Poetic Justice: Donate Government Money to the Mises Institute

From: Hunter DeRensis
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 5:56 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Libertarians & Stimulus Checks

Dr. Block,

Hi, I hope you’re doing well, and staying safe inside. I’m just a libertarian looking to get a libertarian question answered, and I know you’re the man to do it. By Monday, it’s likely congress will pass a trillion dollar stimulus bill that’ll bailout the airlines and other industries, along with sending cash checks to individual Americans to 1) help them pay their bills & essentials if they’ve been effected by the coronavirus, and 2) try to “stimulate demand.”

The current number being tossed around is $1,200 per person who makes under $75,000, and $2,500 for couples under $150,000. $500 dollars extra per kid or dependent if you have them.

So my question to you is, what should a good libertarian do with their check? I try to lead an ethical life that comports with the NAP, and in my job I feel I positively contribute (however small) to the fight against the state apparatus. So when the government hands me free money, should I rip up the check while its still in its mailing envelope? Should I donate it all to the Mises Institute? Do I pocket it and say its the least they owe me? What do you plan to do with your stimulus money?

I’m interested to hear how you believe libertarian theory applies to this problem, and I look forward to your response.


Dear Hunter:

Thanks for your kind words.

My main advice to you is to CASH THAT CHECK. My secondary advice to you is to donate 50% of it to the Mises Institute, and use the other 50% to keep yourself and your family safe. Why the former? That’s because the MI does more to promote liberty and good (Austrian) economics than any other organization on the planet. I’m gonna donate half of the money I receive from this source to the MI.

It would be poetic justice for recipients of these funds to donate this government money to the Mises Institute. You can do so right here: https://mises.org/giving/now

See my publications on this matter of accepting government largesse:


Block, 1972, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009A, 2009B, 2010, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 2012, 2016; Block and Arakaky, 2008, Block and Barnett, 2008, D’Amico and Block, 2007

Block, Walter E. 1972. “The Polish Ham Question.” The Libertarian Forum. June-July, Vol. 4, No. 6-7, p. 5; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1972/1972_06-07.pdfhttp://mises.org/daily/4054https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block143.html

Block, Walter E. 2002. “Accepting Government Subsidies,” Fraser Forum, February, p. 27; http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/forum/2002/02/section_13.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part I” Reason Papers, Vol. 27, Fall, pp. 117-133;


Block, Walter E. 2006. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part II” Reason Papers, Vol. 28, Spring, pp. 85-109; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_7.pdf; (death penalty justified, net taxpayer, ruling class analysis p. 87)

Block, Walter E. 2007. “Ron Paul and Matching Funds,” October 1;


Block, Walter E. 2008. “Replies to readers” September 23;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block108.html (libertarians hypocrites for using public school?)

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism” in Hulsmann, Jorg Guido and Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 137-148; http://mises.org/books/hulsmann-kinsella_property-freedom-society-2009.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010. “You are a rotten kid (rent control and libertarianism),” February 27;


Block, Walter E. 2011A. “It’s Ayn Rand Bashing Time, Once Again.” February 18; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block172.html

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “May a Libertarian Take Money From the Government?” March 11; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block175.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/03/walter-e-block/may-a-libertarian-take-money-from-the-government/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 665-675; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_33.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011D. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Is It Compatible With Libertarianism to be a Banker? Yes!” September 29; https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/compatible-libertarianism-banker-yes/

Block, Walter E. and Chris Arakaky. 2008. “Taking Government Money for Grad School?” May 23; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block100.html

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2008. “Continuums” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, Vol. 1, pp. 151-166 June; http://www2.units.it/~etica/http://www2.units.it/~etica/2008_1/BLOCKBARNETT.pdf

D’Amico, Dan and Walter E. Block. 2007. “A Legal and Economic Analysis of Graffiti” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 29-38; http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/damico.pdfhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=24713http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008525

This book of mine might be of interest to you:

Block, Walter E. 2012. Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty. Ishi Press; http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873234;








Best regards,



2:59 am on March 21, 2020