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Archive for January, 2010
On the Term “Religion”

Uninformed critics of Austrian economics sometimes dismiss it as “religion, not analysis.” Perhaps they should heed statistician Andrew Gelman’s advice “to retire use of the term ‘religion’ to mean ‘uncritical belief in something I disagree with.’” Right on! I mean, how often have you been chided for your “belief” in “free-market fundamentalism”? Gag. (Although…
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Historians Against the War (For Progressives Only, Libertarians Not Welcome)

In 2003, Historians Against the War (HAW) seemed a promising opportunity to bring together antiwar historians of all political persuasions. And, in fact, many libertarian historians joined with liberals, socialists and others on the left to oppose the war. Such an ecumenical political organization had rarely appeared in American history since the demise of…
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Regime Uncertainty—Now Maybe People Will Take the Idea Seriously

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Gary S. Becker, Steven J. Davis, and Kevin M. Murphy discuss how the government’s multifaceted efforts to “reform” health care, energy and environmental controls, financial regulation, taxation, monetary policy-making, and various other aspects of the politico-economic order have created such great uncertainty that business people are reluctant to…
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The Myth of National Security

Remember that White House dinner party that a couple crashed in November? It turns out another uninvited person managed to attend. Not to mention the White House breakfast that uninvited tourists walked into in December. With the most powerful and expensive government security apparatus in the world, the federal government can’t even protect the…
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The Naughties: Could Have Been Worse

As we start a new decade, I’m looking back at the naughties (the best name I’ve heard for a decade that never did get a good name) and thinking things could have been worse.  (For those who argue that the new decade doesn’t really begin until 2011, my counter-argument is that the decade has…
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Entitlement U.S.A.: Colleges as Attendance Centers

Several years ago, I chuckled when I dropped my young daughter off at a friend’s elementary school. In fact, the school was named an “Attendance Center.” I never learned why “school” was suddenly out of fashion. “Attendance Center.” How apt a phrase for what is happening in higher education, as every politician and president…
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