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Black Lives Matter »

My initial reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, like many old white guys, was that All Lives Matter. But recent events have changed my thinking on this. My old thinking: Racial discrimination is a reality, but race is just one of many personal characteristics on which people discriminate. Good-looking people tend to be...
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Warren Buffet’s Non Sequitur on Taxes »

Here’s an article about Warren Buffet’s well-known view that the rich should pay more in taxes. His bottom-line argument is, “If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” I don’t disagree. My disagreement with Buffet is the implication that being...
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Big Government Creates Political Polarization »

We’ve heard it said that politics is more polarized today than in the past. If that’s true (and I’m not sure it is), big government is likely to blame. I recently noted that politics creates conflict. Bigger government creates more conflict. Smaller government tends to focus on activities that meet with widespread agreement. Most...
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Politics Creates Conflict »

One interesting thing to note about the political statements coming from candidates as the primaries approach is the adversarial nature of their rhetoric. They don’t hesitate to attack their primary opponents despite the fact that they broadly agree on most things. Yes, Republicans will take an occasional jab at Hillary, but mostly they are...
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US Drug Laws Destabilize Other Nations »

This article in USA Today is headlined, “El Salvador: World’s New Murder Capital.” El Salvador’s murder rate is 104 per 100,000 population, and as the article notes, this is a national average. “If you start looking at where the pockets of violence are, it’s shocking.” Why are things so bad in El Salvador? The...
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Right Problem; Wrong Solution. Obama’s Push for Reduced Prison Sentences »

President Obama is pushing for reductions in prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. As this article notes, the federal prison population is more than eight times higher today than in 1980, before the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs. The United States has a larger share of its population behind bars than any other nation...
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Atlas Shrugs »

Three months ago, the CEO of Gravity Payments, a Seattle credit card processing firm, announced that all of the firm’s employees would be paid a minimum of $70,000 a year, according to this story. Now, the firm has fallen on hard times, and some of the firm’s “higher valued” employees have quit. One employee...
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Cake Politics »

Following the recent news, I’m not sure under what conditions a baker can decline to provide a cake to potential customers. I’ve seen this story in which an Oregon bakery was fined $135,000 for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, but I’ve also seen this one in which a Wal-Mart refused...
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New TV Show Sparks Unnecessary Moral Outrage (and Proves People Don’t Understand Basic Economics) »

CBS recently released a new show titled, “The Briefcase.” Normally, I wouldn’t have given such a show a second glance... But then I read reactions to the show on social media. I found myself vaguely ashamed for [watching]...I kept reminding myself that I had to watch it in order to write about it. [P]ossibly...
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The Avengers of Civil Society? »

While watching the summer blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, I had trouble shaking thoughts from two books not usually connected to action heroes, let alone movies: Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves. I doubt writer/director Joss Whedon had these social philosophers in mind when he was writing...
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