Issue CCCXV

February 29, 2012

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Economics
It's 1980 Again
Douglas French

February 29, 2012

Discussion of gold has gone from nonexistent a decade ago to the question of whether its price is in bubble territory, and now a policy question in the Republican primary. Ron Paul has been stumping for a return to the gold standard for decades, and the populace has finally caught up.
Douglas French analyzes this re-emerging trend.

Super Bowl versus Education?
Sanford Ikeda

February 29, 2012

Sanford Ikeda endeavors to deconstruct a Facebook status update that a friend recently posted.  It said:  “If we took all the money from Super Bowl ads and spent it on educating our kids, we wouldn’t be America.”

Global Warming Is About Social Science, Too
Steven Horwitz

February 29, 2012

Both sides in the debate over global warming are known for calling their opposition all kinds of derisive names.  Perhaps the worst is “denier” to describe those who allegedly deny that global warming is “real.”  The echoes of Holocaust denial are indeed offensive, particularly because the debate over global warming often conflates science with social science.  This matters because one could accept that science has established global warming but still reject for social scientific reasons the claim that the policies normally associated with environmentalism are the proper way to address its effects.  Does that make one a “denier?”  It is that question Steven Horwitz hopes to answer indirectly in this article.

The Limits of the Local
Steven Horwitz

February 29, 2012

Critics of the market often point to the increased globalization of production and consumption as one of the problems that economic freedom can generate.  This criticism has a number of elements.  One is that multinational firms like Walmart or McDonald’s turn the United States, as well as the rest of the world, into one commercial culture, destroying the local stores that provided a distinct identity to small towns and cities across the globe. However, writes Steven Horwitz, larger chains have at least two big advantages worth discussing.

History
Joseph A. Schumpeter: Maverick and Enigma
Eugen-Maria Schulak and Herbert Unterköfler

February 29, 2012

Eugen-Maria Schulak and Herbert Unterköfler offer a brief biography of one of the most influential Austrian economists of the early 20th century. 

Politics
Geriatric Prison Nation
Douglas French

February 29, 2012

If The Shawshank Redemption were to be remade today, a good share of the inmate population would have gray hair and be suffering from various medical problems. Ashby Jones and Joanna Chung write for The Wall Street Journal that the number of state and federal prisoners aged 55 or older has quadrupled since 1995 far outpacing the growth of the overall prison population that has grown by a considerable 42 percent. Douglas French writes about the alarming implications of this development. 

Ron Paul on Peace (1999)
Ron Paul

February 29, 2012

In this 1999 speech to the House of Representatives, Ron Paul endorses a foreign policy of peace as the best route toward demonstrating strength, dignity, and self-government.

The Concept of a Perfect System of Government (1962)
Ludwig von Mises

February 29, 2012

In this classic 1962 essay, Ludwig von Mises writes that the "social engineer" is the reformer who is prepared to "liquidate" all those who do not fit into his plan for the arrangement of human affairs. Yet historians and sometimes even victims whom he puts to death are not averse to finding some extenuating circumstances for his massacres or planned massacres by pointing out that he was ultimately motivated by a noble ambition: he wanted to establish the perfect state of mankind. They assign to him a place in the long line of the designers of utopian schemes.

It's Time to Launch a New Era in Africa
Cyril Boynes, Jr.

February 29, 2012

Cyril Boynes explains how some of the natural gas already being developed in many parts of Africa could be harnessed to power electricity-generating units – thereby providing electrical power that would modernize homes and businesses, create jobs, improve health and living standards, and “unleash the human spirit, and people’s innovative and entrepreneurial instincts.”
 

The TSA Won't Stop Itself, So the States Will Stop It
Tenth Amendment Center

February 29, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul’s run-in with TSA agents at a security checkpoint in Nashville Monday, January 23, once again focused national attention on the overreaching nature of federal airport security screenings. Paul’s prominent position illuminated the heavy handed methods used by the TSA, but his experience isn’t unique. Every day, thousands of Americans endure embarrassing, degrading and constitutionally dubious pat-downs at airports across the United States.
Recognizing that the TSA will never rein itself in, several state lawmakers have taken up James Madison’s call to interpose on behalf of their citizens. This press release from the Tenth Amendment Center elaborates.

 "The most important element of a free society, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence." 
~ Ron Paul