My new book is out - and was featured in Palgrave newsletter!
Musings and analysis about attempts to plan an economy.
"This volume explores an important topic: what is the role, if any, of a Basic Income Guarantee in a free society? In answering this question, Basic Income and the Free Market provides a variety of perspectives and viewpoints that will be of interest to a wide range of readers, from scholars to policymakers. No matter what your ideological leanings, you will surely find something in this volume that challenges those views. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the foundations of a free society." - Christopher J. Coyne, F.A. Harper Professor of Economics, George Mason University, USA
'A real conversation starter. Austrians will be challenged by the Basic Income Guarantee, and its advocates will be challenged by Austrian theory. Guinevere Nell has opened up a new, balanced, and promising dialog.' - David Prychitko, Professor of Economics, Northern Michigan University, USA
The buildings are falling apart. The roads are falling apart, as is the entire infrastructure. The Caracas metro has gone from one of the greatest in the world to one of the worst. Building projects never get finished.
During the rainy season, land and mudslides are a common occurrence, which blocks roads, and destroys thousands of homes, leaving tens of thousands homeless each year. This is not being helped as the government builds very little housing for the poor and because the houses in the barrios where these landslides happen have no foundation and are simply bricks on top of earth or concrete. The poor are not better off. There are some hospitals and clinics in the barrios, and many outside, but they are all severely understaffed and are all suffering from severe shortages of medicine and medical supplies, such as saline.
As of right now, the inflation is approximately 22.1%, one of the highest in the world. In addition, the Bolivar is currently valued at 6.3 Bolivars to the USD. However, nobody uses this value as it's absolute bullshit. The correct rate is about 26.4 bolivars to the USD as of right now...
[There are] absolutely untold amounts of corruption in the government. Governors of states have been found trafficking drugs to the states or have been found stealing millions and millions of dollars from public projects, like the Valencia metro.
As a result of this and of the price controls on various products such as eggs, oil, toilet paper, chicken, beef, medicines, milk, cement, rent, sugar, and flour, there are constant shortages of these necessary products as well as staple foods, such as rice and potatoes. There are many times where milk isn't available for weeks or months at a time, or oil or flour or sugar...what about what it's actually like to live here under Chávez? Well, the murder rate is currently 45.1 per 100,000, while Caracas currently has the 6th highest murder rate of any city in the world at 98.71 per 100,000. Not to mention the thousands of kidnappings a month. I have many friends who have been kidnapped for ransom as well as the more recent examples of the Mexican embassador being kidnapped and more.
The buildings are falling apart. The roads are falling apart, as is the entire infrastructure. The Caracas metro has gone from one of the greatest in the world to one of the worst. Building projects never get finished. The port in La Guaira is currently being "modernized" and can only handle 1 ship at a time, maybe 2 if we're lucky and the planets are aligned, driving prices even higher, making products rarer and causing shipping companies to be less likely to dock here as they can be anchored off of La Guaira for weeks at a time waiting to be unloaded. The runway at the airport is falling apart, causing constant delays. The road to the airport gets blocked by landslides all the time, effectively cutting the city off.
CFP for Essay Collection on Economic Organization
I am re-posting a CFP (it was part of an earlier double-cfp post) in the hopes of finding a couple more interested people, and reminding those who showed interest before, since I plan to submit a proposal for this collection soon. This will be a very exciting, very cool project - see belowpart of a draft proposal on the collection:
This collection will bring together economists and political scientists with an interest in evolutionary social and cultural change and spontaneous order. Each contributor will offer either a proposal for radical institutional change or an argument against such a proposal. The collection will explore areas of theoretical agreement between Austrian theory and market socialist economics and other heterodox schools of economic and political science. The collection also aims to bridge some of the cultural and policy divisions between free market advocates stressing individual rights and individualistic culture and left-leaning thinkers who stress social justice and a culture of solidarity or collectivism.
Austrian school economic theory recognizes the importance of subjective value, consumer sovereignty, and spontaneous order. The market is not the only spontaneous order in society, and the market order and its surrounding cultural spontaneous order are interconnected and self-reinforcing. Markets may channel profit-driven relaxation of prejudices or may allow a channeling of discrimination and an imposition of winning preferences upon the powerless in the system. The values and preferences of the individuals within a spontaneous order are shaped endogenously, part of the evolution of markets and culture.
Private property, exchange, and free markets may allow an evolution of culture and society. Yet, a fully free-market system based entirely on private ownership may preclude some aspects of social and cultural freedom. Hierarchy exists within firms and other kinds of economic organization may offer benefits difficult to realize in a system based purely on private ownership; yet public ownership may create hierarchy, bureaucracy, stagnation, and corruption. Market socialist and other heterodox exploration of cultural and social factors may help to inform Austrian theory, while Austrian studies of spontaneous order may offer these schools a more rigorous framework for analyzing economic and social orders.
In this collection, spontaneous order and other Austrian theories will be complemented with consideration of culture and other insights from less free-market schools of thought and used to analyze various forms of social and economic organization. Some of these include: corporation-status, co-operatives, communitarian structures, income supports, land redistribution, subsistence communities, anarchy of private property and in communal societies, decentralized democracy, and other political structures.