Gordon Gamm Initiative

So-called libertarian Rand Paul is running for president. As with Cruz, it's hard to see him being more than a sideshow. Nonetheless, he's a sideshow with a non-trivial amount of support, especially among young conservatives. For that reason, it's worth rehashing his wacky political views....
04/07/2015
Blog
Introduction A fundamental task of government is to enact rules for human interactions. As Adam Smith explained long ago, among the functions of such rules is establishing binding agreements among people, making possible private property and contracts, the essential ingredients of commerce. In more...
12/17/2014
Publication
One of the Koch brothers stepped from the shadows yesterday to offer a detailed glimpse into his worldview in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. The piece is revealing at a number of levels, but most interesting to me is the stunted and historically inaccurate way in which Charles Koch...
04/04/2014
Blog
Forty years ago, when Ralph Nader was at the height of his fame, a major critique of corporations was they knowingly put their bottom line above the health and safety of the American people. Exposés of car safety, cigarettes, air pollution, lead paint, and prescription drugs revealed how...
04/02/2014
Blog
Should moral judgment be stripped out of social policy? Eduardo Porter argues yes today in the New York Times, calling for an end to the demonization of deadbeat dads -- a stance he says hasn't worked and shifts attention away from the economic reasons that low-skilled men find it so hard...
03/05/2014
Blog
Imagine that it is late July 1966, and President Johnson's signature domestic initiative, Medicare, has been fully up and running for just a few weeks. But a think tank is so sure that it's a failure that it publishes a study saying that by "imposing a bureaucratic, centralized, top-down approach...
01/28/2014
Blog
If you ask Cato's Michael Tanner, inequality is a non-issue for a bunch of reasons, including because it has nothing to do with unfairness. Tanner writes: most wealthy Americans earned their wealth through talent and hard work. Roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first...
01/16/2014
Blog
The Cato Institute claims to be a leading defender of individual liberty, and in that role, it has endlessly sounded the alarm about government surveillance and other state encroachments on people's privacy. Weirdly, though, Cato rarely mentions even bigger threats to privacy from corporations...
11/27/2013
Blog
Last week, I pointed out that libertarians are huge fans of initiating force against people (I, II). Initiation of force is, after all, what underlies all private property regimes.  If you don't believe me, go walk into some house the law says you cannot walk into and see what happens....
11/24/2013
Blog
Today's post about how libertarians are big fans of initiating force reminds me of a subject near to my heart: libertarian theories of initial property appropriation. The part of a given libertarian theory that deals with initial property appropriation is always the hands-down most exciting part....
11/18/2013
Blog
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