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Tag Archives: freedom

Capitalists of the world unite!

This has to be a first: Now Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai, the publisher who was arrested Monday under the city’s new national security law, Hong Kongers have been buying shares of his media network Next Digital Ltd. The result has been a more than 1,000% gain in two days that propelled the stock to a six-year high. I’m not sure how effective this will be, but...

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Of Hydroxychloroquine and Sex With Demons

I know as little about biology and medicine as the typical public health expert knows about economics and the scientific study of society. I don’t know if hydroxychloroquine is effective against Covid-19 or under which conditions. However, I believe I know something about, or I have the analytical tools to understand, a social system where politicians or public health pontiffs decide what is good or not for individuals and forces it upon them. Frequent readings about...

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Public Health, Parens Patriae, and Sex

In a Thursday post about public health, I mentioned the parens patriae legal principle, which justifies the state to act toward citizens like a parent toward his or her children. One of the readers who commented, JK Brown, quoted a 1910 book, Popular Law Making, by Harvard law professor Frederic Jesup Stimson: You can have regulation of the hours of labor of a woman of full age in general employments, by court decision, in three States (Massachusetts, Oregon, and...

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Milton Friedman

Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the death of Milton Friedman. I am using this occasion to bear witness to the influence the Nobel economist had on my intellectual development as it had on the opinions of countless others. (See, for example, the testimony of my co-blogger David Henderson.) When I was a graduate student at the University of Toronto at the turn of the 1970s, Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1962) appeared as a...

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Do People Want to Be Free?

The heroic resistance by many Hong Kong residents suggests that all individuals want liberty, an idea inherited from the Enlightenment. But is this classical-liberal and libertarian vision generally valid? Here are some related questions. In the Fall issue of Regulation, I have an anniversary review of James Buchanan’s What Do Economists Do?, a collection of essays he wrote in the 1960s and 1970s. One of these essays, a lecture he gave at a 1978 Liberty Fund...

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Happy 218th birthday to French classical liberal economist Frederic Bastiat! – Publications – AEI

AEI Happy 218th birthday to French classical liberal economist Frederic Bastiat! Tomorrow, June 29, marks the 218th anniversary of the birth of the great French classical liberal economist Frédéric Bastiat (born June 29, 1801) whom economist Joseph Schumpeter called the “most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived.” According to the Library of Economics and Liberty Bastiat’s biggest contribution to economics was “his fresh and witty expressions of economic truths made them...

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What Is Real Wealth?

What Is Real Wealth? What is real wealth? Money, right? Currency, gold, quatloos, you name it.Money is real wealth because you can use it to buy whatever you want. I would argue money in any form is only the means to acquire real wealth, which is the agency, opportunity and time to pursue your life’s work. The conventional view that wealth is money and leisure has it all wrong. Let’s imagine the owner of a vault of...

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British Say “No” to EU Power and Plunder

Reprinted from EpicTimes The political and financial establishments of Europe and the United States were taken by almost total surprise and sent into apparent shock when 52 percent of the voters in the United Kingdom chose for their country to leave the European Union (EU). But it is not the end of the world as we know it, and can be a positive sign and example of opposition to unrepresentative and centralized bureaucratic control over people’s lives. As the June 23, 2016 vote neared on...

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Give Me Liberty Part 2

Originally published in the Saturday Evening Post VII For each of us, the answer to that question is a personal one. But the final answer cannot be personal, for individual freedom of choice and of action cannot long exist except among multitudes of individuals who choose it and who are willing to pay for it. Multitudes of human beings will not do this unless their freedom is worth more than it costs, not only in value to their own souls but also in terms of the general welfare and the future...

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Give Me Liberty Part 1

Originally published in the Saturday Evening Post In 1919 I was a communist. My Bolshevik friends of those days are scattered now; some are bourgeois, some are dead, some are in China and Russia, and I did not know the last American chiefs of the Third International, who now officially embrace Democracy.  They would repudiate me even as a renegade comrade, for I was never a member of The Party.  But it was merely an accident that I was not. In those days immediately after the First World War...

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