The Wal-mart Solution

by Jerry O’Driscoll Who should provide disaster relief? Who does provide disaster relief? In the Weekend Wall Street Journal, David Beito of the University of Alabama provides the answer for the victims of the devastating tornado in Tuscaloosa: it’s Wal-mart, churches, students, private individuals and, critically, talk radio. The four Tuscaloosa Clear Channel stations organized … Continue reading The Wal-mart Solution

Medicare Reform, RIP?

by Mario Rizzo The Financial Times  reports today that the Republicans may be backing away from the (Paul) Ryan proposal  eventually to replace traditional Medicare with subsidies for the purchase of  private insurance. The Financial Times  says, “This would shift exposure to rising health costs away from the  government and on to seniors…” Of course, … Continue reading Medicare Reform, RIP?

Toward a Libertarian-Progressive Alliance

by Roger Koppl Ralph Nader recently appeared on Judge Napolitano’s “Freedom Watch” to herald the rise of a coalition between “libertarian conservatives” and progressives.  Within Congress, he says, both groups put principle above party.  The first episode in this new alliance will be cooperation on the whistleblower bill. Let’s hope it happens! Libertarians and progressives have … Continue reading Toward a Libertarian-Progressive Alliance

Sowing and Reaping: The True Sickness of Society

by Mario Rizzo   There has been much moaning, even before the Arizona shooting incident, about why “we” cannot be civil in our political discussions and why political parties cannot work together for the common good.  Most of this is pure logorrhea. There are some simple facts the commentators cannot or will not face. The reason … Continue reading Sowing and Reaping: The True Sickness of Society

Word Games as a Mask for Compulsory Healthcare Equality

by Mario Rizzo   The recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke approval of the drug Avastin for late stage breast cancer is an action with considerable significance for the future of government financed or subsidized healthcare. The FDA pretends to do a risk-benefit analysis and comes to the conclusion that the … Continue reading Word Games as a Mask for Compulsory Healthcare Equality

Voters’ Best Interest

by Chidem Kurdas Ronald Dworkin, a well-known legal scholar, describes last month’s election results as depressing and puzzling. In a commentary in the New York Review of Books, he asks, “Why do so many Americans insist on voting against their own best interests?”  The New York University law and philosophy professor is not the only … Continue reading Voters’ Best Interest

Emergency Rooms Just Encourage Drunk Driving

by Roger Koppl I do not understand why so many pro-market commenters are opposed to extending unemployment relief.  The supposedly killer, knockdown, unanswerable argument is that unemployment relief encourages unemployment.  Hospital emergency rooms encourage drunk driving.   Should we therefore close hospital emergency rooms?  Those of us in the Austrian school of economics keep saying, and … Continue reading Emergency Rooms Just Encourage Drunk Driving

Friedman on Social Security Reform

by Chidem Kurdas This may be a good time to revisit Milton Friedman’s proposal for reforming all entitlement programs and social security, in one fell swoop. His idea goes back several decades but is no less powerful in its simplicity. A serious discussion on reform may now start with the Roadmap put forth by Wisconsin … Continue reading Friedman on Social Security Reform

Equality Destroyed in the Name of Equality

by Chidem Kurdas Law and government should treat people equally. This old principle may seem obvious and firmly in place, but in fact it’s much violated. Instead, the focus is on income distribution. Thus Robert H Frank in the NYT points to the bad effects of income inequality – like people spending too much money … Continue reading Equality Destroyed in the Name of Equality

The Second Austrian Moment

by Mario Rizzo   This is an important time for Austrians. During the Great Depression and for many years thereafter, J.M. Keynes and his followers dominated macroeconomic theory (some say they created it) as well as the conventional wisdom about the historical lessons of the Depression and the New Deal.   We are now witnessing many important … Continue reading The Second Austrian Moment