Cato’s Walter Olson discusses the happy fact that many Republicans voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. Here are Wally’s closing paragraphs:
Certain themes recurred with Republicans who supported the same-sex marriage law. Everyone has a right to pursue happiness in his or her own way. Government shouldn’t be going around deciding that one church is right and another wrong. These might be our friends and neighbors or our own children and giving them equal rights doesn’t hurt anyone else. The whole question is none of the government’s business.
It’s a refreshing, if not exactly new, strain of American conservatism. And it just might have made the difference in carrying Question 6 to victory.
In my most-recent column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I expand on my earlier post on speculators stocking up in supermarkets and other retail outlets. As I’ll explain in my next column, to get the full benefits of speculation, prices – today and tomorrow – must be free to adjust without government interference.
Here’s the abstract from what looks to be an interesting paper by my colleagues John Nye and Garett Jones (along with some other co-authors):
It is now well established that highly developed countries tend to score well on measures of social capital and have higher levels of generalized trust. In turn, the willingness to trust has been shown to be correlated with various social and environmental factors (e.g. institutions, culture) on one hand, and accumulated human capital on the other. To what extent is an individual’s trust driven by contemporaneous institutions and environmental conditions and to what extent is it determined by the individual’s human capital? We collect data from students in Moscow and Manila and use the variation in their height and gender to instrument for measures of their human capital to identify the causal effect of the latter on trust. We find that human capital positively affects the propensity to trust, and its contribution appears larger than the combined effect of other omitted variables including, plausibly, social and environmental factors.