Tag: Power

Bismarck and Healthcare Insurance: DeLong and DeShort of It »

Brad DeLong at The Health Care blog makes these assertions: Bismarck created the world’s first national health insurance system 130 years ago because he wanted to make the German people healthier. The rationale for national health insurance in the U.S. today is the same as it was for Bismarck. People can’t pay for expensive...
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NSA Spying Threatens Law-Abiding Americans »

I was talking with an older German citizen about the NSA’s data collection program that has recently been the subject of much debate. He worked for the East German government during the Cold War and viewed the NSA’s activities as similar to the Stasi’s under communist rule, but potentially more threatening. The argument often...
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Not Even Achieving an Impossible Libertarian Dream Will Suffice »

Libertarians dream of cutting back the bloated Leviathan under whose weight people now struggle simply to catch their breath—breathing freely being almost beyond imagination. A few of us dream of eliminating the state altogether, however much we recognize the impossibility of doing so. Many more libertarians, however, believe that in propitious circumstances, the state...
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NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication »

It has been interesting to me that the most frequent question that I have been asked in the aftermath of our, “Civil Liberties and Security in an Age of Terrorism,” is regarding my description of our cell phones as a government listening device. Even though the information that U.S. surveillance agencies can remotely turn...
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The Wolverine and the Implicit Libertarianism of the Wayward Samurai »

I’m not sure what I expected from the 2013 film The Wolverine, the most recent addition to the summer box office from the Marvel comics archives, but a libertarian theme seemed too much to hope for. And I was right—to an extent. In fact, after watching movie, I think the plot has an unusually...
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Where’s the Outrage? »

Several weeks have passed since the world received Edward Snowden’s revelations of the massive scope of the U.S. government’s invasion of privacy by means of collecting and storing millions of persons’ emails and website visits, as well as information about their telephone calls. The public appears fairly equally divided about whether these revelations constitute...
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The Stalinization of Amerika »

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, rather than hold accountable and roll the heads of the bunglers at the U.S. intelligence agencies who failed to follow up on multiple reports of possible terrorist activity, students learning to fly but not land, and possible hijacking plots, such as— In a memo from the Phoenix FBI...
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Why the Precautionary Principle Counsels Us to Renounce Statism »

Propose that the state be replaced by genuine self-government and immediately people come forth with a litany of objections—your proposal is a pipe dream; it is untried; it would never work; it fails to solve problem R and problem S; and so forth. So the objectors, however much they may concede that the state...
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State Power and How It Might Be Undermined »

State power is the most dangerous force in modern life. State rulers, seeking their own aggrandizement and enrichment, employ this power systematically to plunder and abuse their subjects. Of course, they cannot act in this way without the assistance of many others, among whom some assist willingly, some in return for adequate compensation, and...
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Classical Liberalism’s Impossible Dream »

I can understand why someone might embrace classical liberalism. I did so myself more than forty years ago. People become classical liberals for two main reasons, which are interrelated: first, because they come to understand that free markets “work” better than government-controlled economic systems in providing prosperity and domestic peace; second, because people come...
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