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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CARTOON VIDEO: What About Bob? Social Security Talk in 2035



In 2011, the state of Illinois public pension was on the brink of disaster, with unfunded liabilities upward of $100 billion. By adjusting the benefits and contributions of current workers, the disaster was averted for those then retired. Those workers of 2011 “did their part” and are still working today, many of them into...
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“O(h no) Canada!” MTV Signature Song Banned



When I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, the stereotypical bowdlerizers of speech–the people excising “offensive” lyrics and literature—were the uptight blue-nosed sort who feared that “someone, somewhere, was having fun.” (H.L. Mencken). Now, the “progressive” Left has replaced the Puritanical Right as the great policer of speech. “Progressives” have always policed speech...
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Libertarian Defends Professor Cronon (while blasting the hypocrisy of the Left)



Over at the leading libertarian magazine, Reason, writer Shikha Dalmia attacks conservatives for using FOIA laws to invade the privacy of historian William Cronon. At the same time, Dalmia defends Open Records laws while noting that groups may abuse their rights by going after individuals. On that score, the Left comes in for a...
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Numbers to Settle Debates: Three Cool Sites



For handy reference, three of my favorite sites: http://www.usdebtclock.org/ (current data) http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/ (historical comparison are more shocking). I blogged about this site here. And, of course, http://www.mygovcost.org/ (Government Cost Calculator)

Talking to Liberals About Revolution



During any age of unrest, left-liberals and right-conservatives (and even some classical liberals) will reveal the worst side of their respective political positions. In short, the visceral kicks in and the brain flatlines. While I could write about the conservative response to Middle Eastern unrest, they seem quite divided. Not so the left-liberals who...
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Fatty Footprints: A Modest Proposal Based on Liberal GroupThink



Fact: The USA is in the midst of a obesity epidemic. Fact: Fat people are more likely to need health services, work fewer years, and pay less in taxes. They “free ride” by consuming scarce health care resources paid for by those who are healthy and thin. PROPOSAL: For their own good, and for...
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Who Killed JFK? The Conservative “Climate of Hate”!



According to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and other Kennedy-friendly biographers, the young president was a victim of the political atmosphere, not Marxist Lee Harvey Oswald. Conservative criticism of Kennedy led a disturbed young man (Oswald) to kill Kennedy and The Dream. Man, this is an old left-liberal script: Go straight to Schlesinger’s A Thousand Days:...
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Be Patriotic! Cheat! Spend!



In a recent post, Ashley Thorne discusses “Lessons of a Professional Paper-Writer” . Thorne cites a fascinating Chronicle of Higher Education column entitled “The Shadow Scholar: The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story” This is a class (inequality) issue: those with money can afford to buy entrance to careers, those without...
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He’s Back! Bill Ayers, Robert Kennedy’s Son — and What this Has to Do With “Higher” Education



Bill Ayers is back in the news. Robert Kennedy’s son, newly on the board of the U of I Chicago, led a move denying Ayers emeritus status as a retired professor. Newsweek covered the story

Bernanke Dollars



From Division of Labor: [JB: One-ply tissue. Please use more to get the job done]