Legislators, Know Thy Limits

A certain legislator wished to make his state great via technology. My reply: Technology is hardly the forte of the legislature. There are fundamental differences between a body of random people whose sole qualification is the ability to get voted into office, and entrepreneurs, who risk their own skin in the game, rather than risking… Continue reading Legislators, Know Thy Limits

Advertisements

Patriotism and the Pledge

What sort of country do we wish to be patriotic about? Should we strive to be like North Korea and Communist China, with their mandatory displays of patriotism? What is it about this country, the United States of America, that we most admire? For me, it's the ideal of freedom, however much the government may… Continue reading Patriotism and the Pledge

Nativism Self-implodes

I've opposed nativist know-nothings for decades, for many reasons. Their theory of wall-building-as-panacea rests on many shifting assertions, including the belief that immigrants necessarily vote for more government, and/or necessarily vote Democrat. Both parts of that theory have always seemed suspect to me. In addition, the last claim - that immigrants tend to vote Democrat… Continue reading Nativism Self-implodes

Against Intellectual Property

This will raise the ire of some libertarians, but I can see no merit in arguments that a copy of the product of one's mental effort is "property." Suppose I make a clay pot. Assuming that the clay was mine, and the tools were mine or were legitimately in my hands, and I had no… Continue reading Against Intellectual Property

A Deficit of Proper Language

The words and phrases we use shape our thought. Bad language can lead to bad policy decisions. Daniel B. Klein and Donald J. Boudreaux take aim at a deeply misleading phrase: "trade deficits." Deficits sound bad. But deficits look only at part of a trade: the units of account, or dollars in the United States. What… Continue reading A Deficit of Proper Language

Politics Applies To Thee, Not Me

At a standard political hot-air snoozefest, a typical politician was making the usual empty promises that his inspired plan for spending taxpayer dollars would bring huge economic and cultural benefits to the rest of us. Magic Multipliers, right? I turned to a fellow standing next to me, who happened to be a lawyer, and remarked… Continue reading Politics Applies To Thee, Not Me

In America, TV Watch You

Wikileak's Vault 7 release of information about the CIA's cyberwarfare operations confirmed what many computer professionals have suspected. The target of the CIA's cyberwarfare operation is you, dear readers. The CIA was not improving the security of your smartphones, your laptops, and your computers. No, it was searching for ways to hack your devices. Once… Continue reading In America, TV Watch You

May It Please The Crown, Let Our Children Go

One of the most viral posts this year involved a parent humbly begging the Crown for permission to take their child on an educational trip without risking the threat of force. The post reproduced a letter to a parent. The principal who signed that letter thought this highly unfair, since her goals were allegedly aligned… Continue reading May It Please The Crown, Let Our Children Go

Liberty: Enemy of Crony Capitalism

Quite understandably, most people now deeply distrust the government. Many of these same folks have become aware of the extent to which crony capitalism - an unholy marriage of State and private interests - impedes and impoverishes their lives. Up to this point, libertarians such as myself can say "welcome to the club." But here things oft… Continue reading Liberty: Enemy of Crony Capitalism

Home Education: Public Benefit?

Random comment from the 'Net: "I think a tax break for home schooled families is a great idea. However, you forget that we live in a community, and no man is an island. Those families do benefit from living in a community where others are educated." Whoa! This argument cuts both ways: the community arguably… Continue reading Home Education: Public Benefit?