The Justified Punch in the Nose: A Libertarian Conundrum?

A principal tenet of libertarianism---perhaps even the first principle of libertarianism---is an injunction against initiating violence. Whatever else you do, you may not harm unwilling others. John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, Robert Nozick, and many others---I as well---have all subscribed to some version of this principle as a starting point.  Yet Adam Smith … Continue reading The Justified Punch in the Nose: A Libertarian Conundrum?

“Operation Drain the Swamp,” update

In the past, I have been quite interested in “Operation Drain the Swamp.” A piece by Brody Mullins and John McKinnon in  today’s WSJ suggest that Speaker Pelosi has some additional work to do in the final months of her reign if she is going to bring the operation to a successful conclusion. According to the … Continue reading “Operation Drain the Swamp,” update

Happy Neocon Day

Given the great success of recent American foreign policy initiatives driven largely by the neoconservatives, the New York Times apparently decided it is "Neocon Day" today.  To celebrate, the Gray Lady published two op-eds on Iraq that sing the praises of our efforts there.  In the first, David Brooks highlights how successful our nation-building project … Continue reading Happy Neocon Day

Immanentize the Eschaton with Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is an interesting and frustrating character for many libertarians. So often, his arguments appear to unfold in a reasonable fashion and then they turn into a flurry of chalk dust, conspiracy theories, religious imagery and tears. Many commentators waited breathlessly for Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial this past weekend. While … Continue reading Immanentize the Eschaton with Glenn Beck

The Great Recession in the Sunday Paper

There is a fine piece in this morning's NYT by Peter Goodman (“What Can be Done to Cure the Ailing Economy"). Let me entice you with three money quotes: It increasingly seems as if the policy makers attending like physicians to the American economy are peering into their medical kits and coming up empty, their … Continue reading The Great Recession in the Sunday Paper

What Caused the State Budget Gaps? UPDATED

Clearly, the recession caused state revenues to fall short of projections, opening up budget deficits. However, some states dealt with more serious fiscal problems than others. California's, New York's, and Illinois' woes have been in the news quite a bit lately. A new paper by Matt Mitchell at the Mercatus Center finds that states with … Continue reading What Caused the State Budget Gaps? UPDATED

Hail the lone juror!

Ever since the jury in former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich’s recent trial failed to reach a unanimous verdict in all but one count, I’ve been pondering whether our jury trial system in the U.S. makes sense.  There are different ways of looking at this. 1. My first response as a former resident of Chicago was … Continue reading Hail the lone juror!