Get Your Economics Questions Answered

Our next live Q&A is coming up soon. This Wednesday, May 29, at 9:00pm ET, I’ll be joined by Prof. Jeffrey Herbener, department chairman of economics at Grove City College and who teaches Austrian economics here at Liberty Classroom, for 90 minutes of live Q&A. Bring your questions, or just come and watch!

Members should sign in close to the event’s start time and then, once signed in, click “Live Sessions” at the top of the page. Or just come and click here.

Not yet a member? Join by Friday, May 31, and receive a free copy of Kevin Gutzman’s New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution! Here’s how to get your book.

Free Book for Joining!

In further celebration of our most recent myth-busting course, U.S. Constitutional History, we’re sending a free copy of Kevin Gutzman’s New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution to all new members who request it! This offer is good through May 31, 2013.

At, you can learn the U.S. history, economics, European history, and philosophy your teachers didn’t tell you about, and from faculty members you can trust. And you don’t have to tune in at any particular time — download the courses and listen in your car, or watch on your mobile device. (All courses are available in video or audio.)

Plus, ask us all the questions you want in our Q&A forums for a year.

Scan our course offerings, check out our faculty, and join us! And don’t forget: claim your free book once you’ve joined!

NOTE: This book giveaway may not be combined with any other offer.

Nullification Goes Mainstream

The Jeffersonian principle of state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws has been getting more and more media attention over the past several years — nearly all of it negative, of course. The arguments against it are not difficult to answer, especially for members of this site. That hasn’t stopped reporters and opinion-molders from smearing supporters of Jefferson’s view, and letting the public know that anyone holding such a position can expect the usual treatment.

And yet, according to recent polling data, the strategy isn’t working. Despite the best efforts of the perpetual demonization machine, Rasmussen finds the following: “On the general question of ‘nullification,’ 44 percent believe states should have the right to block any federal laws they disagree with on legal grounds. Thirty-six percent disagree and 20 are undecided.”

Check out the Tenth Amendment Center’s analysis.

Yes, There Is a Correct Way to Interpret the Constitution

I talk to Brion McClanahan, author of The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, in this brief video. I was in a funny mood this morning, so I decided to include a blooper at the end.

Brion is one of the professors in our course in American constitutional history, and he also helps teach our course in U.S. History to 1877. (These and our other courses are available for download to be enjoyed at your convenience.)

The Truth About the New Deal

It took academic economists and historians nearly three-quarters of a century to begin questioning the conventional wisdom about Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. Why, they rescued the economy from the Depression!, said the old view. These days, even mainstream economists like Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian have published a substantial corpus of peer-reviewed material that takes the conventional view through the shredder. And even most mainstream historians — even the execrable Doris Kearns Goodwin — now concede that the New Deal did not cure the Depression. The new story is that FDR’s initiatives “gave people hope.” And that World War II saved the economy from the Depression — another grotesquely false view.

Someone on my Facebook page who was looking for a dissenting view on the Depression asked me for some book suggestions. Here are some popular-level treatments that do a good job:

Robert P. Murphy, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal.

Jim Powell, FDR’s Folly. (Not entirely sound on the Fed, but very good otherwise.)

Burton Folsom, New Deal or Raw Deal? (Again, not completely sound on the Fed, but excellent otherwise.)

John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth. This one is from 1948. A very interesting read. Flynn is not entirely sound on economics — he has a soft spot for Hoover, who was just Roosevelt lite — but you’ll find a lot of useful information here.

I recently read on a libertarian site that the reason this book never became a national bestseller is that it took direct aim at both the welfare state and the warfare state. Actually, The Roosevelt Myth hit number two on the New York Times bestseller list.

The New Deal section of David Stockman‘s book The Great Deformation has plenty of excellent material you won’t find in any of these other books, and I highly recommend it.

Finally, I don’t include Amity Shlaes‘ book The Forgotten Man because, although it is an absorbing and non-worshipful discussion of the material and critical in places, it isn’t really a critique of the New Deal.

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