Ideas on Liberty

Articles from Vol. 52, No. 6, June

Absorbing Immigrants
Thoughts on Freedom America should re-open its borders to immigrants. Not until 1924 did the government generally limit the number of people who could come to America and make it their home. If America's borders had been closed, say, a century earlier,...
After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century
After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century edited by Timothy Lynch Cato Institute * 2000 9 193 pages * $18.95 As the title indicates, this book takes an adult approach to drug issues. While most politicians argue over the...
After That
"Somewhere in the world today walks the next Marx. But he is not a communist .... Nonetheless, he or she will attempt to seize upon the trends behind today's headlines to shape a competitor to 'American capitalism' that the disenfranchised in nations...
Alaskan Courtesy
Alaska is most often thought of as simply a snow-covered tundra far to our north. Rarely do Americans find themselves looking to that Arctic wilderness for reason to celebrate a renewed sense of personal freedom. But that all changed when a state appeals...
A Painless Way to Triple Your Savings
"The human mind is charming in its unreasonableness, its inveterate prejudices, and its waywardness and unpredictability." -LIN YUTANG1 Behavioral" finance is the hot new field in the rapidly growing "imperial" science of economics. Consider the titles...
A Privatization Revolution in a Most Unlikely Place
Ideas and Consequences When Mount Nyiragongo suddenly gushed red hot lava down its southern slope and destroyed the town of Goma in the Congo last January, hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into tiny neighboring Rwanda. It was the first time since...
A Tale of Two Tariffs
Although it doesn't happen often, especially with modern "econometric" tools and the application of computers, sometimes there are questions in recent economic history where those who embrace free markets know something is right but just can't prove...
Capitalism Is a Government Project? It Just Ain't So!
IDEAS ON LIBERTY Capitalism Is a Government Project? As readers of Ideas on Liberty all know, politics cannot always be analyzed in simple left-right terms. But professional pundits like to choose up sides, with the "liberal" commentators traditionally...
China's Peasants Suffer under Apartheid
China operates an apartheid system that divides its citizens into separate worlds according to whether they were born in rural or urban areas. After reforms in South Africa and the collapse of the Soviet Union, few other countries have residency controls....
Cuba in Revolution
Cuba in Revolution by Miguel A. Faria, Jr. Hacienda Publishing * 2001 * 452 pages $26.95 The vicious regime of Fidel Castro has for more than 40 years trampled on individual rights in Cuba, but the details of his seizure of power and subsequent Stalinist...
Enron Lessons
The Pursuit of Happiness The Enron soap opera continues to unfold. And as it unfolds, lessons are being learned. Some people are learning lessons about the energy business. Some are learning lessons about the securities business. Some are learning lessons...
FEE Fest 2002: Special Report
The reports are coming in fast and furious about the first FEE Fest: "What a super, fantastic, great convention FEE put on-a very energizing three days. I loved it!" "The best convention I've ever attended. Bravo!" "I can't wait for next year's FEE Fest-I'll...
Government Needs to Lose Weight
How ironic that just as an already bloated government is taking on major new powers, it is exhorting us to lose weight. That's exactly what former Surgeon General David Satcher did before leaving office. In his "Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease...
Internal Improvement: National Public Works and the Promise of Popular Government in the Early United States
Internal Improvement: National Public Works and the Promise of Popular Government in the Early United States by John Lauritz Larson University of North Carolina Press * 2001 * 324 pages * $55.00 cloth; $19.95 paperback In 1805 Thomas Jefferson, in his...
Lunch with a Free-Market "Subversive"
CHOSICA, Peru-As the old steam locomotive pulls a single passenger car slowly up a steep grade in the foothills of the Andes, the Latin American revolutionary is inside having lunch with several men. He doesn't look dangerous. He carries no guns and...
Parasite Economics
Contemporary anti-market voices characterize market economies as "parasitic" and traders as "parasites": "Experience has shown that capitalism is the real source of basic evils in society. . . . Social parasites suddenly emerged with billions. Thus,...
Perspective: No Responsibility, No Freedom
Andrea Yates was not the only person whose free will was on trial last winter. Thus the Yates murder case underscores the affront represented by the psychiatric (and any other reductionist-positivist) worldview. She drowned her five young children in...
Say It Isn't So, Jerry Lewis
It was a disappointing day for me, that day last year when comedian Jerry Lewis testified before a Senate subcommittee seeking taxpayer funding for muscular dystrophy research. It drove home how in the past 70 years the virtue of charity has been corrupted...
Sting Operations and the Separation of Powers
To detect and prosecute laws prohibiting victimless crimes, government typically curtails civil liberties and, by standing in for a real victim, creates opportunities for abuse and corruption in sting operations. Sometimes, prosecution of these crimes...
The Bias Favoring Governments over Markets
The thrust of my columns could be summarized as follows: We would be better off increasing our reliance on the voluntary cooperation of the marketplace and reducing our reliance on government commands. This is not an idle assertion reflecting blind ideology...
The Economics of Infantilism
While this year's Winter Games were still going on, the website of the National Organization for Women was complaining that with all the Olympic coverage, the press had neglected to notice the 400-person rally, dubbed the "March for Our Lives," held...
The Financial Century: From Turmoils to Triumphs
The Financial Century: From Turmoils to Triumphs by Reuven Brenner Stoddart e 2001 . 214 pages a $39.95 In his latest book, McGill University economics professor Reuven Brenner argues that when private sources of capital are not easily available through...
The Living Wage Folly
As of July 2001, 62 municipalities (cities, counties, and government school districts) in 24 states had enacted "living wage" regulations affecting all private and nonprofit enterprises with which they do business. California, Michigan, and Wisconsin...
The War on Charity
Current Events Congress is going to rebuild Afghanistan for billions, and they can't take care of 3200 people," complained Kenneth Foster, husband of one of the September 11 victims, at a public hearing earlier this year. In his view, and that of many...
The War on Margarine
This year marks the 116th anniversary of the Federal Margarine Act of 1886, part of an 80-year war on butter's toughest competitor. The Act was the capstone of a movement to prevent consumers from enjoying the cheaper spread, which was introduced in...
Time and Money: The Macroeconomics of Capital Structure
Time and Money: The Macroeconomics of Capital Structure by Roger W. Garrison Routledge * 2001 * 272 pages * $99.00 Although it was Tolstoy who said that "the highest wisdom has but one science-the science of the whole," these words express with uncanny...
Trust No One-Including the X-Files?
I have two favorite moments from The X-Files. In one of the television episodes ("Arcadia," which aired in 1999), FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) go undercover in a planned residential community. Posing as the...
Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform
Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform by Bradley A. Smith Princeton University Press * 2001 * 304 pages * $26.95 Responding to Watergate, Congress a generation ago passed draconian restrictions on campaign spending and fundraising. The...
We're All Rawlsians Now!
In the 1970s Richard Nixon famously remarked, "We're all Keynesians now." Fortunately, the president overestimated the long-run influence of John Maynard Keynes's ideas among economists. For modern philosophers, it might be appropriate to rephrase Nixon's...
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