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The Free Market and Its Enemies : Pseudo-Science, Socialism, and Inflation

Ludwig von Mises, Richard M. Ebeling (Introduction)

Find this book at buch7.de | eurobuch.com | buchhandel.de | books.google.com ASIN=1572462086, Category: Economy, Language: E, cover: PB, pages: 112, year: 2004.

Book description
In the summer of 1951, Ludwig von Mises delivered a series of lectures at FEE. Bettina Bien Greaves, a FEE staff member at that time, took down Mises' lectures in shorthand and faithfully transcribed them into a full manuscript. It has remained unpublished until now. FEE proudly makes these lectures available to a new generation. For readers already familiar with some of Mises's works, these lectures at FEE offer a glimpse of Mises the teacher. For readers not familiar with his writings, these lectures offer an excellent starting point. Here Mises summarizes many of the central themes he developed in Human Action. Topics discussed include the crucial distinction between natural and social sciences; the fallacies of Marxism; the disastrous effects of inflation on the economy; the necessity of a stable monetary system backed by the gold standard; and the relationship between capitalism and human progress. Edited and with an introduction by Richard M. Ebeling (11 pages); 112 pages in total, including index.

[Addendum, Mar-2018] download (pdf)

Remarks © (2005) by interesting-books-selector.com:

These lectures are a nice complement of Mises' book Theory and History (1957), but "The Free Market and Its Enemies" is not introductory to the writings of Mises. My favorite Mises introduction is his lecture Economic Policy (1958).

Here are a few remarks and quotes from "The Free Market and Its Enemies" (those with proposed corrections were selected for correctional purpose only):

I believe Mises said "... beyond which the human mind can't go" which is confirmed by the sentences that follow the phrase quoted above. Further I doubt that it is necessary to make such a general statements on the limits of recognition of the human mind, since Mises' lectures were not intended to teach about philosophy or spiritual science. Concerning the limits of human consciousness, I highly recommend to read Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom.

Marx believed socialism is inevitable consequence of capitalism, but it is interesting to learn that he was not in favour of socialism, that he considered the striving of labor unions as hopeless, that (at least after the 1850s) he was opposed to social legislation and social security, and that Marx and Engels adviced the German government to vote

I wonder if Mises knew that the main problem with inflation is that if inflation is above a certain, determinable rate, companies can no longer be profitable after tax. Of course this could be called tragic problems but why not be more precise?
In The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom the inflationary effect on companies' return on equity (ROE) is shown; if a company returns zero to their owners (shareholders of a company), its operational business are valueless because inflation simply eats up all after tax earnings.

Even with interest rates still very low in 2005, inflation is picking up and an 8% inflation rate is not an unrealistic forcast for a few years from today; guess we could even look out above - but how many companies earn more than 12% on equity? Hagstrom's book also also explains why passing on cost of inflation to customers won't help.