Tag: The State

Politics Is Not Just Spy versus Spy; It’s also Slogan versus Slogan »

For as long as political and ideological movements have sought to engage large followings, they have embraced slogans and catch phrases that give pithy expression to their views, aversions, and objectives. Slogans are dangerous in that they substitute rote declarations for serious thought, yet they may sometimes serve a purpose even for thoughtful people…
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The Fall of Liberty and Human Dignity in American Sniper »

Given the buzz from conservatives touting the film American Sniper‘s homage to Christopher Kyle as a war hero, libertarians may be tempted to sit this movie out. I think they should resist that temptation. This is not a typical “war movie.” In fact, I would argue it’s not a war movie at all: it’s…
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Controlling the Regulatory State »

People tend to think about big government in terms of taxes and government spending. Big governments are the ones that have high taxes and big expenditure programs. Government regulations are a major component of big government, and the regulatory state often leads to more oppressive and more corrupt government than big spending. Consider, for…
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How Much Longer Can the U.S. Economy Bear the Burdens? »

Ordinary people, and sometimes experts as well, tend to overreact to short-term economic changes. The current economic malaise in the United States and Europe has brought forth a bevy of commentators convinced that this time the economy has taken a permanent turn for the worse. Never again, they declare, will we enjoy growing prosperity…
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Milton Friedman on “Free” College »

Sixty years ago Milton Friedman made the case in “The Role of Government in Education” that since individuals reap the benefits of college degrees, whether personally, professionally, or both, they should pay for them. By 1979 Friedman noted that higher education subsidies had become such an Ivory Tower boondoggle, higher education should be taxed to…
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National School Choice Week Starts Today! »

This week more than 11,000 events will be held nationwide in celebration of school choice. Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing January 25-30, 2015, as National School Choice Week to help improve awareness of the benefits of greater opportunities in education. More than 100 governors, mayors,…
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Self Censorship »

One by-product of the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was an outpouring of support for freedom of speech. While there was general agreement that the magazine’s content has been, beyond a doubt, offensive to some (and not only Muslims), almost everyone agreed that freedom of speech is a fundamental right that should be…
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Total National Security Spending Is Much Greater than the Pentagon’s Base Budget »

In a recent publication of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, “Defense Spending Extends Beyond the Pentagon’s Budget,” Veronique de Rugy presents a valuable compilation of data for fiscal year 2013, showing how much of the government’s national security spending appears not in the base budget of the Department of Defense, but elsewhere…
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Common Core Boosters Trying to Scare States into Keeping National Standards »

Last year wasn’t a good year for Common Core, and the myth-makers are already hard at work publishing some new spin, but first let’s review what we’ve learned over the past five years. Common Core national standards are: Costly (here, here, and here) Weak (here and here) Intrusive (here) Politicized (here) Anything but “voluntary”…
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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Don’t Worry, They’ll Guard Themselves! »

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves? Do not fret, mis amigos. Our guardians have already made ample provision for guarding themselves. They have, among other upstanding actions, appointed ombudsmen, established offices of inspector generals, enacted the Administrative Procedure Act, and created internal affairs divisions in police departments. So, as anyone…
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