College Isn’t For Everyone: One Young Woman’s Story

On paper, Raelee Nicholson would seem like the perfect candidate for a four-year college. Scoring in the 88th percentile on her college boards and receiving straight A’s in all of her honors courses, Nicholson is an excellent student. But as summer approaches and her years spent at her public high school in the south of Pittsburgh come to an end, Nicholson is not getting ready to start at a four-year university. In fact, she isn’t even planning on enrolling at a community college.

Independent Minds Discover The Flexible Fabric of Reality.

Grueling science has taught us that the relationship between space and time is like a flexible fabric that should be understood and appreciated. Science also teaches us that the relationship between creative minds and free markets is also a flexible fabric, but need not be so grueling to discover.

How Society Benefits from the Self-Interest of the Individual

Critics like to characterize individualists as hermits, unwilling to work with the rest of society and preoccupied with their own self-interest. To be sure, self-interest does play an integral role in the classical liberal tradition. But this does not make its followers antisocial by any means. In fact, without society, our self-interests could not feasibly be served. And without self-interest, society’s ends could not be met either.

How Pure Economics Will Dethrone Politics.

Without the hierarchical power of coercive government, policy-makers would have no policies to make, and there would be no wheeling and dealing with capital owners. The former would need to contribute to the economy rather than be a burden on it, and the latter would be strictly servants of consumers.

Why Self-Improvement and Self-Governance Go Hand in Hand

Without the ability to govern ourselves, it leaves an opening for the government to swoop in and assume responsibility for our lives. This might be why so many individualists and liberty-minded people are also deeply interested in the field of self-improvement and personal growth: One of the best ways to teach others that government force is not needed is to show how self-sufficient we can be without it.

When Uber Left Austin: How Regulations Negatively Impact Consumers

Before Uber came to town in 2014, Austin Police Department’s data showed that the city had an average of 525 drunk driving arrests per month. When these numbers were revisited a year after ridesharing came to Austin, drunk driving arrests had dropped by five percent. This trend continued the following year when the number of drunk driving arrests dropped by an additional 12 percent, bringing the average number of arrests to about 438 per month.

Crowdfunding College Tuition Is a Better Option Than Student Loans

The student loan crisis is a serious issue in this country, especially for the many Millennials struggling to make monthly student loan payments. It is currently estimated that 70 percent of all Americans graduating with bachelor’s degrees will leave college with a burden of debt on their shoulders. Left with the prospect of making student loan payments for years after they finish their degrees, many students are looking for new avenues to fund their education that does not require federal student loans.

This State Just Passed A Law Protecting Free-Range Kids

When we allow children to be children, what we are really allowing them to do is become their own unique individuals. Laws that prohibit children from being independent do little but squash this spirit of individualism and increase a child’s need for arbitrary authority. But thanks to Utah, we might soon be seeing more states protecting the rights of free-range children.

How the Regulatory State Hurts Small Business Owners

Interestingly enough, the closure of China Fun coincided with the implementation of New York’s new increased minimum wage policy, which is set to incrementally rise each year until it reaches $15 an hour by 2021. As Albert Wu, the son of China Fun owners Dorothea and Felix Wu explained, these types of costly mandates have forced the restaurant to significantly raise its prices over the years.

Cryptocurrency Is Completely Decentralizing the Film Industry, and It's Wonderful

The forthcoming series, Hardfork is unlike any other series around today. Set in a dystopian future, the series incorporates blockchain and cryptocurrencies into its storyline. The series tells the story of a radical group of rebels who utilize blockchain technology in order to hack the powers that be in order to bring the entire system down. But its content alone isn’t what makes it so spectacular. Hardfork is also the first series whose funding is being raised solely in cryptocurrency.  

The "Netflix Effect" and the Wonders of Creative Destruction

As new technology emerges, there is always less of a need, and thus less consumer demand, for older and outdated models. The carriage was replaced by the car, manual labor was replaced by industrial machinery, the typewriter was replaced by the computer, and Blockbuster Video was replaced by Netflix. The key thing to remember is that with each of these innovative changes, the consumer won by gaining access to better goods and services.

The Handmaid's Tale Is a Collectivist Dystopia

Instead of arguing amongst each other and using hyperbole to further political agendas, the American people would be wise to realize that the mere existence of state power will always leave individuals open to an oppression that reeks of dystopia.

Seattle's New "Employment Tax" Ignores Economic Logic

All actions have consequences, and when those actions are meant to control the economy, the consequences can have far reaching implications. In his essay “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen,” French economist Frédéric Bastiat explained that all government actions have consequences that are both immediately seen, and also consequences that are unseen.

When Missed Student Loan Payments Prevent You from Working

Currently, 19 states reserve the right to strip you of your occupational license if you default on your student loans. If you strip someone of their ability to work, you are not increasing the likelihood that they will pay the loan back. In fact, you are making it increasingly difficult to do so.

Could Crypto Investors Help Rebuild Puerto Rico's Economy?

These investors also hope to promote sustainable living by teaching locals how to grow their own food and produce renewable energy. But it does not end there, by introducing the people of Puerto Rico to the crypto economy, these investors hope to help the locals safeguard their financial futures. The hope is that “Sol” becomes one of the first cities to completely adopt the burgeoning crypto economy, setting the way for the rest of the world.

Expert Planning Takes On Bike Sharing And Blows A Tire.

The expert plan for enhancing Velib bike-sharing has earned a lot of detractors and so it will get more expert planning. Iowa has earned a lot of fans for its hospitality, rolling terrain, and network of two lane paved roads. They were never planned for cycling and no one complains.

Why “Neutrality” Is Nonsense.

The drive for “political neutrality” is near the heart of socialist philosophy. Socialism aims to treat society as a science experiment, in which its subjects – human minds – are closed to unforeseen changes in information. Since we humans cannot immediately “explain ourselves,” socialism has to envision the world as a completely static picture. This is the only way political “neutrality” can be exercised.

How the Free Market Is Innovating Emergency Services

Unfortunately for those who see the state as the sole solution to every problem, they neglect to acknowledge the plethora of information that surrounds them daily, proving that just because the government does offer a service, doesn’t mean they should, nor does it mean they are the most competent at doing so.

What Bernie Sanders Doesn't Understand About Employment Growth

There can be no doubt that Senator Sanders has only the best of intentions when it comes to his employment proposal. Most of us would all like to see lower rates of unemployment across the country. But that does not mean we ignore economic realities in order to chase the dream of “employment for all.”

The Real Reason Tax Day Was April 17th This Year

Historically, April 15th has been the day that Americans dread all year long. And while most of us were relieved at the prospect of having a few extra days to worry about getting our taxes filed this year, few of us bothered to ask why tax day had been moved.

Female Entrepreneurs Are Taking the Lead in This Burgeoning Market

According to research done by Marijuana Business Daily, 36 percent of the industry’s executive positions are held by women. On its face value this may not appear to be a giant leap forward for womankind, but when compared to other fields it becomes obvious that there is something truly unique about women in the marijuana industry.

Physical Retail Stores Are Getting Smarter about Competing with Amazon

Healthy competition makes every single one of us better. It allows us to come to terms with our limitations so that we may push ourselves to achieve bigger, better things. And it is precisely this competition that fuels market innovation. But unfortunately, competition is not always preferable for businesses that have been around forever and thus, feel as though they have earned some sort of market tenure.

Why Is the Cost of College Tuition Becoming So Pricey?

Over the last decade, college tuition has risen over 40 percent across the board. With such a drastic increase in tuition, many students have turned to the government to subsidize their education costs. However, with the total amount of American student loan debt now surpassing the total amount of American credit card debt, there can be no denying that there is something seriously wrong with our system of higher education.

Exponential Growth In Entrepreneurship: #1 Repeal Of Scale Economics

Increasingly, the best talent is all over the world, so increasingly the whole idea is the guy who wins is the guy who pulls together the best team wherever they come from, and actually knows what they are doing, and finds the signal in the noise, and gets out there first. And, if you can do that, you can create a billion-dollar business today.

The Inconvenient Truth about Nordic Socialism

By its very definition socialism exists when the state controls the means of production. However, this definition does not apply to the Nordic model. In these countries, the means of production are primarily owned by private entities and not the government, something Sanders is strictly opposed to.

6 Pillars Of Individual Economics For The 21st Century

The unit of analysis for economics is the individual. If economics is to be a useful science, it will help individuals to make better decisions for themselves, in the context of productive collaboration with others. Let’s just help shed light on good economic decision making.

How You Can Be An Entrepreneurial Employee.

Is it possible to live the entrepreneurial life when employed by a firm? Yes (despite what Taleb believes) because the entrepreneurial life is an attitude and a style and a way of managing the future that you can bring to any context.

What The Free Market Can Do For Prescription Drugs

For several years, Dr. Josh Umbehr has been sending emails to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos every other week. An admitted “fanboy,” of Bezos and his successful business endeavors, Umbehr believes Amazon has the potential to completely change the way consumers purchase prescription drugs.

Road to Individualism: Charting Our Own Career Course

Patreon has brought that same principle into the modern world. Now, independent journalist, writers, vloggers, and other artists are able to produce work while accepting funds from patrons who have a vested interest in the work. This has helped many make lucrative careers while pursuing what they love to do.

Trump’s Tariffs: A Practical Attempt To Alleviate A Pestilence Of Politics.

There is not a single trade that is not governed by legislation, bureaucratic rule making, taxes, tariffs or subsidies or political adjustments of some kind. No boat can sale, no plane can fly, no truck can deliver without political permission. Giant global bureaucracies make sure that not a single transaction can be made without a specific permission within their rule making.

Music, Specialization, and the Beauty of Emergent Order

I had the fortunate pleasure of growing up surrounded by supremely talented musicians. Raised in a community where music was highly valued, I was exposed to a wide variety of instruments and genres. But what was most exciting about this in hindsight, was the lessons music taught me about spontaneous order.

Mises Knew That Capitalism is for Everyone

Capitalism has allowed wealth to be created while also creating abundant value in the lives of all those who reap the benefits of innovation: which is every single actor involved in the market process, both consumer and creator.

Trump And Hayek: On The Same Page.

Progressives' goal is the entire reconstruction of society, and their views are a threat to civilization, says Hayek. Conservatives err when they try to maintain their own personal standing within the existing order without resisting this anti-civilizational crusade.

The Fight Continues: Keynes and Hayek on Prices

Selgin explains that Hayek, “believed that the general level of output prices should be allowed to vary in response to changes in factor productivity, falling in response to both anticipated and unanticipated improvements in productivity, and rising in response to any productivity setback."

Liveblogging Mises' Economic Classic, "Liberalism"

Having set a goal to read all the economic classics I never got around to, Mises’ Liberalism was high on my reading list. Utterly exhausted yet intrigued after liveblogging F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, I was ready for a change of writing style while still exploring the roots of classical liberalism.

Trump At The Margin: Why The Market Goes Up.

Professor Skousen relates marginal value to investing in the stock market. First, all prices on the stock market are created by a relatively few marginal buyers and sellers. Only a few of them call their broker or click the trade button on their E-Trade dashboard on any given day. Therefore, it takes only a marginal shift in investor sentiment to change the direction or accelerate the movement of stock prices on that day.

This Year, Make a Resolution to Celebrate Failure

Instead of getting bogged down by failure because you were not able to fully cut sugar from your diet or because you failed to visit the gym as often as you had hoped, why not treat your own life like the market and celebrate failure as a tool for growth.

Are You Entrepreneurial? Self-Assess These 8 Attributes.

The emergent technologies of A.I., cloud computing, and global talent and commerce platforms will place increased demands on each of us to define our specialist value, specialist skills and specialist contribution in the interconnected global economy. These are the aptitudes required to meet those demands.

Most Americans Disapprove Of Our Decayed Institutions. (So Let’s Innovate.)

Spontaneous order is the happy result that emerges as the best outcome for all participants when there is no government, no hierarchy, no control and no central direction, just a few general rules that apply to everyone equally. When systems are left to operate under these conditions, order emerges. There's now a process that captures the concept: inverse design.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy and the Price of Foreign Policy

There are innumerable reasons to oppose any continuation or escalation of the American occupation of Afghanistan. But disregarding the most important deterrent, the loss of human life, and even more specifically, innocent civilian life, there is one economic principle that screams out from the text of a recent Trump’s speech on America’s involvement in Afghanistan: The sunk cost fallacy.

Networking And Knowing: What Digital Entrepreneurs Do.

Digital entrepreneurs - "inno-mediaries" - are shaping markets as they create the new ways of developing, diffusing and using knowledge, and new ways to generate and promote innovation. They encourage new innovators to enter into the co-creation of innovation by enabling new practices through the use of diverse resources.

Preface: Why I Chose to Live-Blog The Road to Serfdom

There can be no denying the important role that F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom has played on the study of free market economics. And while the book is responsible for swaying public opinion and presenting an alternative to centrally planned economies, the book was written in such a way that may be hard for many modern readers to comprehend. And many suspect that Hayek may have actually intended the book to be this way.

The Fight Continues: The Differences between Keynes and Hayek

John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek are two of the most controversial economic figures of the 20th century. Both made huge contributions to the field of economics and both stand in direct opposition to each other, which is one reason why they have presented such a fascinating juxtaposition over the last century.

How a Classic Christmas Movie Can Teach Us about Human Action

As a Millennial, I will admit that I’ve never seen the original Miracle on 34thStreet. However, the 1994 remake of the film holds a special place in my heart. While watching the film again for the first time in almost 15 years, I realized something I had never noticed before: the film is a wonderful lesson in human action and the basic principles of free market economics.

Lessons from the Road to Serfdom

The lessons that can be learned from F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom are so numerous it would be almost impossible to list them all. But after taking the time to dive into this classic piece of economic literature, I compiled a list of what I consider to be the most important lessons one can learn while strolling down The Road to Serfdom.

The Road to Serfdom Shows Us That What Is past Is Prologue

When I decided to read and live-blog The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek, I will admit I did not fully understand what I had signed up to do. Reading excerpts from the book is one thing, but endeavoring to read the book in its entirety and also write my accompanying thoughts was an entirely different feat altogether.

Hayek Warns of the International Road to Serfdom

In the previous chapter of The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek spelled out his concerns for the problems facing America in the aftermath of WWII. Moving away from discussing domestic policy, in chapter 15, “The Prospects of International Order” Hayek discusses the grave problems associated with global governance.

Hayek Was Right, Welfare Is False Philanthropy at Its Finest

In chapter 14 of The Road to Serfdom, “Material Conditions and Ideal Ends,” Hayek focuses on the path forward now that the Second World War was coming to an end. Specifically, he explains that calling on the state to coercively act in the name of the “greater good” is not a moral act worthy of praise.

Chaos on the Road Is More Orderly Than You Think

To most people, an “anything goes” approach on the road seems crazy, to say the least. And why shouldn’t it?Cars weigh thousands of pounds and once moving at high speeds are essentially large deathtraps all charging towards each other. On its own, this concept is concerning enough without having to imagine what would happen in the absence of all traffic signals. How would cars know when to stop and when to go?

England Inches Down the Road to Serfdom

England, which, as explained in the last chapter, represented the origin of individualist thought, had steadily been heading down a similar road as Germany had in the decades prior to WWII. While it may have taken a different form, when looked at from the perspective of totalitarianism in all things economic, England, as it stood in 1944, had taken swift strides away from liberalism and instead found itself headed in the direction of complete central authority.

Perhaps Liberty Is No Longer The Right Word

Americans just want a better chance of achieving success themselves – they do not want redistributive government policies, they want ones that give everyone a fair shot at success, reflecting bedrock American belief in the individual’s ability to succeed through hard work.

Education Is the State's Greatest Tool for Propaganda

In chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom, Hayek describes how some of the worst people always end up rising to the top of the political heap. Continuing to touch on this theme in the eleventh chapter, Hayek digs even deeper and discusses the control of information and the very basis of truth in a planned society.

What Uber Can Teach Us about Scarcity and Choice

Every so often, stories of outrageous surge pricing in the ridesharing industry make their way around the internet. As these stories typically go, a rider was shocked upon reaching their final destination to find that they were charged sometimes hundreds of dollars for a trip that might normally cost $20-30.

Individualism Is Win-Win. All The Other Theories Are Zero Sum.

Individualism wants everyone to be free and equally equipped at the beginning, in order to try their best, each in their own way. The market - the voluntary decisions of individuals to exchange goods and services in a win-win exchange - delivers a verdict on which efforts are worthy of reward by customer acceptance. Professor McCloskey calls the outcome of the process "trade-tested betterment".

We Invent New Institutions Every Day. Let The Old Ones Die.

The maturing technologies of cloud computing, cognitive computing, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, global exchange and logistics platforms can all provide the individual with self-directed, self-resourcing economic power. If the old institutions decay around us, we need not worry, because the new ones are forming and will serve us much better.

"Digital Leninism" Is The High Tech Threat To Individual Freedom.

Here at https//:centerforindividualism.org, we certainly believe that the emerging technologies of cloud computing, global exchange platforms, artificial intelligence and blockchain can augment individual capabilities and release us from collectivism and dependent relationships on governments and corporations. However, we also recognize that, in the hands of bad actors, there are modern technologies that can be employed for the opposite purpose: the subjection of individuals.

Institutions Decay, Technology Advances

Technology is fundamental to new learning strategies. In a sense, technology is the new institution. As the old institution decays, technology advances, responding to the changing needs and preferences of consumers.

Jay-Z: The Great American Entrepreneur

what is particularly fascinating about Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is that his success was built on the precepts of free market capitalism, without which he would have never risen above the circumstances he was born into.

We're Richer Than We Realize

Government statistics paint an excessively grim picture of what is happening to real wages and the growth of real national income. They overtly downplay increases in quality of life and the ever increasing value offered in the marketplace.
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