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Archive for March, 2012

What Happened to Liberty in the The Hunger Games Movie? »

As expected, The Hunger Games blasted through doors off movie theaters last weekend, raking in $152.5 million in its opening weekend. That represents the third highest domestic box-office gross in history, trailing just behind the last Harry Potter movie and The Dark Knight. This should have been good news for liberty lovers, as I...
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Who Is Most Likely to Oppose Totalitarianism? »

I have devoted much of my scholarship over the years to studies of the state—its nature, its growth, and its relationships with other aspects of social life. I have been struck repeatedly by a certain fact about episodes of sudden or extraordinary expansion of the state: when push came to shove, those who resisted—often...
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Another Sad Watershed in Fast Food Pricing »

We might define our time in economic history by the prices of various fast food items. When I was growing up, $5 could get you a feast at McDonald’s or any similar establishment—deluxe burger, fries, soda, maybe an apple pie or some fried chicken bits. I saw $5 as the upper limit of what...
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Reproduce or Pay a Tax: The Next ObamaCare »

ObamaCare is about correcting for the “problem” that some people are not buying insurance. Rather than identify needy individuals and pay for their insurance, the bill mandates that everyone buy insurance that meets the prescription of government health czars (not too much, not too little, but “just right”). The government argues the following: by...
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ObamaCare on the Ropes? »

On Friday, the members of the Supreme Court will meet together and voice their positions on the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act. Prior to the three days of arguments, most pundits were skeptical that the Court would strike the law. However, in reading the tea leaves after argument, the bet is that swing-vote...
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Real Airline Security »

A Jet Blue pilot went loopy, started screaming about bombs, prayers, Iraq and Afghanistan, and running down the aisle. He was tackled and restrained by passengers and locked out of the cockpit by his copilot—just as it was passengers or crew that secured the planes targeted by the shoe-bomber and underwear bomber. Indeed, it...
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Setback for The New Brown Scare »

Two years ago, members of the Michigan “Hutaree” militia were jailed and charged with conspiracy to violently overthrow the government. As is the case in most of these incidents, the feds had planted an informant among the group. The arrests made a splash in the news, especially among progressive journalists who, beginning at the...
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The World’s First Paleo-Libertarians »

Are human beings better suited for individualism or collectivism? The question seems highly relevant to issues of political economy, but it’s one that very few advocates of individual liberty have sought to answer by looking at the anthropological record. This neglect is unfortunate, economist Thomas Mayor suggests, because the evidence indicates that for millennia...
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Make the Falklands/Malvinas a Free Zone »

The upcoming 30th anniversary of the Falklands/Malvinas War by which London re-conquered the islands after an Argentine invasion has given rise to abundant demagoguery. With one exception—the document “Malvinas, An Alternative Vision” signed by a group of Argentine intellectuals, lawyers and journalists (they face a lawsuit for treason.) After questioning their government for considering...
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Liberating The Hunger Games »

As legions of fans descend on theaters this March to watch the The Hunger Games, I wonder how many will have also recognized in Suzanne Collins‘s books another theme that may well give her trilogy a shelf life equal to that of that of another great social critic, George Orwell. While Collins’s story includes...
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