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Jonathan Bean Archive

Jonathan Bean is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of History at Southern Illinois University.
Full Biography

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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XX-: Safe-Porn Dreaming USA



To think as a young man I longed to live in southern California. Today, the state is one big caricature of Political Correctness. News item: The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms. Presumably, they can perform their on-air sex acts outside Los Angeles. What is the point?...
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The Temptation of Bernanke: How Historical Memory Feeds Fed Power



[*UPDATE: Fed Joked About Housing Crash in 2006! Here is a good interview from PBS] “Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right.” “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.” —John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government “The historian is . . . one step nearer to direct power over public opinion than is the theorist.” —Friedrich A. von...
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“Pull Over Sir, I Must Fine You for Smoking in Your Car”



Sean Gabb (Libertarian Alliance of UK) recently sent me a press release protesting the British Medical Association’s call for a ban on smoking in cars. With the usual caveat that smoking is dangerous, kills, causes impotence, flatulence, and everything in between. . . There are people opposed to cigarette smoking (myself included) and then...
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Why I Voted “No” to a Strike



Classical liberals are used to being the “odd one out” but how many of us have lived through a strike with its demands for “solidarity”? I believe in voluntary association and even joined the Faculty Association (union) some years ago. I also believe that workers may strike but they are not entitled to a...
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Libertarian Activism: “We Demand Freedom: Popular Movements for Liberty in U.S. History”



This lecture by Stephen Davies is the most concise and articulate 45 minute presentation I’ve ever seen or heard about the libertarian tradition and its place in the context of American history and politics. For further reading on the libertarian tradition, see nearly anything published by the Independent Institute, especially Robert Higgs, Crisis and...
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Books That Make Us Human: My Top Ten List



Professor Brad Birzer, a man of unbounded energy, asked several of us to contribute a “top ten” list of books that make us human. Quite a challenge: limited to ten books, what would you (dear reader) choose and why? See my list at The Imaginative Conservative web site. It starts with a book by...
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It’s Housing, Stupid! Parallels Between the 1920s and the 2000s



In response to my recent essay “Obama and Hoover: Two ‘Smart’ (Stupid) Presidents”, one commenter did me the service of rehashing the old myths about the 1920s and the causes of the depression and how Herbert Hoover did little, FDR did a lot and Hoover has nothing in common with “Wonder Boy” Obama. (Coolidge...
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Media Blackout of Ron Paul: Jon Stewart asks “How did Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?”



The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Indecision 2012 – Corn Polled Edition – Ron Paul & the Top Tier www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Obama and Hoover: Two “Smart” (Stupid) Presidents



For the past year, I have been researching how the housing bubble of the 1920s contributed to the Great Depression when the bubble burst. My study involves reading many articles and speeches by Herbert Hoover, first as Commerce Secretary (1921-1928) then as president (1929-1933). As the nation endures the Obama presidency, I see much...
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