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Tag Archives: liberty

Preach What You Practice

While watching TV last night, I turned briefly to the Emmys and saw a lot of people in close quarters indoors joyously singing a song. Good for them. One of the biggest losses from the government’s lockdowns is the socialization that is so much a part of our being human. “Man is a social animal,” said Aristotle, and man, are we ever seeing how true that is! Here’s what I wonder. I wonder how many of those few dozen people I saw shame others who don’t wear masks or,...

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“Just Read the Instructions”

Except perhaps for some psychopaths, everybody hopes that the four members of the Inspiration4 mission (watch a video) will safely return to earth. One remarkable thing is how, just a few years ago, most people would have not believed that a crew of civilians would soon orbit the earth in an adventure financed by a billionaire (Jared Isaacman) on a reusable and already-used spacecraft built by the company of another billionaire (Elon Musk). That only military missions...

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My 12th-Grade Odyssey

Co-blogger Bryan Caplan’s tale of his children’s experience with home school is quite impressive. One slight danger is that readers might think you need to be anywhere near as prepared as Bryan and his two older sons to make it a success. But my experience, although way less impressive, also makes the case for some version of home schooling. Background My birthday is in late November and so I got into first grade just under the December 1 cutoff: I was the youngest...

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Dr. Moreno Comes Through

I live in Monterey County, where our county health officer is Dr. Ed Moreno. I have not been a fan, as I’ve mentioned on this blog before, here and here. But I believe in giving credit where credit is due. So here’s what I wrote in today’s Carmel Pine Cone, which is our best local newspaper. ‘We have his back’ Dear Editor, I have not been a fan of Monterey County health officer Dr. Ed Moreno because he has tended to follow the crowd rather than the science. But in...

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Milton Friedman’s Long-Run Impact

The truth is somewhere between the two extremes. While Milton Friedman has not had as much effect on economic thinking and policy as many of us free market advocates would like, he has nevertheless had a huge impact. On economic thinking, the following of Friedman’s ideas have held up well: that monetary policy is potent; that a contraction in the money supply between 1929 and 1933 helped put the “Great” in “the Great Depression”; that inflation “is always and...

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If you want liberty, aim for success (and vice versa)

I don’t think I have to convince libertarians like myself that liberty often leads to more successful societies, but I’m not sure how many understand that the reverse is also true. It’s not possible to just wave a magic wand and call forth more liberty. Disasters such as war, depression and pandemics often lead to repressive government policies. Thus one way to promote a free society is to do the hard work promoting policies such as peace, prosperity and good public...

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Conservatism in the 21st century

Americans pay little attention to Canadian politics, even though Canada is by far our largest export market and in many ways Canada is the country that is most similar to the US. In the upcoming election, Canada’s Conservative Party has recently been rising in the polls.  Interestingly, its message seems to be aimed at blue-collar voters: There are plenty of skeptics of O’Toole too. He’s propagating an interventionist, pro-labor and big spending program that...

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Is “Governing” Good for the Governed?

It is a tired cliché to say that the government should govern. But is it true? What does “governing” mean? Consider the following illustration: on Tuesday, when announcing his resignation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo repeated the cliché. He said: The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing. We are again dumbstruck by Cuomo’s selfless devotion to the public good, which is, as we know, characteristic of all politicians’...

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Climate Agnosticism

I am rather agnostic toward “climate change” or “global warming” as it was called before the expression mutated for reasons that may be known only to our loving intelligentsia. I must say I was impressed by Tyler Cowen’s argument for (government) combatting climate change but, having now escaped his spell, the reasons for my agnosticism triumph again. The Economist’s story on the United Nations sixth report on climate change comforts me (“The IPCC Delivers its...

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The authoritarian nationalist playbook

There’s a sort of boomlet in authoritarian nationalism, with some prominent conservative leaders touting the Orban regime in Hungary, or even the earlier Salazar regime in Portugal.  But what is authoritarian nationalism? This term has been applied to regimes as dissimilar as the governments of Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Russia, India, China, and Brazil. Some of these countries are democracies, some are dictatorships, and some fall in between those two extremes.  So...

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