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Taking a Stand: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Economy

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Renowned economist and historian Robert Higgs has pioneered a whole new understanding of the causes, means, and effects of government power and the need to deconstruct statism and re-establish institutions that protect and advance liberty, prosperity, and peace.
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Renowned economist and historian Robert Higgs has pioneered a whole new understanding of the causes, means, and effects of government power and the need to deconstruct statism and re-establish institutions that protect and advance liberty, prosperity, and peace.

In the course of his work, he has completed seminal work on such issues as health care, the environment, law and economics, urban development, race discrimination, agriculture, immigration, war and peace, economic development, government spending and debt, welfare, money and banking, presidential power, civil liberties, the Great Depression, science, theology, unemployment, and far more.

Now Taking a Stand offers the grand opportunity to make his vast insights available to general readers by combining his keen analysis with his engaging wit, humility and compassion in order to charm, educate and inspire people on the moral and practical imperative of individual liberty, entrepreneurship and innovation, peace, economic growth, personal responsibility, civic virtue, and the rule of law. Taking a Stand is organized into 99 short, accessible chapters to present a powerful and uplifting vision for the future.


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Part I. Politics and the State

1. It’s Who You Know
2. What’s the Point of Demonstrating?
3. Partisan Politics—A Fool’s Game for the Masses
4. Democracy’s Most Critical Defect
5. Nothing Outside the State
6. Consent of the Governed?
7. Why This Gigantic “Intelligence” Apparatus? Follow the Money
8. Can the Dead (Capitalism) Be Brought Back to Life?
9. The Welfare State Neutralizes Potential Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government Benefits
10. The Systematic Organization of Hatreds
11. All Men Are Brothers, but All Too Often They Do Not Act Accordingly
12. Once More, with Feeling: Our System Is Not Socialism, but Participatory Fascism
13. Love, Liberty, and the State
14. Legitimacy
15. Political Problems Have Only One Real Solution
16. The Power of the State versus the Power of Love
17. State Power and How It Might Be Undermined
18. All Government Policies Succeed in the Long Run
19. Crisis of Political Authority? I Wish!
Part II. On Doing Analysis in Political Economy
20. Ten Rules for Understanding Economic Development
21. Underappreciated Aspects of the Ratchet Effect
22. Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Political Economy
23. Can the Rampaging Leviathan Be Stopped or Slowed?
24. Higgs Is Just a Pessimist
25. My Question for the Doomsters: Then What?
26. Defense Spending Is Much Greater than You Think
27. Which End, if Any, Is Near?
28. Communism’s Persistent Pull
29. The Dangers of Samuelson’s Economic Method
30. Don’t Accuse Me of Blaming America When I Blame the Government
31. Extreme Aggregation Misleads Macroeconomists and the Fed
32. Why Do So Many People Automatically and Angrily Condemn Historical Revisionism?
33. Where Should the Burden of Proof Rest?
34. Politics and Markets: A Highly Misleading Analogy
35. Social Science 101: Three Ways to Relate to Other People
36. Ten Fallacious Conclusions in the Dominant Ideology’s Political Economy
37. Regime Uncertainty: Some Clarifications
38. Not Every Intellectual Gunman Is a Hired Gun
39. Truth and Freedom in Economic Analysis and Economic Policy Making
40. Austrian Economics—the Queen of the Experimental Sciences
41. Not All Countries Are Analytically Equal
42. Creative Destruction—The Best Game in Town
43. Thinking Is Research, Too!
Part III: Money, Debt, Interest Rates, and Prices
44. Macroeconomic Booms and Busts: Déjà vu Once Again
45. The Continuing Puzzle of the Hyperinflation that Hasn’t Occurred
46. Money versus Monetary Base: A Basic Yet Critical Distinction
47. The Euthanasia of the Saver
48. The Fed’s Immiseration of People Who Live on Interest Earnings
49. Extraordinary Demand to Hold Cash—the Mystery Persists
50. More Monetary Peculiarities of the Past Five Years
51. A Bogus Example of Controlling Inflation with Price Controls
52. Monetary Policy and Heightened Price Volatility in Raw Materials Markets
Part IV: Investment and Regime Uncertainty
53. Regime Uncertainty: Are Interest-Rate Movements Consistent with the Hypothesis?
54. Do the Post-Panic Changes in Corporate Bond Yield Curves Indicate Regime Uncertainty
55. The Great Divergence: Private Investment and Government Power in the Present Crisis
56. Private Business Net Investment Remains in a Deep Ditch
57. The Confidence Fairy versus the Animal Spirits—Not Really a Fair Fight
58. Important New Evidence on Regime Uncertainty
59. The Sluggish Recovery of Real Net Domestic Private Business Investment
60. Government Spending and Regime Uncertainty—A Clarification
Part V: Boom, Bust, and Macroeconomic Policy
61. World War II: Still Being Touted as the Quintessential Keynesian Miracle
62. One More Time: Consumption Spending Has Already Recovered
63. U.S. Economic Recovery Remains Anemic, at Best
64. Likely Fiscal and Monetary Legacies of the Current Crisis
65. Counsel of Despair?
66. Unprecedented Household Deleveraging since 2007
67. An Overview of Recent Changes in Federal Finances
Part VI: Labor Markets
68. Will the Real Rate of Unemployment Please Stand Up?
69. Short-term Employment Changes in Longer-term Perspective
70. Cessation of Labor Force Growth since 2008
71. Labor Markets Are Still in Bad Shape
Part VII: Libertarianism
72. Are Questions of War and Peace Merely One Issue among Many for Libertarians?
73. Freedom: Because It Works or Because It’s Right?
74. The Salmon Trap: An Analogy for People’s Entrapment by the State
75. Libertarian Wishful Thinking
76. “There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days”—Genesis 6:4
77. The Rodney Dangerfields of the Ideological Universe
78. Classical Liberalism’s Impossible Dream
79. Why the Precationary Principle Counsels Us to Renounce Statism
80. Modern Communications Technology—Savior or Soma?
81. On My Libertarian Catholicity
Part VIII: Remembrances of Parents, Teachers, Colleagues, and Comrades
82. William Jess Higgs (March 21, 1909 – October 15, 1977)
83. Work in Progress: A Boy and His Mom
84. Murray N. Rothbard: In Memoriam
85. J�rg Niehans (November 8, 1919 – April 23, 2007)
86. Ronald Max Hartwell (1921–2009)
87. Manuel F. Ayau (1925–2010)
88. Joseph Sobran (1946–2010)
89. Morris David Morris (February 10, 1921 – March 12, 2011)
90. Siobhan Reynolds (1961–2011), a True American Heroine
91. Anna Jacobson Schwartz (November 11, 1915 – June 21, 2012)
92. Thomas S. Szasz (1920–2012)
93. James M. Buchanan (October 3, 1919 – January 9, 2013)
94. Armen A. Alchian (April 12, 1914 – February 19, 2013)
95. Robert William Fogel (July 1, 1926 – June 11, 2013)
96. Donald S. Barnhart (July 18, 1925 – September 8, 2009)
Part IX: Just for Fun
97. Mainstream Economists Will Have a Blast at This Year’s Halloween Parties
98. “American Pie”—Altered to Lament My Life and Times as an Economist
99. A Vulgar Keynesian Visits My Chamber
About the Author

ISBN 9781598132045
UPC 1598132040
Publisher Independent Institute
Publication Date 7/28/2015
Binding PB
Page Length 368
Dimensions 6x9