Why Some Countries Are Wealthy, and Others Are Impoverished – Brennan and Mises

by | Oct 1, 2020

… in a progressing economy, i.e., in an economy with increases in gross savings and investment, money wages and ground rents may well fall, but real wages and rents will rise.

Murray N. Rothbard
Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market, p. 526


When capital investment increases, and technology improves, the real wages of workers and the standard of living of consumers increase, even though they have contributed nothing to these advances. By simply continuing to work and consume, laborers and consumers receive the benefits of the inventions and investments of others without paying for them. So what must we infer from this? Are we all to wear sackcloth and ashes? If our neighbors are wiser, prettier, or happier, we all benefit in countless ways. So what must we do about it? Must we all be taxed to subsidize their beauty and wisdom?

Murray N. Rothbard 
Economic Controversies, pp. 478–79

Jason Brennan (Ph.D., 2007, University of Arizona) is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He specializes in politics, philosophy, and economics.

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About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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