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

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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Do Individuals Measure Value? Ludwig von Mises vs. David Friedman



In a recent blog post, Bryan Caplan favorably quoted David Friedman, who claimed in his book Hidden Order that economists believed that everything—including happiness—can be measured in money, or in units of anything else, for that matter. Friedman and Caplan are deliberately trying to jolt the reader, but they believe the claim is defensible once put into...
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Who’s the Bigger Witch Doctor? Gerald Friedman or Paul Krugman?



Conflict has erupted among left-progressive economists over a study touting the alleged benefits of Bernie Sanders’s proposals. Specifically, the Sanders campaign was happily citing UMass at Amherst economist Gerald Friedman’s 53-page analysis (released on January 28) that projected the eccentric candidate would deliver amazing economic performance–especially for the middle class and poor–over the first ten...
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Powerball and the Lucas Critique



As of this writing, the record-breaking Powerball official jackpot is some $1.3 billion, though this is misleading because a winner taking the lump-sum option would receive a check for “only” $806 million. With such a huge pot, many articles and blog posts are popping up, telling people that it actually makes financial sense to...
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