Author: Jack Parkos

An Introduction to Time Preference

Jack Parkos | United States

Suppose someone offers to pay you 20 dollars. You have the choice to receive the money today or tomorrow. In choosing the former, you are like everyone else. You would prefer wealth sooner rather than later. This economic concept is Time Preference. Time Preference affirms that current satisfaction is preferred over future satisfaction. People would prefer not to wait for wealth when it is easily achievable now. Wealth could be monetary, assets, experience, etc.

“Satisfaction of a want in the nearer future is, other things being equal, preferred to that in the farther distant future. Present goods are more valuable than future goods” – Ludwig Von Mises

However, the choice is not always equal and simple. Suppose someone offers you 20 dollars today, or 30 dollars tomorrow. The choice becomes a bit more complicated. We see a divide in people with high time preference and those with low time preference. Someone with high time preference puts their focus on their present well being. They would take the 20 dollars today. On the other hand, A person with low time preference puts emphasis on future satisfaction. This person would take 30 dollars tomorrow. A good example would be comparing savers and spenders. Those with low time preference tend to save their money and make wiser investments. Those with high time preference are more likely to blow through cash.

Real World Examples

Criminals tend to have extremely high time preferences. They are not willing to work to obtain wealth as that involves waiting for future wealth (paychecks). They would rather steal to achieve wealth in the present.

Another example of high vs. low time preference is in the context of college students. One who chooses to stay in and study over going out and partying has a lower time preference. The reasoning being, there will be a future benefit; a better chance at a higher grade, meaning better opportunities down the road. On the other hand, one who chooses to go out has a higher time preference; they prefer the instant short term gratification of partying.

Furthermore, different goods could be preferable in the future than in the present. During winter, ice has a low demand and is preferable in future (summer). However, it still is a general rule people value current wealth to future wealth.

Different groups of people tend to have different levels on time preference. Age is one of the biggest factors in determining one’s time preference. Young children tend to have high time preferences as they are not concerned with the future. A child would likely spend all of his money on ice cream. Adults tend to have lower time preference as they need to save for the future. However, The elderly tend to have higher time preference as they have less time for future consumption. Moreover, someone who has (or is planning to have) kids tends to have lower time preference as they need to save for the future.

Relation to Interest

In “Man, Economy, and State”, Murray Rothbard writes

“The time-market schedules of all individuals are aggregated on the market to form market-supply and market-demand schedules for present goods in terms of future goods. The supply schedule will increase with an increase in the rate of interest, and the demand schedule will fall with the higher rates of interest. A typical aggregate market diagram may be seen in Figure 44. Aggregating the supply and demand schedules on the time market for all individuals in the market, we obtain curves such as SS and DD. DD is the demand curve for present goods in terms of the supply of future goods; it slopes rightward as the rate of interest falls. SS is the supply curve of present goods in terms of the demand for future goods; it slopes rightward as the rate of interest increases. The intersection of the two curves determines the equilibrium rate of interest—the rate of interest as it would tend to be in the evenly rotating economy. This pure rate of interest, then, is determined solely by the time preferences of the individuals in the society, and by no other factor”.

The Time Preference Theory of Intrest explains how rates relate to one’s time preference. Demand for capital is driven by investment and the supply of capital is driven by savings. Interest rates fluctuate, eventually reaching a level at which the supply of capital meets the demand for capital.

Relationship to Civilization

In “Democracy the God That Failed”, Hans Hermann Hoppe notions that concern for future wealth is a key to the prosperity of civilization. If the majority holds a low enough time preference for the process of production, civilization would then be able to thrive. When one allows someone to use capital and resources, an economy forms with Division of Labor and private property. As previously mentioned, criminals have high time preference and will steal resources, slowing down production.

Hoppe describes that the state also has a high time preference. The state violates property rights and steals resources to give to others. The recipients in turn usually also have a high time preference. Hoppe describes this as “decivilizing”.

Time preference is arguably one of the most important parts of economic thought. It is the foundation of saving and interest. Furthermore, it distinguishes spending and saving.

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Baltimore Unanimously Votes Against Armed Police in Schools

Jack Parkos | United States

Tonight, the public schools of the city of Baltimore voted 10-0 against House Bill 31. This bill would allow armed police in schools.

The topic of school safety and firearms became a hot one after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14th of last year. Students were allowed to speak at the school board meeting expressing their concerns.

Current Baltimore policy allows police officers to be armed as long as they are outside. When inside of schools, the 90 officers assigned to the school district must not have weapons out.

This is not the first time that such a proposal has come up in Baltimore. In 2015, the school board asked the city to allow armed police in schools. However, this mortified many parents. Some believed that this process would harm minority students.

The bill is now dead. As a result, police officers will have to lock their weapons in safes during the school day, keeping in line with existing policy.


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Following the Gillette Ad, Get Politics Out of Advertising

Jack Parkos | United States

Whether or not you agree with the message of Gillette’s recent ad, it is clear that it is risky for any corporation to get political. Without a doubt, it can have great blowback. Gillette’s new ad is receiving both love and hate and the divide here is clear. In fact, the YouTube video is receiving a great deal of criticism from people. Many are calling to boycott the company.

Indeed, this ad makes some highly questionable claims. However, the main focus of this article is not to criticize the claims made by Gillette. Instead, it will discuss political marketing and how it is bad for the consumer and producer.

It does not take a marketing expert to know that you don’t alienate half of your customers. But when a company gets into politics, they almost inevitably do this. One should not receive cultural and political lectures when simply trying to purchase a razor.

Why Critics Dislike the Gillette Ad

First of all, some believe the ad has stereotyped men as misogynistic. They also believe it has used the leftist talking point of “toxic masculinity”. Critics have noted that the ad implies that fathers (a large consumer of razors) are currently failing to raise their sons to respect women. The left associates that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” in the court of law is somehow promoting this behavior. Many believe that this is an insult to their top consumer. Gillette has claimed that this isn’t the point of the ad. Nonetheless, it comes across as such to many people.

The ad was trying to say that the good men should stand up to the “toxic men”, which of course is true. But critics of the Gillette ad state how good men already do that. They also suggest that to imply they don’t simply because they believe in due process is insulting to many.

Whether you agree with the ads or the criticism is irrelevant to why politics should not be in marketing, however.

Keeping Marketing Out of Politics

What place does a corporation have in this matter, anyway? Gillette is using a cultural movement to sell razors. The product has nothing to do with any political issue. They are simply trying to make themselves seem morally superior. Is it not toxic behavior to use a sensitive topic just to sell more razors?

It is not just Gillette that is the issue. Nike did this with Kaepernick. Countless other examples exist. Many people simply want to watch a game or even a commercial and get a break from politics. People just want to buy products without having to take a stand. All these ads do, though, is divide an already divided country. This ad is just another battle in the culture war. Why must everything be political?

Whether left, right, liberal, conservative, or anything else, the marketing industry should steer clear of political issues. Their job is to provide a good or service, not give lectures. Issues such as #MeToo are critical to talk about, but a Gillette ad is not the proper setting.


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How Murray Rothbard Helped in Creating Trump

By Jack Parkos | United States

In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States with his rising movement of “right-wing populism”. Right-wing populism is a moment based on putting the “average man” and nation first. Many key tenants include opposition to elitism, mass immigration, social spending, and globalism. Though Trump has been the most successful with his movement, he was not the first right-wing populist.

The Beliefs of Right-Wing Populism

l. Slash Taxes. All taxes, sales, business, property, etc., but especially the most oppressive politically and personally: the income tax. We must work toward repeal of the income tax and abolition of the IRS.

2. Slash Welfare. Get rid of underclass rule by abolishing the welfare system, or, short of abolition, severely cutting and restricting it.

3. Abolish Racial or Group Privileges. Abolish affirmative action, set aside racial quotas, etc., and point out that the root of such quotas is the entire “civil rights” structure, which tramples on the property rights of every American.

4. Take Back the Streets: Crush Criminals. And by this I mean, of course, not “white collar criminals” or “inside traders” but violent street criminals – robbers, muggers, rapists, murderers. Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error.

5. Take Back the Streets: Get Rid of the Bums. Again: unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares? Hopefully, they will disappear, that is, move from the ranks of the petted and cosseted bum class to the ranks of the productive members of society.

6. Abolish the Fed; Attack the Banksters. Money and banking are recondite issues. But the realities can be made vivid: the Fed is an organized cartel of banksters, who are creating inflation, ripping off the public, destroying the savings of the average American. The hundreds of billions of taxpayer handouts to S&L banksters will be chicken-feed compared to the coming collapse of the commercial banks.

7. America First. A key point, and not meant to be seventh in priority. The American economy is not only in recession; it is stagnating. The average family is worse off now than it was two decades ago. Come home America. Stop supporting bums abroad. Stop all foreign aid, which is aid to banksters and their bonds and their export industries. Stop gloabaloney, and let’s solve our problems at home.

8. Defend Family Values. Which means, get the State out of the family, and replace State control with parental control. In the long run, this means ending public schools, and replacing them with private schools. But we must realize that voucher and even tax credit schemes are not, despite Milton Friedman, transitional demands on the path to privatized education; instead, they will make matters worse by fastening government control more totally upon the private schools. Within the sound alternative is decentralization, and back to local, community neighborhood control of the schools.

These statements sound extremely blunt and to the point. “America First”, unleashing the cops on criminals and “bums”, and slashing welfare. One may think this sounds like President Donald Trump. Indeed it does draw parallels to Trump’s platform, as Trump spoke much of clearing the streets, slashing taxes, and especially putting America first. However, Trump is not the pioneer of this movement

Murray Rothbard and Populism

In fact, it was anarcho-capitalist philosopher Murray Rothbard who wrote this in his essay entitled “Right-Wing Populism.” In the 1990s, Rothbard began his “Paleo strategy”, creating paleo-libertarianism. This movement attempted to create a right-wing populist libertarian coalition to take down the political elites.

This began when the conservative movement split into two groups: the “old right” as Rothbard stated, who were isolationist, and the neoconservative Warhawks. Rothbard, who was sick of the libertarian movement’s progressivism, decided that the former was the best option. Rothbard himself held socially conservative views and began his support for paleoconservative Pat Buchanan. With his help from Buchanan, the Paleo movement (right-wing populist movement ) was born. (During this time, Rothbard was also an avid supporter of Ron Paul).

Rothbard died in 1995, and with him, his right-wing populist movement. The neoconservatives and social democrats that he feared started to win offices. However, in this past election, a man was elected that Rothbard might have dreamed of. This man was Donald Trump. To quote Rothbard:

“And so the proper strategy for the right wing must be what we can call “right-wing populism”: exciting, dynamic, tough, and confrontational, rousing and inspiring not only the exploited masses, but the often-shell-shocked right-wing intellectual cadre as well. And in this era where the intellectual and media elites are all establishment liberal-conservatives, all in a deep sense one variety or another of social democrat, all bitterly hostile to a genuine Right, we need a dynamic, charismatic leader who has the ability to short-circuit the media elites, and to reach and rouse the masses directly. We need a leadership that can reach the masses and cut through the crippling and distorting hermeneutical fog spread by the media elites.”

Trump’s Populist Movement

At the time, this leader was Pat Buchanan. However, this leader is now Donald Trump, who is dynamic, charismatic, and has attacked the media elites plenty of times was the perfect man for Rothbard’s strategy. Rothbard would have loved Donald Trump and likely would have endorsed him in 2016.

Indeed, Donald Trump’s movement can be seen as Rothbard and Buchanan’s movement rising from the dead. Trump has been compared to Buchanan and has even quoted him in tweets. Furthermore, paleolibertarians such as Lew Rockwell (who also played a role in Rothbard’s movement), Walter Block, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe have shown some sympathy to the Trump movement, although they are not undying loyalists to his cause.

The parallels are very similar. Both of the movements do have a big theme of “America first” with an opposition to neoconservatives and globalism. Furthermore, both Buchanan and Trump were promoters of tariffs (although the libertarians were opposed to this). Trump’s views on immigration are similar to those of Buchanan and Rothbard. Moreover, the movements were tough on crime, progressivism, elitism, and the mainstream media.

Rothbard did not ideally want a state. However, he did have a pragmatic view of a decentralized state with less bureaucratic elites and less war. Although it took time, the 2016 election was a movement that was started by Rothbard and Buchanan two decades ago, and it has finally emerged.


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The Trump and Clemson Hamburger Party Is a Non-issue

Jack Parkos | United States

Yesterday, President Trump invited The Clemson Tigers, NCAA football champions to the White House. There, he served them a feast of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. In a tweet, Trump claimed they had over “1000 hamburgers”. The White House kitchen staff was not available due to the shutdown.

Many mainstream media outlets were outraged. Of course, there are plenty of things to criticize within the Trump administration, including military action in Yemen that led to the slaughter of children on a school bus. But why is there anything wrong with a Clemson hamburger party?

Trump Hamburgers: Not The Onion

Many needed to find out exactly how many burgers were served.  Former NFL player Reggie Bush called it was disrespectful and a “slap in the face” to the winning team. However, the team appeared to enjoy the festivities in all available photos.

An opinion article in “USA Today went so far as to claim that this is a tactic to divert us from the government shutdown. This comes in spite of the fact that the president directly mentioned the shutdown in a tweet about the party. Author Christine Brennan stated:

What was the rush? Most White House celebrations occur at least a month or two after a championship is won. Why did Trump hurry Clemson into the White House a week after the national championship game? Is he really that lonely — or so desperate for a photo op with football players? Diversion, anyone?

When people think of diversions, they generally imagine major political controversies, not a Clemson hamburger party.

Moreover, a Washington Post article ridiculed the idea that Trump’s hamburgers were a mile high. In a non-satirical article, they “fact-checked” the claim, proving that, in fact, 1,000 burgers would only be 2,000 feet high. Of all of the Trump claims to fact-check, this is not worth attention. Stories like these belong on The Onion, not reputable sites.

Covering the Clemson Hamburger Party

Is this really what the media is covering? This story, in general, did not deserve much attention. At most, it deserved short stories of players visiting the White House and greeting the president. Do we really need a national debate about what they ate and why? Quarterback Trevor Lawrence said he liked the meal. It appears the team enjoyed the meal. Why does there need to be controversy over this?

There are real stories out there in America and the world, ones of suffering and glee. But the mainstream media fails to cover these. While a hacker group releases ominous files about the 9/11 attacks, we see story after story about Trump’s “hamberders” typo. They are trying to make huge controversies out of nothing. This is not a story; it is an attempt at a political attack on an enemy.

We cannot further allow the media to be a political tool. Journalists are supposed to tell stories and discuss actual issues. This siege of stories merely marks another step away from legitimate, honest journalism.


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