Last month one of our favorite organizations, Mises Institute, came to Seattle to demolish economic myths of the 2016 election. Speakers included Walter Block, Tom Woods, Bob Murphy, Ryan McMaken, and Mises President Jeff Deist.
Jeff Deist gave a powerful opener, acknowledging our debt and entitlements will never be paid. We must produce before we consume. Echoing a common AGE talking point, Deist said the debt is "not just an economic issue, but a moral one."
Walter Block spoke next and decimated the all-too-common "Fight for $15" argument heard around town. He pointed out higher prices create less demand, yet liberals doesn't think this applies to minimum wage laws. Minimum wage is not an employment law, but an unemployment law. Essentially if you cannot earn the minimum wage, the government thinks you're better off unemployed. Lastly, if minimum wage is so important, why do unions want to exempt themselves?
The third speaker, Ryan McMaken, discussed three lies heard from candidates in the election cycle. A common lie is healthcare spending. If we look at healthcare spending, specifically government spending on healthcare, *greedy* America is #4 in the world. If we look at tax policies designed specifically to help the poor and those with children, the United States becomes the #2 spender. "The goal should always be to lower the cost of goods and services," McMaken said, "not increase the cost and subsidize them"
Our conference wrapped with Tom Woods and Bob Murphy live streaming their next episode of Contra Krugman. Each episode involves Woods and Murphy debunking a Paul Krugman article. Today's debunking involved Krugman's article on inequality. Krugman cites Denmark as a the pinnacle of economic freedom. What he fails to mention is Denmark has a lower corporate tax rate than the U.S. and currently nine percent of Denmark's population is on lifetime disability benefits. "Often Paul Krugman will build an economic model to fill whatever he's talking about," Murphy said.
Mises Circle left us feeling inspired, and not just because we realized there are 340+ libertarians living in Seattle. Meeting like-minded individuals who want to learn more and make a difference? Now that's empowering!
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