Rent-Seeking Weasels

We've all heard about how actor-director Rob Reiner sponsored an initiative in California in 1998 to raise cigarette taxes to fund preschool programs. Reiner then became chairman of the state agency created by the initiative. And then he funneled $230 million of state spending through the ad and PR agencies that ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Presidential Finger-Crossing

Over at the Guardian blog I offer some thoughts about presidential "signing statements," with this challenge to conservative defenders of the administration: When the Bush administration claims some power and promises to use it wisely, conservatives should ask themselves: would you want Hillary Clinton to have this power

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

A Telling Analogy

From the Washington Post: "At this point, it seems like the war on drugs in America," added Spec. David Fulcher, 22, a medic from Lynchburg, Va., who sat [in a barracks in Baghdad]. "It's like this never-ending battle, like, we find one IED, if we do find it before it hits ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

The New Social Engineering

Apparently I'm behind the times. I've always understood the term "social engineering" to mean what the American Heritage Dictionary calls "the practical application of sociological principles to particular social problems," or what Mises called "treat[ing] human beings in the same way in which the engineer treats the stuff out of ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Capitalism Saves

The Sunday New York Times has a great article � the first of a series on aging � titled "So Big and Healthy Nowadays That Grandpa Wouldn't Even Know You." Reporter Gina Kolata begins with this 19th-century biography: Valentin Keller enlisted in an all-German unit of the Union Army in Hamilton, Ohio, in ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Political Entrepreneurship

From the Washington Post: [Kevin] Schieffer is trying to persuade the Federal Railroad Administration to give him a $2.5 billion loan for the project [to build a 1000-mile rail line from Wyoming to Minnesota], among the largest in history. If it succeeds, it could be a boon to farmers -- and Schieffer. The ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

On What Planet?

Peter Beinart writes in the New Republic: The struggle that initially roiled the Clinton administration--between deficit hawks and deficit spenders--is basically over; today, even the most liberal Democrats are fiscal conservatives. Stephen Slivinski's new book does demonstrate that today's Republicans are bigger spenders than LBJ. But as the National Taxpayers Union notes ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Where�s Fidel?

Reading major newspapers and listening to NPR this morning, I don't hear anyone asking what seem to me to be the obvious questions about Castro's condition: Is Castro alive Is he incapacitated Did he compose or approve the statement read in his name In a secretive dictatorship, you can't believe ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Ned Lamont, Fiscal Conservative?

A Washington Post feature says that Connecticut Senate challenger Ned Lamont's website shows him to be "a fiscal conservative, a social liberal and a foreign-policy moderate." (The Post also refers to Lamont's 150-word statements on the issues as "elaborate position papers," which seems to reflect low expectations for political discourse.) ...

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

Will the Government Take Your Home?

Not if enough people read Timothy Sandefur's new book, Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st-Century America, and join the Castle Coalition.

Posted on August 7, 2006  Posted to Cato@Liberty

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