Freedom Daily Archive

The Texas Public-School Controversy on 9/11

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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]

Loving Economics

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“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]

Destroying Freedom in the Name of Equal Opportunity

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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]

Will the Rich Stick Around to Be Soaked?

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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]

The Worst Protection

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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]

Collapsing the Tent on the Mercantilist Revival

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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]

The Cataclysm of World War II

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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]

National Defense, Foreign Policy, and Gun Control

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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]

Venturing into Mali

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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]

How Drug-Courier Profiles Begot Terrorist Watch Lists

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Friends of freedom have been chagrined over the past decade to learn that federal terrorist watch lists incorporate criteria — such as openly praising the Constitution or the Second Amendment — that put them in the crosshairs. More than a million names are now included on the catch-all terrorist watch list maintained by U.S. government agencies. The feds’ definition ... [click for more]

Who Killed Greece?

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The Greek tragedy began in 1981 when PASOK, the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Party, won the national elections. Andreas Papandreou, who had been a member of the Greek Communist Party and had received his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard in 1942, founded and led PASOK. He had published significant scholarly works with a Keynesian slant and served as chairman of the ... [click for more]

Food Safety: A Market Solution

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The FDA is trumpeting, with unseemly giddiness, sweeping implementation of new rules within the now thoroughly moldered food-safety bill, passed two long years ago. Like any dish served past its prime, this one smells a bit off. As a producer in the ascendant food renaissance (defined by a sudden respect for all things small and local) I’ve noticed a curious ... [click for more]
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