Jonathan Bean Archive

Jonathan Bean is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of History at Southern Illinois University.
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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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Liberty on Film: Hayek and Others



A colleague sent me a link to the following collection of Hayek interviews, now available online. Other useful sites include: http://miltonfriedman.blogspot.com/ http://www.missliberty.com/ – updates to Miss Liberty’s Guide to Film and Video http://www.youtube.com/user/independentinstitute http://www.cato.org/events/archive.html http://reason.tv/ William F. Buckley, Jr.’s Firing Line show included interviews with people across the political spectrum, now collected at the Hoover...
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Drink, Don’t Drive: How Obama’s Green Obsession Led me to Drink (and it’s good for the planet!)



Get ready for life in ultra small cars, shorn of spare tires and other unnecessary weight. The Obama administration has set the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 54.5 mpg! There will be fines (read: added costs) if you choose the wrong kind of vehicle or buy from an auto company that fails...
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FDR Redux: A Cartoon Guide to Cutting the National Debt by 40% with the Stroke of a Pen! (Part II)



(Continued from previous post). During the 1932 campaign, Franklin Roosevelt had a reputation as a mealy-mouth politician who made many promises but held his real plans close to his chest. The following cartoons capture that well: Of course, we now know that with his First Inaugural address (listen here), FDR took on the role...
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