicine. It doesn't matter if it's because the Canadian people subsidize the industry or if in the case of cars the Japanese are more efficient. Government has no right to tell me where to buy products.

Yes, I agree that people should be able to buy cheap medicine by government enacted price controls. I wasn't disagreeing with you.

> I address preexisting conditions in the next comment where I will provide citations. People are priced out because government intervention through tax code. The only reason people have insurance through their employer is because of government intervention. No other insurance works like this, auto, flood, rental etc.

That's how it started. Now it works because it is a good way of pooling risk and is the only way many people with preexisting conditions can even get insurance. If people just bought it individually, there would be no way for these people to get into the risk pool.


Nice try David T. Beito. Trying to get me to buy your book. If you can find the relevant passage of that book that supports your claim, post that. Otherwise that is useless to me.

u/emazur · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

In America, the false narrative of the 19th century American "robber barrons" (such as Rockefeller) is frequently used as an excuse for bigger government and regulation. Do Australians point at those American robber barons as an excuse to implement the same crap domestically, or does Australia have its own version of the robber barons?

BTW, there were actual robber barons, as Ayn Rand pointed out, but they were the ones who used government to club competition. The wealthy industrialist who accomplished things w/o government interference were not robber barons. The Rockefeller family happens to include both b/c the Rockefellers were instrumental in the the formation of the Federal Reserve System. One of my favorite quotes on the Fed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volker: "[bailouts are] the most basic function of the Federal Reserve. It was why it was founded." And true that is.

u/icewolfsig226 · 12 pointsr/Libertarian

Here is a play list for Free to Choose video series posted on YouTube, all 10 parts.

Free to Choose - Playlist

There was a follow up 5 part series posted 10 years later that I have yet to watch. This original series was amazing though, and the debate held during the second half of an episode is something that is sorely lacking in today's media.

Also follow the book that goes with it - Free to Choose - they serve to complement one another. Read through most of the book so far.

I haven't read this yet, but it has come to me highly recommended Capitalism and Freedom.

u/fieryseraph · 0 pointsr/Libertarian

You're both arrogant and willfully ignorant.

Post all the regulations you want, and post all the positive effects they've ever had if you want. It doesn't change my argument one bit, that government regulation is neither the best nor the most moral way to fix problems. You don't want to acknolwedge the great, great harm that regulations do? I can't stop from sticking your head in the sand. You may want to read a little, though, and educate yourself, so that you know what you're talking about. Start off with Thomas Sewell's Basic Economics, then we'll have an educated discussion about the harm that comes from government regulation. Next you can read Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson (it's free online). Then maybe you can open your eyes and "see reality" the way it really is. Perhaps you'd benefit from a reading of Bastiat's That which seen, and that which not seen, since you like to point to existing laws so much.

The thing about the market is, it adapts, it changes, it retains choice. Doesn't use violence or coersion, or jail people just because they want to take a drug, but the FDA says, "no". Who is the one who believes in absolutes?

I think we're done here, until you feel like educating yourself about economics a little bit.

u/KissYourButtGoodbye · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

>I support government health care for all
I dislike excessive government intrusion

Does not compute. How, exactly, are you defining "excessive"? Because, at least to me, government controlling the massive healthcare sector of the economy is pretty "excessive".

But in general, the books these guys have recommended are great starting points. I don't know if Hayek's Road to Serfdom has been mentioned. It's not quite a definitive libertarian work (at least from what I've been told), but it did get me started towards my understanding of libertarianism, so it might be worth reading.

u/juddweiss · 1 pointr/Libertarian

I think the best intro book to Libertarian Economics is still Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazzlit. Nathaniel Branden told me Ayn Rand wouldn't bother explaining economics to him, but told him to just read this book. It's unfortunate that if we are going to have required reading in public schools, that this book isn't required reading also.

Of course Atlas Shrugged serves as a great intro as well.

u/ayrnieu · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

He appears on TV, which I don't watch, and in Youtube videos, which I watch four times a year. So I mostly don't care about him. However:

  1. He likes Meltdown;

  2. He appears on Freedom Watch, which I take as good by association; and

  3. /r/obama seems to rabidly hate him.

    So I think he must have some other good points. You're welcome to post questions like "Hey Libertarians, Glenn Beck proposed/opposed X. What do you think about that?"
u/GarretJax · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

All excellent books, but I would add How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter Schiff as an excellent intro to economics book.

u/Shiner_Black · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

Giving a comprehensive answer for why the State shouldn't exist is really too lengthy for a Reddit post. Here are some of the main approaches and a few book recommendations.

Murray Rothbard favored a deontological approach. People have a natural right to private property and aggression (initiation of force) is never justified. A State must initiate force, so its existence is immoral. His book The Ethics of Liberty is a good summary of this.

David Friedman (son of Milton Friedman) favors consequentialist arguments to justify a stateless society. Monopolies will tend to give worse results and higher prices, and he argues that monopolies on law and policing are no exception. His book The Machinery of Freedom is a comprehensive analysis of how he thinks a stateless society would function.

Michael Huemer uses an intuitionist approach. What allows government employees to commit acts that private citizens couldn't do without being imprisoned? He doesn't think there is a legitimate reason for this, and goes through most of the well known arguments for the social contract theory in his book, The Problem of Political Authority. However, he does concede that a State could still be justified on consequentialist grounds.

I think you would be most receptive to David Friedman's ideas. The Kindle version of his book is only $2.99 on Amazon and it's a straightforward read. You would also probably get more satisfying answers in r/anarcho_capitalism. r/Libertarian is more for minarchists. I hope that helped.

u/zugi · 1 pointr/Libertarian

They're both important to me; I value all freedom, and won't just pick one over another.

EDIT: I forgot to add that Milton Friedman's classic work Capitalism and Freedom argues that in the long term the two are inseparable - either you have freedom or you don't. Countries can survive in the short-term with just economic or just personal freedom, but in the long-term one requires the other.

u/paxitas · 6 pointsr/Libertarian

I'm referencing Tocqueville's most popular work, Democracy in America. In it he examines how American life works compared to what he has experienced in Europe and is amazed at the vibrant civil society in America. To be honest, I have not read it through, but American civil society is something that has been shrinking more and more over time as reliance on the state grows. For example, if you are interested to see how things such as unemployment insurance and aid to the poor worked before the state gave itself a monopoly on it, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967 is the definitive work on that.

What all of this implies to me is a direct refutation of the charge laid against libertarians that we are anti-social and just care about ourselves. I think it is the exact opposite. In the absence of the state, we are forced to see the care of our neighbor as our own responsibility, not just some thing that we cast a vote for and feel good about ourselves and call it a day. We are forced to work together to solve problems more frequently instead of the society reliant on the state so much today that people now call the police to tell their neighbors to be quiet. What happens when we rely on government to take care of these things is it becomes much more impersonal. We somehow think that the money taken automatically out of our taxes is all that needs to be done.

u/Dr-No- · 1 pointr/Libertarian

This is a good empirical look at how anarcho-capitalism could work.

Huemer fully admits that getting there is problematic because it doesn't lever with human instincts and our natural tendencies. He proposes thousands of years of social engineering to get us there...good luck with that.

u/Spellersuntie · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

Not everything I'm going to list is really libertarian per se but I think they do give important context for the libertarian/broader right wing movement

Economics in One Lesson. It's repetitive but gets the point across

Anarchy, State, and Utopia is a philosophical perspective

IThe Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It's difficult to call Heinlein a libertarian but this book definitely is. Also where the 'rational' part of my flair comes from!

There is No Alternative. I'm not sure how many people would consider Thatcher a libertarian but she's an important part of the history of the modern struggle against socialism that I think is overlooked in the United States

The Fatal Conceit. One of Hayek's must read works. A much shorter one that is I think just as important, Why I Am Not a Conservative

Atlas Shrugged. I'm not saying it's a good book or that you don't know of it but it's worth thumbing through just to see what all the hubbub's about. Prepare yourself for a latent S&M fetish.

Capitalism and Freedom. Maybe reading this will help you figure out why Naomi Klein seems to hate Friedman so much. Also very good and much more digestible is his television series Free to Choose and the similarly titled book

The Communist Manifesto. Provides good context. And maybe a chuckle.

u/ChristopherBurg · 9 pointsr/Libertarian

There's actually a very interesting book titled The Not So Wild, Wild West that discusses this very topic. The Native Americans developed property rights for resources that were scarce. Fishing equipment, for example, was generally owned by a single person. Before the introduction of horses the Native Americans didn't divide hunting land because it wasn't feasible for them to destroy entire herds of buffalo. After the introduction of horses their hunting strategies changed and their ability to wipe out entire herds was realized. Tribes began marking out hunting territories using rocks with pained icons on them and defended the marked territories against other tribes.

In general property rights are nonexistent for super abundant resources. It isn't worth the time and effort to defend something that can be easily obtained anywhere. Property rights generally come in when a resource is scarce, at what point it is worthwhile to defend any claims to that resource.

u/saMAN101 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Peter Schiff's How An Economy Grows and Why It Crashes is a good beginner book that fits right in with Henry Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson. I would recommend reading both before getting into more complex economic books.

I would also add The Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard once you have gotten acquainted with the libertarian way of thinking. Read it with an open mind, and you will never look at the state the same way again.

u/tableman · 1 pointr/Libertarian

If you got $1200 a month for free, why would you work for $1600 at mc donalds?

Source: common sense.

Better yet:

u/ehempel · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

These are good questions, and there are good answers for them. I recommend a book From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967. If a book is more than you want to read, there are two good articles based off that book that fill in a lot of the general picture: Welfare before the Welfare State and From Mutual Aid to Welfare State: How Fraternal Societies Fought Poverty and Taught Character.

u/tgjj123 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

The Law -

Economics in one lesson -

That which is seen and is not seen -

Our enemy, the state -

How capitalism save america -

New Deal or Raw Deal -

Lessons for the Young Economist -

For a New Liberty -

What Has Government Done to Our Money? -

America's Great Depression -

Defending the Undefendable -

Metldown -

The Real Lincoln -

The Road to Serfdom -

Capitalism and Freedom -

Radicals for Capitalism -

Production Versus Plunder -

Atlas Shrugged -

The Myth of the Rational Voter -

Foutainhead -

Anthem -

There are of course more books, but this should last you a few years!

u/haroldp · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

Great list! Let me add some more moderate titles:

17. That which is seen, and that which is not seen - Introduces the "Parable of the broken window" that underpins "Economics in One Lesson"
18. The Road the Serfdom - the case against collectivism, and prescient roadmap for collectivist failure
19. Free to Choose - in Print and Video
20. Capitalism and Freedom - and how they are linked
21. Civil Disobedience - Every other sentence is a poem to human liberty

u/boona · 4 pointsr/Libertarian

Well there are instances where we had near anarchy such as the so called "wild west" which was one of the most peaceful times in human history.

Even the gold rush where many people (white, black, asian etc.) got together in a fiercely competitive and temporary environment, there were very few instances of recorded violence. Considering the circumstances and the fact that they were armed, it's quite astonishing to most people.

For more info you can read An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West by Terry L. Anderson and Peter J. Hill the authors also have a book The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier.

u/IcecreamDave · 1 pointr/Libertarian

It also helps those with moderate money buy more property than they can afford in the free market, and thus hoard it. Then there is no housing for the truly poor because what should be low income housing has been hoarded. It becomes a first come first serve market. Same thing happened after rent control was used to help soldiers get homes. There was a massive national shortage even thought the physical supply never changed. Here is the book, I highly recommend the read.

u/aznhomig · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

How do you think the war was paid off? The Federal Reserve, of course.

The US got out of the Depression largely through a return to free market principles and industry innovations after the end of the war. A lot of new technology was borne out of the wartime experience as a necessity to gain an edge over enemies, and this technology such as computing and radar were utilized to jump start new industries. Given that the United States was the only major power that emerged out of World War II relatively unscathed in infrastructure, population, and resources, it wasn't hard for the US to become the premier supplier of manufactured goods for the rest of the war-torn world.

I don't know where this sentiment that the New Deal somehow "saved America"; its policies were largely economically destructive, such as the destruction of perfectly good crops as mandated by the US Department of Agriculture as a means to reduce supply to "raise prices" for "destitute farmers", or the fact that government agents would patrol around cities looking to raid factories and businesses that would dare to produce goods after a certain, arbitrary time as mandated by the US Department of Labor for daring to employ workers to produce goods and services out of tune with the government policy of restraining production as a means to raise prices.

It seems, my friend, that you are in need of a good refresher of the actual history of the Great Depression. I recommend this book if you really wish to learn about the true nature of the "Do Nothing" Hoover and the "heroic" Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the actual effects of the "New Deal"'s destructive nature.

u/nkfallout · 1 pointr/Libertarian

The best book for economics. A follow up to that is Peter Schiff's book How and Economy Grows and Why it Crashes.

Another is The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

u/JosephBlowFish · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Dang it, I forgot to tell you:
Read this short and easy economics book, Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt.

It is a quick read, and makes it abundantly clear what the effects of inflation are.

u/optionsanarchist · 0 pointsr/Libertarian

I'm sorry your mind can't fathom a world without violence. And aside from the PDF, websites can't give your computers a virus. PDFs are still pretty damn secure, but if that's your weak argument ("I don't believe in voluntary societies because I can't download the PDF") then may god have mercy on your soul. Let me help you out here, since you can't be bothered to use google:

There,, a trusted website and a paperback book (or are you scared about getting ink on your fingers, too?)

I think our conversation is done, troll.

u/mMmMmhmMmM · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

Yeah, the book is better. I don't know how anyone can read it and not have a different view of the government afterwards.

u/sounddude · 11 pointsr/Libertarian

If any of you haven't read this book I HIGHLY recommend it. Especially if you like to get your blood pressure up to unsafe levels.

Rise of The Warrior Cop

u/BartholomewOobleck · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

Dude, if you're going to even try to engage in a discussion about economics, I'd suggest you actually read an economics text book first so that you can at least try to sound like you know what you're talking about.

Here's one.

u/DrunkHacker · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

Three books I'd suggest, in the order I'd read them:

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman

The Road to Serfdom by FA Hayek

Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick

Outside the libertarian canon, Rousseau's On the Social Contract and Rawls' A Theory of Justice should be on everyone's reading list. Rawls and Nozick are probably the two most influential political philosophers of the late 20th century and understanding their arguments about the justification of property rights and the original position are the ABCs of modern political debate.

u/LibertyAboveALL · 3 pointsr/Libertarian

Have you read the latest version of this story by his sons, Peter & Andrew Schiff called Why an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes? If so, your thoughts on their changes/updates would be greatly appreciated.

u/esdraelon · 6 pointsr/Libertarian

I think most modern anarchist thought regarding non-state security production does not formally rely on vigilantism (although this is a component).

Instead, there is a concentration on risk management via insurance and co-insurance. When you are robbed, there are two components:

  1. Psychological
  2. Fiduciary

    No one can make you whole on #1. No state, certainly.

    2 is a different story entirely. If someone steals your money or jacket, are you satisfied with only receiving your money and jacket, or equivalents? The insurance market is constructed to replace you, to indemnify you against loss. The concept from here is that competing insurers and co-insurers then make decisions regarding how much they will indemnify via cash, and how much via other loss-prevention mechanisms. These mechanisms may include private security, mobile panic buttons, neighborhood watch programs (join a program, get a discount on your premium), or any other of a number of solutions.

    Because we know that a private insurer has to remain profitable while satisfying customers, we know that the production and types of security provided will be appropriate to the market. That is, you will get the right kind of security at the right price. You won't get 10 cops in a town of 200 (mainly issuing traffic citations), while there are 100 for a town of 100,000 down the street (dealing with robberies).

    Additionally, you won't pay security companies to take unnecessary risks, since the security companies are liable for their employees. You won't see SWAT-style raids of weed dealers, or officers hanging around on highways looking to generate revenue. Only a state would offer services this inefficient.

    Really, there are whole books on this subject, including historical analysis such as the "Not So Wild West" (

    A synopsis of the former here:

u/ten24 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Here's a whole book that explains exactly why that is absolutely true.

u/nefreat · 1 pointr/Libertarian

>You are allowed to buy insurance across state lines, they just have to adhere to your states regulations.

When there are 50 different state regulations good luck and if you're an international company it's even worse.

>Yes, they should be able to buy medicine that is cheap because of government imposed price controls.

The point is the government should not be able to tell anyone where to buy medicine. It doesn't matter if it's because the Canadian people subsidize the industry or if in the case of cars the Japanese are more efficient. Government has no right to tell me where to buy products.

>No, they are priced out or straight out denied because of preexisting conditions and recision.

I address preexisting conditions in the next comment where I will provide citations. People are priced out because government intervention through tax code. The only reason people have insurance through their employer is because of government intervention.
No other insurance works like this, auto, flood, rental etc.


u/psycho_trope_ic · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

You can start with simple sources like this which will also point you towards academic sources, but the foundations are found in the following works:

u/nickem · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

I would recommend his book Liberty Defined. They're listed in the table of contents.

u/djrocksteady · 1 pointr/Libertarian

I only made a bad joke because your last comment seemed like it was supposed to be funny but came off as stupid.

Anarcho-capitalism is not based on a rational choice theory or market equilibrium theory or any of that nonsense.

Examples of voluntary governance are terms of service agreements, break the terms and lose the service.

Decentralized justice has happened in history, if you look up the history of the American west you might have a little better imagination regarding these scenarios. This is a good start

Anarcho-capitalism depends on nothing more than the non-aggression principle and free trade.

> what happens when I break the rules but choose not to be governed. Or shoot someone and then ride to the next town..

That would only be possible in some sort of lawless zone, if you break the rules in one zone, you will be prosecuted no matter where you hide I would imagine, just like it is done today.

u/BBQ_HaX0r · 1 pointr/Libertarian

If you're serious and looking for some good reading material may I recommend:

Free to Choose - Milton Friedman.

The Law - Bastiat

or something fictional not named Atlas Shrugged, here is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

u/Hipster_Dragon · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

Basic Economics

This economics book by a previous Harvard professor and well known economist.

u/sharpsight2 · 2 pointsr/Libertarian

Remember now, it wasn't just the Depression: FDR made it Great.

u/WhiteCrake · 0 pointsr/Libertarian

An extremely basic and rock solid explanation of Austrian Economics How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes, By: Peter Schiff

u/NoTimeForThisShit383 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

Libertarian writes about the deleterious effects of regulatory capture that can only be resolved through deregulation.
Everyone else hears: "deregulate it all and it'll magically work out somehow, regulation EEVVIILLLL"

This is why I don't really bother trying to convince anyone of anything anymore. If we write a short explanation of our views then we're idiots that didn't think through our position, if we post a lengthy argument, then "TLDR". So how can we win? Besides, being wrong is politically expedient.

George Sigler's, "The Theory of Economic Regulation" shows how regulation in general inevitably benefits wealthy corporations.

The Great Depression was basically a case study in how insane amounts of regulation and micromanagement can cripple a society. I recommend New Deal or Raw Deal if you just want to see convincing anecdote.

The solution is simple but political suicide; Instead of telling people how to do things, society should instead ensure that people are simply providing the good or service they advertise, and not infringing on other's property rights.

Or more simply; Don't lie, don't touch other people's shit, mind your own business.

u/Caltex88 · 1 pointr/Libertarian

This is the best book on the subject. A must read.

In short, it sure as hell wasn't the free market.

u/riplox · 6 pointsr/Libertarian

Don't forget the excellent book from Michael Huemer: The Problem of Political Authority.

Ebook download for free here: Download

u/MiltonFreedMan · 5 pointsr/Libertarian

Free to Choose

and Basic Economics

More modern look at the current state of the US - By the People

u/mariox19 · 10 pointsr/Libertarian

Someone who hasn't even read the first few pages of Hazlitt's book, I presume.