CategoryLaw

The Market Does What a Climate Summit Can’t

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International climate conferences have become something of a tradition, marking the passage of time as readily as birthdays or the equinox. The latest such conference, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), recently concluded in Glasgow, Scotland. They say the sequel is never as good as the original, and it’s easy to see how the 26th entry in a series can struggle to keep things interesting...

An Economic Journey

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Economics textbooks today are full of colorful pictures and graphs and are often accompanied by supplemental interactive online activities and videos. Armen A. Alchian’s and William R. Allen’s book, Universal Economics looks nothing like modern economics textbooks, yet it brings economics to life in a way that no video or online graphing feature ever could. This work reads like a cross between a...

Society Without a Chest

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That power corrupts is an adage known by all—though how far it is the corrupt in the first place who seek power is an open question. Does the opportunity make the crook, or does the crook make the opportunity? Until a double-blind trial in real life conditions be performed, there is probably no definitive answer to this question; and such a trial will never be performed until the powerful are...

Should We Welcome Our AI Overlords?

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This year marks the 10th anniversary of what was initially hailed as a milestone in the history of artificial intelligence. In 2011, IBM’s question-answering computer Watson soundly defeated television gameshow Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter—Watson’s three-day take was $77,000, compared to Jennings’ $24,000 and Rutter’s $22,000, garnering it a $1 million prize. This IBM victory...

The Virus Next Time

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As we stagger toward the endgame of the COVID-19 pandemic, several “bigger picture” lessons come to mind thinking ahead to the next pandemic. First, the most draconian policy responses resulted from the failure of the state and national governments to prepare for a pandemic that had been predicted for decades prior to 2020. Secondly, the extraordinary power delegated to public health authorities...

Industrial Policy Dreams Perpetually Deferred

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Richard Reinsch: Welcome to Liberty Law Talk. Today we’re with Scott Lincicome senior fellow in economic studies at the Cato Institute about industrial policy, its prospects, what it means, and what its consequences would be if we had something like that fully implemented. Scott, as I mentioned is at the Cato Institute in economic studies, he writes on international and domestic economic issues...

Changing Policing for the Better

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The Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle once stated that “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” William J. Bratton may not deserve the accolade “great” (unless you ask his opinion), but when it comes to the history of policing few men have been more influential. There is little doubt that in the last three decades of the twentieth century Bratton changed policing for the...

Constitutional Change and Continuity

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We are grateful for the three interesting responses to our essay on constitutional amendments. Each response raises significant issues. We appreciate Greg Weiner’s kind compliments on our essay. We agree with him that excessive veneration of the Constitution and its founders may prove an obstacle to the amendment process (although we do not believe it is the principal culprit). In our work, we...

What’s in Your Wallet?

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To help foot the bill for the “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation bill—originally slated to cost $3.5 trillion—the Biden administration proposed an unprecedented measure for collecting revenue: conscripting banks and credit unions to help the IRS set up a financial profile for nearly everyone in America. In a May list of proposals for raising revenue, the Biden Treasury Department laid out...

The Purpose of a Liberal Education

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When my son was seven years old, he could reel off all the stats anyone would ever need to know about Detroit Tigers baseball. Batting averages, RBIs, home runs, or stolen bases—he knew them all. Of course, his prodigious prowess for Tigers stats wasn’t in fulfillment of a homework assignment or from a promise that such knowledge was practically “useful.” I never had to tell him, “Now, go study...