Freeman

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

Articles from Vol. 59, No. 10, December

Benedict XVI on Labor Unions
On June 29 Pope Benedict XVI issued an encyclical letter titled Caritas in Ventate (CV) in which he discusses several economic questions. There is much in the letter that suggests Benedict lacks a clear understanding of economics, such as his belief...
Big Business Goes Big for Healthcare Reform
"What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand," Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times a few months ago.That manipulation should disturb...
Cash for Clunkers Was a Loser
President Obama's Cash for Clunkers program, inspired by the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act, ended August 25, 2009. As I drove through a major shopping area that day, I passed a large and highly successful Toyota dealer. Just past the sparkling...
Climate Change in the Great American Desert
President Obama 's science adviser, Dr. John Holdren, a Harvard physicist and persistent globalwarming alarmist, made the news recently with a stunning and bold idea on how to halt the imminent danger posed by global warming - sorry, global climate change....
Financial Crises and the Federal Reserve's Punch Bowl
Why did the U.S. financial system nearly collapse last year? People blame Wall Street's excessive greed and risk-taking. But without easy money, the massive risk-taking could not have happened.To be sure, financial firms leveraged up - that is, they...
From 1944 to Nineteen Eighty-Four
I'm inclined to think of George Orwell and F. A. Hayek at the same time. Both showed great courage in writing the truth, undaunted by the consequences. Both valued freedom, though they understood it differently.Orwell, a man of the "left," could not...
How to End Mexico's Deadly Drug War
Albert Einstein declared, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." He wasn't describing the federal government's nearly century-long war on drugs but he might as well have been.Despite...
Political Bankruptcies: How Chrysler and GM Have Changed the Rules of the Game
The topic of corporate bankruptcy law scarcely titillates the imagination of ordinary citizens, even those with a deep interest in constitutional and public affairs. Harried people treat bankruptcy almost dismissively as a useful way of winding up firms...
Profit Is Bad for Your Health? It Just Ain't So!
Many self-styled healthcare "reformers" favor a "public" (read: government) insurance option. The advantage of the government plan, President Obama said, is that "there wouldn't be a profit motive involved." Some supporters hoped the public option would...
Ten Reasons Why Slavery Should Not Be Abolished
Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that...
The Depression You've Never Heard Of: 1920-1921
When it comes to diagnosing the causes of the Great Depression and prescribing cures for our present recession, the pundits and economists from the biggest schools typically argue about two different types of intervention. Big-government Keynesians,...
The Shame of Medicine: Conviction by Psychiatry
In the predawn hours of June 5, 2002, Brian David Mitchell entered the bedroom of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart and her nine-year-old sister Mary Katherine and left the house with Elizabeth. They walked to a camp site four miles behind her wealthy parents'...
The Sound of Freedom
When I have the chance, I often pose this question to people who have become advocates for liberty: "What was it that first turned you on to these ideas?"It's an important question that always produces revealing answers and sometimes some fascinating...
Why Those Who Value Liberty Should Rejoice: Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize
Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is also one of the most iconoclastic thinkers to win it. (She shared it with Oliver Williamson.) Professor Ostroms work focuses on the mechanisms of selfgovernance that...