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Liberty

A Category Archive (48 entries)
Over at Hit and Run, Reason's blog, Robby Soave, whose work I normally like a lot, laid an egg. His post is titled "The Real Boobs Are People Who Think ESPN Must Fire Jemele Hill." You can read his post,... MORE

by Art Carden Various incarnations of what is known as "Godwin's Law" suggest that if a discussion goes on long enough, it will invariably devolve into one party comparing the other party's position to Hitler or the Nazis. Similar principles... MORE

Are most Americans radical libertarians?

Politics and Economics
Scott Sumner
This survey by Stanford University suggests the answer is yes: Notes: The surveys asked whether individuals agreed or disagreed with the statement "I would like to live in a society where government does nothing except provide national defense and police... MORE

Liu Xiaobo, RIP

Liberty
Scott Sumner
I was saddened to hear that Liu Xiaobo passed away today. He fought for classical liberal principles in China, and was imprisoned for his efforts. In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. Here are a few of the... MORE

Milton Friedman: Crusader for Liberty

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
In Milton Friedman on Freedom, editors Robert Leeson and Charles G. Palm, both of the Hoover Institution, have put together many of Friedman's most important articles and chapters that make his case for freedom. (Disclosure: I was a friend... MORE

Henderson Review of Schuck

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Three years ago in this magazine, I praised Peter Schuck's Why Government Fails So Often, calling it one of the most important books of 2014. Based on that book, I had high expectations for his latest, One Nation Undecided:... MORE

Update on FIRE

Liberty
David Henderson
Last week, I defended the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) from Scott Alexander's charge that it is "all about the right seeking greater fairness in mainstream institutions." I wrote: Actually the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is... MORE

In Defense of FIRE

Liberty
David Henderson
Scott Alexander writes: This is a bizarre claim, given the existence of groups like Accuracy In Media, Media Research Center, Newsbusters, Foundation For Individual Rights In Education, Heterodox Academy, et cetera which are all about the right seeking greater fairness... MORE

The turning point came in 1758. The Philadelphia Yearly Meeting [of Quakers] recorded a "unanimous concern" against "the practice of importing, buying, selling, or keeping slaves for term of life." This was the first success for the cause of abolition... MORE

Arrival: Xi Jinping, Davos man

Liberty
Scott Sumner
Last night I saw the sci-fi film "Arrival". (Spoiler alert.) At the beginning of the film, 12 alien spacecraft visit Earth, and there are attempts to communicate with the aliens. The film mostly takes place in Montana, where one of... MORE

Primitive cultures need a dose of utilitarianism

Economics and Culture
Scott Sumner
In this post I will discuss two primitive cultures, the Sudanese and the Americans. I will argue that both need to adopt a utilitarian ethical framework. Let's start with the Sudan. In the Sudan, female genital mutilation is a common... MORE

In Praise of Ineffective Politicians

Liberty
David Henderson
Twitter today is all heated up with justifiable upset about Donald Trump's latest anti-liberty proposal: a prison sentence and possibly loss of citizenship for someone who burns a flag. Other tweeters have pointed out that the prison sentence part of... MORE

Legal in some states, life imprisonment in others

Economics of Crime
Scott Sumner
Defenders of the War on Drug Using Americans often tell me that people almost never go to jail for mere possession, rather it is the evil "dealers" who are imprisoned. (I must admit that I don't see why one side... MORE

21st century Vikings

Liberty
Scott Sumner
This Washington Post article caught my eye: REYKJAVIK, ICELAND -- The party that could be on the cusp of winning Iceland's national elections on Saturday didn't exist four years ago. Its members are a collection of anarchists, hackers, libertarians and... MORE

Gary Johnson has received lots of flack for being unable to name the world leader that he most admires. Here's Matt Yglesias: The closest thing you will find to a US-style libertarian abroad is what are called "liberal" parties in... MORE

Missing moods at the Boston Globe

Economics of Crime
Scott Sumner
Polls show that 58% of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Even Texans support it. But an initiative to legalize pot in (very liberal) Massachusetts may fail. One reason is anti-legalization editorials like the following, in the highly influential Boston... MORE

In a very pessimistic essay about America's future, my former Hoover colleague Angelo Codevilla writes: What goes by the name "constitutional law" has been eclipsing the U.S. Constitution for a long time. But when the 1964 Civil Rights Act substituted... MORE

Vox has a new article on political correctness: Academic freedom is the sine qua non of higher education. Students ought to be challenged, even made uncomfortable, in order to learn in deep and meaningful ways. And, of course, collegiate education... MORE

Raise your hand if you are a libertarian. Now raise your hand if you think Fidel Castro is a communist. I see exactly the same number of hands in the air. Raise your hand if you are a libertarian. Now... MORE

Friday Night Video: Ben Powell on Sweatshops

Labor Market
David Henderson
This talk by Ben Powell is NOT a home run. It is about 3 or 4 home runs: analysis, data, presentation, humor. It's all there. He gave this talk at the Mises Institute in Alabama late last month. I'm... MORE

I now consider myself to be a Libertarian

moral reasoning
Scott Sumner
I've always been a small "L" libertarian, but have had an up and down relationship with the Libertarian Party. I was a member when younger, but then let the membership lapse. I continued to vote Libertarian, but mostly to try... MORE

Remorse

Economics of Crime
Scott Sumner
Tyler Cowen linked to a Wonkblog post that suggested pot legalization has not had the negative effects that drug warriors predicted: National surveys have shown that teen marijuana use rates are falling across the country. But there haven't been many... MORE

When I watched the video of Philando Castile die from gunshot wounds inflicted by a police officer in the course of a routine traffic stop, a deep sickness swept over me. Sadly, this feeling was not the result of a... MORE

Chuck Norris vs Communism

Liberty
Emily Skarbek
Irina Nistor has one of the most famous voices in Romania. While working as a translator of censored television programs in Romania under the Communist regime, she secretly dubbed over 3,000 banned movie titles on VHS tapes smuggled in... MORE

Victims of Communism Day

Liberty
Emily Skarbek
Yesterday Ilya Somin reminded readers of the Washington Post of his ongoing support for changing May 1st from a celebration of communists, socialists, and labor unions - to a holiday that commemorates the millions who have died because of communist... MORE

Autism and the iPad

Liberty
Alberto Mingardi
For Autism acceptance month, Apple has delivered a short, beautiful video concerning how its own technologies (nothing fancier than the iPad and some Apps) are helping people with learning disabilities to live a better life. When we think of how... MORE

Buyer Licencing of Illegal Drugs

Regulation
Emily Skarbek
"The uncertainties associated with the precise nature of legalization regimes and with their expected outcomes sometimes are used to justify the maintenance of drug prohibition. This paper details the role that buyer licensing and exclusion might play in implementing a... MORE

Last weekend I gave a talk up at the Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire. While there, I learned more about the Free State Movement, an idea about which I was only dimly aware. The following is from memory, so... MORE

J.S. Mill and Extreme Pornography

Economic History
Emily Skarbek
Tyler Cowen's post on Marginal Revolution today gives an interesting take on the effects of jettisoning Millian liberalism from the left / Progressive ideology. Not only would eugenicist ideas have never gained any traction historically, he argues, but the lack... MORE

Tyler Cowen has an excellent post on progressivism and individual rights. At one point he discusses the views of Kevin Drum: Kevin Drum had an interesting point in response (and do read his full post, there is more to it... MORE

Smith's Defense of Western Civilization

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
I'm glad that co-author Bryan Caplan called attention to the excellent essay by Nathan Smith. Otherwise I might not have known about it. Bryan highlighted some great sections. I want to highlight one other section. It's about the nicest modern... MORE

Anthony de Jasay awarded the ECAEF Prize

Liberty
Alberto Mingardi
Anthony de Jasay has been awarded the first "ECAEF Prize for Thinkers for the 3rd Millennium". This is a much deserved recognition, for de Jasay has set a standard for clarity of thought that is seldom matched by others. Regarding... MORE

I hope readers will forgive me for a little conflict-of-interest post. A few weeks ago, my Institute celebrated its annual dinner in Milan. In this occasion, we award the annual "Bruno Leoni Prize". Conceived to honor the memory of Bruno... MORE

Brad DeLong on Cornucopia

Growth: Consequences
David Henderson
I'm sitting in a United Red Carpet Club at LAX, having just used my last coupon that expires next year. That, in itself, is evidence of Cornucopia. I'm able to get on line, get "free" booze (although I opted for... MORE

At a conference I was at on Friday, we discussed the late Pierre Goodrich's Liberty Fund Basic Memorandum. Goodrich is the person who started Liberty Fund and devoted his sizable fortune to it. I feel grateful to him whenever I... MORE

In Praise of Lord Acton

Liberty
David Henderson
In preparing for a conference I'm attending in Indianapolis, I read two chapters from Lord Acton's book of essays titled Essays in the History of Liberty. What a treat! Like most people who have heard of Lord Acton, I knew... MORE

About those wacky libertarians

Economics of Education
Scott Sumner
Will Wilkinson has a post discussing libertarianism. He points out that many libertarians are disdainful of politics. They tend to be ideological purists who are so anti-government that they are reluctant to get involved in the rough and tumble of... MORE

We're Number 16! We're Number 16!

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
Four years ago, when the then latest issue of Economic Freedom of the World was published, I wrote a post titled "We're Number 10! We're Number 10!" The reason: according to the study, the United States had fallen to 10th... MORE

The Germans Are a Comforting People

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Those of you who, like my wife and me, are big fans of the TV show The Big Bang Theory, might get a kick out of this title. I've changed the "have always been" that Sheldon says in this segment... MORE

How shall we define 'liberal'?

Economic History
Scott Sumner
Daniel Klein has a very interesting piece in the Intercollegiate Review on the changing meaning of the term 'liberal'. It begins as follows: Here I make a plea, addressed to conservatives and libertarians, regarding the word liberal: please do not... MORE

I highly recommend this. Warning: some language.... MORE

Some Practical Advice

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
David Henderson
Play the Hand You're Dealt One of the things I do around the margins with my students--it's not part of the curriculum--is give them my "words of wisdom" about dealing in the world. A lot of it has to do... MORE

Obama on the Symmetry of Rape

Economics of Education
David Henderson
At his press conference two days ago, President Obama said: If you give a woman, or a man, for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug and then have sex with that person without consent, that's rape, and... MORE

Happy birthday, IEA!

Liberty
Alberto Mingardi
On Thursday, the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs organized a gala dinner to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The same day Steve Davies, who is education director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, had a nice article summarizing the Institute's achievements.... MORE

I was too busy on April 1 to post an April Fool's Day entry. This isn't one. But my use of the word "insightful" in the title is meant to be ironic. A few days ago, Paul Krugman posted that... MORE

I Am NOT Charlie Hebdo

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
After the horrible murders of workers at the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January, it became chic for a few weeks to wear buttons saying "I am Charlie Hebdo." I thought that was a mistake then and I almost wrote... MORE

For Freedom of Association

Business Economics
David Henderson
There has been a lot of controversy lately about Indiana's religious freedom law. There's a simple solution to the problems that the law deals with: freedom of association. I don't claim here to understand all the ins and outs of... MORE

William McGurn's Analogy

Liberty
David Henderson
In a piece titled "Snow(den) blind: Libertarians' telling 'hero'," William McGurn, a former George W. Bush speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist, and currently editorial page editor of the New York Post, writes: The libertarians who champion Snowden will claim... MORE

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