Robert Murphy Archive

Robert P. Murphy is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University, Senior Economist with the Institute for Energy Research, and Associated Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of the Independent book, Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Do Food Stamps Reduce Corporate Labor Costs?



Amazon, Walmart, and other corporate behemoths often use their wealth to get special favors from the government. However, they should be acquitted of the specific charge that they offload their labor costs to taxpayers through SNAP and other welfare programs.

Lehman Brothers and the 2008 Financial Panic: Learning the Right Lessons



The U.S. government and Federal Reserve caused the crisis, and since 2008 their actions have set us up for an even bigger calamity.

Free Traders Should Be More Careful When Defending Trade Deficits



America’s trade deficit with China should not be viewed as “getting more for less.”

Three Times Interventionists Moved the Goalposts, Part 3



Part 3 of 3 In previous Beacon posts (here and here) I explained that interventionists had often “moved the goalposts” in policy debates in which I’d participated. I first recounted an episode where Paul Krugman had moved the goalposts in a dispute over so-called fiscal austerity, and then I discussed the phenomenon in the…
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Three Times Interventionists Moved the Goalposts, Part 2



Part 2 of 3 In a previous Beacon post, I explained that interventionists had often “moved the goalposts” in policy debates in which I’d participated. I specifically recounted an episode where Paul Krugman had moved the goalposts in a dispute over so-called fiscal austerity. In the present post, I’ll focus on an example from…
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Three Times Interventionists Moved the Goalposts, Part 1



Part 1 of 3 One of the most frustrating things in debate is when you decisively win the initial point of contention, only to have your opponent “move the goalpost” to a different claim. To be sure, this is a human failing, not unique to any particular political perspective. I’m sure I myself do…
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Reflections on Donald Trump’s Election



As the markets and pundits react to Donald Trump’s enormous upset victory, let me offer my own reactions. As an economist, I will focus on matters pertaining to economic policy. The Danger of Hubris and Denial. Everybody recognizes that the “experts” and polls were totally wrong. Indeed, I was listening to NPR around 6…
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Trump and Clinton Are Both (Partly) Right on Economics



Neither of the major party presidential candidates is a font of economic wisdom. However, if you look hard enough, you can find a glimmer of truth in some of their rhetoric. In this post I’ll analyze two of the issues raised by the candidates, showing how each contained some truth but also confusion. Economic…
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Mises, Military, and Market



September 29 is the birthday of Ludwig von Mises, one of the giants of the Austrian School of economics. In my book Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action, I distill the work of Mises as presented in his masterpiece, Human Action. Elsewhere I have summarized his contributions to economic science, so in the present…
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9/11 and the Political Uses of Crisis



Fifteen years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, we can see that the horrific events unfortunately fit the pattern of other major tragedies. As Independent Institute scholar Robert Higgs has documented so ably in his work (see, for example, here, here, here, and here), the Leviathan State exploits a crisis in order to expand…
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