Author Archive

Hey, look, I wrote up some thoughts about Trump’s election

Friday, November 11th, 2016

I focus a lot—maybe a little too much—on people's visceral, gut reactions to various things. I just think it's a good gauge of what their principles and priorities are. Well, my gut reaction to seeing Hillary Clinton's lead diminish on Tuesday night and Trump win Ohio, then North Carolina, then ...

Brexit, free trade, and Enlightenment principles

Monday, August 1st, 2016

NEOLIBERALISM, LIBERTARIANISM, AND FREE TRADE As I read about the rationales given for each side in the recent "Brexit" decision as well as their respective complaints and predictions about the UK's present and future situation, one thing strikes me as particularly funny above all: All the economic and social objections to ...

Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s column on “cultural libertarianism”

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

I was bummed that I missed this tweet by Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown, because I would have responded to it. Blogging about what is meant by "cultural libertarianism." Thoughts?— ElizabethNolanBrown (@ENBrown) April 19, 2016 Here is the column that resulted. It's a good, short read. I was surprised at the negativity, even ...

Proposed 40:1 CEO:employee pay ratio law

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Before people support business regulations, they should listen to business owners and other people who will suffer the everyday effects of those regulations. Workers and business owners in the private sector who oppose certain regulations aren't just blowing smoke and spouting ideology; they know from experience what kinds of unintended ...

“Rights activists”

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Those of us who defend and extol the free market (and even dare to call it "capitalism" sometimes) know all too well how derisive and disdainful the left can be toward the term "free market" and all that it entails. If we ever invoke the "free market" as a proposal ...

Oh, but in a libertarian society, the rich and powerful would take advantage of the poor and weak, denying them a decent life through arbitrary rules, cronyism, and corruption

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

The Washington Post reports that the FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over ...

If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

That saying doesn't perfectly apply to the broadband internet and telecommunications industry in the U.S., because I think there's plenty wrong with that industry now, but I feel completely certain that the FCC's new net neutrality rules will fail to fix or prevent whatever the advocates of such rules imagined ...

Leftists on the modern illiberal left

Monday, January 5th, 2015

The word "liberal" used to mean, more or less, libertarian. Obviously both words are derived from the Latin word for "free". We now have to resort to the phrase "classical liberal" if we want to use that word to describe a freedom-minded person, especially one from the 19th or early ...

The conservative obsession with “narrative”

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In response to the execution-style murder of two New York City police officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, many conservatives blamed the media "narrative" for inspiring the murders. Brinsley supposedly said his targeting of NYPD cops was motivated by the unjustified killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in ...

Will Wilkinson on Uber

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

I liked this piece by Will Wilkinson at the Daily Dish on the taxi company Uber, the ignorant reactions to its "surge" pricing, and the calls for it to be dissolved into a worker collective: There’s something about Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, that brings out the nutty in people. During ...

Great for George Clooney

Friday, December 19th, 2014

It's easy for me to say from my computer chair, but the response of Sony and the rest of Hollywood to the terrorist hack and to the demand that Sony cancel the release of The Interview was weak and cowardly. Giving in to thuggish, censorious demands, even when backed by ...

Dogmatic mysticism in the intolerant left

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Somewhere around the interwebs, I once read an analogy to the radical-left social justice movement that went something like this: Imagine you have a child of, say, pre-school or elementary-school age. He is playing in your living room as usual, doing nothing out of the ordinary, until he steps across ...