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Home | June 2007 Archives


  Dr. Hans Sennholz | June 29, 2007 | Digg This


Professor Hans Sennholz, a great man and good friend, died on Saturday, June 23, at the age of 85.

I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Sennholz and his wonderful wife, Mary, for many years.

Indeed, my daughter, Amanda, went to Grove City College at my request because of my high regard for Dr. Sennholz and his role as head of the Economics Department at the college. Although Amanda did not become an economist, while at Grove City she met an excellent husband, her classmate Brian Lants.

As reported by Lew Rockwell, "Hans F. Sennholz is one of the handful of economists who dared defend free markets and sound money during the dark years before the Misesian revival, and to do so with eloquence, precision, and brilliance. From his post at Grove City College, and his lectures around the world, he has produced untold numbers of students who look to him as the formative influence in their lives. He has been a leading public voice for freedom in times when such voices have been exceedingly rare.

"This much is well known about him. But there are other aspects to his life and career you may not know. Sennholz was the first student in the United States to write a dissertation and receive a PhD under the guidance of Ludwig von Mises. Mises had only recently completed Human Action. Imagine how having such an outstanding student, and a native German speaker no less, must have affected Mises’s life, how it must have encouraged him to know that his work could continue through outstanding thinkers such as this. …

"When Sennholz began studying with Mises, it would still be another twelve years before Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State would appear, and nearly a quarter century before Kirzner’s Competition and Entrepreneurship would be published. Sennholz provided exactly what was needed: that crucial bridge from the prewar School to the postwar School in America, where the Austrian School would now make its home.

"His dissertation became the book, How Can Europe Survive, published in 1955. It remains the best and most complete critique of European political union every written. Sennholz demonstrated, some fifty years before others even cared, that political union under the interventionist-welfare state was only a prescription for chaos and bureaucrat rule. True union, he demonstrated, comes from free trade and decentralized states that do not attempt to plan their economies.

"Europe today has a burgeoning movement of intellectuals who realize this same things, and are working to curb the power of Brussels even as they attempt to preserve the free-trade zone. But we must remember that Sennholz anticipated this critique and agenda by nearly five decades. By taking a detailed look at all the programs for unification that were then being batted around, he saw precisely what was ahead for Europe: not prosperity and peace, but stagnation and conflict. So it is and will continue to be, so long as Sennholz’s final chapters, which present a Sennholz followed up this treatise, which included an account of the Great Depression and the onset of war, with a long string of trenchant writings on monetary theory and history, on employment, on fiscal policy, and even on the moral basis of freedom. Truly he followed in Mises’s footsteps, and, like Mises, he refused to let the ideological hostility of his age and ours deter him from speaking truth to power, using every means at his disposal.

"Let me provide one example of just how he carries the torch. During the 1980s, much like today, there were two camps on fiscal policy: the left, which wanted more spending and no tax cuts, and the supply-siders who wanted tax cuts plus spending increases. Sennholz became the voice for sanity: in Misesian terms, he called for tax cuts to be matched by spending cuts.

"In doing so, he dismissed the magic fiscal dust called ‘dynamic scoring’ as well as the socialist demand for bigger government, while warning against the dangers of inflationary finance. Here was a hero of fiscal conservatism! During the early eighties, too, he wrote an extended Austrian critique of supply side that anticipated all future trends of the decade. …

"Sennholz acquired Mises’s papers for Grove City College, where they have been guarded as the treasures they are. He made Grove City stand out among American colleges as one of the few places where economic sense was taught during the heyday of Keynesian orthodoxy."

Dr. Gary North wrote the following, "Hans Sennholz died at the age of 85. He was one of four men who earned his Ph.D. in economics under Ludwig von Mises at New York University. (The others were George Riesman, Israel Kirzner, and Louis Spadaro.) …

"In a collection of essays written in honor of Sennholz where he returned from full-time teaching at age 70, A Man of Principle (Grove City College, 1992), I wrote of his influence as a transmitter of Mises’ economics to a younger generation: mine. I stressed the fact that for 37 years, he had served as the chairman of the economics department at Grove City College. He taught undergraduates at a Presbyterian four-year college who name sounded like a community college.

"Grove City College was the perfect school for Sennholz. Its primary donor was oil magnate J. Howard Pew, who recommended that Sennholz be hired in 1955. Throughout the twentieth century, Pew’s Sun Oil Company had withstood competition from Rockefeller’s oil companies and had prospered. Pew was a dedicated Presbyterian layman who was happy to have Lutheran Sennholz run the economics department. Pew also provided the funding for Christian Economics, a fortnightly tabloid sent out to every Protestant minister in the country free of charge. Sennholz often wrote for it.

"Teaching undergraduates, except in approximately two-dozen elite private colleges, is regarded by the academic guild as drudgery that is justifiable only because it is the required path to teaching graduate students. As for teaching introductory, lower division courses, this is a task assigned to untenured assistant professors, who have a team of graduate students to grade the exams, grade the term papers (if any), and lead the discussion groups. Not at Grove City College. Sennholz always took his turn teaching the introductory economics course, as did ever member of the department, none of whom was ever granted tenure. …

"In addition to teaching four classes every term, Sennholz also wrote. The volume of his output was legendary by 1990. He wrote for The Freeman, American Opinion, and dozens of other free market publications. He wrote over 500 articles, plus 17 books. Yet he was unknown by the economics guild. He did not publish in the unread and generally unreadable professional journals that serve as the career stepping-stones to tenure at the major universities. …

"The Keynesians’ only academic rivals – just barely – in the free market camp in 1955 were Chicago School economists, who taught that fewer government officials, operating with the support of economists with a government-licensed printing press, alone can bring economic stability to a capitalist economy.

"Sennholz denied both positions. Extending the insight of Mises’ 1920 essay on the impossibility of rational economic calculation in a socialist economy, Sennholz denied the possibility of socially rational intervention by government planners, whether they coerce people through taxation, regulation, or counterfeiting. He defended the freedom of contract, the gold coin standard, the abolition of the Federal Reserve System, and the de-funding of the welfare state."

"Sennholz began his teaching career at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., and continued at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa. In 37 years of teaching, he instructed some 10,000 students. At Grove City College, he also conducted a graduate program for International College in Los Angeles, conferring Master’s and Doctor’s degrees. During his vacations he went on lecture tours often flying his own plane and addressing audiences from coast to coast.

"Upon retirement from Grove City College at the age of 70, Sennholz assumed the presidency of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. In just five years, he revived the defunct organization through economy and productivity. He celebrated its 50th anniversary with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as its festive speaker. He retired as President Emeritus at the age of 75.

"Sennholz was a prolific writer on economic, social, and political thought and issues. His writing career began with articles in the Cologne Rundschau in Germany. It continued with essays and articles in opinion journals throughout the English-speaking world. In more than 1,000 publications, including seventeen books and booklets, he covered nearly every aspect of contemporary thought. In retirement, he continued to publish on the Internet which circulated his work throughout the world. His web site counted more than 12 million international return visits.

"Sennholz was the recipient of several honors. He was an Honorary Citizen of Lubbock, Texas, and of House, Texas; Honorary Colonel of New Mexico, Honorary Doctor of Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala; Honorary Doctor of Laws of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri; and Honorary Doctor of Laws of Grove City College in Grove City, PA. He received the Gary G. Schlarbaum Award for Liberty, and was the recipient of a festschrift with contributions by 36 authors.

"He is survived by Mary, his wife of 52 years, his son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Lyn, and two grandsons, Roland and Emil."

  U.S. Institute for Peace | June 28, 2007 | Digg This


Former Secretary of State George Shultz and the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) have been on the wrong side of important issues for decades.

The USIP, one of Ronald Reagan’s biggest mistakes, is subsidized by the American taxpayer to promote a variety of left-wing initiatives.

According to the May/June 2007 edition of PeaceWatch published by the USIP, "The U.S. Institute of Peace has received a $10 million contribution from the Chevron Corporation to help construct its new permanent headquarters at the northwest corner of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The headquarters will serve as a national center of innovation for research, education, training, and policy and program development on international conflict prevention, management, and resolution.

"The Institute plans to name the great hall at the new building the George P. Shultz Great Hall, in honor of the former U.S. secretary of state. The theater in the Public Education Center will be identified as the Chevron Theater. Speaking at a dinner at which those plans were announced, Institute president Richard Solomon affirmed, ‘Chevron’s support for the Institute’s new headquarters project comes at a significant moment….[The new building] will increase the Institute’s capacity and our ability to reach out to the American public and the world.’ …

"J. Robinson West, the chair of the Institute’s board, addressed Secretary Shultz directly in his speech at the dinner. ‘Having the great hall of the Institute’s permanent headquarters bear your name is an honor and a privilege for the organization. It will serve as a lasting tribute to you on the National Mall for your many contributions in public service.’

"Chevron chairman and CEO David O’Reilly lauded the Institute at the dinner. ‘Chevron’s contribution is an investment in the global peacebuilding efforts of the U.S. Institute of Peace.’ He noted that the Institute is making a difference around the world through conflict resolution efforts and post-conflict stability programs. ‘These initiatives are very much aligned with Chevron’s own approach, which is focused on building the human and institutional capacity of communities wherever we operate,’ said O’Reilly. ‘I am also delighted that the Institute of Peace has taken this opportunity to honor George Shultz for his tireless efforts in the cause of international diplomacy.’

"Numerous dignitaries praised Secretary Shultz at the dinner; among them were former secretary of state Henry Kissinger and former Institute board chairman Max Kampelman. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley delivered an encomium on behalf of President George W. Bush, saying that Shultz ‘embodies the finest values of our country,’ and that as secretary of state he demonstrated that "our nation’s strength makes our nation’s diplomacy more effective….and that freedom is the world’s most powerful force for promoting lasting peace and security.’…

"Shultz served as secretary of labor and secretary of the treasury under President Nixon and as secretary of state under President Reagan. He was also president of Bechtel Corporation from 1974 to 1982."

Lest we forget, Chevron, aided by troops provided by Fidel Castro, had a lot to do with the consolidation of power by the Marxist-Leninist dictatorship of Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Angola, and did much to undercut the great pro-American freedom fighter Dr. Jonas Savimbi.

Shultz who has served on the Chevron board, along with other Republican VIPs, including former HUD Secretary Carla Hills and present Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has exhibited indifference to the conflicts of interest affecting his governance of U.S. foreign policy.

Robin West, Chairman of the USIP board, was a colleague of mine when we both served on the staff of the Republican National Committee in the 1960’s.

  Top Priority Action Items | June 11, 2007 | Digg This


There are three top priority issues in which patriotic Americans ought to become actively involved – – – in each case, contacting members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

These three are:

  1. building support for House Concurrent Resolution 40 in opposition to the North American Union (NAU),

  2. opposition to ratification of the Bush-pushed United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty (UNLOST), and

  3. opposition to the Bush-Kennedy-McCain-Kyl-Lott-Graham amnesty for illegal aliens legislation.

(1) House Concurrent Resolution 40 states:

"the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American FreeTrade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System"; and

"the United States should not allow the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to implement further regulations that would create a North American Union with Mexico and Canada."

Current co-sponsors of this resolution introduced by Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode are: John Boozman (R-AR), Barbara Cubin (R-WY), David Davis (R-TN), Lincoln Davis (D-TN), John Duncan, Jr. R-TN), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Jim Marshall (D-GA), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Charles Norwood (R-GA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Ralph Regula (R-OH), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Thomas Tancredo (R-CO), Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), and Zach Wamp (R-TN).

(2) UNLOST which, in 2003, received a unanimous pro-ratification vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been put on the front burner by President Bush and his New World Order colleagues.

Among those Committee members who voted for UNLOST ratification in 2003 were: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), George Allen (R-VA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Lincoln D. Chafee (R-RI), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), John E. Sununu (R- NH), and George V. Voinovich (R-OH).

Make no mistake: UNLOST is the means by which control of the world’s oceans would come under the control of the United Nations and its subordinate bureaucracies.

If the U.S. Senate ratifies the UNLOST treaty by a two-thirds vote, it will give its own creation, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the power to regulate seven-tenths of the world’s surface area, a territory greater than the Soviet Union ruled at its zenith. UNLOST would cede sovereign control to the ISA over all the riches at the bottom of all the world’s oceans.

UNLOST gives ISA the power to levy international taxes, one of the essential indicia of sovereignty. This ISA power is artfully concealed behind direct U.S. assessments and fees paid by corporations, plus permits paid by the U.S. Treasury.

UNLOST gives ISA the power to regulate ocean research and exploration: the power to deny U.S. companies access to strategic ocean minerals that we need for our industries and military defense — access to resources that are freely available to us today under customary international law.

UNLOST gives ISA the power to impose production quotas for deep-sea mining and oil production so the United States could never become self-sufficient in strategic materials.

UNLOST gives the ISA the power to create a multinational court system called the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and to enforce its judgments.

The whole concept of putting the United States in the noose of another one-nation-one-vote global organization, which reduces America to the same vote as Cuba, is offensive to Americans. Like other aspirants to global government (such as the World Trade Organization), the ISA has a legislature, an executive, a bureaucracy, busybody commissions, and a powerful court system.

The notion of signing a treaty that mandates military information-sharing with our enemies plus technology transfers is not only dangerous — it’s ridiculous. The treaty creates restrictions on our intelligence-gathering by submarines, activities that are essential to our military security. And UNLOST apparently doesn’t permit our stopping and searching on the high seas any vessels suspected of transporting weapons of mass destruction.

We have almost everything we need to maintain our safety and economy, but we lack some items that are essential to us in both war and peace such as manganese, cobalt, bauxite, chromium, and platinum, and some of these are at the bottom of the ocean.

The UN Law of the Sea Treaty is a trap that would compel the United States to pay billions of private-enterprise dollars to an international authority while socialist, anti-American nations harvest the profit. The UNLOST would be a giant giveaway of American wealth, sovereignty, resources needed to maintain our economy, capacity to defend ourselves, and even our ships’ and submarines’ ability to gather intelligence necessary to our national defense.

(3) Concerning the Bush-Kennedy-McCain-Kyl-Lott-Graham immigration bill, my friend at the Heritage Foundation, Robert Rector, reports: "In FY 2004, low-skill immigrant households received $30,160 per household in immediate benefits and services (direct benefits, means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services). In general, low-skill immigrant households received about $10,000 more in government benefits than did the average U.S. household, largely because of the higher level of means-tested welfare benefits received by low-skill immigrant households.

"In contrast, low-skill immigrant households pay less in taxes than do other households. On average, low skill immigrant households paid only $10,573 in taxes in FY 2004. Thus, low-skill immigrant households received nearly three dollars in immediate benefits and services for each dollar in taxes paid."

Rector points out that "[I]mmigration policy has enormous fiscal implications. … Illegal immigrants are predominantly low-skilled. Over time, they impose large costs on the taxpayer. In 1986, the U.S. gave amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens in exchange for a prohibition on hiring illegals in the future. While amnesty was granted, the law against hiring illegals was never enforced in more than a token manner. As a result, there are now 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Because the majority of illegal immigrants come to the U.S. for jobs, serious enforcement of the ban on hiring illegal labor would substantially reduce employment of illegal aliens and encourage many to leave the U.S. Reducing the number of low-skill illegal immigrants in the nation and limiting the future flow of illegal immigrants will reduce future costs to the taxpayer.

"Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would, over time, confer entitlement to welfare, Social Security, and Medicare for the amnesty recipients. This would be ruinously expensive to U.S. taxpayers. Similarly, a modified amnesty such as the Z visa program proposed by President Bush, would, almost certainly, over time result in entitlement of the Z visa holders to welfare, Social Security, and Medicare; such a plan would be nearly as expensive as forthright amnesty. Amnesty in any form would impose serious fiscal costs. …

"Current legislative proposals that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and increase future low-skill immigration would represent the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years. Such proposals would increase poverty in the U.S. in the short and long term and dramatically increase the burden on U.S. taxpayers."

Of course, if the Constitution were followed, neither illegal immigrants nor American citizens generally would be eligible for any of these so-called "benefits" from the Federal government.

  North American Union | June 4, 2007 | Digg This


One of the reasons the creation of a North American Union (NAU) would have disastrous implications for the United States is mirrored in the problems now faced by the European Union (EU) in its deliberations concerning whether to admit Turkey to full membership in the 27-member EU.

Should the NAU be created, citizens of Mexico would be able to travel at will throughout the United States with neither visa nor passport.

As pointed out in the Wall Street Journal (5/7/07), "France, with Mr. Sarkozy [the newly elected French President] in the forefront, has also taken a lead in opposing Turkey’s prospective membership in the EU, largely due to fears of giving more than 70 million Turks the right to work throughout Europe."

  Indian Tribal Sovereignty | June 1, 2007 | Digg This


During my tenure as Director of the United States Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) in 1973, Federal Indian programs were under my jurisdiction.

Earlier, when I served on the staff of Vice President Spiro Agnew, I worked closely with Bob Robertson, Agnew’s Director of the National Council on Indian Opportunity (NCIO).

It always grieved me that Indian reservations had been granted territorial sovereignty, as if they were separate nations within the borders of the United States. Given the active involvement of Marxist-Communist Indians, such as Dennis Banks and Russell Means, this always seemed to me to be a problem waiting to happen.

For this reason, I unsuccessfully advocated the elimination of the reservation system and the treatment of American Indians in the same manner that other residents of the United States are to be treated.

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