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Articles from Vol. 42, No. 9, February

Can't Buy You Love: The Essential Yet Limited Role of Money in Politics
Two MONTHS before Election Day, The New York Times reported that "Democratic officials" believed "corporate interests, newly emboldened by regulatory changes," were trying to "buy the election." But it turned out the election was not for sale--at least,...
Can We Trust the GOP? the Republicans Have Retaken the House, but That Doesn't Mean You Should Expect the Government to Get Any Smaller
AFTER TWO YEARS of absolute Democratic power, many voters hope that the Republicans will restore fiscal sanity to Washington. But a look at the GOP's track record and campaign promises should give us pause. Historically, Republicans have often been...
Grade Inflation: The More We Spend on Higher Education, the More We Spend on Higher Education
WHEN IT COMES to reforming Big College, give the federal government a C+. Throughout 2010, grade grubbers in Congress, the White House, the Department of Education, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) worked hard to investigate and regulate...
Grading Barack Obama: Libertarian Legal Scholar Richard Epstein on His Former University of Chicago Colleague
FEW LEGAL SCHOLARS have blown as many minds and impacted as many national arguments as Richard Epstein. His 1985 volume Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain made the controversial argument that zoning, environmental regulations,...
Just a Matter of When? Legalizing Marijuana Has Failed in California. but Eve in Defeat, Proposition 19 Might Mark the Beginning of the End for Prohibition
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ON HOMECOMING DAY at the University of Southern California, Elizabeth Tauro strode purposefully through the dense, shifting mob of pre-game partiers, bearing huge rolls of "Yes on 19" stickers on...
Labor's Last Stand? A New Accounting Rule Will Either Sink Private-Sector Unions or Trigger the Next Major Bailout
IF YOU MEASURED the strength of an organization by the size of its political donations, private-sector labor unions would be some of the most robust organizations in American society. The nation's two most influential private unions, the Service Employees...
More Happy Families
When Julian Sanchez outlined "the looming battle over gay parenting" ("All Happy Families," August/ September 2005), his prime example was Florida, the only state with an explicit, uniform rule against adoptions by homosexuals. As of October, when...
Radio Theater: Some Prominent Republicans Say They Want to Defund National Public Radio. We've Heard That Line Before
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] GET READY TO suspend your disbelief. One of the most resilient acts in theatrical history has returned to the D.C. stage: the We're Going To Defund Public Broadcasting show. Every time this play gets revived, the director...
Suicide Solution? Occupation Begets Terror
AMERICA's military presence in the Middle East is supposed to be a vital part of the War on Terror. But a database created by the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism indicates that the U.S. is actually increasing suicide attacks through its occupation...
The Science of Libertarian Morality: A Social Psychology Study Explores the Formation of the Libertarian Personality
LIBERTARIANS are often cast as amoral calculating rationalists with an unseemly hedonistic bent. Now new social science research upends that caricature. Libertarians are quite moral, the researchers argue--just not in the same way that conservatives...
The Terminator vs. the Constitution: California's Video Game Law Does Violence to the First Amendment
DOES A ZOMBIE count as "an image of a human being"? What about an android or a shape-shifting alien? If his arm regenerates when you hack it off, does that still amount to "maiming"? Are you "killing" him if he comes back to life after you incinerate...
The View from the Sidelines: The Pros and Cons of Political Self-Marginalization
At reason's WEBLOG (reason.com/blog, which you really should read), some commenters frequently complain about our disdain for the two major American political parties and the broad worldviews they represent. When we ding professional Republicans for...
Wet at Last
CALIFORNIANS did not legalize marijuana in November, but Dallasites did finally manage to legalize alcohol. By a margin of nearly 2 to 1, voters approved a ballot initiative that allows grocery and convenience stores throughout the city to sell beer...
What's the Matter with Provincetown? the Democrats' Two Years of Control Delivered Zero Social Liberalism
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BARACK OBAMA the hard-left bomb thrower is gone. I miss him already. Yes, I know. The president routinely depicted by detractors as the demon seed of the '60s counterculture is in fact an establishment figure who blocks...
When Booze Was Banned but Pot Was Not: What Can Today's Antiprohibitionists Learn from Their Predecessors?
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Daniel Okrent, Scribner, 468 pages, $30 OF THE 27 AMENDMENTS to the U.S. Constitution, the 18th is the only one explicitly aimed at restricting people's freedom. It is also the only one that has ever...
Why Cops Aren't Whistleblowers: The Shameful Stop Snitchin' Campaign among the Men in Blue
WHILE AWARDING Barron Bowling $830,000 last September for the beating he suffered at the hands of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson went out of her way to acknowledge another victim in...
Young Adam Smith
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In his new intellectual biography Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life (Yale University Press), the Scottish historian Nicholas Phillipson probes Enlightenment-era Scotland for clues to a self-effacing thinker. The Kirkcaldy-born...