Friday, December 29, 2006

Where The New York Times Is Coming From

Below are the headlines of four obituaries that have run in The New York Times. The first is that of the recent obituary of the Anti-Communist Augusto Pinochet. The next three are those of the obituaries of the Communist mass murderers Mao, Stalin, and Lenin. Please be sure to note how many are described as having ruled by terror.

December 11, 2006, Augusto Pinochet, Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies at 91
September 10, 1976, Friday, . . . Mao Tse-tung Dies in Peking at 82; Leader of Red China's Revolution

March 6, 1953, Friday, Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State; RUTHLESS IN MOVING TO GOALS
January 24, 1924, Thursday, ENORMOUS CROWDS VIEW LENIN'S BODY AS IT LIES IN STATE; Wait Hours in Snow and Zero Temperature Outside Moscow Nobles' Club. COFFIN CARRIED FIVE MILES Members of Council of Commissars Stagger Under Load, Refusing Gun Caisson. LENIN CALLED A CHRISTIAN Archbishop Summons Synod to Declare Founder of Bolshevism Member of Church. ENORMOUS CROWDS VIEW LENIN'S BODY
In these headlines we find utter condemnation of a dictator who was relatively mild as dictators go, but who was Anti-Communist; his leading characteristic was allegedly rule by “Terror.”

In contrast, in the case of Communist mass murderers we find non-judgmental tolerance in the headlines, along with a studious refusal to mention the incalculably greater terrors they caused. More than that, we find positive esteem and enthusiasm in the headlines for the Communist mass murderers. Thus Mao was the “Leader of Red China’s Revolution”; Stalin allegedly transformed “Russia Into Mighty Socialist State”; and Lenin’s funeral was described as a phenomenon of near worshipful enthusiasm: “…COFFIN CARRIED FIVE MILES Members of Council of Commissars Stagger Under Load, Refusing Gun Caisson…”

It is patterns such as this that lead some people to think that the reporting of The New York Times is colored by its politics and that the color of its politics is red.

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More on Pinochet and Marxism: The Necessity of Evil Means to Achieve Socialism

Some of the responses to my post on General Pinochet have reminded me that along with the fable of Santa Claus and his reindeer, which is so prominent right now because it is the Christmas Season, there is another fable that is still going around. And while the Santa Claus fable is innocent, serving merely to entertain small children, this one is definitely not innocent, but positively vicious. It is the fable that those who are responsible for the attempt to socialize a country’s economic system, such as Chile’s, are well-intentioned and therefore deserve to be immune from bodily harm and certainly do not deserve ever to be killed.

According to this fable, in a country such as Chile under Allende, Marxist boys and girls are happily singing and dancing, their faces glowing with love of the downtrodden, while they attempt the joyous task of building a socialist economic system. To be sure, there are also dark forces at work in the fable: again and again, wherever the innocent and happy Marxists go and accomplish their work—Soviet Russia, Communist China, Cuba, and all the other various satellites—impoverishment, enslavement, and mass murder inexplicably always seem to follow.

Of course, according to the fable, this cannot have anything to do with the nature of socialism and the actions of the Marxists who establish it. It just happens. Equally inexplicably, unless it be simply because of their evil nature, mean, nasty men appear, who for no good reason lay hold of the innocent Marxists and beat and kill them, as did Pinochet’s soldiers in Chile in response to the Marxists’ attempt to socialize the economy of that country. What a horror, what an outrage against good and innocent Marxists! Such evil surely deserves to be severely punished!

End of fable.

I have made it part of my life’s work to throw intellectual ice water in the faces of people who have allowed themselves to become so deluded as to accept such a fable. And here, straight from my book Capitalism, is a good-sized bucketful of that intellectual ice water:

“Let us begin by considering the means employed to achieve socialism. We observe two phenomena that are not unrelated. First, wherever socialism has actually been enacted, as in the Communist-bloc countries and Nazi Germany, violent and bloody means have been used to achieve it and/or maintain it. And, second, where socialist parties have come to power but abstained from wholesale violence and bloodshed, as in Great Britain, Israel, and Sweden, they have not enacted socialism, but retained a so-called mixed economy, which they did not radically or fundamentally alter. Let us consider the reasons for these facts.

“Even if a socialist government were democratically elected, its first act in office in implementing socialism would have to be an act of enormous violence, namely, the forcible expropriation of the means of production. The democratic election of a socialist government would not change the fact that the seizure of property against the will of its owners is an act of force. A forcible expropriation of property based on a democratic vote is about as peaceful as a lynching based on a democratic vote. It is a cardinal violation of individual rights. The only way that socialism could truly come into existence by peaceful means would be if property owners voluntarily donated their property to the socialist state. But consider. If socialism had to wait for property owners to voluntarily donate their property to the state, it would almost certainly have to wait forever. If socialism is ever to exist, therefore, it can only come about by means of force—force applied on a massive scale, against all private property.

“Further, in the case of the socialization of the entire economic system, as opposed to that of an isolated industry, no form of compensation to the property owners is possible. In the case of an isolated nationalization, the government can largely compensate the former owners by taxing the rest of the property owners to some extent. If the government seizes all property, however, and simply abolishes private ownership, then there is just no possibility of compensation. The government simply steals everyone’s property lock, stock, and barrel. In these circumstances, property owners will almost certainly resist and try to defend their rights by force if necessary, as they properly should.

“This explains why it takes the Communists to achieve socialism, and why the Social Democrats always fail to achieve socialism. The Communists, in effect, know that they are out to steal all of men’s property from them and that if they expect to succeed, they had better come armed and prepared to kill the property owners, who will attempt to defend their rights. The Social Democrats, on the other hand, are held back by fear from taking the steps that would be necessary to achieve socialism.

“In sum, the essential facts are these. Socialism must commence with an enormous act of theft. Those who seriously want to steal must be prepared to kill those whom they plan to rob. In effect, the Social Democrats are mere con men and pickpockets, who engage in empty talk about pulling the `big job’—socialism—someday, and who flee before the first sign of resistance by their intended victims. The Communists, on the other hand, are serious about pulling the `big job.’ They are armed robbers prepared to commit murder. This is why the Communists are able to implement socialism. Of the two, only the Communists are willing to employ the bloody means that are necessary to implement socialism.”

The preceding paragraphs appear on pp. 282-283 of Capitalism. For explanations of the necessity of terror, forced labor, and mass murder under socialism, such as characterized the bloody history of the Soviet Union, Communist China, and the numerous Communist satellites, see pp. 283-290 of

The above analysis applies to Chile at the time of General Pinochet’s coup. At that time, President Allende, despite having been elected with only 36 percent of the vote, was aggressively pressing ahead, as even The New York Times’ largely hostile
obituary admits, “with a Socialist program to nationalize mines, banks and strategic industries, split up large rural estates into communal farms, and impose price controls.” (Not surprisingly, such measures, as The Times notes, “soon resulted in steep declines in production, shortages of consumer goods and explosive inflation.”)

The essential point here is that a massive armed robbery on the part of the Marxist Allende government was actually in progress. It possessed armed “militias” and was using them to seize people’s property. According to The Wall Street Journal’s
obituary, the regime was also acting in clear defiance of the Chilean Supreme Court, which denounced it for “`an open and willful contempt of judicial decisions’” that created the threat of an “`imminent breakdown of legality.’”

So long as Marxists are content merely to write, speak, and otherwise fantasize about the destruction of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, they have every right to be left alone, just as every one else has who harms no one but himself. But when they begin to act out their fantasy in the real world and commit armed robbery, which, as I have shown, is the only means of achieving their goal, then they forfeit their rights, including their right to life.

The right to life, liberty, and property, which every man possesses, carries with it the right to self-defense. Exercise of the right of self-defense includes killing those who are an imminent threat to one’s life. It includes killing those who are an imminent threat to one’s life in one’s attempt to defend one’s property, which is what armed robbers always are, Marxist or otherwise. If the Marxists killed or beaten in Chile had wanted to avoid such treatment, they should have stayed home, written another book or article, given another lecture or speech, or gone to another protest meeting or rally. They should not have set out to steal other people’s property.

True enough, all the writing, speaking, and peaceful protest in the world have no prospect of ever achieving socialism, because they will never persuade very many people to voluntarily donate their property to a socialist state. So at bottom, it must all be futile, unless at some point it erupts into violent action.

The implication of this is that unless Marxists can be satisfied, as the Social Democrats have apparently learned to be, with merely partial and largely token movement toward their goal, such as provided by the establishment and expansion of the welfare state, they are doomed to permanent frustration. At the same time, those of them who continue to be committed to the actual achievement of their goal of socialism, cannot be expected to tolerate such frustration permanently. At some point, it would seem, almost inevitably, they must erupt into violent action, because that is the only path that can ever achieve their goal.

Such Marxists, such socialists, i.e., the serious, dedicated ones, are not at all saints or martyrs, but dangerous people with a criminal mentality.

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

General Augusto Pinochet Is Dead

On Sunday, December 10, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile died, at the age of 91. General Pinochet deserves to be remembered for having rescued his country from becoming the second Soviet satellite in the Western hemisphere, after Castro’s Cuba, and, like the Soviet Union, and Cuba under Castro, a totalitarian dictatorship.

The General is denounced again and again for the death or disappearance of over 3,000 Chilean citizens and the alleged torture of thousands more. It may well be that some substantial number of innocent Chilean citizens did die or disappear or otherwise suffered brutal treatment as the result of his actions. But in a struggle to avoid the establishment of a Communist dictatorship, it is undoubtedly true that many or most of those who died or suffered were preparing to inflict a far greater number of deaths and a vastly larger scale of suffering on their fellow citizens.

Their deaths and suffering should certainly not be mourned, any more than the deaths of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, and their helpers should be mourned. Had there been a General Pinochet in Russia in 1918 or Germany in 1933, the people of those countries and of the rest of the world would have been incomparably better off, precisely by virtue of the death, disappearance, and attendant suffering of vast numbers of Communists and Nazis. Life and liberty are positively helped by the death and disappearance of such mortal enemies. Their absence from the scene means the absence of such things as concentration camps, and is thus ardently to be desired.

As for the innocent victims in Chile, their fate should overwhelmingly be laid at the door of the Communist plotters of totalitarian dictatorship. People have an absolute right to rise up and defend their lives, liberty, and property against a Communist takeover. In the process, they cannot be expected to make the distinctions present in a judicial process. They must act quickly and decisively to remove what threatens them. That is the nature of war. The fate of innocent bystanders, largely those who cannot be readily distinguished from the enemy, is the responsibility of the Communists. Had they not attempted to impose their totalitarian dictatorship, there would not have been any need to use force and violence to prevent them, and thus the innocent would not have suffered.

Contrary to the attitude of so many of today’s intellectuals, Communists do not have a right to murder tens of millions of innocent people and then to complain when their intended victims prevent their takeover and in the process kill some of them.

General Pinochet was undoubtedly no angel. No soldier can be. But he certainly was also no devil. In fact, if any comparison applies, it may well be one drawn from antiquity, namely, that of Cincinnatus, who saved the Roman Republic by temporarily becoming its dictator. Like Cincinnatus, General Pinochet voluntarily relinquished his dictatorship. He did so after both preventing a Communist takeover and imposing major pro-free-market reforms, inspired largely by Milton Friedman (who in large part was himself inspired by Ludwig von Mises). The effect of these reforms was to make Chile's the most prosperous and rapidly progressing economy in Latin America, Thereafter, in the words of his New York Times’—largely hostile—obituary, he used his remaining power to “set limits, for example, on economic policy debates with frequent warnings that he would not tolerate a return to statist measures.”

General Pinochet was thus one of the most extraordinary dictators in history, a dictator who stood for major limits on the power of the state, who imposed such limits, and who sought to maintain such limits after voluntarily giving up his dictatorship.

When General Pinochet stepped down, he did so with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for his actions while in power. However, the present and previous regime in Chile violated this agreement and sought to ensnare the General in a web of legal actions and law suits, making the last years of his life a period of turmoil. This was a clear violation of contract, comparable to the seizure of property in violation of contract. Not surprisingly the regimes in question were avowedly socialist. As a result of their breach, it is now considerably less likely that the world will soon see any other dictator voluntarily relinquish his power. The Chilean socialists will have taught him that to be secure, he must remain in power until he dies.


Dictatorship, like war, is always an evil. Like war, it can be justified only when it is necessary to prevent a far greater evil, namely, as in this case, the imposition of the far more comprehensive and severe, permanent totalitarian dictatorship of the Communists.

Despite the fact that General Pinochet was able to use his powers as dictator to enact major pro-free-market reforms, dictatorship should never be seen as justified merely as a means of instituting such reforms, however necessary and desirable they may be. Dictatorship is the most dangerous of political institutions and easily produces catastrophic results. This is because a dictator is not restrained by any need for public discussion and debate and thus can easily leap headlong into disasters that would have been avoided had there been the freedom to criticize his proposed actions and to oppose them. And even when his policies may be right, the fact that they are imposed in defiance of public opinion operates greatly to add to their unpopularity and thus to make permanent change all the more difficult.

On the basis of such considerations, when asked many years ago what he would do if he were appointed dictator, von Mises replied, “I would resign.”

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Friday, December 08, 2006

You Can’t Have Trans Fats Because They’re Bad for You, Says New York City’s Board of Health

In recent weeks, the New York City Board of Health has displayed a pattern of profound aggression against the citizens of New York City. I dealt with one major instance of this in my last article, “Pick Your Gender and We’ll Enforce Your Choice, Says New York City’s Board of Health.” There I explained how the Board’s proposed rule to allow individuals to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates, without the necessity of undergoing any actual physical change in their sex, would compel other individuals to deny the evidence of their senses in order to comply with the law.

The Board’s
banning, last Tuesday [December 5, 2006], of the use of trans fats in restaurants is a second instance in which the Board shows that it has no compunctions about violating the sanctity of the human mind and its freedom to judge and to choose. The freedom of choice of the citizen apparently means nothing to the Board. Like a curt parent controlling the choices of a child and expecting that his “No” will be sufficient, the Board has taken away the power of choice from adult citizens and told them they will no longer be able to obtain food in restaurants that is prepared with trans fats.

What allegedly justifies this behavior by the Board is the mere fact that trans fats have supposedly been scientifically proven to be unhealthy. As reported by The New York Times of October 31, according to one of the speakers at the Board’s hearing on the subject the day before, “at least 6 percent of the deaths from heart attacks in the nation could be attributed to consumption of trans fats. `Everything we have learned about trans fats is damaging.’”
The meaning of this is that if something is shown to be bad, nothing else is required to put an end to its consumption: no cognition on the part of the individual consumer, no choice on his part. These count for nothing according to the New York City Board of Health and its alleged experts. They can simply be ignored and brushed aside.

Ignoring matters of knowledge and understanding, of choice and will, of voluntary consent, is certainly an appropriate way to deal with inanimate objects. However, it is not an appropriate, or practical, way to deal with the more intelligent animals, let alone children. It is absolutely not an appropriate or practical way to deal with adult human beings. It is the kind of method employed by criminals. Matters such as choice, will, and consent mean nothing to them. A rapist is perhaps the clearest example. Now, with its high-handed banning of trans fats, the New York City Board of Health has shown that it provides another example.

Such outrageous behavior on the part of government has become so common and ingrained that it well might pass as believable if someone were to claim that the following was an actual government plan being considered for enactment.

“Within ninety days, every citizen must report to a government authorized physician to be weighed, measured, and interviewed. On the basis of the data so obtained, the physician will determine the appropriate diet for the citizen in terms of calories, fats, proteins, and every other relevant category of nutrition.

“Within a further ninety days, each citizen will receive a ration book containing weekly allotments for the various nutritional categories. In buying food in supermarkets, restaurants, or anywhere else, the citizen will have to turn over whatever portion of his weekly allotments correspond to the nutritional values of the foods being purchased. All sellers of food will be required to determine the nutritional values of the foods they sell, if they have not already been determined. It shall be illegal to purchase food without surrendering the necessary allotment coupons. It shall be illegal to buy or sell such coupons.

“These measures are necessary because diets and other voluntary methods simply do not work. People are getting too fat. Diabetes is increasing. The government’s cost of providing medical care is increasing correspondingly.

“This program is what good health requires. The government already regulates alcohol and tobacco. The regulation of fats, sugars, and all other nutritional elements is no less necessary.

“Because of this program, overweight people will finally be compelled to lose weight, whether they want to or not. Diabetes and heart disease will be reduced. Health in general will improve. People will live longer.”

Such a program is implicit in the ideas people already accept. Indeed, nutritional values must already be printed on the packaging of practically all foods sold in supermarkets and grocery stores. At the same meeting at which it outlawed trans fats, the New York City Board of Health added a requirement that the calorie content of each food item be posted on the menus of hundreds of restaurants. It thus may well be only a question of time before such a program is actually proposed. If and when it is, there is presently no basis for expecting any principled opposition to it. The opponents will likely be of the kind who’ll think they’ve won a profound victory for “free markets” if they can make the ration coupons tradable.

The only basis of serious opposition is acceptance of the principle that there is something more fundamental and more important than mere physical health, that is, more important than the condition of man’s body considered as a mere hunk of mindless meat. And that is respect for the value of the human mind and of the individual’s freedom to act on the judgment of his mind. That is the principle for which libertarians must stand.

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Pick Your Gender and We’ll Enforce Your Choice, Says New York City’s Board of Health

Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.

Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent.

Applicants would have to have changed their name and shown that they had lived in their adopted gender for at least two years, but there would be no explicit medical requirements.

The meaning of these statements is that if you’re a man and want badly enough to be a woman, or if you’re a woman and want badly enough to be a man, in New York City you soon will be able to be so. In New York City, at least according to the city’s government, wishing to possess a different gender will actually make it so.

The Times confirms this judgment when it explains that “the proposed change … is an outgrowth of the transgender community’s push to recognize that some people may not have money to get a sex-change operation, while others may not feel the need to undergo the procedure and are simply defining themselves as members of the opposite sex.”

So, in New York City, starting soon if this rule is adopted, all you’ll have to do is define yourself as a member of the opposite sex and, according to the city’s government, you’ll be a member of the opposite sex. True, this isn’t strictly all that’s required. You’ll have to change your name appropriately, e.g., from Al to Alice, or from Samantha to Sam. And you’ll have to show that you’ve lived in your “adopted gender” for two years.

Please observe. This is not a matter of individuals being free to indulge in their sexual fantasies in their own bedrooms or in private clubs, or in any other private facility whose owner is willing to allow it to be used for such a purpose, whether it be a bar, a hotel, or an athletic stadium for that matter. No one who upholds private property rights can make objection to such a thing, irrespective of his personal evaluation of such behavior.

What is present in the rule being considered by New York City’s Board of Health is an attempt to forcibly impose the fantasy of some people on everyone else. It is an attempt to elevate fantasy to the level of actual reality and to compel everyone else to accept it as though it were reality.

The validity of this conclusion is demonstrated by The Times’ account of a young man who claims to be female and who said “she wanted a new birth certificate to prevent confusion, and to keep teachers, police officers and other authority figures from embarrassing her in public or accusing her of identity theft.” The Times recounts that when this individual recently visited a welfare office, “she included a note with her application for public assistance asking that she be referred to as Ms. when her turn for an interview came up. It did not work. The woman handling her case repeatedly addressed her as Mister.” The Times also states that “[t]he eight experts who addressed the birth certificate issue strongly recommended that the change be made, for the practical reasons [this individual] identified.”

What New York City’s Board of Health’s new rule would do would be to compel whoever handled such a case to refer to this young man as a woman, to call her “Ms.” and in every other respect treat her as a woman. Refusal to do so would necessarily constitute an actionable offense of some kind. For it would be refusing to comply with an official, governmental designation and doing so to the alleged hurt and humiliation of the person so designated. Refusal in such circumstances would have aspects of a “hate crime.”

Everyone who came into contact with an individual officially designated as a member of the opposite sex, and who refused to accept that designation, could potentially be accused of some form of hate crime. Supermarket checkers, cab drivers, waiters, repairmen, sales help of all kinds, and landlords and their employees, would all be at risk, along with doctors and nurses, policemen and firemen, and numerous other categories of people.

To comply with the law and avoid possible prosecution, people would be put in a position in which they would have to deny the evidence of their senses. Confronted with someone obviously belonging to one sex but claiming to be a member of the opposite sex and officially so designated, they would be compelled by the law to deny what they saw with their own eyes and to affirm as true what they knew to be false. Thus, what the New York City Board of Health is setting the stage for is the forcible violation of the human mind. In spirit, but on a far more mundane scale that can show up in the everyday lives of ordinary people, it is the heir to those who threatened Galileo because of his loyalty to the facts.

In its vicious treatment of Galileo, the Catholic Church claimed that it was acting to defend the foundations of theology and morality, which it believed required the anthropocentric view of the solar system that Galileo overthrew. What the New York City Board of Health is acting to defend is nothing nearly so grand. What it is acting to defend is a mere species of literal insanity: the insanity of fantasy indulged not now and then for a few minutes or a few hours, in the knowledge that it is fantasy, but raised to the level of a day-in, day-out way of life and regarded as reality. It wants to impose on everyone who may come into contact with those suffering from such delusion an obligation to participate in the delusion and to affirm that it is not delusion but reality.

A classic illustration of insanity is someone believing that he is Napoleon Bonaparte. The same logic that is present in its proposed new rule on gender identity would require the New York City Board of Health to certify such an individual not as insane, but as Napoleon. If someone changed his name to Napoleon Bonaparte, walked around in replicas of Napoleon’s uniforms, with his right hand always tucked into his tunic, and called his wife “Josephine,” and did such things for two years, he would have to be certified as being Napoleon by New York City’s Board of Health and the New York City government, if they were logically consistent.

If the New York City Board of Health does in fact enact its proposed rule on gender identity, its members who vote for the rule will have demonstrated a major loss of their own capacity to distinguish between fantasy and reality. They will deserve not only to be thrown out of office but also, it could reasonably be argued, to be committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Of course, it is next to impossible that they would be committed, because the source of the rule they are considering is none other than New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In New York City, the inmates, or those who arguably should be inmates, are literally running the asylum.

Of course, it is an unjustified act of physical force to commit anyone against his will to a psychiatric hospital who has not himself previously initiated the use of physical force. And this applies to those who believe they are members of the gender opposite to their own. It also applies to those who may believe they are Napoleon.

So long as they do not initiate the use of force, they should be free to come and go as they please. But by the same token, no one should ever be threatened with the use of physical force merely for refusing to support their delusions or for contradicting them. That threat of physical force is what is coming out of New York City’s Board of Health.

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.