Reason

A leading social and political commentary magazine offering a refreshing alternative to Washington-based opinion. Focus is on free markets while covering politics, culture, and ideas through a mix of news, analysis, commentary and reviews..

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 7, December

Are Tea Parties Racist? Sifting through the Anti-Obama-Hysteria Hysteria
IN RETROSPECT, I suppose I should be surprised it took as long as eight months for someone to accuse me of racism in my criticism of Barack Obama. After all, by September 11, when Salon Editor in Chief Joan Walsh wrote that my "strange slur" against...
Bernanke's Philosopher: The Fed Chairman Is Portrayed as a Follower of John Maynard Keynes, but His Real Inspiration Is Milton Friedman
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHEN BEN BERNANKE TOOK charge of the Federal Reserve in 2006, the media made a few passing references that suggested he secretly subscribed to libertarianism. "I worked with him for years before I even knew he was a libertarian-leaning...
Creating Your Own Economy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The prolific George Mason economist Tyler Cowen is a popular blogger (at marginalrevolution.com), a New York Times columnist, and one of the country's foremost defenders of free markets. His most recent book is Create Your...
Glenn Beck's Experimental Melodrama: The Fox News Star Terrifies America with His Realistic News Theater
IN LATE SEPTEMBER, President Barack Obama conducted a series of five one-on-one White House interviews with reporters from CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and Univision. For some reason--perhaps he's housing a secret civilian security force in the Roosevelt Room...
Globalization with a Human Face: Jagdish Bhagwati on the Trouble with Protectionism, How to Deal with Climate Change, and Why NAFTA Was Bad for Free Trade
FREE TRADE IS NEVER more necessary--or vulnerable--than in times of economic distress. The current global downturn is no exception. Protectionist barriers have shot up all over the world, including the United States. Earlier this year, Congress killed...
How to Get Ahead in Law: Bernard Baran Served 22 Years on Dubious Child Molestation Charges, but the Prosecutor Who Convicted Him Was Promoted to Judge
LAST JUNE, District Attorney David Capeless of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, announced that he was dropping all charges against 44-year-old Bernard Baran, a man who has spent half his life behind bars on child molestation charges that the state...
Is Government Action Worse Than Global Warming? Why Policy Nihilism May Be the Only Rational Response to Climate Change
WILL THE SOLUTION to global warming be worse than global warming itself? Man-made global warming occurs as a result of burning fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It's a negative externality--a spillover from an economic...
Reading People's Faces: Tattoos, Dueling Scars, and Other Rational Acquisitions
IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that messing with a guy who has facial tattoos is a really bad idea. Getting dirty words tattooed on your eyelids--a popular choice, judging from the mug shots available online--is a serious commitment. It...
She's Back: Ayn Rand Is Bigger Than Ever. but Are Her New Fans Radical Enough for Capitalism?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AYN RAND, the Russian-born novelist and philosopher, died in 1982. But in this Bush-Obama season of fantastical government growth and encroachment into all areas of human activity, Rand has become a Banquo's ghost at the banquet...
State Crafts: Art for Politics' Sake
IN AUGUST the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) helped organize a teleconference for a few dozen artists, community organizers, and other players in the country's cultural scene. One of the participants was the Los Angeles-based filmmaker Patrick...
Stop and Frisk: NYC Civil Liberties
WALKING around New York is becoming a hazardous activity, thanks to the city's stop-and-frisk program. The policy, which has existed for years but intensified in 2009, is designed to prevent crime by identifying suspicious behavior; skulkers, smirkers,...
The Consumer Is Not the Customer: Both Parties Promise to Preserve One of the Central Problems of the Health Care System
THE OTHER DAY, I was trying to figure out why the paycheck deduction for my health insurance was higher than I had expected. When I called my insurer to ask what the total premium was, the customer service representative said it was none of my business....
The Long Wait for FDA-Approved Cancer Sticks
In 1997, when America's major cigarette manufacturers agreed to settle state lawsuits against them, some anti-smoking activists celebrated the deal as the end of a long fight. But in retrospect, it was just the beginning. In "Let's Make a Deal"...
The Salvia Ban Wagon: How Does Terrible Drug Policy Get Made? the Mad Rush to Criminalize a Psychedelic Herb Provides a Textbook Case
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, John Bulloch watched an alarming report on an Atlanta TV station about an exotic-sounding drug called Salvia divinorum. Bulloch had never heard of the plant, a psychoactive relative of sage that the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca,...
Unacknowledged Legislators Impeached: Why Isn't the United States Doing More for Its Poets Laureate?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SOMETHING THERE is in Americans that doesn't love a poet laureate. Literarily speaking, we're a nation of hard bodies; we prefer our writing either "lean" and "muscular" or "taut" and "sculpted." Our collective image of a...
Where's That Inflation? the Monetary Base Has Ballooned, Yet Inflation Remains Far off. or Does It?
FROM SEPTEMBER 2008 to September 2009, the Federal Reserve pumped an unprecedented $2 trillion into the financial system by buying Treasury bonds and assets from banks. According to most mainstream economists, such action should create a general increase...
Will Everyone Please Stop Freaking out over Ayn Rand?!?
AS IS SO OFTEN THE CASE, I DISCOVERED AYN RAND WHEN I WAS A 19-YEAR-OLD COLLEGE STUDENT ... IS THAT BOOK ANY GOOD? YEAH, FOR MOST PART ... I LOVE HOW PASSIONATELY SHE ARGUES AGAINST GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE IN PEOPLE LIVES ... IT'S VERY...