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The Human Action Podcast


The Human Action Podcast features in-depth interviews on current topics in economics through an Austro-libertarian lens.

The Human Action Podcast features in-depth interviews on current topics in economics through an Austro-libertarian lens.


Auburn, AL




The Human Action Podcast features in-depth interviews on current topics in economics through an Austro-libertarian lens.








Guido Hülsmann on The Ethics of Money Production

Guido Hülsmann's The Ethics of Money Production is a masterclass both on the fundamentals of money and the disastrous moral consequences of monetary "policy." Inflation is not only an economic problem which impoverishes us materially, but a deeply corrosive force in society for individuals. There is no better work to explain the broader implications of central banking which go almost totally unremarked in the financial press. Podcaster Stephan Livera is a big fan of the book and joins the...


The Case for Reading Books with Tom Woods

Tom Woods joins the show for a special year-end show to make the case for becoming a serious reader in 2021! Read Dr. David Gordon's 2020 book reviews at Find all episodes of the Human Action Podcast at


The Managerial Revolution

Managerialism, not socialism or capitalism, dominated the West in the latter half of the 20th century. Nobody explained this better than James Burnham in his seminal 1941 book The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World. Burnham challenges both Marxist orthodoxy on class (exploitation happens without capitalism) and libertarian orthodoxy on market firms (managerial control overtakes "owners"). This is hugely important book, and prescient to put it mildly: Burnham's thesis...


The Marginal Revolutionaries

Professor Janek Wasserman's book The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas, is an entertaining and fascinating account of key players and events in the evolution of Austrian school economics. Jeff Deist details the good, bad, and ugly of the book, written by a left-progressive historian from a critical perspective. Read Jeff Deist's review at Read David Gordon's review at Find Hülsmann's biography of...


When Money Dies

Ryan McMaken joins the show to discuss Adam Fergusson's seminal history of Weimar-era hyperinflation in Germany, When Money Dies. Americans accustomed to the dollar's king status have no idea how quickly and brutally a currency can lose value, especially when war finance distorts the entire structure of a nation's economy. What follows is sobering: hunger, violence, crime, and degradation. This fascinating book makes for a great study of how and why inflation rises quickly, and provides a...


Per Bylund on The Seen, the Unseen, and the Unrealized

Professor Per Bylund of Oklahoma State University is the author of The Seen, The Unseen, and the Unrealized. 2020 is the year social scientists failed to show us the unseen, namely the staggering and still unfolding economic, social, medical, and human costs of Covid lockdowns. Dr. Bylund and Jeff Deist discuss Covid and government responses against the backdrop of ripple effects, Say's law, "market failure," and the inability of bureaucrats to make rational tradeoffs. They also discuss Dr....


MMT Explained with Dr. Robert Murphy

Do we fund government or does government fund us? Can sovereign states issue currency at will without risk of default? Are government deficits actually a form of public wealth? And can newly issued currency (rather than taxes or bonds) be used to pay for public works, health care, college, entitlements, and guaranteed jobs? These are the arguments made by Professor Stephanie Kelton in The Deficit Myth, the latest addition to the "Modern Monetary Theory" concept. If it sounds too good to be...


Jeff Deist on Hoppe's Democracy: The God That Failed

Why don't elections bring harmony and closure rather than ever greater political friction? Hans-Hermann Hoppe explained all of the fundamental problems with mass democracy more than 20 years ago in Democracy: The God That Failed. Jeff Deist finishes his series on this devastating classic with a look at Hoppe's final chapters, critiquing conservatism, liberalism, and constitutionalism. Why do both conservatism and liberalism fail? (hint: democratic mechanisms). Liberalism is property, not...


Hoppe's Democracy with Stephan Kinsella

Lawyer and libertarian theorist Stephan Kinsella joins the show to discuss the middle chapters of Hoppe's Democracy, The God That Failed—in particular dealing with "desocialization" of collective property, immigration, and free trade. These are the most controversial and widely-discussed parts of the book, and Kinsella provides a fascinating analysis of property vs. wealth, the problems with public ownership and forced integration, and the concept of rule-setting for state property. And...


Hoppe's Democracy: The God That Failed

With an ugly presidential election just three weeks away, we dive into Hans Hoppe's classic Democracy: The God That Failed to puncture some of the myths surrounding democracy and voting. Jayant Bhandari joins the show to discuss Hoppe's controversial thesis concerning monarchy and democracy, time preference and its manifestation in the two systems, the forces constraining monarchs, and the terrible incentives created for democratic rulers. This is a must-listen show for anyone interested in...


The Forgotten Hazlitt Book

Most of you know the great journalist Henry Hazlitt for his remarkable Economics in One Lesson. But in this episode, Jeff Deist discusses Hazlitt's virtually unknown 1942 book A New Constitution Now, which is nothing short of a how-to guide for remaking the US constitutional system. Hazlitt was concerned about FDR's third term and what it meant for presidential power, along with what he saw as the benefits of a quasi-parliamentary government for the US. This is a radical and controversial...


Dr. Saifedean Ammous on His Upcoming Economics Textbook

Professor Saifedean Ammous, author of The Bitcoin Standard, is in the midst of writing a new textbook titled Principle of Economics. But he's writing it in open-source form: drafting, revising, and sharing the manuscript with his online students as the book is created. And unlike most lousy college economics textbooks, his offering is rooted in Austrian theory and contains numerous references to Menger, Böhm-Bawerk, Mises, Rothbard, and Hoppe. Academia is changing, and the way we learn is...

Man, Economy, and State: The Finale

We have reached the end of Murray Rothbard's definitive treatise Man, Economy, and State! Dr. Patrick Newman joins the show to wrap up the final chapters—labeled separately as Power and Market—showing Rothbard's economic analysis of government interventions. Newman and Jeff Deist discuss this quintessentially Rothbardian treatment of everything from price controls to taxes to subsidies to "public ownership," presented as always with clarity and devastating logic. Want to find out why the...


Patrick Newman on Rothbard’s Power & Market

Power and Market was never meant to be an addendum to Man, Economy, and State, but a vital part of the book’s unbridled economic analysis of a truly free market — and a searing new typology of interventionism. Dr. Patrick Newman joins the show for a fascinating look at Rothbard’s groundbreaking conceptual work in private defense, private courts, and the stark realities of political incentives. Read the book free of charge in searchable HTML format here. Use the code HAPOD for a discount on...


The Price of Tomorrow with Jeff Booth

By day Jeff Booth is an entrepreneur and builder of companies, but now he's written one of the most compelling and important books of 2020. The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future makes the case for a better and more prosperous world simply by accepting the natural order of falling prices and fast-improving technology. The book is entirely free of jargon, ideology, and politics, yet pulls no punches when it comes to describing the fiscal and monetary mess we're...


Man, Economy, and State: Money & Its Purchasing Power with Robert Murphy

Economist Robert Murphy joins the show to cover Rothbard's excellent treatment of money in Chapter 11 of Man, Economy, and State. Dr. Murphy and Jeff cover why "hoarding" money is socially beneficial; why the velocity of money (and the famous MV=PT equation) is a useless concept, and how new money in society is never neutral. How and why does money maintain purchasing power, and does the interest rate really show the "price" of money? Why do we want "hard" money anyway? This is the show you...


Man, Economy, and State: Monopoly with Dr. Walter Block

When Murray Rothbard wrote Man, Economy, and State in the 1950s, monopoly theory was a mess. Even Mises did not have a full understanding of where neoclassical economics went wrong in diagnosing "market failure." But in Chapter 10 of his great treatise, Rothbard demolished the myths surrounding monopolies and cartels. His friend Dr. Walter Block joins the show to discuss Rothbard's breakthroughs and draw downward-sloping demand diagrams for us! We discuss why deadweight loss is nonsense;...


Man, Economy, and State: Entrepreneurship and Change

The Human Action podcast with Jeff Deist continues tracking Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State, this time focusing on the role of entrepreneurs in the production process (Chapter 8). Hunter Hastings joins the show with great insights into the social benefits of profit vs. interest, entrepreneurial risk, progressing and retrogressing economies, and the bunkum known as the "Paradox of Saving." This chapter presents Rothbard's exposition of the individual's (or firm's) role in bringing goods...


Man, Economy, and State: Interest Rates

Kristoffer Hansen joins the show to discuss everything about interest rates, as detailed by Rothbard in Chapter 6 of Man, Economy, and State. Hansen and Jeff Deist cover the "pure" rate of interest, expressed via time preference, and why the temporal nature of production helps us understand the premium for present goods relative to future goods. Far from exploiting workers or borrowers, capitalists actually advance money today in exchange for a more risky and uncertain return tomorrow—in...


Man, Economy, and State with Shawn Ritenour

AOC and Paul Krugman are wrong: we can't just pay people money to stay home and expect "stuff" to materialize around us. This show explains why—as we cover Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State Chapter 5, "Production: The Structure," with our great friend Dr. Shawn Ritenour from Grove City College. Don't miss a great discussion of that critical missing link in mainstream economics—capital theory—and its corollaries, from the temporal and uncertain nature of production to cost fallacies. This...