Tag: Progressivism

Perfecting Tyranny »

When discussing the costs of foreign intervention, it’s typical for scholars, elected officials, and the general public to focus on the international consequences. As the U.S. prepares for new offenses in Iraq and Syria, for example, many have called into question issues of civilian casualties, the impact on these countries’ political and economic systems,...
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Long-Term Unemployment Benefits Expire; Long-Term Unemployment Falls »

The unemployment rate has fallen from 6.7% at the end of 2013 to 6.1% in August 2014. That decline is primarily the result of the expiration of long-term unemployment benefits. Unemployment compensation usually expires at the end of 26 weeks of unemployment, but during the last recession Congress extended that period, and many states...
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“Creepy Uncle Sam” Obamacare Care-nival »

To follow up on the superb “Creepy Uncle Sam” videos satirizing Obamacare (see here and here), the new “Something Creepy This Way Comes: Creepy Uncle Sam Obamacare Care-nival” has now gone viral on the Internet: For the pivotal alternative to Obamacare, please see the Independent Institute’s widely acclaimed book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis,...
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Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
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Muckraker or Special Pleader? »

In “A Brief History of Media Muckraking”, the Wall Street Journal’s Amanda Foreman traces the contributions of “reform-minded journalists from Ida Tarbell to [Bob] Woodward” and a few others who spilled newspaper ink writing about abuses of power by the private and the public sector. Obviously a fan of the progress made during the...
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The Veterans’ Administration Has Been a Disaster Since Its Inception »

In her modern, exceptional biography of President Calvin Coolidge, Amity Shlaes (Coolidge, HarperCollins, 2013) documents the very blemished history of today’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), illustrating the trite, but nevertheless very true old saw that the more things change the more they remain the same. That department of the federal government, now...
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Taxpayers Are Shocked to Discover That When They Vote for Government Services, They Have to Pay for Them »

Taxpayers in Austin, Texas, are upset that their property tax bills are rising. This article reports that taxpayer Gretchen Gardner is “at the breaking point” because of her increasing property taxes. Gardner says, “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this...
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Piketty’s Capital: IV »

I’ve made some observations about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century already, here, here, and here, and in this post want to note the way that the twentieth-century welfare state has contributed to the inequality that Piketty has observed. Piketty observes that growing inequality is the result of the return on capital being...
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Piketty’s Capital: I »

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a surprising best-seller (how many economics books make the New York Times best-seller list?) and has been getting lots of press lately. Reading it, I have some comments and observations, which I will make in a series of posts rather than in one extended review. I’m...
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Elizabeth Warren: “We Are Not Resting Until at Least 50 Senators Are [Millionaire] Women” »

Elizabeth Warren is out selling herself and her new book, Fighting Chance, and her headline du jour is “We Are Not Resting Until at Least 50 Senators Are Women” I’m not sure why she thinks that would solve her biggest beef, which is, in her words: “Let’s just be real clear — the game...
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