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Thank You, Donald Trump

We advocates of liberty owe Donald Trump a great debt of gratitude. Thanks to Trump it is clearer than ever that most people who call themselves conservatives, and not just those who have lined up with Trump, are no cousins of ours. Freedom is not on their list of priorities. Neither is free enterprise. Nor civil liberties. And I need not mention war, peace, and empire. continue reading

Crime and Punishment in a Free Society

Would a free society be a crime-free society? We have good reason to anticipate it. Don’t accuse me of utopianism. I don’t foresee a future of new human beings who consistently respect the rights of others. Rather, I’m drawing attention to the distinction between crime and tort — between offenses against the state (or society) and offenses against individual persons or their justly held property. continue reading

The Myth of Market Failure

In the language of economics, a market failure is, as David Friedman writes, “a situation where each individual correctly chooses the action that best accomplishes his objectives, yet the result is worse, in terms of those same objectives, than if everyone had done something else.” As a rule, the pursuit of individual good in the market brings no such negative result. On the rare occasions when rational individual actions lead to regret by those same individuals, the result is labeled “market failure.” continue reading

The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable

Crocodile tears are flowing again for low-income people. In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. A debate is shaping up between those who support the proposal and those who favor keeping the wage where it is today. But there are good grounds — for the sake of the poor — to repeal the minimum wage altogether. continue reading