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How to Feel Profoundly Grateful about the Market

In the real world, prices often seem far above marginal cost. Yesterday, for example, I bought a pair of tweezers for $14.99. But it's hard to see how the marginal cost – metal, electricity, transportation, miscellaneous – could even reach $1.00. That's a markup well in excess of 1000%. If you're steeped in the perfectly competitive model, where price always equals marginal cost, it's easy to feel "ripped off" whenever you make a purchase. continue reading

Changing Your Mind Is Good, but Don’t Cut Corners

Political irrationality is ubiquitous. Most people irrationally cling to their political views; most of the rest irrationally revise their political views. This includes, of course, my fellow libertarians. I know plenty of unreasonable libertarians, but I also know plenty of "post-libertarians" who changed their minds for reasons no reasonable libertarian would accept. continue reading

Why Our Coercive System of Schooling Should Topple

I've been called a crazy optimist, a Pollyanna, a romantic idealist. How can I believe that our system of compulsory schooling is about to collapse? People point out that in many ways the schooling system is stronger now than ever. It occupies more of children's time, gobbles up more public funds, employs more people, and is more firmly controlled by government - and at ever-higher levels of government - than has ever been true in the past. So why do I believe it's going to collapse - slowly at first and then more rapidly - over the next ten years or so? Here are four reasons. continue reading

Political Means and Economic Means

There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man…is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others… I propose… to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the “economic means”… while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.” continue reading