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Archive for October, 2014
Amazon’s “Dark Side” Is a Bright Spot for Workers and Consumers

Jim Hightower is an old-fashioned Texas progressive, who, if memory serves, once ran unsuccessfully for the governorship of that state. He may be a great polemicist – see “The Dark Side of Amazon” – but he does not know the first thing about how markets work and how Amazon.com, like Wal-Mart, is a benefactor…
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Debunking Democracy with James M. Buchanan

Among the first questions young people ask upon their political awakening is one that should concern Americans of all ages: Why don’t democratic governments operate the way our civic classes taught us? Perhaps no one of his generation thought more deeply about this question than the economist James M. Buchanan (1919–2013). The late Nobel…
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Berkeley’s Free Medical Marijuana Plan Shows Economic Thinking Has Gone to Pot

In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, making it the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana. Its passage, however, did not trump federal law, under which cannabis remains illegal as per the Controlled Substance Act. Due to this illegality on the federal level, private insurance companies, as well as state programs like Medi-Cal, do not…
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Florida’s Very Interesting Race for Governor

In November, Floridians will see three names on the ballot for Governor: incumbent Governor Rick Scott, the Republican; former Governor Charlie Crist, the Democrat; and Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Incumbent Rick Scott is probably the least interesting of the candidates.  A former hospital CEO, he won in 2010 spending mostly his own money ($70…
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U.S. National Defense: Just Another Government Program

In a recent address to the Institute for Humane Studies board of directors, George Mason University economist and co-editor of the Independent Institute’s The Independent Review Christopher J. Coyne offered a “case for humility” regarding foreign intervention. I had the pleasure of hearing the address in person, and the written version can be found…
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The Free Speech Movement Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary, but the Eternal Battle Between Liberty and Power Goes On

“Free speech is an eternally radical idea, so it is always under threat at all times in human history.” —Greg Lukianoff October 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, the iconic student rebellion that rocked the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, during the tumultuous 1960s. As summarized by Berkeley’s…
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