“Spiraling” Oil Prices and “Obscene” Profits

On April 30, motorists nationwide staged the “Great American Gas-Out,” to protest “spiraling” gas prices. And when consumers complain, rest assured politicians will do something dumb to make them happy. It didn’t take long. In California, something called the Senate Transportation and Energy committee quickly held hearings, summoning oil company executives and demanding that they […]

The Hydra of Protectionism!

This quarter the Clinton administration played the “good cop/bad cop” game. US chief trade representative, Charlene Barshefsky, was the bad cop, menacing Japanese steel producers with threats of punitive measures for “dumping”. Robert Rubin played good cop, publicly denouncing protectionism as a culprit of inflation, higher interest rates, and a lower standard of living. (Rubin […]

The U.S. Takes Care of its Own: Oh, Really?

In case the reports of massive ethnic cleansing in Kosovo were not enough to turn your stomach, seeing the bruised faces of captured American servicemen on Serbian TV ought to do the trick. In response to this outrage, President Clinton issued a stern warning to the government of Yugoslavia, declaring that “The United States takes […]

Emotionalism Explains Mindless Violence at Colorado High School

With guns and homemade bombs, two students executed a well-planned assault on fellow students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 15 including themselves and one teacher) and injuring many others. Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17), reportedly intelligent students, belonged to a “gothic” clique called “The Trench Coat Mafia,” were obsessed with […]

Kosovo: Tribalist Quagmire

President Clinton is invoking morality to justify military action to stop Serbia from attacking Kosovo. But the only appropriate moral principle is the one that says Clinton has no right to send American troops on a mission that cannot succeed — and that will result only in risking U.S. lives for a campaign that cannot […]

The Brando Rule: A Double Standard in Judging Parents

Marlon Brando, on the “Larry King Live” show, once used several racial and ethnic epithets. When a local news outlet rebroadcast this controversial excerpt, it muted Brando when he used the word “nigger.” His lips moved, but the viewer heard no sound. The station did not, however, mute the racial epithets Brando used for Italians, […]

Get Government Out of Social Security

In response to the growing recognition of the systemic problems with Social Security, President Clinton has suggested strengthening the program by investing over $700 billion of projected surpluses in the stock market. His plan, however — along with similar Republican ones — rests on two false premises. The first is that Social Security is a […]

“Mixed Economy” Pragmatism versus Capitalist Principles in England

England’s Tories, following the dubious example set by their US Republican counterparts, seem to have also concluded that standing on principle is politically inexpedient. The Tories recently chose to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s first election victory by betraying the very ideas for which she stood. On April 20th, Peter Lilley, the Tories’ […]

Man vs. Nature

For the first time in American history, the government is ordering the destruction of a dam–for environmental reasons. This July, Edwards Dam, a small hydroelectric facility on the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine, will be torn down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Its crime? It is blocking the path of fish that swim upstream […]

Are Cops Killing Blacks?

Before the horrific shooting at the Littleton, Colo., high school, the media sat around like the Maytag repairman on Prozac. Monica’s gone, impeachment and trial over with, the Jon-Benet Ramsey mystery dormant. Oh, sure, there’s the occasional O.J. flare-up, but, for the most part, until Kosovo came along, one could almost hear the sound of […]

The Government’s Assault on Sexual Pleasure

Six woman recently file suite against the state of Alabama over a law it enacted last year regarding vibrators and other sex toys. The law states that selling or distributing “any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs” is a misdemeanor punishable by a […]

A Statement: Communism, Free-Speech, and “Naming Names”

The following statement originally appeared as an advertisement, placed by Elia Kazan in the New York Times, April 12, 1952. In the past weeks intolerable rumors about my political position have been circulating in New York and Hollywood. I want to make my stand clear: I believe that Communist activities confront the people of this […]

Minimum Wage: Yet Another Republican Retreat

Every so often, without fail, the Republicans remind me why I don’t join the party. A recovering drug and alcohol abuser, living in the streets, recently told me the following story. One day, in desperate need of money, he went to the owner of a convenience store. The street guy pointed to the dirty, bottle-strewn […]

End the Fraudulent Social Security Program Now

Since 1935, the United States government has been operating a program that would be illegal if run by a private citizen or company — tarred as a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. Social Security, a scheme both impractical and immoral, is a smear on America’s principles of free enterprise. To defend the liberties which have enabled our […]

The IMF in Brazil: The Emperor Has No Clothes!

I’m not sure what’s more infuriating: witnessing Brazil’s drawn out slow-motion crash and burn after an endless string of stupid policies over the past year; the sudden breakdown in devaluative stupidity; or enduring the lame economic analysis that ensued in the days after devaluation. Initial reports were so bizarre and non-sensical as to leave me […]

The Tragic Meltdown of the American “Melting Pot”

America was once proudly known as the “melting pot.” Its inhabitants, both native and foreign, understood at least implicitly that the essence of being American was that one was free to shed certain of his characteristics, such as race, and live by his individual values. Today, however, many Americans reject such individualism for various forms […]

Duke Freshman Lives Threatened for Defending Western Civilization

A series of letters to the editor at Duke University’s student newspaper has ignited a controversy resulting in hate mail, physical confrontations, and death threats directed at two students. Their crime? Freshmen Berin Szoka and Jay Strader expressed a preference for Western Civilization over Indian Civilization in an argument over whether Duke should institute a […]

Bureaucracy Goes Global: The World Bank vs Capitalism

Some months back the World Bank issued a report titled “Global Economic Prospects 1998/1999″. The report’s foreword, written by Joseph Stiglitz, World Bank Chief Economist, is demonstration of how statists blame capitalism and free-markets for the disatrous effects of the policies. Stiglitz maintains that most of the world’s emerging market problems can be blamed on […]

Hate Crime Laws Will Spawn Thought Police

A proposed federal “hate crimes” law would give the government authority to declare certain ideas to be against the law, and should be rejected, said an Ayn Rand Institute senior writer. “What will a

Slavery By Taxation

How can you spot Canadians? They have “Tax me!” stamped on their foreheads. Well, not true — but it might as well be true. According to Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco, Canadians are hit with “the highest income- and profit-tax rates in the industrialized world as a percentage of GDP.”1 “When one takes into account all the increases […]