Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Obama’s “Free-Trade Pact” Is the Opposite of Free Trade

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President Obama’s “free-trade pact” with Colombia at the recent Summit of the Americas demonstrates the statist mindset of liberals and, well, for that matter, conservatives — and shows how different their mindset is from that of libertarians. According to the Los Angeles Times, “When the pact takes effects May 15, most industrial and manufactured products exported from the U.S. and ...

Ending the Drug War in Latin America

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The Internet is abuzz with talk about how Latin American leaders are increasingly considering the idea of drug legalization. Latin America should not hesitate to end the war on drugs — and the sooner, the better. Latin American countries are paying the biggest price for the drug war. Murders, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies, thefts, muggings, gang wars, infringements on ...

Antitrust Attacks on Economic Liberty

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The Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the biggest book publishers. The action alleges that Apple and the publishers secretly got together and colluded to fix prices of e-books. If they did, so what? Isn’t it their property? What is private ownership of property if it doesn’t include the right to sell what you ...

Baseball, Socialism, and Assassination

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Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Miami Marlins baseball team, is in hot water over words of praise that he spoke about Cuban president Fidel Castro. Team owners have suspended him for 5 days and he’s issued a profuse apology for what he said. The controversy raises interesting issues regarding freedom of speech, socialism, and long-term policies of the U.S. ...

The Gold Clause Cases

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Last night we wrapped up our discussion of the Gold Clause Cases in the informal law and economics seminar I’ve been conducting for economics students at George Mason University. The seminar is hosted by the GMU Econ Society, a great student-run libertarian group dedicated largely to Austrian economics. What were the gold clauses? They were provisions in long-term bonds in ...

Singing “God Bless the U.S.A.” in Public Schools

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Last week a rant about a public-schooling controversy by a conservative radio talk-show host reminded me of how differently conservatives think as compared to libertarians. The controversy involved the Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” which was to be sung by elementary school students during a concert at a public school in Massachusetts. School administrators decided to change the lyrics ...

Obama’s Preemptive Strike and FDR’s Court-Packing Scheme

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People are taking President Obama to task for suggesting that the Supreme Court should not interfere with the will of Congress by declaring his healthcare legislation unconstitutional. Critics are reminding Obama that under our system of government it is the responsibility of the federal judiciary to determine the constitutionality of congressional enactments, including even those that are approved unanimously ...

Our Panel at Occupy Washington

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Yesterday I participated in a very interesting panel at another liberal forum. This one was part of an Occupy Washington event that attracted people from around the country. Just like the panel in which I participated at the Left Forum in New York City last month, the theme of yesterday’s panel was left-right cooperation to oppose the U.S. government’s ...

Ernesto Lira Meets the Drug War

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The full horror of the federal government’s much-ballyhooed, 40-year-old war on drugs is on display in the case of Ernesto Lira. Lira’s “crime”? According to this article in the New York Times, the drug-war gendarmes caught him driving with “three foil-wrapped grams of methamphetamine in his car.” No, he wasn’t consuming the drugs, and no, he wasn’t high on the ...

America’s Communist System in Cuba

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A recent crime crackdown in China reminds us of why our American ancestors demanded the inclusion of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendments to the Constitution. To enforce their crackdown, Chinese officials did the types of things that those four amendments to the U.S. Constitution prohibit. According to the New York Times, it was a “security apparatus ...

Good for Pope Benedict!

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Good for Pope Benedict! During his trip to Cuba this past week, not only did he criticize Cuba’s embrace of Marxism and the Castro regime’s infringements on religious liberty and civil liberty, he also condemned the 50-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba. He pointed out that the aim of greater freedom in Cuba was not helped by economic measures that ...

Bernanke’s Gold-Standard Nonsense at GWU

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In his recent lecture (pdf) condemning the gold standard to students at George Washington University, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that speculators had “attacked” central banks in the 1930s, forcing them to abandon the gold standard. Bernanke told the students: Indeed, the Bank of England was famous for keeping, as Keynes called it, a thin film of ...
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