Freeman

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

Articles from Vol. 62, No. 1, January/February

Blowing Bubbles: Getting Ready for the Next Bust
Imagine you are a private in the army. Your sergeant orders you to dig a hole. When you finish, the sergeant is horrified to find that you have dug a hole. He dresses you down and then orders you to dig another hole. Insane? Welcome to today's world...
Destroying Value
In Cleveland and other American cities homes are being demolished because five years after the housing bust there is nothing better to do with them. Therein lies a lesson in Austrian business cycle theory.In a world of uncertainty, waste - the destruction...
Disaster Response Restores Confidence in Government? It Just Ain't So!
In a memorable episode of the cult-classic cartoon series "The Tick," the title character is seen in the local café regaling fellow superheroes with his latest adventure, in which he single-handedly stopped an alien plot that would have sucked the earth...
Employer Speech and Freedom of Association
I have argued that forcing a worker to submit to the will of a majority of his colleagues on the question of whether a union will represent him is a violation of that worker's freedom of association (tinyurl.com/ cepz2s). Association with a union is...
Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy
Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz WW Norton * 2010 * 361 pages * $27.95 hardcover; $16.95 paperbackReviewed by Lawrence H.WhiteIn 2001 Joseph Stiglitz was corecipient of the Nobel Prize in economics,...
Going to Graceland
A recent trip to Memphis took me to Elvis Presley's famed home, Graceland. Touring Presley's mansion and its grounds is fascinating for fans of his music, and the Presley estate has done a marvelous job in capturing his music and life. But visiting Graceland...
Government Is No Friend of the Poor
You've heard it all too many times to count, I suspect. Apologists for big government - the New York Times's Paul Krugman and Washington Post's Eugene Robinson being good recent examples-are convinced there's just no good alternative to government social...
Government the Job Killer
President Obama says government will have to build the nation out of the economic trough."We're the country that built the intercontinental railroad," Obama says. "So how can we now sit back and let China build the best railroads?"I guess Obama doesn't...
Libertarianism, from A to Z
Libertarianism, from A to Z by Jeffrey A. Miron Basic Books * 2010/2011 * 198 pages $24.95 hardcover; $15.99 paperbackReviewed by Aeon J. SkobleHarvard University economist Jeffrey Miron's primer on libertarian thought proceeds just as the title indicates:...
New Threats to Freedom: From Banning Ice Cream Trucks in Brooklyn to Abandoning Democracy around the World
New Threats to Freedom: From Banning Ice Cream Trucks in Brooklyn to Abandoning Democracy Around the World edited by Adam Bellow Templeton Press * 2010/2011 * 304 pages * $20.76 hardcover; $11.96 paperbackReviewed by Wendy McElroyNew Threats to Freedom,...
Occupying Wall Street
The Occupy Wall Street agenda is vague, but the protesters at least have the good sense to know that something is awry with the political-economic system we labor under. Protesters carried a variety of signs, one of which stated, "End corporate welfare."The...
Regime Uncertainty, Then and Now
In a 1997 article, "Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed After the War" (tinyurl.com/9814e), I advanced the idea of regime uncertainty in an attempt to improve our understanding of the Great Depression's...
Some Sins of Textbook Economics
People who are ignorant of economics are susceptible to all sorts of misunderstandings. Fortunately knowledge of even just the basics of sound economics is a powerful inoculant against many dangerous falsehoods and half-truths.This fact, however, does...
State-Mandated Thinking
Is this statement true? "If SpongeBob SquarePants is the mayor of Minneapolis, then Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo."It is. On the other hand, this is not: "If Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo, then Spongebob Squarepants is the Mayor of Minneapolis."Confused?...
Taxi Regulation and the Failures of Progressivism
As the American people head into another election year some will be puzzled by the rise and the staying power of Progressive ideals-according to which government manages the private economy supposedly for the social welfare. But in truth they've been...
The Euro: The Folly of Political Currency
The financial markets continue to surge and collapse based on the latest news from Europe. As of this writing, the big events are Slovakia's unwillingness to contribute to a bailout fund and the failure of Dexia, a French-Belgian bank with assets of...
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism by Kevin D. Williamson Regnery * 2011 * 272 pages * $19.95Reviewed by George LeefWhat do the following have in common: hungry Venezuelans, starving North Koreans, ecological devastation in the former Soviet...
Tough on Immigration Is Tough on Economic Growth
Not to be outdone by Arizona's tough immigration law of 2010, Alabama and Georgia legislators passed their own immigration bills in 2011. The bills received a great deal of media attention because they were widely touted as good for growth and job creation,...