Gary Becker is correct: “The 40 year-old American ‘war on drugs’ has been a colossal failure.” I would add that even if this “war on drugs” had indeed resulted in the complete inability of any American ever again to get his or her hands (and noses or lungs or mouths or veins) on a single molecule of substances declared by Uncle Sam to be “illegal,” the war would still have been a failure insofar as both its means and ends are judged according to how well they are consistent with individual liberty and responsibility. A society whose government succeeds at preventing its citizens from engaging in peaceful activities is, to that extent, a failed society: that society has failed to protect its liberties from the uncivilized and dangerous intrusions uncorked by mob manias.
The always-wise Steve Chapman warns against a too-ready embrace of surveillance cameras. I love his concluding paragraph:
Enthusiasts for electronic surveillance may say: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But there’s a reason people don’t live in glass houses.
Where are Cass Sunstein and his fellow enthusiasts for behavioral economics when we need them? George Will reports on an appalling interference by government with free speech – an interference that behavioral economists should be the first to condemn.
Bryan Caplan reflects on the state of macroeconomics. The image isn’t pretty.