Issue CCLXXV

February 1-2, 2011

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Economics
The Fed and Job Creation:
Ron Paul

February 1, 2011
Unemployment continues to plague our economy.  In spite of constant claims that we have just turned the corner into recovery, the jobs reports remain grim with no real signs of improvement.  While Keynesian economists and big-government apologists scratch their heads about persistent unemployment in spite of unprecedented government “investment” in the economy, free-market economists understand the problem perfectly well.  In short, according to Rep. Ron Paul, they understand that we are looking to the Federal Reserve to solve an unemployment crisis that the Fed itself largely created.

What Explains Crystal Meth?:
Mark Thornton

February 2, 2011
Given that it is so dangerous and destructive, why is crystal meth so popular? Why would anyone choose to use a drug that is widely known, even by its users, to be one of the most dangerous and difficult to quit of all the illegal drugs? It may surprise some readers that economics can provide the best answer to these baffling questions. Mark Thornton provides the economic explanation.

History

Keeping the Liberties of the People Safe:
Gary Galles

February 2, 2011
The recent explosion in the reach of federal government, with far more proposed, has made the question of limits on federal power once again the central political issue. But despite the fact that our founders, who led our move to independence and shaped our Constitution, left us an extensive and invaluable record of their views on that precise issue, modern ignorance of our history severely impoverishes current discussions. A good example of someone very important but overlooked in the debate we are currently rehashing is Richard Henry Lee, whose birthday is January 20. Dr. Gary Galles provides a sampling of Lee's insights.


Politics
A People's Uprising Against the Empire:
Llewelyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

February 1, 2011
Those of the young generation, people too young to remember the collapse of Soviet bloc and other socialist states in 1989 and 1990, are fortunate to be living through another thrilling example of a seemingly impenetrable tyrannical edifice reduced to impotence when faced with crowds demanding freedom, peace, and justice. This, writes Lew Rockwell, is why all young people should pay close attention to what is happening in Egypt — to the protests against the regime of Hosni Mubarak as well as the pathetic response coming from his imperial partner, the United States, which has given him many billions in military and secret-police aid to keep him in power.

The Fantasy of Democracy: FOXghanistan:
Fred Reed

February 1, 2011
Some time ago Fred Reed discovered Fox News. Fox seemed to him politically dangerous, being, as Mr. Reed thought anyway, the voice of a huge, angry, and badly uninformed lower middle class. From such, in times of economic decline, come Brown Shirts. An experiment that Mr. Reed recently performed on his unknowing readers shows the extent to which competent democratic decision-making in the United States is prevented by utter ignorance of foreign-policy facts by the American people.

Energy Industry: Encouragement, Not Punishment:
Marita Noon

February 2, 2011
While we may think the oil and gas companies are "doing just fine," Marita Noon argues that Barack Obama's proposals during his recent State of the Union address fail to take into account the impact on all Americans—especially the poor. Energy affects everything. It is not just the price of gasoline at the pump. As we are already seeing, when energy costs go up, so does everything else—every product we buy, every service we use. Instead of helping, our elected officials are silent while President Obama announced his intent to increase the policy-induced poverty.

Sputnik or Star Wars: Lessons from Space:
Marita Noon

February 2, 2011
Hours before President Obama was to give his much-ballyhooed State of the Union address, carefully selected excerpts were teased out. "This is our Sputnik moment" was released, leading to the expectation that it would be a major theme. Drawing the American/Soviet competition into the current narrative brings a different race and a different President to mind for Marita Noon — more recent than 1957, but still beyond the memory of most.

Does Favoring Free Enterprise Mean Favoring "Business"?
Jeffrey A. Tucker

February 2, 2011
American political rhetoric seems to operate on a regular cycle, like a clock, which is why it seems lately like we are reliving the Clinton years. The story goes like this. A Democratic administration with lefty ideas gets elected, pushes hard for a series of goofy reforms like protosocialized medicine, which prompts a backlash and thereby a rethinking among the rulers, who then tack to the right and become "centrist" by praising the great contribution that the business sector makes to American life. Jeffrey Tucker writest that most of these grandiose shifts — Obama is going through one now — are illusory and pointless, like slapping a new color of paint on a car that is traveling in one direction in order to fool people into believing that it is a different car going in a different direction.


Videos
Transcending the Nature/Nurture Debate:
G. Stolyarov II

February 1, 2011
Mr. Stolyarov challenges both sides of the conventional, age-old "nature" versus "nurture" debate. Both genetic determinism and environmental determinism are highly simplistic and false. Moreover, determinism regarding human beings is false altogether. Mr. Stolyarov argues that the nature/nurture debate should be transcended via an understanding that free will and choice place an individual in control of his destiny. While Mr. Stolyarov does not present any simple, generalized answers, he does urge for a recognition that human beings and their paths in life are much richer and more sophisticated than deterministic theories suggest.


The Egypt Protests, WikiLeaks, US Foreign Policy, and the Prerequisites of Freedom:
G. Stolyarov II

February 1, 2011
Mr. Stolyarov expresses his complete support for the ongoing Egyptian uprising against the brutal authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian protests were inspired by the Tunisian protests that successfully overthrew the Ben Ali regime earlier this month. The Tunisian protests, in turn, were sparked by diplomatic cable releases from WikiLeaks revealing the rampant corruption of the Ben Ali regime.  But having a successful revolution is not enough. It is also important to effectuate a cultural transformation that will preclude a relapse into tyranny. To achieve this level of cultural enlightenment, globalization and trade are the best paths.



 "Definitions are the guardians of rationality, the first line of defense against the chaos of mental disintegration." 
~ Ayn Rand