Tag: mises

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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Are American Libertarians Inherently Consequentialists?

Atilla Sulker | United States

At the superficial level, libertarianism is split into two main camps regarding a moral doctrine. There is the old Aristotelian natural law tradition, sometimes referred to as deontological libertarianism, which draws some of the most passionate libertarians, including the likes of Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, Murray Rothbard, and Ayn Rand. And there is the consequentialist (often called utilitarianism) approach to libertarianism, advocated by many pillars of libertarianism including, Ludwig Von Mises, Milton Friedman, and David Friedman. The former group believes that libertarianism is valid because initiating force in any way is morally wrong. The latter on the other hand supports libertarianism simply because, in their minds, it leads to the greatest prosperity.

But the adherence to any form of libertarianism in America makes for a perplexing phenomenon. America has the greatest total wealth in the world and is the hallmark of the great machine that is capitalism. Surely there is some amount of freedom in America, despite the squabbles of libertarians. If not, the great works of entrepreneurial enterprise and competition would not be present to provide the average American with such goods as cars and electric ovens, products once classified as “luxury goods”.

Yet at the same time, the State tramples on the liberties of its citizens every minute. Wiretaps are initiated whenever the president feels like doing so. The state drafts young men to fight in territories unknown to them, showing how frugal its citizens are in its menacing eyes. Bureaucrats interfere with progressive efforts espoused by communities to take back control of their schools. Mandatory minimums tear apart families and lead to the mass incarceration of individuals who are supposedly detriments to society. Regardless of how you assess this claim from a moral standpoint, the argument could be strongly made that government in this day in age has become a far greater detriment to society than any drug lord.

Despite the mass regulations enforced by the state, the great bulwark of capitalism cannot be stymied. Sure, competition is slowly dying off and the Fed creates a false illusion of the growth of prosperity. But despite the destruction created by the Keynesian saga, prosperity still thrives to a much greater extent in America than most other nations around the world, further validating the extent of the notion that entrepreneurship drives the improvement in the material quality of our lives. Indeed the machine of entrepreneurship is far more powerful than the government. The great technological revolution of the late 20th century shows how the hindrances established by the government could not stop the glorious consequences of a market economy.

Now here’s a head-scratcher. Does an increase in the quality of goods in the market due to competition in the private sector necessarily signify an increase in liberty? Does a vibrant capitalist economy necessarily fall in line with a free world? Quite obviously not, as our country represents a good case study of this seemingly paradoxical phenomenon. But only superficially does it occur to be perplexing, for going beyond the layer of gloss shows that the situation is not that complicated.

A larger amount of wealth simply means a larger amount of capital for the state to exploit in its nefarious affairs. It means government simply has more wealth to steal and hence more wealth to fund the welfare-warfare state. This is evident with such tragedies as the growth of the military industrial complex and the bureaucratization of education. Lew Rockwell sums up this phenomenon:

In reality, the State is far more dangerous in a productive, capitalist society than it is in an impoverished, socialized society, simply because it has far more private resources to pillage and loot for the State’s own benefit. Availing itself of the vast fruits of private production, the State engages in self-aggrandizement, expansion, and, inevitably, imperialism.”

In retrospect, we see that much of the past imperialist adventures were supported through the exploiting of private capital, e.g. FDR’s redirecting of resources to support World War Two, or the rapid proliferation of nuclear arms during the Cold War. Indeed a capitalist economy could well be a catalyst for the expansion of the state. And more importantly, a desensitized public needs to be conditioned to express obedience. Think of the state as a block of sodium and the capitalist economy and obedience as a tub of water. Without the water, the sodium remains stable, but when put in the water, it becomes volatile. This is how the state works, it works parasitically- the more blood there is to suck, the bigger it becomes.

Comparing the United States to a garden variety third world country, we discover something interesting. While the former professes to be the beacon of the free world, it is so bloated and volatile that it tramples on the liberties of its people daily. The latter advertises itself as a monstrous entity that will drop the guillotine on any dissenters but is often so poor that it can’t actually enforce these codes.

Regardless of what a country’s government may proclaim itself to be, whether a slaughterer of masses or a liberator of worlds, to truly judge how free it is, we must focus on the actual situation of the country, i.e., the effectiveness of its means in realizing its desired ends.

Economic historian Robert Higgs adheres to this view, and used it to make a case for leaving the United States in search of another country. In a speech he gave, Higgs said:

If I were in your position, I would consider seriously getting out of this country, not because I think any other country is a paradise by the way. But because I think no other country has the means (emphasis added) that the government of this country has to carry out these horrifying surveillance programs, and other measures of state tyranny. So, I’m going to move. I’d suggest you might consider moving somewhere else.”

Higgs himself moved to Mexico in October of 2015.

So if one proclaims himself to be a natural rights libertarian, wouldn’t he be contradicting this assertion if he continues living in the United States? Natural rights libertarians are defenders of liberty even if it leads to economically inefficient outcomes. It would then follow that if they truly hold this to be true if they are truly the bleeding heart natural rights supporter that they claim to be, they would move to another country that does not have the means to enforce such control as our own.

I don’t believe that any libertarian can be classified as fully of the natural rights tradition or fully a consequentialist. Surely a consequentialist would become inclined to believe in some sort of natural rights if the government began to kill members of his family. He wouldn’t oppose it only on the grounds that it disturbs order and leads to disutility.

Now certain issues may invoke a more natural rights based defense. Such issues may include abortion and the defense of the second amendment. It would be hard not to be rooted in the natural law tradition to an extent, yet be an ardent supporter of the second amendment or the right to life.

Based on the actions of libertarians here in America however, on the economic front, the consequentialist doctrine trumps any belief that they may have in natural rights, not fully, but to an extent that libertarians have decided to stay here rather than follow the Higgsian vision. It would be foolish to try and sit here and say that we would defend liberty even if it didn’t lead to economically sound outcomes, yet live in a country in which the means to the destruction of liberty are far greater than most any other country in the world.

It is clear that we enjoy the fruits of entrepreneurship and capitalism as present in this country. For the American libertarian, the loss of this great prosperity in exchange for a more free lifestyle is not a convincing trade-off. Let’s face it, we all enjoy the constant new innovations in technology, in medicine, etc. We wouldn’t be willing to give up our cellular devices or our polio-free bodies in exchange for a more libertarian way of going about our lives.

America can be seen as a coin, having a free side to it, and an unfree side. As Lew Rockwell explains:By way of illustration, in the US today, we have two economies, one free and one unfree. The free one has given us the great abundance of consumer goods, the widest distribution of wealth, and the fastest pace of technological innovation known in the history of man. The unfree one—characterized by the two trillion dollar federal budget and the more than one-quarter of that spent on apparatus that builds and administers weapons of mass destruction—has produced what we have been reading about in the headlines for the last two months. Military Socialism, which exists by pillaging the free economy, is responsible for a brutal and immoral war on a civilian population halfway around the world—the destruction of hospitals, churches, nursing homes, residential neighborhoods, and town squares.”

So yes, it is the prosperity in the capitalist economy that keeps us here in this country. It is the reason why we enjoy the economic freedom present in this country. The atrocities committed by our government won’t drive us away, but the market economy keeps us latched. It thus follows that the American libertarian is inherently, to an extent, a consequentialist.

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How I Became An Austrian Economist

Jozef Martiniak | Slovakia

In March of 2018, I attended a seminar on Austrian economics in Slovakia that was organized by an institute whose statements I had been following for a long time. The event lasted four days with lectures on economics, money, and business cycle theory among other things, and the statements made seemed consistent to me. The rhetoric remained the same – what was said ten years ago was still relevant to today.

Moreover, these views have somehow all given awareness to me, a man with common sense. Suddenly you find out that something that you feel intuitively has a 150-years-old historical tradition and that there is a school that studies and develops this tradition.

Surprisingly, the majority of the attendees ended the seminar with a conviction against Austrian economics, but I experienced a change. Out of the blue, I became an Austrian. My ideas were synthesized and I found out it all makes sense. I used to talk about this moment like the story of St. Paul’s fall off of his horse. It was a moment after which you start looking at the world through different eyes and you know it will never change, you will never get back. You start to realize the connections in everyday situations. Not long ago, you have not seen them, but now you can clearly. Tom Palmer says that suddenly you look at the world through the lenses of freedom, through a filter that the majority of people do not have.

You start to become aware that this change is not so obvious like you feel it is. You have a feeling that everybody must see it, so you control yourself, you dose your knowledge to people around you just in bits. Then you find out that people around you do not care about you at all and most of them have not noticed any change in you, they are preoccupied by their own problems.

The impression that you understand the world better is followed by the impression that people will not understand you anymore. Suddenly, it is clear to you how some things will end up, because you distinguish responsibility from irresponsibility. And that is what really irritates the eminent experts who somehow see the change happening in you, though they do not know what has happened, they just see that you can say something responsibly and hold your ground, because you simply know it is true. They do not like debating with you because instead of trying to understand your point of view, they focus on trying to humiliate you in rhetorical competition.

A side-effect of the “conversion” is that you suddenly start to understand the Idealists whom you did not understand before.

Hazlittian awareness of invisible consequences of the events that already happened is another consequence of the ‘conversion’. Only few people realize it. Most people simply analyze their lives and only see the closest area of consequence of the acts that happened and that are related to their past.

In the summer of 2018, I completed a course at Mises University and henceforth joined a sect of people with an Austrian point of view in economics. I have used the word “sect” on purpose since we fit into the characteristics of the word ‘sect’ – we are in minority, we look at the others like those who do not understand yet, but if they are insistent, they will find out where the truth is. The lecturers at the Mises Institute say we belong to the two percent of the population who understands economics better than the majority. Even if it is said as a joke, it seems to me inappropriate since those who really understand the nature of Austrian economics know that they really belong to that small percentage. And those who do not understand are uselessly given a false feeling of exceptionalism, because they do not know why and in what they should be exceptional.

I like working in a world where your steps have meaning. Since we are homo sapiens, we should stop and think about future consequences of our present actions. The economists of the mainstream cannot explain how debt of countries will impact their future. They cannot explain how long the FED and ECB control will work and the public will trust it. In these aspects, they have adopted Austrian rhetoric of “laissez faire” – let it be, it is working somehow.

The Austrians are not satisfied with an explanation that it will work out somehow, because everything has always ended up working somehow. They want to change this system – even though it is very corrupted – so that it is the furthest possible from disaster. I do not know how other Austrian economists came into existence, perhaps they were born like this (at least Carl Menger, as he was nobody’s pupil and he was quintessential to the marginal revolution), but I am for sure a convert.

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“Not Real Socialism” Is An Excuse for Bad Economics

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

When looking at the empirical evidence for economic systems, socialism/communism seems to be in dead last. Time and time again, socialist governments have met economic demise. The Soviet Union collapsed after starving massive amounts of people. Communist regimes throughout history have been notorious for massacring enemies of the socialist order. In the present, the Venezuelan state has hyperinflated the currency and is causing widespread economic degradation in their country. North Korea is held as the earth’s boogeyman of unfreedom.

But when confronted with this historical evidence, a proponent of any of the many forms of socialism will claim that it was “not real socialism.” They explain that if one small adjustment had been made to the economic-political order, we would have seen the worker’s utopia by now. Yet we have not. The twentieth century taught us that statism is a failure. Yet we have not heeded this lesson. Hoppe explains:

To this day, socialists claim that “true” socialism has not been refuted by the empirical evidence, and everything would have turned out well and unparalleled prosperity would have resulted, if only Trotsky’s, or Bucharin’s, or better still their very own brand of socialism, rather than Stalin’s, had been implemented.

At this early point, a leftist reader may make the claim that I am not using the terms “socialism” and “communism” correctly. When I use these words, I refer to a system where property is not owned privately. It is either owned by the state, the community, the workers, or any other body that is not private individuals/firms. If you as the reader brand yourself a socialist yet still believe in private property rights, I have no problem with your version of socialism. This is not the case of most socialists, though. They believe property should be owned by one of the aforementioned groups, rather than private individuals.

The Austro-libertarian critique of socialism is not purely based off of empiricism. It is a two-pronged critique, consisting of the Misesian problem of economic calculation and the Hayekian problem of knowledge. Both of these apply to any socialist/communist system that moves away from private property rights. They are not specific to any historical instance of communism or socialism. They merely apply to the economic theories behind such a system.

This puts pressure onto those that posit that socialism “is good and theory and bad in practice.” Its theory is where the Austro-libertarian critique is aimed. A similar empty statement is that “it would be good if it worked.” Well obviously – if socialism brought ultimate economic prosperity it would be good. But one of the conditions for socialism cannot be its success, yet this seems to have been tacked on to the definition. With such a definition, every failed socialistic regime can easily be brushed off as “not real socialism.” But the argument based on this definition is ultimately bankrupt for a socialist engaging in such an argument is merely playing with a bit of rhetorical trickery.

The Misesian side of the Austrian critique of socialism focuses on that issue of calculation. In the market, firms are required to create products that consumers are demanding. They can tell if they are by measuring the relationship between the total earnings and the costs. If costs exceed earnings, there is a loss, and the firm knows that it is not serving consumer demand. If earnings exceed costs, there is profit, and the firm will continue its present profitable action.

When the state is providing a good or service, it does not know if it is serving consumers. Because the state takes taxes and then produces, it does not need to worry about being profitable. Its earnings are secure because of its coercive nature. Thus, any bureaucracy faces an issue of unknown allocation. This includes any socialist agency that the state runs. The more processes of productions that are nationalized, the more resources are misallocated. Hoppe continues:

In distinct contrast, socialism means to have no economy, no economizing, at all, because under these conditions monetary calculation and cost-accounting is impossible by definition. If no private property in the factors of production exists, then no prices for any production factor exist; hence, it is impossible to determine whether or not they are employed economically.

On the Hayekian side sits the problem of knowledge. Hayek detailed that centrally planned economies are bound to fail because the central planner cannot know what to produce. They cannot hold in their head the needs of every individual. They cannot look out for the best interests of everyone all the time. It is only sensible that such a centrally planned economy should be delegated to subsidiary authorities. But when it comes to the workings of individual firms, who knows better for the firm than the individual in charge of the firm.

It does not matter if you define socialism as something different than what the historical instances have been. As long as you advocate for a system based upon the removal of private property rights and favor state/community ownership, there will inevitably be negative results. The state or commune cannot effectively allocate resources and satisfy the needs and wants of everyone. Socialism is ultimately a failure based simply off of its core characteristics.

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Austin Petersen Should Run For Chair of The Libertarian Party

By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

The Libertarian Party is at it again. In a bitter tweet teeming with contempt, the Libertarian Party attacked former presidential candidate Austin Petersen over his third-place finish in the recent Missouri Senate GOP primary. Suggesting the outsider campaign received a ‘thorough drubbing’, the Libertarian Party attacked Petersen in a predictable, garish fashion that situates party over principle.

Make no mistake – the LP has had it out for Petersen ever since the Missourian had the gall to go against the grain in 2016 with his firebrand candidacy for President. Staking out against pragmatist and power broker favorite Gary Johnson, Petersen brought an inspired, youthful spin on what has become a water-logged party pushing a message of post-libertarian pragmatist philosophy.  The most recent outburst from party officials signals exactly where they stand: they would rather get their asses kicked every election with ‘their guys’ than cede any small semblance of provisional power they have extorted from true-blue libertarians that have been rooted out or left the party, year after year, in protest.

This isn’t about libertarianism. If it were, Austin Petersen would already have his membership back and we would all be celebrating his return. So aggrieved are they that Petersen dared to run as a Republican, the Libertarian Party refuses to do the right thing and extend an olive branch to one of the few people that has time and time again stuck by libertarian values even if it meant a slower climb up the political ladder.

This is the same maddening practice that the LP resorted to regarding Ron Paul. Paul, who used his Republican Congressional seat to inspire and educated the masses on what it means to be a libertarian, is persona non grata amongst the leadership in the LP. While Mr. Paul gave an intimate speech to the LP Mises Caucus the night before the 2018 convention, the LNC had spent months parroting claims that Paul had no idea what libertarianism meant. It would all be a great joke if the balance of the country wasn’t at stake.

Petersen’s principles have never been questioned. Sure, he has had his run-ins (most notably with his suggestion that we might take another look at the NAP) but over and over again Petersen has espoused a small government, minarchist position when given the opportunity. Running for federal office as a Republican, Petersen accomplished more for the libertarian movement and principles than arguably any other campaign in the past decade. No, this bickering is simply about party politics. That same gross malady of back scratching and power positioning that turned so many of us against the two-party duopoly is apparently alive and well in the current Libertarian Party.

Austin Petersen has always had his enemies. Some have been made through his own doing but many more have simply been the type of jealous, snide simpletons that often anchor themselves to fringe political movements. Make no mistake, the Libertarian Party is a fringe one. There, the funds will always be thinner and the votes fewer at the ballot box. Until we break out from the zombie-like lull of ill-suited pragmatists and the never-surrender wing of economic fundamentalists, the Libertarian Party will remain an afterthought. Petersen, more than any other libertarian, sits in a unique position to mend the wounds of the disaffected caucuses while bringing new people, from every walk of life, into the movement and party.

While some have resorted to pot shots at Petersen for his 8.3% performance in the Missouri GOP Senate Primary last week, any libertarian worth their salt recognizes just how impressive he actually was. In Missouri, Petersen ran a grassroots, anti-war, all-your-guns, pro-Bitcoin, from an open heart of liberty campaign and he performed with class and substance. He made countless media appearances on some of the biggest networks in this country and spoke eloquently from a classically liberal point of view.

As he emphasized small government, a smart, well-oiled Libertarian Party would see the benefits of this performance. They would put feelers out to see if AP would consider rejoining the party and perhaps even suggest he run for a position of power within the structure. Instead, they have done nothing but attack, deride, and immolate any chance at a reconciliation. Case and point: current chair of the Libertarian Party Nicholas Sarwark.

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This facebook post is indicative of the type of authoritarian hierarchical traits that Sarwark displays at every opportunity. While his doomed Pheonix Mayor campaign has yielded absolutely no mainstream media attention whatsoever, Sarwark is happy to post crass, juvenile messages from the comfort of his bully pit. As the youngest presidential candidate on the stage in 2016, Petersen rallied the disaffected membership and almost sank the tired ship of cat herders that goes by the title LNC. This message, posted only two days after Petersen’s loss is the perfect example of Sarwark’s consistently snarky tone and dismissive attitude towards Petersen.

When was the last time you can recall Nicholas Sarwark, the current chair of the Libertarian Party, involved in any meaningful media push? You can’t, because he never has. While some have chosen to lampoon Petersen’s third-place performance in Missouri last week, I doubt we will hear the same people trash talking the campaign of Sarwark for Phoenix Mayor. He will finish a distant last, without any major media representation and chalk it up to just working outside the two-party duopoly. Meanwhile, Petersen featured prominently on Fox News throughout the campaign while giving headlining speeches at YAL summit and Politicon.

Instead of reaching his hand with a welcome gesture, Sarwark shot a spiked torpedo at Petersen and his many thousands of fans across the country. Recruit someone better? Let me give you a little reality check Mr. Chair – there is no one better. Since Ron Paul, there hasn’t been one serious Libertarian candidate who possessed the intellect, organization, and unbreakable spirit of Petersen. If you believe Gary Johnson lit the world on fire in 2016 then I’ve got a bridge to sell to you. Never forget, these are the same folks who are gleefully suggesting we run gun control advocate Bill Weld as the presidential candidate in 2020.

Petersen, on the other hand, has been spearheaded a political philosophy that seeks to expand gun rights instead of restricting them. While Weld calls certain guns ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ Petersen made headlines around the country for auctioning off AR-15 rifles and 3-D printing machines. You know… like a real libertarian should do.

Petersen’s 54,810 votes and over $500,000 raised are a testament to his messaging strength and impressive fundraising abilities. More than any single person in the Libertarian movement, AP seems apt and positioned to perform at a new level of political size and philosophical scope for a movement and party that are yearning to discuss the real truth of the American situation. Petersen possesses the passion, diction, star power, and organization necessary to lead the Libertarian Party to where it’s going. Where is the Libertarian Party going? With Petersen at the helm, it’s going to win and change this country forever.

Ideologically, Petersen puts a fresh spin on the tried and true, bread and butter of the Libertarian Party: The Fed. It’s all about the Federal Reserve. It is through the Federal Reserve that the wars are financed and it is through the Federal Reserve that our dollar has been inflated and devalued through the long, finite arm of the unrepentant state. Throughout his campaign, Petersen was forward thinking in his adoption and advocacy for Bitcoin. He repeatedly broke the record for Bitcoin donations and brought a reliable intellect to the political discussion about the nascent economic space. This emphasis on a counter-economy that is voluntary and independently sovereign speaks to the core of what Austin Petersen represents as a candidate: freedom.

When was the last time you genuinely heard the Libertarian Party say anything remotely relevant or interesting about crypto? The answer is never. I saw it on the ground in New Orleans at this year’s convention. The low levels of knowledge and interest in the blockchain community were startling. Outside a small wave of newcomers who found libertarianism through crypto, the power people in the party seem in no real rush to capitalize on a movement that is definitively anti-fed and anti-war. While the Libertarian Party speaks in bated breath about the massive independent vote waiting to be won throughout the country, they seem terribly incapable of reaching out to one of the largest and most ideologically libertarian subsects of contemporary society: cryptocurrency.

In the age of Trump, it would be false to assume that flash does not matter. In many ways, the political process in America has turned into a game show of unabashed braggadocio. Electing Petersen chair of the Libertarian Party would give the party the sort of immediate media push that is desperately needed to propel our numbers, base, and opportunities to win throughout the country.

Many inside the party point out the fact that the 60% of independent voters that don’t vote in our current electoral system are a target for the LP but as it stands, they aren’t even hearing us. Right now, if we have a great candidate or new platform addition that we want to promote, a beleaguered email in gaudy type font goes out to the membership and dies in the laps of LP activists across the country. Sarwark possesses no great microphone to reach the disenfranchised masses. Petersen has shown, consistently, that he attracts the media in a way that the LP arguably has never been able to.

If I seem frustrated, it’s because I am. I sat idly by at this year’s convention and bowed before the altar of moderate pragmatism. Although I didn’t vote for Mr. Sarwark, I accepted it with the usual ‘next time’ sentiment and packed my bags for the East Coast. I was every part of that glazed over membership who, for one weekend, forgot the insipidness and hardened maliciousness of Sarwark and company. The recent outbursts on social media have reconfigured my lens. I hope Petersen considers running. With the Mises Caucus hopefully at his back, Petersen could take the Libertarian Party in a bold direction that harkens back to the principles that founded the movement and party. If nothing else, it would be a hell of a race.

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