Regulation Policy & Welfare

What Good Are Regulations?

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Have you ever noticed how advocates of the regulated society never admit that their regulations have failed? Consider the Enron case, in which one of the biggest companies in the United States has gone belly up as a result of questionable financial practices. I thought the purpose of government regulation was ... [click for more]

Settling for an Injustice

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The federal government's antitrust case against Microsoft apparently will end in a settlement. All that remains is for the presiding judge to give her blessing and for some recalcitrant state attorneys general to get on board. It's understandable why Microsoft would acquiesce in a settlement. The long case has been costly. ... [click for more]

What’s Wrong with Conservatives

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You want to know what’s wrong with conservatives? Here’s what’s wrong. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas is widely regarded as the most conservative member of the United States Senate. He’s someone the national Democrats badly want to defeat next year in their bid to take firm control of that body. So what ... [click for more]

Does Alan Greenspan Hate the Poor?

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By calling for the repeal of the minimum wage during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee last summer, Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan undoubtedly dismayed the members of Congress. After all, Greenspan didn’t recommend that the minimum wage be reformed or reduced. He suggested that the law should be ... [click for more]

The Meaning of Freedom

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Today's Wall Street Journal's editorial page reflects how differently libertarians and conservatives view the meaning of freedom. For libertarians, freedom entails the right of people to live their lives any way they choose, so long as their conduct is peaceful. For conservatives, freedom entails the right of government to do just ... [click for more]

Avoid Phony Public Service

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The dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Joseph S. Nye Jr., laments that while in 1980 three-quarters of the graduates took government jobs, just one-third does so these days. That’s a good trend. But not good enough. Here’s hoping the number drops further. Many people will ask, who could ... [click for more]

Sink the Sugar Boondoggle

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The federal government has gone into the sugar-mountain business. The Agriculture Department (USDA) is paying more than a million dollars a month now to store piles of surplus sugar. USDA spent almost half a billion dollars on the sugar program last year — and federal generosity promises to make the sugar ... [click for more]

The Most Dangerous Substance of All

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For all our preoccupation with ridding society of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, little thought is given to the most dangerous mind-altering substance of all: ink. Do you doubters need proof? Take Rachel Carson’s famous book, Silent Spring. In 1963 Carson wrote a book claiming that the insecticide DDT was damaging ... [click for more]

Morality, the Welfare State, and Freedom

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THE WELFARE STATE and the regulated society are based on a twofold notion about morality: first, that this type of society reflects that people are moral, caring, compassionate, and responsible and, second, that this type of society makes people moral, caring, compassionate, and responsible. Consider, for example, President Bush’s plan to deliver government funding to faith-based organizations. His belief is ... [click for more]

What Is Golf?

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So now the courts are writing the rules for professional sports. What’s next? Will they soon tell us that sometimes two of a kind beats a full house? On May 29 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the PGA Tour has to let Casey Martin ride in a golf ... [click for more]

Should Tipping Be Voluntary?

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If New Deal legislation had been enacted in the 1930s requiring people to tip waiters 15 percent of the total amount of their restaurant bill, we might have been subjected to the following debate today: Repeal Advocate: Don’t you think we ought to repeal the tipping law and let ... [click for more]

Free Markets Aren’t Conservative

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One of the great myths of the Industrial Age is that businessmen generally like free markets. That myth has deep implications and consequences. For example, someone who buys into it will tend to believe that proposals to deregulate markets are simply favors for special interests and inimical to the interests ... [click for more]
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