Free Market

Should the Export-Import Bank Be Reauthorized?

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The Export-Import Bank is up for reauthorization again. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are divided against each other and among themselves as to reforms that should be imposed on the bank, and, to a lesser extent, whether the bank should be reauthorized at all. But before looking at the question of whether the Export-Import Bank should be reauthorized, we should ... [click for more]

“Racist” Zip Codes

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A new type of social engineering is poised to descend on American communities: diversity mapping and the rectification of any racial inequities the mapping reveals. The campaign is meant to stamp out “geospatial discrimination.” The term refers to the fact that affluent neighborhoods tend to be dominated by whites and Asians. What government calls “protected minorities,” especially blacks, are relatively ... [click for more]

Leave Should Be Left to the Market

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Democrats, liberals, progressives, and the White House Summit on Working Families don’t think the Family and Medical Leave Act goes far enough. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993 by the 103rd Congress — the only Congress with a Democratic majority that Bill Clinton had. The legislation (H.R.1) did, however, have some ... [click for more]

The Union Devil Is in the Details

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Great attention has been focused on the exorbitant cost of the tax-funded pensions and other employee benefits of public-service unions. But the public costs of granting state-backed privileges to other, non-public-service unions are less visible, because they often occur on a local rather than a state or national level. One source of these costs is called a “Project ... [click for more]

Does Intellectual Property Defy Human Nature?

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A music-composition professor of mine once lamented that without copyright protection, Western civilization would cease to exist. Most of us take intellectual property (IP) for granted, assuming it is ethically and economically necessary. We’ve become so blasé about IP that heavy-handed FBI warnings and billion-dollar lawsuits don’t faze us in the slightest. Yet despite the unquestioned consensus, intellectual property ... [click for more]

TGIF: Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration

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The modern libertarian case against so-called intellectual property (IP) has been building steadily since the late 1980s, when I first encountered it. Since then, an impressive volume of work has been produced from many perspectives: economics, political economy, sociology, moral and political philosophy, history, and no doubt more. It is indeed a case to be reckoned with. ... [click for more]

Mandela Wasn’t Radical Enough

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I suppose we will forever be subjected to incomplete accounts of the life of Nelson Mandela and the evil he struggled against. Both the Right and the Left (as conventionally defined in America) are too busy pushing agendas to provide the full story. On the establishment Right (with some honorable exceptions) apartheid was deemed unimportant in the context of the ... [click for more]

A Flood of Government Intervention

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Some Americans are outraged at the federal government for reasons other than the recent government shutdown. No, they are not outraged because the National Science Foundation is funding the development of card games, videos and other educational programs “to engage adult learners and inform public understanding and response to climate change” through the $5.7 million Polar Learning and ... [click for more]

Gabriel Kolko Revisited, Part 2: Kolko Abroad

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Part 1 | Part 2 Gabriel Kolko’s historical writing hinges on the interrelations of economic, political, and ideological power in American history. His later work increasingly focused on those phenomena in relation to war, peace, and empire. As his project went forward, Kolko increasingly departed from that Marxist framework in which state power becomes so utterly subordinate ... [click for more]

Gabriel Kolko Revisited, Part 1: Kolko at Home

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Part 1 | Part 2 An earlier generation of libertarians was interested in Gabriel Kolko, a historian of the Left. Who was he? Born in 1932 in Paterson, NJ, historian Gabriel Kolko studied at Kent State, the University of Wisconsin, and Harvard University (PhD: 1962). From 1970 until his retirement he taught history at York University in Toronto, ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Moral Case for a Free Economy

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Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Robert Sirico (Regnery Publishing, 2012), 213 pages. Critics of the free market assert that it fails the underprivileged, leads to income inequality, exploits the poor, and is at times downright cruel. They charge its defenders with being motivated by greed, selfishness, and materialism, and making a god out ... [click for more]
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