Freedom Daily Archive

The Importance of Tools

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It is the pompous delusion of politicians that they significantly improve the way the world works. Nonsense. Through taxation, rules, regulations, and war, politicians historically have destroyed people's lives and obstructed their economic progress. The real work of the world — the way we live our daily lives — ... [click for more]

The Great Multiplier

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Through foresight, imagination, and individual initiative, man develops tools and facilities which expand his efforts and enable him to produce things which would not otherwise be possible. This is an outstanding difference between man and animal, just as it is an outstanding difference between civilization and barbarism. Progress toward better living would never have been possible, except through the development ... [click for more]

Book Review: Russia’s Secret Rulers

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Russia's Secret Rulers: How the Government and the Criminal Mafia Exercise Their Power by Lev Timofeyev (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992); 177 pages; $21.00. The Soviet Union was a harsh taskmaster for those who were interested in truth and were daring enough to convey the truths they had learned. Lev Timofeyev graduated as an economist from the Moscow Institute of ... [click for more]

Freedom of Education

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What if, one hundred years ago, the American people had decided to amend the Constitution to provide a system of public churches in towns across America. Imagine the following conversation in 1993: Advocate of Religious Freedom: We have a terrible problem with the public-church system. It was a big mistake to set up public churching in America a hundred years ... [click for more]

The Failure of Socialism and Lessons for America, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The world is watching the spectacle of Russia and the other captive nations of the former Soviet Union trying to free themselves from their seventy-five-year experiment in socialism. The bankruptcy of the system is accepted by practically everyone. The economies of the former Soviet republics are in shambles. Civil wars and ethnic violence have ... [click for more]

Freeing the Education Market

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Many a profound word is spoken unwittingly. Senator Edward M. Kennedy's office once issued a paper stating that the literacy rate in Massachusetts has never been as high as it was before compulsory schooling was instituted. Before 1850, when Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to force ... [click for more]

Book Review: Reinventing Politics

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Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Havel by Vladimir Tismaneanu (New York: The Free Press, 1992); 312 pages; $24.95. Europe lasted for more than four decades. And each of the communist regimes constructed in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania were, in its essentials, created in ... [click for more]

Speculation, Law, and the Market Process

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After Hurricane Andrew devastated the southern part of Florida, the state's attorney general threatened to prosecute "price-gougers" and speculators for charging exorbitant prices for food, ice, plywood, and other essential items. The Power of government officials to regulate prices and to punish speculators is not new. It stretches back centuries. ... [click for more]

Individual Liberty and Civil Society

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In 1819, the French classical liberal, Benjamin Constant, delivered a lecture in Paris entitled, "The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Modems." He drew his audience's attention to the fact that in the world of ancient Greece, "the aim of the ancients was the sharing of power among the citizens of the fatherland: this is ... [click for more]

The Speculator As Hero

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I am a speculator. I own seats on the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. When my daughters ask me if my job is as important as the butcher's, the doctor's or the scientist's, I answer that the speculator is a hero, and has been throughout history. Some speculators are discoverers like Christopher Columbus, creators like Henry Ford, ... [click for more]

The Slaughterhouse Cases

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1869, the Louisiana legislature enacted a statute granting seventeen people the exclusive right to operate the only slaughterhouse in Orleans. All other slaughterhouses were required to close down. Any butcher who desired to continue his trade would be permitted to do so in the new slaughterhouse and would be ... [click for more]
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