Tag: American History

1913—The Final Days of the Old Regime in the United States »

In 1913, exactly a century ago, the United States was a flourishing, economically advanced country. Its real output per capita was the world’s highest. It produced a great abundance of agricultural products and was a leading exporter of cotton, wheat, and many other farm products. Yet it also had the world’s largest industrial sector,...
Read More »

Fascinating Questions from The Independent Review »

The Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review—the Independent Institute’s flagship scholarly journal, edited by Robert Higgs—is hot off the press. Below you’ll find links to articles and book reviews that address a host of intriguing questions: Why have domestic police agencies across the United States resorted increasingly to “no-knock” raids and other military-type...
Read More »

Governor Christie’s Favorite Charity »

In the age of ceaseless parroting for “transparency,” it’s astounding to me that government do-gooders are apparently immune. The Asbury Park (NJ) Press is reporting: The Sandy relief fund chaired by New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie has raised more than $32 million so far. But four months after the superstorm, none of...
Read More »

Labor Markets Are Still in Bad Shape »

The recent report that the standard (U-3) rate of unemployment fell to 7.7 percent last month seems to have stirred considerable joy in Mudville. But before we spend a lot of time shouting huzzahs, we might well bear in mind a few other data and, of course, recall that not so long ago, a...
Read More »

20 Years Ago Today: Operation Showtime »

On February 28, 1993, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Bureau raided the home of the Branch Davidians, a religious sect just outside Waco, Texas. The agency, which has suffered bad press due to sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandals, made sure reporters were there to witness its planned heroics and dubbed the raid “Operation...
Read More »

SCOTUS Hears Arguments on the Voting Rights Act »

SCOTUS heard arguments today regarding the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which permits the federal government to block even minor election changes made by certain jurisdictions covered under the law, if those changes are deemed to reduce minority voting power. The covered jurisdictions, mostly in the South, are those with a...
Read More »

The Federal Reserve’s First Century »

One factor often cited as contributing to the decline of the Roman Empire was the debasement of the currency. In a period of about 150 years following Emperor Nero’s reign (from 54 to 68 AD) the value of Rome’s currency fell by 50%. By 250 AD, 200 years after Nero, the value of Rome’s...
Read More »

Presidents’ Day »

Presidents’ Day should itself remind us that the executive branch has expanded its power way beyond what the nation’s founders had intended at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. We don’t have a “Congress or Judiciary Day.” The day celebrates powerful executives as caricatured celebrities. The founders had envisioned Congress, as the dominant branch of...
Read More »

The 16th Amendment: A Transfer of Power from the States to the Federal Government »

This is the centennial year of the 16th Amendment — the income tax amendment — which was ratified in 1913. While often associated with the growth in government spending, its biggest effect has been to shift the balance of power toward the federal government and away from the states. It is not difficult to...
Read More »

The FISA Model for Summary Execution? »

Dianne Feinstein and some liberals have suggested that, if the president’s targeted killing policy is too unilateral, the remedy might be found in something modeled after the FISA court. Make no mistake: Such a court would be nothing more than a rubber-stamp. At best. In 1978, after Church Committee hearings exposed massive abuse of...
Read More »