Freeman

A monthly journal of liberal and progressive politics. Articles include historical analysis, original research, and critical essays.

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 10, October

A Golden Comeback, Part II
"Gold maintains its purchasing power over long periods of time, for example, half-century intervals." In last month's column, I focused on gold's inherent stability as a monetary numeraire. Historically, the monetary base under gold has neither declined...
Read preview Overview
Big Trouble
Labor-union violence directed at business owners, independent-minded workers, and political leaders who believe in the rule of law has a long, sorry history. Big Trouble is a revealing look at one episode. The focus of Pulitzer Prize-winner J. Anthony...
Read preview Overview
Capital Letters
Should the State Legislate Labor Unions? To the Editor: Lawrence W Reed, in his May column ("The Freedom Not to Pay for Other People's Politics"), surprised me by writing: "California voters will go to the polls later this year to decide on a Beck-inspired...
Read preview Overview
Conquests and Cultures
Conquests and Cultures by Thomas Sowell Basic Books 1998 * 493 pages * $35.00 Conquests and Cultures is the final book in Thomas Sowell's trilogy exploring the formation and importance of human culture. The earlier volumes were Race and Culture (1994)...
Read preview Overview
Demand and Supply
No series on the basic notions of economics can continue long without introducing demand and supply. These concepts, as illustrated with demand and supply curves, are fundamental to how economists understand economic behavior. In particular, with the...
Read preview Overview
Discrimination by the Numbers: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
More than a century ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes observed: "For the rational study of the law . . . the man of the future is the man of statistics." Lamentably, our lawmakers learned their lesson only too well. Over the past three decades they...
Read preview Overview
Dr. Andrew Ure: Pioneer Free Trader
In 1846 England became the first major industrial country to end its centuries-old protectionist policies against imports from other nations. This was a revolutionary move. Free trade was much more than an economic policy. It reflected the philosophy...
Read preview Overview
Employers Swamped by Good Intentions
One of the hidden costs of regulation is the intellectual burden of keeping up with it. In many cases, finding out what the rules are can be more than a full-time job. Consider the area of employer-employee relations. A few months ago, an odd travel...
Read preview Overview
Energy: Ending the Never-Ending Crisis
Energy: Ending the Never-Ending Crisis by Paul Ballonoff Cato Institute 1997 125 pages $18.95 cloth; $9.95 paperback This highly readable book undermines both the economic and constitutional rationales for federal regulation of energy markets. The truly...
Read preview Overview
Fairness: Results versus Process
Those of us who support liberty, limited government, and rule of law will never prevail in the public arena until we can compellingly make the case that free markets and voluntary exchange are inherently fairer than alternative forms of social organization....
Read preview Overview
Gertrude B. Kelly: A Forgotten Feminist
Contemporary feminism's preoccupation with its collectivist past has served to silence the voices of early individualist women. A perfect example is Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly (1862-1934), whose contributions to women's rights are long forgotten. Like most...
Read preview Overview
How Big Government Usurped Personal Responsibility
Aren't national summits great? America's foremost academicians. bankers, and mutual fund managers gathered in early June at the government's request to devise new ways to encourage a spend-happy public to save more. While the 240 delegates to the National...
Read preview Overview
It Just Ain't So!
Antitrust, now over a century old in the United States, has always had its supporters and critics. In the 1970s, however, a group of conservative scholars, including Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook (who are now federal judges) and Robert Bork (now...
Read preview Overview
Law and Disorder in Cyberspace
Law and Disorder in Cyberspace by Peter W Huber Oxford University Press 1997 288 pages $30.00 The subtitle of Peter Huber's Law and Disorder in Cyberspace proudly proclaims the book's main theme: "Abolish the FCC and Let Common Law Rule the Telecosm."...
Read preview Overview
On Behalf of the Ideal
There is a line of reasoning, gaining ground among businessmen and others, that tends to narrow an understanding of freedom rather than broaden it. It relates in part to our work at the Foundation for Economic Education, and I want to examine the reasoning...
Read preview Overview
Sizing Up Downsizing
Critics of voluntary cooperation through free markets typically describe one aspect of its wealth-creating dynamic as "downsizing." They allege that such adjustments are, on balance, harmful. The news media, as well as explicit market opponents, use...
Read preview Overview
Terms of Impairment
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George Bush in 1990 amid much congratulatory hoopla. "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down," the President declared. "Every man,...
Read preview Overview
The Arc of the Pendulum: A Philosophy for Government in the 21st Century
The Arc of the Pendulum: A Philosophy for Government in the 21st Century by Charles Stewart Goodwin University Press of America * 1996 * 190 pages * $54.00 cloth; $34.00 paperback Reviewed by Randall G. Holcombe In The Arc of the Pendulum, Charles Stewart...
Read preview Overview
The Book of Heroes: Great Men and Women in American History
The Book of Heroes: Great Men and Women in American History by George Roche, with Lissa Roche Regnery Publishing, Inc. * 1998 * 239 pages $24.95 Reviewed by Burton Folsom George Roche, the president of Hillsdale College, and his daughter-in-law, Lissa...
Read preview Overview
The Fine Art of Conservation
Imagine being a fly on the wall in an upscale auction house. You witness a parade of unique, priceless merchandise-items whose value cannot be explained by material usefulness alone. Their value arises from some combination of aesthetics, historical...
Read preview Overview
The Folly of Economic Warfare
BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA-"What we say goes;' was George Bush's famous remark after the Gulf War. That remains American policy, and U.S. policymakers are increasingly using economic sanctions to enforce their will. Burma, Cuba, Iraq, and North Korea are ongoing...
Read preview Overview
The IMF's Dubious Purpose
Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin insists that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is "the right institution" to resolve the Asian crisis and that it deserves an additional $18 billion from U.S. taxpayers. But the burden of proof falls on the Clinton...
Read preview Overview
The Nature and Significance of Economic Education
For many years I have been fascinated by what at first glance seems a paradoxical feature in Ludwig von Mises's attitude to the economics he taught. I believe that this seeming paradox in the life and work of my revered teacher can provide us with the...
Read preview Overview
The Seen and Unseen in Gun Control
The heinous shootings by young people at public schools around the country have predictably renewed calls for more gun control. Advocates of gun bans commit a classic fallacy that is usually associated with economic policy. But it fully applies to all...
Read preview Overview
What Is This Thing Called "Sprawl"?
Urban sprawl" is fast becoming the most important issue among so-called "land use" experts and in many state legislatures as well. If it isn't understood correctly, laws enacted to deal with it are likely to become major threats to both liberty and economic...
Read preview Overview
Whose Choice? Whose Responsibility?
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has given the school-voucher movement a shot in the arm by declaring that tax-funded school choice does not violate the separation of church and state. I always thought the argument that it does violate the separation was...
Read preview Overview
Whose Kids Are They?
Rereading The Twelve-Year Sentence a quarter-century after it was first published is an interesting experience. By many measures it would seem that the time is even more ripe to discuss the problems with compulsory schooling. Not a week goes by without...
Read preview Overview
Why Honorable People Avoid Politics
October 1998 Supporters of campaign-finance "reform"-meaning, supporters of greater government financing and central planning of electoral campaigns-routinely lament the fact that politicos must raise large sums of money to run for office. This requirement...
Read preview Overview