TGIF: Immigration in an Nth-Best World

TGIF: Immigration in an Nth-Best World

We live in an nth-best society. It's neither fully libertarian (though libertarians disagree over exactly what that would mean) nor totalitarian like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Maoist China, or North Korea. It's somewhere in between, closer to libertarian than many other places but not close enough. One challenge for libertarians is knowing which proposals to favor and which to oppose in an nth-best society. Merely reciting the nonaggression obligation is not enough if our goal is to persuade many people that the freedom philosophy is both right and practical. A mixed...

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TGIF: What Should I Do on Election Day?

TGIF: What Should I Do on Election Day?

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. --H. L. Mencken This column was prompted by a conversation I had with a few neighbors, whom I do not know, over the Nextdoor.com platform. I thank them for being unwitting grist for my mill. Of course, the names are withheld to protect the innocent. A woman was upset about something the state government had done. She took to social media to say that this shows that we all need to vote. Always up to a challenge, I decided to weigh in. I asked what good would her plea do considering that...

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To Will or Not to Will, That Is the Question

To put things into perspective, be aware that people with advanced degrees from our best universities say things to this effect: "Since no one, including criminals, has free will and hence is not morally responsible for his or her actions, we ought to come up with a more appropriate criminal justice system. Therefore, we should hold a conference, perhaps next spring, to discuss this important matter and to recommend reforms. Details to follow. Please let me know your thoughts, and be sure to pencil in the event." These are the best minds that America has to offer.

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TGIF: Trump Loves NATO

TGIF: Trump Loves NATO

Trump is either contentedly ignorant of the things he talks about or callously scornful of his adoring fans, whom he sees as rubes eager to swallow whatever he says. He could be both. Above all, Trump is a Trump supremacist. Does he believe in NATO or not? (Believe in it? Hell, I've seen it!) Trump wants it both ways. He loves the response he gets at rallies when, populist-style, he seems to put NATO down as a freeloader on America. But he doesn't really put it down. He is a devout NATOist. How can that be? Look at his record. He's called for expanding NATO to the Middle East! (He said it...

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TGIF: Tariffs Tax Consumers

TGIF: Tariffs Tax Consumers

We seem to forget that a tariff is a tax. It is formally levied on importers, not on foreigners or things, but since it can usually be passed along, it ends up as an indirect tax on consumers. The point of tariffs is to protect certain domestic businesses and their employees from formidable foreign competitors by raising import prices and reducing consumer choices. Higher prices! Less choice! Raising import prices gives domestic businesses room to raise their prices -- that's the point. Why have a tariff otherwise? (Tariffs intended to raise revenue rather than protect domestic companies...

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TGIF: Autocracy — Boo! Democracy — Hiss!

TGIF: Autocracy — Boo! Democracy — Hiss!

Here's why democracy is a dubious idea. Government decisions are high stakes. It decides matters of war and peace, prosperity and poverty, freedom or oppression. Yet we let incompetent people steer the ship of state. Most voters are ignorant and process what little information they have in biased and irrational ways. They fall prey to propaganda and demagogues. They are conformists and don't even try to vote their interests. Democracy is the political equivalent of drunk driving. --Jason Brennan, Democracy: A Guided Tour Well, we're into another out-of-control presidential election year. I'm...

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Looking for a Good Cause?

The problem for (not with) the younger generations is that all the good social causes have been taken and substantially addressed. (Of course, nothing can be perfect.) But hold on: one good cause is left: political-economic individualism. Looking for a good cause to enlist in? There you go.

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Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Americans today have “freedom” to be fleeced, groped, injected, harassed, surveilled, vilified, disarmed, beaten, detained, and maybe shot by federal agents. From hapless homeowners hit by SWAT raids to pandemic lockdowns pointlessly paralyzing lives, government...

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