Human Action and the Messed Up Market
It seems to be the season of Ludwig von Mises, and that’s a really great thing!
In the last couple of weeks we’ve had actor Rob Schneider quoting Mises on Twitter and the Mises Institute saying, “Human Action is the book you want to read, you need to read, you’ve thought about reading. So make 2020 the year you read it!”
And it’s true! You really need to read this book. If you’ve had it on your shelf, or in your Amazon cart for awhile but haven’t set aside the time to read it, consider hopping over to the Mises Institute website where, “Over the next seven weeks the Human Action Podcast will guide you through this incredibly vital and intellectually transforming work, with a series of guest economists to explain and bring Mises’s most important work to life.”
We couldn’t have predicted all this “Mises love” when we set out to write our latest book, but it seems extra fitting that we’ve just released our 11th Tuttle Twins book—The Tuttle Twins and the Messed Up Market—which is based on Mises’s Human Action.
In addition to all the good talk about Mises, we are sitting front row to a real-time lesson in human action and markets.
Pulling straight from the plot of The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island, we just saw the Fed print a whole bunch of money and drop interest rates—and we know that always ends well and never ever leads to inflation. Zimbabwe? Venezuela? Facepalm. We’ve seen panic-selling, and panic-hoarding, and a dozen other panic-related actions by people and groups all over the world.
And making The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future even more relevant, we hear NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio calling for a seizing of the means of production. Seriously. He said, “This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization, of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need.” He went on to say that, “The federal government needs to take over the supply chain right now.”
Nationalization of industries? And people call us crazy for claiming the government has a tendency to turn authoritarian…
It’s as if the themes and warnings in our books are playing out in real time. Even one of our teen books, The Tuttle Twins and the Hyperinflation Devastation, seems fitting for the scenario we’re seeing play out right now—where a disaster causes governments to make power grabs, travel to become difficult, and money to become unstable.
I swear I don’t have a crystal ball. It’s just that scenarios like the one we are living right now have happened at other times in history and I have always thought we would do well to learn all we can from the past in order to avoid having to relive its failures and mistakes.
I still don’t think it’s too late to learn these lessons and to craft a better future. It’s probably going to be up to our kids to really get things moving in a liberty-minded direction—that’s why I’ve spent so much time writing these books. Because I want kids to be able to learn about situations like the one we are in right now, and to see past the fear and the propaganda to understand the roots of the problems.
Right now, a whole lot of the world just became homeschoolers. It’s kind of neat to think about all the families who are eating dinner together every night for the first time in a long time because there aren’t any sports or extracurriculars. I know a lot of people are really struggling to try to find a place in this new “normal” but I hope that we can use this time to better our lives and to reevaluate the way we prioritize our time and relationships.
If you’re a veteran homeschooler, consider picking up a copy of The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation (based on John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education) for your friends or family members who are suddenly finding themselves thrust into a homeschool life they didn’t choose and maybe feel unqualified or unprepared for. Who knows, maybe some folks will decide they love educating their kids outside the school system so much that they decide to make it permanent once all this passes.
I hope we can all make an effort to look out for each other and help each other navigate the trials and challenges of daily life right now. Just like the market, the world we live in is just made up of individuals and the actions that they (we!) choose to take. Let’s endeavor to make our actions thoughtful and helpful and kind.