Saturday, June 5, 2021

Robert Wenzel - 1957 to 2021


We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Robert Wenzel. Robert passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 25th, 2021 in San Francisco, CA. He was 63.

Robert was buried in a private ceremony for family and close friends at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, CA on June 4th, 2021.

In keeping with Robert's wishes, we plan on keeping both EconomicPolicyJournal.com and TargetLiberty.com live on the web as archives of Robert's work.

We'd like to thank all of the readers of both EconomicPolicyJournal.com and TargetLiberty.com for their support of Robert's work over the years.

We'd further like to thank all of those individuals who have created touching tributes to Robert in recent days.

He loved sharing and debating his ideas and opinions with you and know he would want you to carry the torch of liberty forward into the future.

--The Family of Robert Wenzel

45 comments:

  1. RIP. My sincere condolences to his family. God bless.

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    1. I've read this site for so many years... I'm simply crushed that he is gone from us...
      Robert's posts became part of my daily life long ago. I never tired of his precise insight and thoughtful commentary.

      It's funny, in this internet age his written voice on a screen was never matched with a handshake or a hug- but he became over time a true friend nonetheless. Robert Wenzel touched my life that way- a trusted, witty online companion that I looked forward to reading every day.

      You will be missed, my friend- you touched the lives of so many in such positive ways-- you did your family and legacy proud.

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  2. Bob will be sorely missed! I've been reading his websites every day for many years now, and I am truly sad to no longer have his insightful commentary. He unabashedly fought for liberty. RIP Bob!

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  3. RIP

    https://rumble.com/vi0mp7-remembering-robert-wenzel-with-murray-sabrin-walter-block-michael-r.-edelst.html

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  4. Robert was a very kind person, devote libertarian, and champion of freedom. My condolences to his family. RIP.

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  5. I would like to offer condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.

    May God bless him and his family.

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  6. I'm so sorry...he was a part of my day.

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  7. Thank you, will be greatly missed. Have enjoyed reading his work and posts for over a decade.

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  8. Terrible news. Bob was a treasure to the community.

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  9. So unexpected and sad. My condolences.

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  10. Many thanks. He was inspirational. And still is.

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  11. Robert Wenzel R.I.P.

    I lost a mentor this week. A man I admired and respected immensely. So much of who I am has been inspired largely by the work of Robert Wenzel. He was my favorite thinker. I am stricken by his loss. How many little sayings and pieces of wisdom are forever lodged in my brain because of this man? Too many to count. As an avid reader of both his blogs for the better part of a decade, I can say honestly that no one person had more impact on the way I think about economics and freedom than Robert did. I learned how inexorably the two are intertwined. I recall emailing him several years ago and being ecstatic that he reblogged my question (and his response). I do not have “heroes”, mostly because I think there is inherent danger in putting a fallible individual on a pedestal, but Robert was as close to a hero to me as one could get. The articles he wrote, the essays and books he published, and all the work he did in general to promote liberty and get people to think for themselves will continue to have profoundly positive results through the years to come. I cannot speak highly enough of Robert. Not only will you be sorely missed, but a part of me feels lost in the fog without you.

    My condolences to his family. God bless.

    Joel

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  12. Heartbreaking. A giant has fallen. The wealth of knowledge I've gained from reading your work cannot be overstated. I will do my very best to pass on what I have learned to my kids and try and keep the flickering flame of Liberty alive. Thank you. Sincerely, Thank you. Rest in Peace, Robert Wenzel.

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  13. Joel you couldn't have said it better
    God Bless Robert Wenzel and God Bless his friends and family he was a treasure to all free thinkers. May he rest in peace.

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  14. In Memory of Robert Wenzel, The Titan of San Francisco https://thejewishlibertarian.com/2021/06/04/in-memory-of-robert-wenzel-the-titan-of-san-francisco/

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  15. A great man. He will be missed. RIP

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  16. The loss of Robert Wenzel was shocking and saddening. He's been among the most influential figures in my life, and yet I never met him in person.

    Since finding EPJ around 2009, I became an addicted regular reader. I was impressed by RW's understanding of Austrian School Business Cycle Theory and his ability to fuse that knowledge with economic data to make accurate predictions. We live in a world where expert after expert is trotted out before the media. These experts are almost always comically and fantastically wrong about what is happening and what will happen in the world. Here, however, was the opposite. In another clear contrast to our world of empty headed experts, RW was a principled man that stuck to his beliefs regardless of their popularity. He had confidence and conviction, and was a visibly incredibly hard worker. That hard work is why so many of us knew immediately that was something was amiss when our updates from EPJ and TL weren't coming on that fateful day.

    Oh, and he was fun! So fun! Always willing to stick his face out (literally these days) to confront a "mini-Mao", as he called them, and then post the story on EPJ or TL.

    I started corresponding with Robert over emails sometime around 2017. As the pandemic started to careen into a mad circus, I noted to him that I had tried my hand at writing before and I wanted to do some more. Robert was so supportive. He read my work and offered critiques, and he always encouraged me to do more. I never asked for him to publish anything I wrote, but he offered on several occasions. It was very thrilling for me to have RW as a fan. I would like to list the works he published, so that I have them here for posterity.

    The Only Question that Matters
    https://www.targetliberty.com/2021/03/the-only-question-that-matters.html

    My Most Fulfilling Thanksgiving
    https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/11/my-most-fulfilling-thanksgiving.html

    A Response to Carl Bergstrom
    https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/07/a-response-to-carl-bergstrom-and-his.html

    How to Survive Corporate Idiocy (published anonymously per my original request)
    https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/06/how-to-survive-corporate-idiocy-in-age.html

    The Science of Social Distancing
    https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/06/the-science-of-social-distancing-never.html

    What Do Lies Look Like in the Virginia Media
    https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/05/what-do-lies-look-like-in-virginia-media.html

    A Letter to My Children's School
    https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/05/a-letter-to-my-childrens-school.html

    In addition to these articles are countless emails I exchanged with health department officials and school administrators, who I fought for months on the subject of masking my five year old daughter. Robert Wenzel was bcc'd on every one of those emails and he often wrote me offering advice for what to ask. Most importantly, he frequently replied simply offering encouragement to keep up the fight.

    I'll miss Robert a ton. I hope I can find a way to use what I have learned from him to do some good in this world.

    In mourning,
    David Burns

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    1. Bravo David! Same timing and perception for me; by late he insisted on the need of many "superspreaders" that help to disseminate the good universal freedom ideas to the non attentive population where we operate;

      glad to keep in touch from Italy (levelma@hotmail.com) Massimo Mainetti

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  17. Someone has to leave a Record of Truth in Economics. One of those who did was Robert Wenzel. This doesn't just happen. He provided a great service in publishing what he did.

    I am glad the Site will continue as a Record.

    CW

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  18. I've been visiting this website quite regularly for over 10 years now and enjoyed the variety of articles as well as commentary from Robert.

    RIP! Sincere condolences to his family.

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  19. "Requiem" - RLS
    "Under the wide and starry sky
    Dig the grave, and let me lie.
    Glad did I live, and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will.

    This be the verse that you grave for me;
    Here he lies where he longed to be,
    Home is the sailor, home from sea.
    And the hunter home from the hill.

    Rest In Peace, Mr. Wenzel

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  20. I visited EPJ on a daily basis for numerous years know that if something really mattered Robert would have a rational, well thought out comment on it. My friend of Liberty. You will be missed.

    Mark Lay
    Singapore

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  21. I would like to offer condolences to his family and friends. May God bless him and his family.

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  22. Rest in Peace Please

    --Melvin Megawitz

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  23. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

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  24. Whoa. Very stunned and saddened by the news. Rest in Peace Bob.

    -Josh

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  25. I don't think anyone provided a critique of the daily market from an Austrian perspective, here and in his daily subscription newsletter, better than Robert Wenzel. For a laymen like me it was a great asset, in fact he responded to a couple questions I had in one of his last newsletters on the very day I sent the questions. They are copied below:
    Q. I hear the Federal Reserve always say that if inflation runs hot, they have several “tools” in their “toolbox” to combat the inflation. But they never say what the tools are. Any idea on what the tools are and how they would affect the economy if implemented?

    A. From a big picture perspective they have only one tool, the ability to expand and contract the money supply. This is what is important, They have various other tools that support the money supply control, reserve requirements, interest rates on various reserves, buying and selling of assets (mostly Treasury securities) etc., but in the end it is all about money supply. They play one song, sometimes using a piano and sometimes using a guitar. It is not the instrument they use but the song they are pumping out.

    As to your second point, if the Fed stops printing or slows significantly, it would crash the stock market, real estate and large parts of the economy.


    Q. How does inflation relate to odd investments? For instance, my father who is almost 80 is thinking of selling his antique bicycle collection (that’s his retirement fund). Any insight on how odd investments like that will do in high inflation? They are not a necessity so would demand go down as prices of food goes up or would any physical product be a good hedge?

    A. Asset prices, in general, go up during a price inflation. Anything is better than cash is the eventual mindset. I have no knowledge about the antique bicycle market, but unless there are some kind of quirks, prices should be strong during an overall price inflation.


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  26. I got to know Robert personally after developing an email relationship with him and having him on my PBS-TV program. The unedited footage of the show can be found here: https://youtu.be/8PcPyPJDYg0

    In my inbox everyday, in the form of his EPJ Alert, was the best education on economics and monetary theory I ever had. I mentioned to him several times that he defended and promoted the free market perhaps better than anyone because he mixed common English with investing advice that kept people wanting more - in a way paying them to learn!

    I am not ashamed to say I feel somewhat lost without him. I know of no one who could do what he could.

    Goodbye Rob, and thanks for making me a smarter man.

    - Jon Caldara
    President, Independence Institute
    ThinkFreedom.org

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  27. Upon reading all these great comments, I see how many lives Bob touched. In addition to his vast knowledge & passion for liberty, he had a way of making everyone feel important. I am honored to have called him a friend. So I decided to publish some of my experiences with him. Bob would usually post everything I sent him, which I appreciated. May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen.

    Condolances to his family.

    R.I.P. Robert Wenzel, The Austrian Everyman
    http://libertyfightnews.blogspot.com/2021/06/rip-robert-wenzel-austrian-everyman.html

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  28. I think I've been reading his blog for close to 10 years. I heard the news on Facebook. I already miss his daily updates. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  29. To Robert's family, please accept my condolences. I'd assume you had no idea how much all of us strangers appreciated what he did.

    I read his two sites daily and often posted his articles on my Facebook page; Anti-State. I'm equally heartbroken and furious. I'd bet I've read over 90% of the articles he's posted for over a decade.
    Robert had such a great way of slicing through the BS from all sides and presenting complex ideas in a manner that was easily digestible. He brought in snippets of news from all over the world and analyzed it through a hard-core libertarian lens. This is probably why he had guys like Tom Woods reading and commenting on his blog, and guys like Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams mentioning him on The Liberty Report.

    I stupidly let my Daily Alert subscription run out just before the COVID meltdown and told my wife in the last week that I should subscribe again.

    Bob was a fighter for liberty. He regularly posted stories of how he handled confrontations with mask nazis in San Francisco. He met directly with employees at the Federal Reserve to explain to them why they should be out of a job. While not a veritable scholar like the Mises faculty, he could mix it up with them due to a lifetime of reading Austrian Economics. I remember an ongoing and somewhat nasty debate on IP with Stephan Kinsella. Bob was not afraid to hold a position (pro-IP) that clashed with others in the movement. As McAdams points out in his article, Bob was not afraid to call out those "on our side" if he thought they were f*(%ing up. Many times he tore into Rand Paul for words and actions leading away from liberty. Based on the symbiotic relationship McAdams mentions in this article, I'd guess that Ron probably agreed with Bob.

    Over the years I've had a few email exchanges with him and even got a credit on one of his posts when I forwarded some information. It feels weird to say about someone you never met, but his passing really hurts. The greater liberty movement is definitely poorer without him here. We're all going to have to step it up a bit.

    Rest in peace Robert.
    -Shane

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  30. Thank you, Mr. Wenzel, for the education. I have learned much from you over the years. It was extremely disorienting to lose you so suddenly. Now we must take the lessons you have taught us, think for ourselves, and find ways to give voice to the message of liberty. May we all have the courage and fortitude to do so as you have done!

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  31. He will be deeply missed. RIP Robert.

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  32. A happy warrior for liberty in the tradition of Mises and Rothbard. RIP robert

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  33. To quote my father, "There goes one of the great ones..."

    RIP courageous warrior.

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  34. He was a principled man who dedicated his life for the cause of freedom and the individual. He is missed.

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  35. So sorry to hear of Mr. Wenzel's passing. His message was a great influence on me and a welcome and refreshing of the truth. Like many on here I will miss his daily articles. Prayers to his loved ones and family.

    Liberty loving Texan.

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  36. "In keeping with Robert's wishes, we plan on keeping both EconomicPolicyJournal.com and TargetLiberty.com live on the web as archives of Robert's work."

    Thank you so much to the Wenzel family for this. It is very much appreciated!

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  37. Like others, I was stunned at hearing the sad news of RW's passing. I first encountered RJ in the pages of now-defunct Liberty Magazine, in the late 90s and early 2000s.
    Since discovering his two web sites, they became a daily, early-morning mainstay; I truly have felt somewhat rudderless now that these sites are in suspended animation.
    I learned so much from his writings and videos...and certain phrases or words will always remind me of RW: Mini-Maos...coprolite...second-hand dealer in ideas... Even the way he'd write "Got that?" ... lol.
    He always said he'd stay in San Francisco and California until the end, and would "turn out the lights" when it closed. Well, he didn't quite make it that long, but as a night-watchman of liberty, he was stellar.
    Bravo, sir. Rest in peace.
    --David Afton.

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  38. Let's not forget about Mr. Wenzel's other online presence :

    YouTube videos : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6VFllW7dvne0SQZp3sGylQ

    Podcast (audio only version of videos) : https://wenzel.podbean.com/

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  39. I was shocked and saddened when I heard about Bob's passing. I've been an avid daily reader of his EPJ blog (and TL when introduced) for over a decade. I learned an incredible amount of knowledge from his Daily Alert. I am going to miss reading his thoughts and insights on current and economic events. My condolences to his family, may he RIP.

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  40. I had just subscribed to Bob's Daily Alert this past March. I loved the daily insights into the markets. I was really looking forward to his analysis shining through during the coming months/years. I'm was very saddened by his loss. I am planning on re-reading the three months of his alerts that I received and internalizing his insights and philosophy. Thank you Robert for the education. You will be sorely missed.

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