Lots of businesses profit in good times. Lots of individuals do too. But the real money is made in recession. Today we discuss how to profit when times are tough.

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  • There are some ways in which buying a house can be a path to independent living.   On the other hand, we’re expecting currency devaluation and the housing market is propped up on limbo rates. Is it worth taking on debt to buy? Will inflation eat away at the principal, or would you have been better off in PMs?   Have you bought recently? What factored into your decision?

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  • Perhaps you will find this magnificent BBC documentary interesting. It tells the story of the ancient city of Caral, a little north of Lima on the coast of Peru, which is arguably the oldest city in and the beginning of civilization in the Americas. The Lost Pyramids Of Caral There are two points I would like to make about the story told therein of Caral which I think are relevant to libertarians. 1) The early civilization of Caral apparently arose purely out of commerce. This confirms the insights of the Austrian school of economics. And it may be an example of a commercially organized cooperative human society that antedates the rise of any state. 2) This contradicts the presumptions brought to the study by the archaeologists. For one example, at 7:20 one states the following. You can’t build … on the basis of consensus. You have to have leaders and followers. You have to have specialists. You have to have people who are in charge. People who can tell individual groups, alright, today you will be doing this. This group you are going to be doing something different. In other words, in his academic world, the possibility is inconceivable of that human cooperation could be organized by trade — the marketplace — rather than authority.

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  • Idea Lab is a place to share and develop your entrepreneurial ideas.

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  • the following text was lifted from this page:   $50,000 American Dream Award to the Best Business Idea of 2015 We have something new and exciting at next year’s big show: the first American Dream Award, a “winner take all” cash prize of $50,000 to the entrepreneur who comes up with the best new product or business idea at FreedomFest. This will be a worldwide competition: the top 100 entrepreneurs will be invited to present their business plan or product in the FreedomFest Ca$h Vault at Planet Hollywood, where attendees can review their ideas and invest if they so choose. Then the top four finalists will make their case before our premier panel of FreedomFest judges to determine the winner of the $50,000 prize. The invited judges are Steve Forbes, John Mackey, Peter Thiel, and Donald Smith, all experienced business leaders. And all attendees will get to vote as well, using the FreedomFest APP, so be sure to be in the room for this on the final day of FreedomFest. Two successful entrepreneurs, Brian June and Tom Matzen, are in charge of the FreedomFest Ca$h Vault. Using the FreedomFest app, attendees will also help them determine the top four finalists to go before the FreedomFest judges, with a chance to meet them and here their pitch during FreedomFest. Democratic capitalism at work! Brian and Tom will guide you through the entire process. Make your dreams come true. If you have a for-profit business in progress or on the drawing board, sign up at Special Note: Last month we met up with Barbara Corcoran, one of the members of the popular Shark Tank TV show, and told her about our idea, and she loved it. It was she who came up with the name, “The American Dream Award.”  Thanks, Barbara!

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  • So I’m about halfway through “Bureaucracy” by Ludwig von Mises. It’s my first time reading it, but I can imagine that many here have read it, maybe even multiple times. I’d like to discuss a central point of the book—which has more than one component—beginning with the claim that there is a categorical difference between profit-driven institutional management and bureaucratic management. This is fairly uncontroversial to me. Seems the bureaucrat’s fundamental aims are quite distinct from a profit-seeker, but maybe you guys have more to say about this. Second, and this is where there will likely be disagreement, is the question of whether ANY agency or institution in society, by its nature, is better suited to the bureaucratic type of management. Is Mises correct when he states that a police agency, for example, works best (or at all) under bureaucracy? Does his small-state liberalism blind him from the potential of voluntary markets in such a service, or does he maybe have a “public goods” type of argument in mind here? As Mises indicates, bureaucracy is required for those goods/services in society to which no market price applies. Do you think it’s simply mistaken that no price could prevail? Or maybe one might say that such a good/service should not be produced at all? Obviously Mises disagreed with the anarchists (like Rothbard) on a lot of issues, but I’m curious what you guys think here. What is it about a service like “police” that makes the profit-loss system inappropriate, and bureaucracy desirable? (This is my first “discussion,” forgive me if I’ve broken etiquette anywhere, still getting the feel for this place.)

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