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Shanon FitzGerald

Articles by Shanon FitzGerald

Comparing Housing in California and Indiana

September 2, 2021

Summarizing recent research, Bryan Caplan estimates, “It is very plausible that U.S. housing would be 50% cheaper under laissez-faire.”
Why do we not live in that less expensive, freer world?
“Because regulation is strangling housing supply, especially in desirable locations.”
“Yes!” I hear myself saying, no doubt in unison with more than a few readers.
Over the past year, mostly as a matter of curiosity and interest, I have kept tabs on a few housing markets across the country, including my local market. I am 23 and interested in buying a house in the next few years, so I want to have a sense of what is on offer in various areas, including but also beyond my own. If nothing else, it’s good to keep an accurate accounting of opportunity costs and available

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Security States

July 1, 2021

Two well-told stories in the most recent issue of Wired magazine highlight complex technological and human security challenges that will remain with us for the foreseeable future. The first is, “The Full Story of the Stunning RSA Hack Can (Finally) be Told,” by Andy Greenberg. It’s about a 2011 breach at security firm RSA, which compromised master-key like information central to the firm’s secure-ID products, used by the likes of Fortune 500 clients and the Pentagon to verify employees’ identities. The second story, “The Manhattan Project,” by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley, examines the ongoing construction of the Department of Homeland Security’s new $1.25 billion lab, “the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility,” located in Manhattan, Kansas. This facility

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Avoiding The Next Big One

June 14, 2021

2034: A Novel of the Next World War, by Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis, is a startling book. Not because of the general scenario it lays out—few students of politics and international affairs will be surprised by the suggestion that great power conflict between China and the United States is a realistic possibility in the years ahead—but because of the way in which the novel paints the story (really, the stories) of how a “cold” conflict could foreseeably advance to outright kinetic exchange. The crises and reciprocal escalations laid out in this book may be imagined, but as a quick glance at the biographies of the authors should reinforce, they are not at all divorced from the realm of history, logic, and strategic fact. Many of the seeds of the

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Meanings of Liberty: A Contested Concept

May 7, 2021

It was my singular good fortune to serve as the editor for the April 2021 Liberty Matters forum, “Meanings of Liberty: Aron, Constant, Berlin.” What is liberty, and what does it mean (to each of these thinkers)? This, in essence, is the question that April lead essayist Daniel B. Klein and two respondents, Daniel J. Mahoney and Helena Rosenblatt, set out to explore in this particular edition of Liberty Matters. (If you are not yet familiar with the Liberty Matters series, no worries: each month at the Online Library of Liberty we feature a fresh collection of essays and responses on a different topic pertaining to the idea of liberty.) Now that last month’s conversation has come to an end, I hope in this response to draw some additional attention to a few elements

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Why Human Space Exploration Matters

March 9, 2021

Unity proves elusive, but Americans who cannot seem to agree on much else— from Trumpian and traditionalist conservatives on the right, to certain libertarians, to liberals and progressive social justice advocates— do seem to agree on at least one big policy thing: space does not matter much, and other things matter much more than space. Cue the familiar disagreements on what those “other things” are. But the first part undoubtedly stands. Broadly speaking, the principals guiding our politics today—and, it would seem, the median journalist and current events commentator on Twitter— could not care less about whether humans make progress in space, or whether we as a species ever develop the technologies required to allow human inhabitation of other planets and

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