Central Banks Beat Up on Private Creditors

Last week the Greek government, with the heavy handed support of its larger friends in the Eurozone, succeeded in coercing some 85.8 percent of private sector bondholders to "voluntarily" exchange €206 billion-worth of Greek sovereign bonds for newer bonds with longer...

The “Limits” of Economic Progress

A few weeks ago I caught a portion of a radio program in which a commentator argued that economic progress has limits.  He used a hamster as an example: For the first few weeks of his life, a hamster doubles in size each week. If he did this for a year, he would...

The Disfigurement of the American City, Part 1

The United States is the greatest society ever on earth. Nowhere else has there ever been achievement on the scale that has occurred here. It was Americans who invented the electrical circuit, the semiconductor, Blues, Jazz, and Rock and Roll music, countless...

Why GOPers cheered when McCain lost

Senator John McCain lost his bid to become his party's nominee, and "core" Republicans cheered. No, not because of McCain's alleged fiery temper, or his Gore-like economic plan, or his silly crusade against Big Tobacco -- an industry both lawful and subsidized by the...

Evolution and Public Schools

Under pressure from the religious right, the Illinois Board of Education has quietly eliminated the word "evolution" from state school standards. Liberals complain that this violates the separation between church state. But they're getting exactly what they deserve....

John McCain’s Moral Assault on Freedom

John McCain is not shy about expressing his moral vision for America. When he officially announced his candidacy, he said, "I run for president because I want the next generation of Americans to know the sense of pride and purpose of serving a cause greater than...

Beware of a Stock Market that Trades Above Average

Covering International equities over the last decade has been an interesting experience. Emerging markets in Asia and Latin America have gone through a couple of rounds of boom and bust, compressing into a few short years as much euphoria and desperation as most...

Bad Ideas, Not Guns, Kill People

Families of Columbine High School shooting victims plan to sue the gun manufacturers. I have a better idea. Why don't we sue the public schools? If not financially -- then at least morally. Guns and bullets don't kill people; bad ideas do. Unhealthy ideas make twisted...

When the Bad Guy is Black

The double standard slaps you in the face. Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Ronald Taylor, a black man, allegedly guns down five whites, killing three. What followed became a textbook case on how contemporary American journalism deals with race. The suspect's motive could...

Immigration, Moochers, and the Welfare State

Q. How is an "open-borders" immigration policy compatible with the principle of self-interest? While we have a welfare state, isn't it irrational to encourage immigration? Shouldn't the openness of our borders be tied to phasing out the redistribution of our wealth?...

The Railroading of Microsoft

The press coverage of Microsoft's antitrust trial, up through the testimony of the final witness, has conveyed one consistent theme: Microsoft is losing. Its witnesses, we are told, have been caught in inconsistencies; Bill Gates's videotaped testimony was evasive;...

The New China? Once A Dictator, Always A Dictator

The past arrest of Peng Cheng by the Chinese Government, and the more recent "strong" statements against Taiwan, shows how little has changed in that country. Take the case of Mr. Cheng. Mr. Cheng was sentenced to three years in a labor camp on "subversion" charges....

Industrialization: The Environmentalist’s Version of Original Sin

Environmentalists -- notorious for making doomsday predictions about man's industrial activities while appealing to "science" -- are now turning to religion to halt the "sins" of industrialization and development. Over a year ago in a full-page article ("Keep Faith...

Limits on Guns

Question: In a proper society, individuals surrender to government the right to the use of retaliatory force. How does this line of reasoning applies to gun control. If it is moral and hence legal to own a weapon that can kill many quickly, where and what reasoning...

Conclusions Misdrawn: Backseat Drivers Look In the Rear View Mirror

A lot of friends who dabble in the stock market have been calling me lately to pick my brain about this or that Internet stock. Of course, any word of caution or concern I express over lofty valuations invariably falls on deaf ears. God forbid I actually say anything...

Cops — How Bad Are They?

Not Guilty. An Albany, N.Y. jury, consisting of four blacks, acquitted four white officers charged in the shooting death of West African Amadou Diallo. The undercover cops, looking for a rapist, cornered Diallo in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment. They ordered him...

Stress Busting: Principles of Stress-Management

Have you ever suffered from any of the following symptoms? Poor concentration. Forgetting to do important tasks. A pervasive sense of helplessness or hopelessness. Nervous behaviors (shaking leg, biting nails). High blood pressure. Blowing up or snapping at loved ones...

Why Greenspan Trashes the Markets

When Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan speaks, markets listen. But Mr. Greenspan doesn't create wealth, as E.F. Hutton did when he spoke. Mr. Greenspan's speeches tend to destroy wealth. Last week, for example, Greenspan told Congress that he'll keep raising...

O.J.’s Revenge?

O. J. Simpson, the only man in America more accessible to the press than John McCain, claims vindication. Simpson told Newsweek, "I feel vindicated. It is now loud and clear that these guys are capable of planting evidence and framing people. This is not something...

The Mystery of Alan Greenspan

Many people wonder about Alan Greenspan. As a student and associate of Ayn Rand in the 1960s, he wrote many articles on the virtue of capitalism, some appearing in her seminal work, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. An eloquent and ardent advocate of the free market, he...