Author Archives: B.K. Marcus

About B.K. Marcus

Father of Benjamin, husband of Nathalie, BK Marcus works from Charlottesville, Virginia, as a publishing consultant. He is the founder of Invisible Order and former managing editor of Mises.org, where he selected and altered images for every Mises Daily article for eight years. He has also been responsible for developing the Mises Institute's ebook program (now selling more than 250 books at Amazon.com and iTunes) and the ebook program for the Laissez Faire Club at LFB.org. BK focuses on developing electronic books and beautiful imagery for libertarian publishers, such as FEE.org, Reason magazine, and others. His own blog is at bkmarcus.com.

Editing for Liberty #10: Presidents and Prepositions

Mises (1881–1973)

Can You Spot the Error?

  1. Obama came into office without a strong set of economic ideas, as former Presidents Reagan and Clinton did.
  2. Since Mrs. Jefferson moved to Baltimore in the 1990s, she was not aware of the underlying complexities.
  3. Murray Rothbard and other economists of the Austrian school have rejected the concept of indifference and have developed an approach based on Menger’s law of diminishing marginal utility and von Mises’s axiom of action.

Read on for the solutions!
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Whatever Happened to Sexy Stewardesses?

Taking up the study of economics can help unravel many mysteries of history, among which is the pressing issue: Whatever happened to sexy stewardesses? I don’t mean as individuals, but as an institution, as a cultural icon, as a persistent commercial expectation.

There was a time when a jet-setting playboy was pictured as having a stewardess or two on his arm. On TV, one guy would be trying to get some other guy to be the necessary second guy for a double date: “They’re stewardesses, Bob — stewardesses!”
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Radio Free Rothbard

"The human right of a free press depends upon the human right of private property in newsprint."
— Murray N. Rothbard[1]

Introduction

In almost every discussion of the FCC specifically, or American spectrum policy in general, someone will assert that radio spectrum is a unique resource that belongs to the public. This will be said as if it were axiomatic — a starting point rather than the historical consequence of special interests pretending to misunderstand economics. More harm has been done to the public in the name of "the public interest" than could ever have been done by private interests in a free market. Yet the public tends to call for more intervention instead of less. The case of radio is typical.

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The Tepid Libertarian Movement before Mises

In September 1946, The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) published 500,000 copies of a pamphlet arguing against continuation of wartime rent-control laws. This pamphlet — called “Roofs or Ceilings” and written by two young Chicago economists named Milton Friedman and George Stigler — was 20-year-old Murray Rothbard‘s introduction to FEE. It drew him into the movement, such as it was. He continued to read FEE’s publications and began attending their conferences, but a year and a half later Rothbard had still never heard of Austrian economics.
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Gilligan’s Island Economics

Gilligan’s Island is now out on DVD, reawakening the unanswered questions of childhood: Why does the Skipper let Gilligan help with anything when he knows he’ll just screw it up? Why did the movie star take a day cruise in an evening gown? Why did two of the richest people in the world board a dinky boat with the hoi polloi instead of leasing a private yacht? And why do any of the other stranded castaways treat the millionaire’s government money as valuable while stuck on an island where no such government can enforce its value?
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