Freeman

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

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 2, February

Abolish Legal Tender
An advertisement in an English newspaper offers a one-million-dollar bill for saleat the remarkably reduced price of L29.95 (about $50.00). However, this great deal comes with the words "Not Legal Tender." Thereby the advertisement unwittingly presents...
Alliances: What's Friendship Got to Do with It?
America is the "indispensable nation," as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright likes to put it. But while the United States is supposedly indispensable, it can't seem to get along without allies-most of whom seem to think that the purpose of their "friendship"...
A One-Armed Economist, Please
"[W]hile purity is an uncomplicated virtue for olive oil, sea air, and heroines of folk tales, it is not so for systems of collective choice." -AMARTYA SEN1 President Harry Truman hated what he termed two-armed economists, those who would advise him...
A Program the Borg Would Love
ONTARIO, CANADA-Suppose you're out for a stroll one evening. A scruffylooking stranger approaches you and says, "Hand over all your valuables, and make it snappy." "Is this a stickup?" you gasp, stupidly. "Why, no," says the stranger, "it's merely the...
Between Power and Liberty: Economics and the Law
Between Power and Liberty: Economics and the Law edited by Richard M. Ebeling Hillsdale College Press 1998 . 169 pages $9.95 paperback Between Power and Liberty: Economics and the Law, is the publication of the 1997 Ludwig von Mises lectures at Hillsdale...
Captain Consumer
"The direction of all economic affairs is in the market society a task of entrepreneurs. Theirs is the control of production. They are at the helm and steer the ship. A superficial observer would believe that they are supreme. But they are not. They...
Come to America, John Paul
You don't have to be Catholic to admire Pope John Paul II's role in undermining communism in Europe and his courageous visit to Cuba last year. Who else in the world could make Fidel Castro broadcast attacks on communism? But some of the pope's most...
Countless Wonders
In a recent drive through an affluent San Francisco neighborhood boasting truly spectacular homes, I did what almost every ordinary person does in such circumstances: I wondered to myself, "What can I do to earn enough money to be able to afford such...
Distrust and Verify
Perhaps the most positive legacy of the Clinton administration will be that it further eroded the public's trust in the federal government. Trust has declined significantly since the Great Society programs of the Johnson administration. According to...
Enterprising Southerners: Black Economic Success in North Carolina, 1865-1915
Enterprising Southerners: Black Economic Success in North Carolina, 1865-1915 by Robert C. Kenzer University Press of Virginia 1997 xvi + 178 pages $30.00 In this meticulous and tightly argued volume, historian Robert Kenzer corrects what he describes...
Enviro-Capitalists: Doing Good While Doing Well
Enviro-Capitalists: Doing Good While Doing Well by Terry A. Anderson and Donald R. Leal Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 1997 189 pages $52.50 cloth; $16.95 paperback Reviewed by Bruce Yandle Writing about Austrian economics and the market process...
Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science
Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science by Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt Johns Hopkins University Press 1997 a 314 pages $35.95 cloth; $16.95 paperback Reviewed by Thomas E Bertonneau and Richard L. Cutler Science, along...
Monster
Rule No. 1 for slaying the Hydra: slay it. Don't just cut off one-or even a few-of its heads. That's not good enough: the head might grow back. Kill it dead. How many times do we need to be taught that lesson before we learn it? During the presidency...
New Schools for a New Century: The Redesign of Urban Education
New Schools for a New Century: The Redesign of Urban Education edited by Diane Ravitch and Joseph Viteritti Yale University Press 1997 . 320 pages $30.00 Reviewed by George C. Leef Socialism cannot work, Ludwig von Mises argued from the 1920s until his...
On Airports and Individual Rights
For a couple of years, Orange County, California, has been buzzing with controversy over what to do when the El Toro Marine Air Base is closed. The question on everyone's mind is whether it will be transformed into an international airport by the local...
Privatize the Airports!
Waiting in long lines for everything from a boarding pass to a cheeseburger. Slow luggage delivery. Expensive parking. Jammed concourses. Surly workers. Small, dingy restrooms. Long walks from one flight to another that leave you worn out, with the only...
Sen or Sense
In the battle over economics, the victory of the market seemed decisive. It had not been easy. Since the days of Adam Smith, the world economy had to cross the turbulent waters of colonialism, mercantilism, socialism, fascism, and communism before liberalization,...
Small Is Awesome
Giant corporations controlling national governments. Corporate behemoths regimenting their workers, controlling their customers, and obliterating their smaller competitors. The rich get richer and the large get larger until a small handful of megacorporations...
The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories
The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories edited by John V Denson Transaction Publishers 1997 . 450 pages $44.95 cloth; $29.95 paperback Reviewed by Doug Bandow Advocates of limited government have long known that war and preparation for war are...
The Government Spiral
The graveyard spiral is a maneuver known to students of airplane accidents as one of the most common reasons that inexperienced pilots unwittingly kill themselves. In this utterly preventable maneuver, a pilot untrained to fly on instruments flies into...
The ILO's Strange Use of Words
Last June the International Labor Organization (ILO) put forth its "Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work." US. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman asserted that the declaration is "a big step forward for the ILO and its members as we enter...
The Life of a Grand Old Liberal
Moses Harman (1830-1910) is the sort of social visionary whom historians often overlook, even though his influence during his own lifetime was immense. Harman lived most of his life in the American midwest, sharing many of the values that are associated...
The Market for Honesty
The recurring theme of all my columns has been that economics is a study of how people cooperate with each other and that market economies succeed because of the incredible amount of cooperation they promote. Market cooperation, like all cooperation,...
There's No Philadelphia in Europe
The member states of the European Union, in their struggles to find some form of international authority, are going through debates that have a strange resonance with America's arguments about constitutional forms in the late 1780s. However, there has...
Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: Tax Revolts That Built America
Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: Tax Revolts that Built America by Charles Adams The Free Press 1998 . 242 pages $25.00 Reviewed by James A. Woehlke and Nikolaus P Woehlke IRS reform has been a hot topic in Washington recently. Last spring, more than 80 legislators...
Unhappy Returns
On August 13, 1920, a confidence man named Charles Ponzi was arrested for running a pyramid scheme that had cheated investors out of millions of dollars. Ponzi had promised his investors a 50 percent return after 45 days, and he was able to deliver,...
We Need a Global Fed? It Just Ain't So!
Some economic pundits see every instance of economic disorder as proof of the defects of capitalism and of the need for more extensive government regulation of the economy. It never seems to cross their minds that government regulations might even destabilize...
Wisconsin's Choice
The plaque is proudly posted at the front entrance to Bascom Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It memorializes the eloquent defense of academic freedom made by the university's Board of Regents in 1894 in exonerating Richard...