Issue CCLIV

July 6-11, 2010

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Culture
The Anti-Educational Effects of Public Schools:
G. Stolyarov II
July 6, 2010

Mr. Stolyarov has written elsewhere about the pervasive bullying and the stultifying culture of teenage conformity for which public schools become a breeding ground. There he also discussed how the structure of public schools fosters teaching to the lowest common denominator and the suppression of student curiosity. But there are other, more explicit policy decisions that plague the public schools in our time. The notions of "school spirit" and "discipline" are so deeply intertwined with American public education today that they would probably survive even deep budget cuts. Having directly seen some of their effects, Mr. Stolyarov now hopes to educate the public regarding them. An MP3 audio file of this article, read by the author, is available for download.

Work for Free:
Jeffrey A. Tucker
July 6, 2010

With young people nearly shut out of the market (by recession, regulation, "child" labor laws, and ghastly minimum wage laws), Jeffrey Tucker would like to suggest the unthinkable: young people should work for free wherever they can and whenever they can. The reason is to acquire a good reputation and earn a good recommendation. A person who will give you a positive reference on demand is worth gold, and certainly far more than the money you might otherwise earn.

Economics
The Myth of the Social Security "Trust Fund":
Robert P. Murphy
July 6, 2010

Recently Dean Baker and our old friend Paul Krugman claimed with exasperation that only a liar or a fool could possibly think that Social Security was insolvent. After all, it's sitting on an enormous trust fund! In this article, Dr. Robert P. Murphy explains why the layperson is perfectly right to dismiss the "trust fund" as an accounting gimmick and to have yet another reason to worry about our economic future.

Politics
Repeal the Drinking Age:
Jeffrey A. Tucker
July 10, 2010

Somehow, and no one seems to even imagine how, this country managed to survive and thrive before 1984 without a national minimum drinking age. Before that, the drinking question was left to the states. In the 19th century, and looking back even before — prepare yourself to imagine horrific anarchistic nightmares — there were no drinking laws anywhere, so far as anyone can tell. Jeffrey Tucker argues for the repeal of the national minimum-drinking-age law today.

The Military Can Waste Money, Too:
Ron Paul
July 10, 2010

This past week various news events once again made it abundantly clear that U. S. foreign policy is an abject failure. Unfortunately, writes Rep. Ron Paul, in spite of this the administration is determined to stay on this destructive course, despite any past promises to change it.  For Afghanistan especially, if ever there was an opportunity to admit shortcomings and change strategies along with leaders, this past week was it. 

More Power for the Fed:
Ron Paul
July 10, 2010

Last week Rep. Ron Paul was pleased to see his Republican colleagues take up the cause to fully and completely audit the Federal Reserve by including his language from the Federal Reserve Transparency Act in a Motion to Recommit the financial regulation reform bill.  Although this effort was defeated by the Democrat majority, there were many good reasons to support it. Rep. Paul believes that the Fed, and its ability to control interest rates and create cheap money, should be reformed or better yet, abolished.  But instead its power is being increased, and this Congress refuses to even fully audit it!

Renewing Independence Day:
Gary Wolfram
July 11, 2010

Friedrich Hayek, 1974 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, a half century ago wrote in The Constitution of Liberty of the struggle for effectively communicating and defending individual freedom. Dr. Gary Wolfram writes that the great struggle of ideas continues today, perhaps with greater urgency than it did in 1960. As we recall the Fourth of July, we should follow Hayek’s advice and restate for future generations the words of the Declaration of Independence.

The Non Sequitur Speech:
Gary Wolfram
July 11, 2010
 
President Obama, in his address to the nation from the Oval Office, once more followed the advice of his chief of staff to never let a serious crisis go to waste.
In his speech the President attempted to obfuscate the issue of the miniscule effect the Waxman-Markey bill would have on world-wide carbon emissions and the large increase in the cost of producing electricity that would be the result of his Quixotic vision of a solar and wind-powered America.  He attempted to convince us that we are a nation dependent upon foreign oil, that this dependence is not in our national interest, and somehow passage of the Waxman-Markey bill would solve this problem. Dr. Gary Wolfram believes that in order to recognize the folly of this logic, it is useful to begin with a basic knowledge of the energy situation in the United States today.

Obama's Deliberate Katrina:
Paul Driessen
July 11, 2010

Paul Driessen analyzes the many ways the Obama Administration appears to be trying to perpetuate, intensify, and capitalize on the Gulf oil spill, to advance its anti-energy agenda – and why the Gulf States now need to take charge of the cleanup and their energy, economic, and environmental future.

Get Ready to Be Outraged:
Marita Noon
July 11, 2010

New Mexicans are rallying to fight a rate increase proposed by PNM -- the largest electrical system in the state. It would be the third major increase in recent years. Previous increases raised rates for some customers by as much as 24%. A PNM representative told business leaders that this one would be "big." It is: 21.2%. Marita Noon's article combines the public outrage over rate increases with an analysis of the impact of renewables on energy bills and Senator Jeff Bingaman's role in shaping national energy policy that will intentionally raise the cost of energy.

"The progress of freedom depends more upon the maintenance of peace, the spread of commerce, and the diffusion of education, than upon the labors of cabinets and foreign offices." 
~ Richard Cobden