The term liberal has always had an abundance of positive connotations: generous, open-minded, tolerant, big-hearted. Centuries ago people who were at liberty had occasion to pursue arts and studies; thus there developed the concepts of the liberal arts, the liberal sciences, and the liberal professions. Liberal has an obvious connection to liberty. And still, when we speak of freeing up restrictions, we speak of “trade liberalization” and liberalization of policy generally. All told, to oppose “liberals” almost seems tantamount to opposing modern, open civilization.
The bulk of the study describes five sources of federal failure. These include (a) reliance on top-down coercion, (b) lack of knowledge, (c) misaligned political incentives, (d) misaligned bureaucratic incentives, and (e) the government’s huge size. The study concludes that the only way to substantially reduce failure is to downsize the federal government.
My colleague Bryan Caplan – an intellectual with an unusual and happy willingness to put his money where his mouth is – offers to bet that many conservatives are mistaken about the future of Iran’s nuclear arsenal .
Daniel Bier argues that New York state effectively orders that many low-skilled workers in fast-food restaurants be replaced with machines . (I reckon that such a government-issued diktat is in its own way progressive.)
Richard Epstein explains that Hillary Clinton’s proposed scheme to change the manner of taxing capital gains is upside down . (HT Steve Pejovich) A slice:
Revenue consequences aside, Clinton is wrong to think that the best way to monitor a weak investment is for rich investors to be prepared to go down with the ship. Most individuals, however wealthy, have only the tiniest sliver of ownership in any large corporation, and thus have little incentive to monitor its performance given their high private costs. But selling shares, which puts a downward pressure on the firm’s value, is a wonderful way to attract the attention of insiders that something is wrong. It also increases the possibility that new share buyers will have a sufficiently large block of stock such that they will be in a better position to deal with the shortcomings of the existing corporate culture.