Freeman

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

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 11, November

A Private-Sector Solution to Poverty
"The able bodied poor don't want or need charity.... All they need is financial capital." -MUHAMMAD YUNUS For years free-market economists have protested the waste and abuse of foreign aid programs, International Monetary Fund loans, and World Bank projects.'...
Big Brother Wants to Read Your E-Mail
Some people concerned about privacy violations on the Internet object that many Web site operators collect and use information about visitors for demographic research and, yes, advertising. Although "anonymizer" services are available, the simplest way...
China in the New Millennium: Market Reforms and Social Development
China in the New Millennium: Market Reforms and Social Development edited by James A. Dom Cato Institute 1998 416 pages $24.95 cloth; $15.95 paperback Reviewed by Steven W Mosher In June 1997 the Cato Institute sponsored an academic conference in Shanghai,...
Comparative Advantage Continued
The concept of comparative advantage, which I began discussing last month, is a straightforward application of opportunity cost and is almost embarrassingly simple. Certainly people have no trouble understanding and recognizing the importance of this...
Driving Forces: The Automobile, Its Enemies, and the Politics of Mobility
Driving Forces: The Automobile, Its Enemies, and the Politics of Mobility by James Dunn Brookings Institution 1998 $44.95 cloth; $18.95 paperback Over the last two generations a battle between the automobile and its enemies has raged in most urban regions....
Einstein's Brain and the Egalitarian Mind
Late last spring a team of neuroscientists based at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, released the first detailed study of Albert Einstein's brain, which had been preserved since his death in 1955. Einstein was sympathetic to the idea of having...
Emotive Policymaking
We live in an age of paradox. Media saturation following events like the murders at Columbine High School makes it appear that violence surrounds us. Yet the crime rate has been falling and school shootings remain extremely rare. In contrast, the serious...
Fist of Steel
ast year was bad for U.S. steel producers. Imports jumped to historic highs, and domestic prices fell. Corporate steel profits collapsed, and almost six percent of steelworkers lost their jobs. Crying foul, steel producers appealed for relief under US....
Germany and the "Third Way"
At least two things exercise political and economic commentators on Europe: the meaning and policy significance of the "third way" and the current malaise in the German economy. There is close connection between these two issues, though it is not quite...
Is Mental Illness a Disease?
"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird .... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doingthat's what counts. I learned very early the difference...
Is the Constitution Antiquated?
Article I of the US. Constitution addresses the legislative powers that are vested in-held exclusively by-the Congress. One of these powers is the right to "grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal" (Section 8, paragraph 11). Further, Section 10, paragraph...
Just a Cigar
In July the Federal Trade Commission recommended that Congress require warning labels on cigars. One of the warnings suggested by the FTC nicely illustrates the artful evasiveness of public health officials who seek to shape people's behavior rather...
Let's Not Promote Dependency
Despite the good news that national welfare rolls have declined nearly 40 percent over the last five years and that recent federal and state reforms appear to be at least partly responsible for this decline, the debate over welfare reform is going nowhere....
Market Education: The Unknown History
Market Education: The Unknown History by Andrew J. Coulson Transaction Publishers and the Social Philosophy and Policy Center 1999 430 pages $54.95 cloth; $24.95 paperback Reviewed by George C. Leef The most pernicious of all the widely held modern beliefs...
Material Progress over the Past Millennium
Reginald Labbe, an English farmer better off than most in his time, died in 1293. His will listed the following possessions: one cow and one calf two sheep and three lambs three hens a bushel and a half (about 90 pounds) of wheat a seam (about 400 pounds)...
Perspective: Who's Who in the School Voucher Movement
Who's Who in the School Voucher Movement Watching the shifting line-ups in the school voucher contest is revealing. The voucher is one of those insidious "reforms" that its advocates herald as an achievable "step in the right direction." The direction...
President Grant Reconsidered
President Grant Reconsidered by Frank I Scaturro University Press of America 1998 152 pages $34.50 cloth; $16.95 paperback Reviewed by Burton Folsom In almost all polls of U.S. presidents, Ulysses S. Grant ranks near the bottom. Professor Thomas Bailey...
Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good
Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good by Richard A. Epstein Perseus Books 1998 372 pages $30.00 Reviewed by William H. Peterson Law and economics were once openly tied, as witness the title of John Stuart...
Spontaneous Order in the Playground
I recently observed an intriguing example of the evolution of a private property, marketbased spontaneous order at my children's elementary school. A group of fourth and fifth graders created a set of playground rules analogous to those I learned about...
States, Economic Freedom, and Wealth Creation
Montesquieu once observed that "Countries are well cultivated not as they are fertile, but as they are free." The 1999 Index of Economic Freedom, published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, examined 161 countries and came to the...
Stop Stopping Price Cutting
"There's nothing new under the sun." This aphorism speaks volumes about Uncle Sam's antitrust suit against Microsoft. One of the government's principal accusations in this suit is that Microsoft is a predator-meaning that the attractive deals that Microsoft...
The AFL-CIO: Renaissance or Irrelevance?
To hear the AFL-CIO tell it, the union movement has reversed its decline and is at the dawn of a renaissance. But among all the puffery, three reported claims are especially suspect: (1) employers routinely harass workers who want to organize; (2) in...
The End of Liberty
Have you checked the coins in your pocket lately? If you see a shiny coin with the image of a man on a galloping horse, be advised that it's not an arcade token but a real U.S. quarter dollar. This new coin is the first of 50 state commemorative quarters...
The Growing Abundance of Fossil Fuels
Only two decades ago nearly all academics, businessmen, oilmen, and policymakers agreed that the age of energy scarcity was upon us and that the depletion of fossil fuels was imminent. While some observers still cling to that view today, the intellectual...
The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses
The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses by Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate The Free Press 1998 415 pages $27.50 Reviewed by Daniel Shapiro Many books have discussed political indoctrination on American campuses,...