Sheldon Richman Articles

TGIF: Beware of All Tribalism

Tribalism is bad. Sensible people will know what I mean by tribe. It's not a club based on some common preference like stamp collecting or bowling or cooking. It's more than that. It involves a judgment-suspending commitment. Nationalism is a good example. Tribalism...

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TGIF: Immigration Foes, What’s the Beef?

If people are going to hate on immigrants, they should at least get their stories straight. Do immigrants take our jobs or do they sponge off us through welfare? Today, let's talk about jobs. Recently I was listening to Spiked's Brendan O'Neill interview Batya...

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TGIF: Fins Left, Right, and Center

Th[e] central question is not clarified, it is obscured, by our common political categories of left, right, and center. --Carl Oglesby, Containment and Change You got fins to the left, fins to the right And you're the only bait in town. --Jimmy Buffett, "Fins"...

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TGIF: Games Politicians Play

Except for the civic religion on ostentatious display at the annual presidential state of the union address, one can hardly think of a reason for the tradition at all. It's not as though we learn something substantive or even hear a truthful material claim. (Yes, it...

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TGIF: The Tyre Nichols Atrocity

The brutal killing of Tyre Nichols literally at the hands (and feet) of several Memphis police officers might be a source of cognitive dissonance for some people. But before we get to that, let's begin at the beginning. To start with the moral basics, the officers who...

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TGIF: The Economic Way of Thinking Can Save Lives

The Cambridge economist Joan Robinson (1903-1983) wisely said, "The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of readymade answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists." Excellent point, though I would both broaden...

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TGIF: Where Socialists Go Wrong

Since socialism is "in" today -- even though many people who say they favor it have no idea what it is -- F. A. Hayek's last book, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (1988), is worth checking out. Hayek, the late great Nobel-laureate economist of the Austrian...

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TGIF: The Mythical Right to Medical Care

This clever video juxtaposes footage of Bernie Sanders and the late Milton Friedman to create a debate over whether the central government should take over medical care in America. Sanders condemns as a "national disgrace" the lack of a medical care guarantee for all...

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TGIF: Year-End Downers

One always hopes to end the year on a high note, but politically speaking, at least, that is difficult again in 2022. One searches in vain for advances in individual liberty and setbacks for power. Sure, with the receding of the pandemic, life has returned to normal...

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TGIF: The State Fuels Identity Politics

Anyone with an ounce of good sense knows that destructive identity politics is run amuck in America and elsewhere. All incentives these days seem to go in one direction: toward identifying oneself as a member of an aggrieved group supposedly due compensation through...

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TGIF: Why Freedom Is the Goal

In online interviews and conversations I'm hearing intellectuals in the national conservative movement say that the liberal Enlightenment "project" has mostly failed because people need more in their lives than freedom. I've also heard this from a few people who have...

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TGIF: On Liberty and Security

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin's famous words are often quoted because, alas, they are always relevant. Whether Franklin meant what libertarians take him to have...

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What Social Animal's Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

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These essays, written over the past 20 years, have a single underlying theme: namely, that we human beings, as social animals, need individual freedom to fully flourish.

Coming to Palestine

by Sheldon Richman

In this incredible volume of essays, collected over 30 years, Sheldon Richman exposes the true history of Israeli dispossession of the Palestinians.

Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute and a contributing editor at He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies; former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education; and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest books are Coming to Palestine and What Social Animals Owe to Each Other.

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