by Sheldon Richman
Would a free society be a crime-free society? We have good reason to anticipate it.
Don’t accuse me of utopianism. I don’t foresee a future of new human beings who consistently respect the rights of others. Alas, there will always be those who would invade the boundaries of their fellow human beings. Rather, I want to draw attention to the ... [click for more]
by James Bovard
The U.S. government loves to preen about its generosity to the world’s downtrodden. However, a long series of presidents and their tools have scorned the evidence that their aid programs perennially clobber recipients. Nowhere is this clearer than in the sordid history of U.S. food aid.
Food for Peace was devised in 1954 to help dump abroad embarrassingly huge crop ... [click for more]
by Alexander William Salter
Many liberals (in the classical sense) are so reluctant to concede an inch to conservatism and progressivism that they insist the latter two political philosophies, and the worldviews that frequently accompany them, have no redeeming features. This is a mistake. There are elements of conservatism worth conserving, and elements of progressivism worth progressing towards. Furthermore, tolerance, the premier social ... [click for more]
by Wendy McElroy
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]
by Martin Morse Wooster
Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America by Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane. (Simon and Schuster 2013), 296 pages.
One of the perennial questions historians address is why empires fell. In his 1987 bestseller, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Yale historian Paul Kennedy theorized that every empire reaches a tipping point ... [click for more]
by John Ahrens
Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism by Sarah Conly (Cambridge University Press, 2013), 256 pages (ebook edition reviewed).
Bowdoin philosophy professor Sarah Conly has given us a remarkably timely book. Against Autonomy makes an important contribution to the trending discussion of what some call the “nanny state” and others might call simply “petty fascism” (or maybe just “fascism”). It is ... [click for more]
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Almost 50 years ago Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” Ever since then, the federal government, through a wide array of welfare-state programs and regulatory programs, has waged its war, aiming to end poverty or at least to greatly alleviate it.
After a half-century of poverty warfare, has the war been won? Not according to Democrats. They say that ... [click for more]
by Sheldon Richman
Pope Francis wrote in his recent apostolic exhortation, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”
He’s right — but not in the way he intends. Before I elaborate, let’s look ... [click for more]
by James Bovard
Though proximity to power is its own reward, rulers have long recognized the benefit of distributing trinkets to potential sycophants. From medieval times onwards, the English king was seen as the “fount of all honors.” The British government created endless ribbons, orders, and titles to attach individuals to the crown. Cash was sometimes necessary to clinch the allegiance. Samuel ... [click for more]
by Philip Vander Elst
“Each year the takes and spends more of our money without EU auditors being able to reliably confirm where much of this money has actually gone. The number of EU bureaucrats rises ever upwards. Ever more bureaucrats seem inevitably to lead to ever more rules and regulations, allowing the EU to expand its influence to almost every ... [click for more]
by George Leef
Constitutional Money: A Review of the Supreme Court’s Monetary Decisions by Richard H. Timberlake (Cambridge University Press and Cato Institute 2013), 257 pages.
Most Americans would be surprised to learn that the Federal Reserve Notes in their wallets and the balances in their various accounts are not constitutional money. Yes, what they have is money, but not the kind ... [click for more]
by Kevin Carson
Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream — and How We Can Do It Again by Rich Lowry (HarperCollins 2013), 390 pages.
One of the central themes in James Scott’s Seeing Like a State is the ideology he calls “authoritarian high modernism”:
It is best conceived as a strong (one might even say muscle-bound) version of ... [click for more]