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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FDR Redux: A Cartoon Guide to Cutting the National Debt by 40% with the Stroke of a Pen! (Part I)



Robert Higgs noted here on July 6th that FDR defaulted on the national debt by “going off the gold standard.” Moreover, FDR was (and is) much praised for his courageous action in favor of the “little guy” and against “sound money” bankers. FDR did this with a stroke of the pen (Executive Order) and...
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The Killing (and Queering) of History: Why Government Schools are the Problem



This past week the governor of California signed a law that requires the teaching of gay history in textbooks used in government schools. That’s bad, but not for the reasons so-called “conservative” groups imagine. Government schools in California and Texas determine what is used in textbooks nationwide. The textbook boards in California lean toward...
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JAMA: State Should Seize Fat Children from Parents



Welcome to the next chapter in our continuing coverage of Police State USA. In a JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) opinion piece, the authors argue for taking “super-obese” children from parents and putting them in foster care. Having just researched the dark side of well-intentioned “Progressivism” (early 20th century), I find this...
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Facebook Gets Multicultural About China and Censorship



In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal quotes Mark Zuckerberg, the kid from Harvard who heads the CEO of a company-not-yet-public. (Goldman-Sachs VIP insiders only, please). What disturbed me about the article is not that another company is breaking into the so-called China market after the Google row over censorship. I’m more disturbed...
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Nanny State Attacks Jewish, Muslim Manhood



This week, a “God blogger” published a Wall Street Journal column highlighting the “circumcision wars” in California. The “intactivists” opposed to circumcision are up against Jews and Muslims (among others) in San Francisco. I’m betting with the latter groups. I think circumcision is barbaric and demeaning to men but it doesn’t rise to the...
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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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  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org