Working Papers on Federalism & Public Policy

I have just posted a couple of my working papers to SSRN for those who are interested. They are as follows: "Public Policy and Quality of Life: An Empirical Analysis of Interstate Migration, 2000-2012" Abstract: Individuals and households choose their political jurisdiction of residence on the basis of expected income differentials and jurisdiction-specific characteristics covered … Continue reading Working Papers on Federalism & Public Policy

A Thought Experiment on Freedom

Imagine two countries, each the size of the U.S. In one of them, the average tax rate is 1% (of income) lower than the other, but unlike the other it randomly selects ten innocent individuals for execution each year (perhaps ritual human sacrifice!). Assuming personal income of $12 trillion like the United States, the lower … Continue reading A Thought Experiment on Freedom

Democratic Retreat on Civil Liberties

At Mother Jones, Adam Serwer details the Democratic Party's platform's ratification of the Obama Administration's wholesale retreat on civil liberties. When stacking this sort of thing alongside the GOP's attempt to become the Defenders of Medicare, I not only find it difficult to care who wins the next presidential election, but to understand why anyone … Continue reading Democratic Retreat on Civil Liberties

Will on Forfeiture Abuse

George Will has a good column today on civil asset forfeiture abuse. He highlights an ongoing case in Tewksbury, Mass., where the DOJ and local police department are colluding to seize a motel from the owners because some drug dealers have stayed there in the past. The government is not claiming that the owners knew … Continue reading Will on Forfeiture Abuse

Why “Vote GOP for the Court” Cuts No Ice with Me

I've never voted for a Democrat or Republican for president at a general election. I've always voted for a Libertarian (in 2008 I voted for George Phillies, who was on the ballot as a Libertarian in New Hampshire in addition to the official candidate, Bob Barr), and I've never had reason to regret my vote. … Continue reading Why “Vote GOP for the Court” Cuts No Ice with Me

Obama “Devastating” for Civil Liberties

It's not just Glenn Greenwald any more; other civil libertarians from the left are beginning to speak out. Jonathan Turley on NPR about his September 2011 LA Times op-ed: They just have a very difficult time opposing a man who's an icon and has made history - the first black president, but also the guy … Continue reading Obama “Devastating” for Civil Liberties

ACLU’s Civil Liberties Candidate Report Card

The ACLU has just released a candidate report card on certain civil liberties issues. It includes all Republican candidates, Barack Obama, and Gary Johnson. It doesn't provide an aggregate score, but it scores all candidates on the issue areas of "humane immigration policy," "closing Guantanamo Bay and indefinite detention," "gays and lesbians serving openly in … Continue reading ACLU’s Civil Liberties Candidate Report Card

A Constitutional Right to Marriage?

So what do we think about the district court ruling overturning California's same-sex marriage ban? To my knowledge, this is the first time a court has asserted a federal constitutional right to marriage. As a longtime supporter of getting government out of marriage licensing and of legal equality for same-sex and nonmonogamous relationships, I am … Continue reading A Constitutional Right to Marriage?

Nick Clegg Wants to Restore Brits’ Freedom

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has opened up a public website on which British citizens can give their ideas for curbing government and restoring freedom. Given the social democratic tilt of the Lib Dems since the 1980s, this initiative seems promising. Here's a sample of what Brits are saying about … Continue reading Nick Clegg Wants to Restore Brits’ Freedom

Antonym Contest!

There appears to be no widely accepted antonym for "civil libertarian." So how about a contest? Please post your suggestions for a new coinage in the comments, and I will select a winner at the end of the day. The winner will receive a free Pileus t-shirt the approbation of the impartial spectator and one's … Continue reading Antonym Contest!

Britain Votes

Britain's general election is today, and recent polls show the Conservatives edging upward, close to the numbers they might need for a majority, assuming that the more complex seat calculators are right. Betting markets still give more than a 50% chance of a hung parliament, however. What I don't understand is how a Labour Party … Continue reading Britain Votes