The choice between virtue and vice is a human choice. Relying on the government to make this choice for us disables the social order’s internal mechanisms for bringing about and rewarding responsible behavior. It seems like a paradox, but it is true: The only path toward restoring sanity in teenage drinking is greater liberty. Arresting kids and bartenders on the typical Friday evening does nothing to solve the problem and even makes matters worse.
Just as humanity saw the first glimmer of the hope of universal human prosperity, prevailing ruling-class opinion turned against the idea and pushed a host of nostrums to stop it from happening. Here was where Henry George made the difference. He entered into this milieu with a powerful message: prosperity for the entire world is possible provided we keep pushing out the boundaries of freedom, provide no privilege to any single class, we fix the problems that are keeping people in poverty, we address the underlying cause of the boom-bust cycle, and continue to innovate and trade.
Individual freedom plays a central role in Immanuel Kant’s moral and political philosophy. He writes, “Freedom (independence from being constrained by another’s choice, insofar as it can coexist with the freedom of every other in accordance with a universal law, is the only original right belonging to every man by virtue of his humanity." Kant’s moral and political philosophy both center on freedom.
As our society grows ever more complex and technologically advanced, controlling it from the top down is increasingly like herding cats. Attempts at more top-down control, though well-intentioned, won’t work. Rethinking governance itself is an even more challenging path, but offers a multitude of reasons for hope.
Bowling Alone, despite flaws here and there, is still relevant as a tool to explore phenomena such as the opioid epidemic and the social decay prevalent in the African-American community.
What is the point of adopting a fact-based worldview? Rosling says that it is essential so that we can better navigate life, the way a GPS helps us navigate a city. Further, knowing the facts about life around us brings us more comfort. We are less alarmed at the news. We are less likely to be manipulated by panicked political promises. We see through the fog. We can be more calm, rational, and perceptive.
Why should Americans be held accountable to pay taxes if the IRS has a history of exposing taxpayer information and not complying with the law, and it can barely keep it together on their self-proclaimed busiest day of the year?
Even as the US is pulling inward, demonizing foreign nations, calling everyone in the world a cheater, China is aggressively opening to the world, negotiating bilateral trade pacts with every nation it can and another 14 multilateral trade pacts. More goods and investment coming and going – this seems to be the Chinese credo. It is winning them wealth, prosperity, and good will the world over.
Requiring that citizens track transactions in gold or alternative currencies and pay taxes on gains and losses relative to the dollar is just another mechanism for keeping the monetary playing field unbalanced in favor of government fiat.
Last weekend, AIER hosted the 2018 Harwood Graduate Colloquium, which focused on alternative institutions of governance. The event brought together 13 very talented graduate students, who had the opportunity to discuss both classic and new research with three of the field’s leading voices on alternative governance.
What Elizabeth Warren intends is to make the highwayman rob you in your sleep, so that you never know he is there and come to expect less ownership in the morning than when you went to bed. Her proposed change to tax filing would diminish property rights, make tax increases easier, reduce your privacy, and fundamentally upend what remains of the idea that you are entitled to the wealth you earn. It would also end up restricting your possible sources of income
Many people who are bullish on blockchain make grandiose claims that the technology will completely overhaul industries and institutions. But these claims often ignore the complexity of the real world and misunderstand what revolutionary technologies actually do.
There will be another winter. And another. To get the best sense of the potential here, it’s best to look at the price, not day to day, but on a logarithmic scale. Here is where we can see the potential of the technology. That has a much more meaningful significance than the fickle judgments of seasonal news hounds that make the difference on the daily margin.
Right now, Facebook faces massive competition from other platforms in social media, copycats, and alternative uses of people’s time. In some ways, it’s the best possible moment to call on government to institutionalize Facebook as a form of public utility. That might actually be the end game that Zuckerberg has in mind. Then the politicians can update their timeline status: today we passed regulations that brought this wayward company to heel.
The small-business-optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business fell in March but the result extends a run of 16 consecutive months above 100, a very high level by historical comparison. A significant concern among small businesses is the declining quality of the available labor force, particularly in the context of an already tight labor market and robust plans for increased hiring in the near future.