Freedom of Information versus the Security State

Reporters without Borders has issued its annual World Press Freedom Index (map here, discussion here). The US has tumbled to 46, just above Haiti. To place things in context, the US was 17 in 2002 when the first index was published. As Reporters without Borders explains: Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting … Continue reading Freedom of Information versus the Security State

Walmart’s “Made in the USA” Ad

I was just taking in a few minutes of the Olympics when I saw a new Walmart ad touting its pledge to purchase $250 billion of American-made products (or perhaps more accurately, its  "pledging [of] $250 billion to products purchased from American factories").  Roll the tape and see for yourself: It is a bit odd to see Walmart pitching this "Made … Continue reading Walmart’s “Made in the USA” Ad

This One Figure Shows How the New Deal Made the Great Depression Worse (updated)

Source: Barry Eichengreen, "The Origins and Nature of the Great Slump Revisited" So U.S. real wages rose more or less throughout the Great Depression. During the Hoover years, you can write this phenomenon off as sticky wages plus the Federal Reserve's disastrous policy of deflation, plus some of Hoover's jawboning of executives to get them … Continue reading This One Figure Shows How the New Deal Made the Great Depression Worse (updated)

Can Acting on Moral Falsehood Ever Be Warranted?

I was never persuaded by Aristotle's argument that happiness is the highest good (because it is the only thing that humans seek for its own sake rather than for any other end). The reason I never accepted it is that it is either circular (happiness gets defined as whatever it is you seek for its … Continue reading Can Acting on Moral Falsehood Ever Be Warranted?

N.H. Liberty Forum

In nine days, the New Hampshire Liberty Forum begins. This should be by far the biggest and glossiest yet (seriously, check out the website). Speakers include feminist author Naomi Wolf, antifeminist author Karen Straughan (there will be a panel), Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, civil liberties lawyer Jesselyn Radack, creator of the … Continue reading N.H. Liberty Forum

Once Again, We Chase the Shiny Objects

This week the Congressional Budget Office released The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014-2024. From the press coverage, one would have guessed the report was either entitled Obamacare: the Job Killer that is Almost as Bad as Benghazi or Obamacare: Ending the “Job Lock” and Opening the Door to Leisure. In reality, the impact of the … Continue reading Once Again, We Chase the Shiny Objects

The Last Thing We Need Is More Moderates

Academics are given to bemoaning partisan polarization. But the mushy centrism being pushed by the No Labels crowd frequently just amounts to special-interest whoring. Bipartisanship usually means the people get screwed, and the lobbyists win. Latest case in point: the morally corrupt Farm Bill. Congress is claiming it has reformed the program and cut it … Continue reading The Last Thing We Need Is More Moderates