Tag: Morality
Taxation and Wealth Redistribution as Lowbrow Morality

Peter is a wealthy man and has $1,000 in his wallet. He plans to use it for a variety of things—some groceries, taking his wife out to dinner, and buying some new golf clubs he’s been admiring. Enter Paul. Paul thinks that Peter’s money could be put to better use, like helping low-income families…
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Free Kim Davis… And Fire Her!

Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, has made the news by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  She’s now in jail for contempt of court, because she has refused to uphold the recent court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry. I have some sympathy for Davis, because when she…
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Many Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes

Here’s an interesting article from the National Taxpayers Union, based on IRS data, showing that well over a third of people who file income tax returns have no tax liability, or a negative tax liability. In 1985, in the middle of the Reagan years, less than 20% of income tax returns showed no tax…
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Government Charges Hastert with “Crime” of Withdrawing His Own Money

Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has been charged with lying to the FBI about the reason he was withdrawing money from bank accounts.  Should what Hastert did be illegal, or any of the government’s business?  Let’s look at the facts. From the charges, it appears that Hastert (1) withdrew…
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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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Hackers Stole Data from Whom? An Example of Media Bias

This story’s headline reports, “Hackers Stole Data From More Than 100,000 Taxpayers, IRS Says.”  The headline is wrong.  Hackers stole data from the IRS, not from taxpayers.  This is an example of the subtle kind of media bias that minimizes government shortcomings, in this case by pointing the finger at taxpayers.  This particular headline…
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“Rape Culture” and the Implications for Liberty on College Campuses

College campuses are placing a stronger emphasis on reducing sexual assault. Unfortunately, universities and colleges often adopt heavy-handed policies to punish alleged offenders based on abstractions or simplistic understandings of college student attitudes and behavior. One of the more problematic overgeneralizations is the concept of the “rape culture”, and the pervasive use of the…
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Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio says, “I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with,” but goes on to say, “I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.”  Let’s consider both of these ideas from a political perspective. First, whether people choose their sexual orientation or are born with it is…
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Two Reasons to Pay Off Public-Employee Pension Debt Quickly

In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “Pension Reform Doesn’t Mean Higher Taxes,” Andrew Biggs correctly pointed out that new Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) rules require state and local governments across America to be more transparent about the financial health of their public-pension plans. But, as he noted, the rules…
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Immigration Policy Is Unjust

Like you and every other person, I have no just right to prescribe for another person where he may come and go, with whom he may contract as employer or employee, and with whom he may buy, sell, and otherwise associate, so long as he does not violate anyone’s justly acquired private property rights…
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