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The Rational Optimist

The Rational Optimist

“Ridley writes with panache, wit, and humor and displays remarkable ingenuity in finding ways to present complicated materials for the lay reader.” — Los Angeles Times


In a bold and provocative interpretation of economic history, Matt Ridley, the New York Times-bestselling author of Genome and The Red Queen, makes the case for an economics of hope, arguing that the benefits of commerce, technology, innovation, and change—what Ridley calls cultural evolution—will inevitably increase human prosperity. Fans of the works of Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel), Niall Ferguson (The Ascent of Money), and Thomas Friedman (The World Is Flat) will find much to ponder and enjoy in The Rational Optimist.

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Liberty Portal is a gateway for free markets and free thinking. We aggregate open-sourced content to promote and popularize important lessons from economics, philosophy, history and more.
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Lysander Spooner
No Treason: The Constitution Of No Authority
No Treason: The Constitution Of No Authority
"But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain --- that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." Lysander Spooner
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Robert Murphy
The Politically Incorrect Guide To Capitalism
The Politically Incorrect Guide To Capitalism
Most commonly accepted economic "facts" are wrong Here's the unvarnished, politically incorrect truth. The liberal media and propagandists masquerading as educators have filled the world--and deformed public policy--with politically correct errors about capitalism and economics in general. In The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to Capitalism, myth-busting professor Robert P. Murphy, a scholar and frequent speaker at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, cuts through all their nonsense, shattering liberal myths and fashionable socialist cliches to set the record straight. Murphy starts with a basic explanation of what capitalism really is, and then dives fearlessly into hot topics like:
* Outsourcing (why it's good for Americans) and zoning restrictions (why they're not)

* Why central planning has never worked and never will

* How prices operate in a free market (and why socialist schemes like rent control always backfire)

* How labor unions actually hurt workers more than they help them

* Why increasing the minimum wage is always a bad idea

* Why the free market is the best guard against racism

* How capitalism will save the environment--and why Communist countries were the most polluted on earth

* Raising taxes: why it is never "responsible"

* Why no genuine advocate for the downtrodden could endorse the dehumanizing Welfare State

* The single biggest myth underlying the public's support for government regulation of business

* Antitrust suits: usually filed by firms that lose in free competition

* How tariffs and other restrictions "protect" privileged workers but make other Americans poorer

* The IMF and World Bank: why they don't help poor countries

* Plus: Are you a capitalist pig? Take the quiz and find out! Breezy, witty, but always clear, precise, and elegantly reasoned, The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to Capitalism is a solid and entertaining guide to free market economics. With his twelve-step plan for understanding the free market, Murphy shows why conservatives should resist attempts to socialize America and fight spiritedly for the free market.
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Murray Rothbard
What Has Government Done To Our Money
What Has Government Done To Our Money
When this gem first appeared in 1963, it took the form of a small paperback designed for mass distribution. We've conjured up that spirit again with this special edition of Rothbard's primer on money and government. Innumerable economists, investors, commentators, and authors have learned from this book through the decades. After fifty years, it remains the best book in print on the topic, a real manifesto of sound money. Rothbard boils down the Austrian theory to its essentials. The book also made huge theoretical advances. Rothbard was the first to prove that the government, and only the government, can destroy money on a mass scale, and he showed exactly how they go about this dirty deed. But just as importantly, it is beautifully written. He tells a thrilling story because he loves the subject so much. The passion that Murray feels for the topic comes through in the prose and transfers to the reader. Readers become excited about the subject, and tell others. Students tell professors. Some, like the great Ron Paul of Texas, have even run for political office after having read it. Rothbard shows precisely how banks create money out of thin air and how the central bank, backed by government power, allows them to get away with it. He shows how exchange rates and interest rates would work in a true free market. When it comes to describing the end of the gold standard, he is not content to describe the big trends. He names names and ferrets out all the interest groups involved. Since Rothbard's death, scholars have worked to assess his legacy, and many of them agree that this little book is one of his most important. Though it has sometimes been inauspiciously packaged and is surprisingly short, its argument took huge strides toward explaining that it is impossible to understand public affairs in our time without understanding money and its destruction.
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