What I’m going to say about Chandran Kukathas’s latest book, Immigration and Freedom, does not constitute a book review. Think of it instead as a book alert. Even having read only the preface and a couple of chapters, I am confident it is a book that fans of liberty will be interested in. You can tell by the title.
When right-wing leader Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) recently declared that “liberty and monopoly do not go together,” I fantasized that he had become a free-market anarchist. When I hear monopoly, I think government because what’s the most literal of monopolies (or source of monopoly power) than the state?
In a March 24 Yahoo! Finance interview, as the price of Bitcoin hovered above $55,000, Bridgewater Associates chief investment officer Ray Dalio weighed in on the future of cryptocurrency. The two main takeaways from the interview are a little scary, each in a different way.
This episode features an interview of research economist Michele Boldrin from 2009 by Russ Roberts, host of Econtalk. Boldrin argues that copyright and patent are used by the politically powerful to maintain monopoly profits. He argues that the incentive effects that have been used to justify copyright and patents are exaggerated–few examples from history suggest that the temporary and not-so-temporary monopoly power from copyright and patents were necessary to induce innovation. Boldrin reviews some of that evidence and talks about the nature of competition.
You don’t have to actually think that legislating and raising the minimum wage will help low-skilled workers earn more money. That’s not the point. The point is to display your correct political religion.
In a reflective moment, George Orwell wrote, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” Yet if you actually read his oeuvre, you’ll find a striking disparity: Orwell’s anti-totalitarian writing is massive, but his pro-socialist writing is wafer thin.
Research has found that “reopening decisions have more to do with influence from teachers’ unions than safety concerns.”
They see the handwriting on the wall. Regulation is coming whether they like it or not, but they’re big players with plenty of lobbying money. They expect to influence the coming regulation to their own advantage.
This episode features a lecture by philosopher Roderick Long from 2006. A legal system is an institution to provide dispute resolution through judicial, legislative and executive functions. The state is that which maintains in large part a monopoly over force, geography and the legal system. What’s wrong with a forcible monopoly? You are saying that you are the only one who has this right. Under anarchy there is equality of authority. No one has monopolies of force or jurisdiction. Dispute resolutions are referred to arbitration. Anarchy is founded when one bypasses the state into voluntary system and the state withers away.
Lysander Spooner is an important – and not exactly obscure – figure in the history of the liberty movement. He’s an idiosyncratic figure from the 19th century with no small cheerleading section in the 21st century. A bit of a throwback to a very different time, Spooner was a champion of the labor movement and was even a member of the First International at a time when socialists and anarchists coexisted peacefully within that movement.