We Don’t Need The State To Educate!

Do we really need the State to educate? Most people believe this to be the case, especially for the poorest among us. But E.G. West and James Tooley - and several others - have looked at the actual history of education, and found something startling: mass education existed before heavy state involvement. I highly recommend… Continue reading We Don’t Need The State To Educate!

Skip The Whereases

My father taught me something wise. "When you hear somebody say 'blah blah blah but such-and-such,' the word 'but' is a signal. Everything before the 'but' is preamble, which you can safely ignore. After the 'but', that's the real substance, that's what they were leading you to. That's the important part." Whenever politicians speak, I… Continue reading Skip The Whereases

How To Approach Math Learning

Jo Baeler and Pablo Zoido recently published an article in Scientific American Math. (behind a paywall; summary here) Every three years, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests hundreds of thousands of 15-year-olds. In the past, the US posted average scores in reading and science, but well below other developed nations in math. The… Continue reading How To Approach Math Learning

Children Are Not Interchangeable Cogs

Variations of the picture above have been widely distributed in schools. Education works best, we are told, when all the parts work together. The picture shows three gears arranged in a circle. If you recall your studies of mechanics, this arrangement cannot possibly work. Imagine the first gear turning clockwise; it would drive the second… Continue reading Children Are Not Interchangeable Cogs

Borders != Doors

Having locks on some doors does not mean that every door, every road, every shopping mall, every border should be locked and should require ID checks. I say this in response to BCFs (Border Control Freaks) who constantly draw a false analogy between sealed borders and a locked door. The analogy is doubly false. First… Continue reading Borders != Doors

Liberty in the Balance

A Cafeteria Libertarian says, "I'm libertarian, except for X." A person who picks and chooses some from column A, some from column B; a part-time libertarian, or a LINO - libertarian in name only. Like Lord Acton, I assert that liberty is the highest political end. To sacrifice liberty for other ends is to subvert… Continue reading Liberty in the Balance

A Path To Liberty

As a path to liberty, violent attacks against the government seem to be a doomed strategy, for several reasons. For one thing, they're experts at violence; it is their core competency. For another, violent revolutions tend to attract many people who like violence for its own sake. These folks will at best stir up trouble;… Continue reading A Path To Liberty

Judicial Activism: When Warranted?

Is "judicial activism" good or bad? Let us first ask, what is a proper role for judges? To hear some folks speak, the only proper role of a judge is to act as a rubber stamp for Congress and/or the current Tyrant-in-Chief. One wonders if they have ever heard of the concept of checks and… Continue reading Judicial Activism: When Warranted?

People: Resource or Burden?

Economist Julian Simon passed away on the 8th of February, 1998. This anniversary is a good time to recommend one of his books, the Ultimate Resource II. Published in 1996, this book updated Simon's 1981 book Ultimate Resource, which was itself a response to the many doomsayers who told us that mankind is running out… Continue reading People: Resource or Burden?