Freedom Daily Archive

Meeting Frédéric Bastiat

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The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Volume 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, Jacques de Guenin, general editor, and Jane Willems and Michael Willems, translators (Liberty Fund 2011); 600 pages. Of all the great classical liberal thinkers, Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) remains one of the least well-known. His works, of course, continue to be ... [click for more]

Don’t Let the Aurora Shooting Curtail the Right of Self-Defense

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The July shooting in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, which took 12 lives and injured 58 during the midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises, has incited the usual bitter controversy over guns. One side says tighter gun restrictions could have prevented the horrible incident that night. The other responds that more guns in the hands of law-abiding people ... [click for more]

Don’t Trust the Feds’ Happiness Index

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The Obama administration is financing research to devise a new gauge for Americans’ happiness. A National Academy of Sciences panel is currently analyzing proposals for surveying Americans’ “subjective well-being.” But there are grave perils in any “national happiness index” Uncle Sam might concoct. Critics increasingly complain that the Gross Domestic Product does not accurately measure citizens’ quality of life. The ... [click for more]

Social Engineering through Criminal Law

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Stealth defines the statist who seeks to channel all human conduct as he thinks best. Such external human controls upon personal action represent the antithesis of liberty. This essay explicates a particularly surreptitious and dangerous means currently employed to dominate and command free men who attempt to act freely. Contrary to the essential statist doctrine, men and women who believe in ... [click for more]

Destroying the Young with the Minimum Wage, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The minimum wage, a price control as futile as all other government price controls, continues to damage the U.S. economy and much of the world. But the obscene irony of the minimum-wage law is that it hurts some of the very people it is supposedly designed to help — young people seeking employment. The government’s ... [click for more]

Playthings of the Gods

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The United States of Fear by Tom Engelhardt (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011); 230 page On  the night of March 11, 2012, Sgt. Robert Bales walked a short distance to two Afghan villages in Kandahar Province from Camp Belambay. Under the cover of darkness the soldier is alleged to have gone house to house shooting and stabbing to death 16 ... [click for more]

The Supreme Court’s Word Game Saves Obamacare

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The Supreme Court decision upholding the health-insurance mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had a distinct Alice-in-Wonderland feel to it. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Through the Looking-Glass, “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” Chief Justice ... [click for more]

The Federal Wetlands War, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 As the first two parts of this series revealed, federal bureaucrats have been using environmental pretexts to rampage against property owners since the late 1980s. Unfortunately, even after the Republicans took over Congress in 1994 and promised sweeping reforms, the outrages continued. A recent Supreme Court decision vivified that, despite ... [click for more]

Is Social Security Welfare?

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Since the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare became the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services in 1979, the term “welfare” has fallen into disuse. “Income security,” “entitlement,” or “public assistance programs” are now the usual terms for what used to be called “welfare programs.” Even the food-stamp program has been renamed the Supplemental ... [click for more]

Reflections on the Torture Debate

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What remains to be said of the torture debate? I asked myself this question because March 28 was an anniversary of sorts. On that date 10 years ago the United States cast the first person into a CIA black site. In time, he was subjected to each and every one of the Bush administration’s “enhanced” techniques. Waterboarding, of which ... [click for more]
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