by Scott Horton
Are America’s disasters abroad a result of stupidity or some elaborate plan? An observer of modern U.S. foreign policy can be torn on that one.
It makes sense that generals, contractors, and other national-security state types will invent and follow a deliberate policy of divide and rule, as well as to create crises to move on to the next big job. ... [click for more]
by Joseph R. Stromberg
Coolidge by Amity Shlaes (New York: Harper, 2013), 456 pages.
I am for economy. After that, I am for more economy.
— Calvin Coolidge (1920)
Amity Shlaes’s Coolidge is a compelling biography of John Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933), 30th president of the United States. It is a well-paced narrative with elements of novelistic plotting and repeated themes both great and small. Indeed, ... [click for more]
by Matthew Harwood
The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs by David C. Unger (New York: Penguin Press, 2012), 368 pages.
During a meeting on the Bosnian crisis in the early 1990s, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, furiously asked Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “What’s the point of having this superb ... [click for more]
by Jacob G. Hornberger
A public-school controversy over 9/11 that erupted last spring in Texas demonstrates perfectly the statist mindset in America and how that mindset blocks the libertarian effort to create a proper foreign policy. The controversy also exemplifies the wide gulf between statists and libertarians with respect to moral principles, critical thinking, the exercise of conscience, and the role of government ... [click for more]
by Sheldon Richman
“My love affair with economics began in the fall of 1979.”
With those words, Peter Boettke begins his valentine to the economics discipline, that is, his latest book: Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Independent Institute and Universidad Francisco Marroquin, 2012). Boettke, besides being a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University, the BB&T Professor for the ... [click for more]
by James Bovard
The Obama administration is finding new ways to use civil-rights laws to attack freedom and common sense. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year issued a byzantine “enforcement guidance” to browbeat businesses into ceasing to conduct criminal-background checks on job applicants. The agency’s edict will chill hiring and spur a backlash across the nation.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act ... [click for more]
by Wendy McElroy
On December 8, the website Breitbart heralded, “Despite Tax Increase, California State Revenues in Freefall.” In the November state elections, a successful Proposition 30 imposed a 13.3 percent tax rate on income over $1,000,000 — an increase of 29.13 percent and the highest state tax rate in the nation. The predicted tax revenue was hailed as a way to ... [click for more]
by Isaac Morehouse
You feel safe in your neighborhood, but worry about the small chance of a break-in or act of vandalism. To protect yourself from those risks, you pay a security company to look after your house. It costs a little more than you’d like, but you determine it’s worth it.
They put an unarmed guard in front of your house at ... [click for more]
by Alexander William Salter
Harvard professor Dani Rodrik’s recent mercantilist apology attempts to illustrate the unappreciated benefits of a much-maligned political-economic system: mercantilism. “Today, mercantilism is typically dismissed as an archaic and blatantly erroneous set of ideas about economic policy,” Rodrik acknowledges. Thus his essay provides a defense of this system, which he believes has much to offer over the alternative ... [click for more]
by Anthony Gregory
Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008), 567 pages.
World War II was the great event of the 20th century. It greatly altered political boundaries, ushered in the Cold War, effected a total transformation in American governance, and consumed more lives than any other event ... [click for more]
by Jacob G. Hornberger
One of the most popular mantras in the post–9/11 era involves praising the troops for “defending our nation” and “protecting our rights and freedoms.” But how many people ever really think about what those mantras really mean? Indeed, how many people ever give serious thought to what would happen to our nation and to our rights and freedoms if ... [click for more]
by Sheldon Richman
Murray Rothbard once observed that it was getting harder and harder to use the reductio ad absurdum device to ridicule U.S. government policy. Things haven’t changed. Thanks to recent events, we may no longer use “Timbuktu,” a name associated with a far-off middle-of-nowhere location, in a reductio about U.S. interventionist foreign policy. The U.S. government has helped the French ... [click for more]