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  • Author: Randall G. Holcombe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Political capitalism is an economic and political system in which the economic and political elite cooperate for their mutual benefit. The economic elite influence the government's economic policies to use regulation, government spending, and the design of the tax system to maintain their elite status in the economy. The political elite are then supported by the economic elite which helps the political elite maintain their status; an exchange relationship that benefits both the political and economic elite.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Philip K. Howard
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Phillip Howard is a lawyer nationally known for his best-selling books and extensive commentary on the dysfunctions of the American legal and political systems and the adverse effects those dysfunctions have on individual behavior and the overall workings of society.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Rebecca U. Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In The American Warfare State, Reecca Thrope attempts to answer what she calls “the fundamental puzzle” of American politics: “Why a nation founded on a severe distrust of standing armies and centralized power developed and maintained the most powerful military in history.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stephen J. K. Walters
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The image of a boom town is commonly used to describe exceptional conditions through which a village suddenly becomes a city. Often such conditions are the discovery of mineral deposits that attracts industry and commerce. While in their booming condition, such towns are oases of societal flourishing relative to their preceding state. In Boom Towns, Stephen J.K. Walters, a professor of economics at Loyola University in Baltimore, explains that cities in general have the capacity perpetually to b forms of boom towns. Cities can serve as magnets to attract people and capital, thus promoting the human flourishing that has always been associated with cities at their best. It is different if cities are at their worst, as Walters explains in brining Jane Jacobs's Death and Life of Great American Cities into explanatory ambit. There are no natural obstacles to cities occupying the foreground of societal flourishing. There are obstacles to be sure, but these are man-made. Being man-made, they can also be overcome through human action, at least in principle even if doing so in practice might be difficult.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mark A. Calabria
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The majority of books on the recent financial crisis tend to be written either by economics/finance experts or by journalists. While the journalistic accounts occasionally focus on political actors, it is usually in the manner of "bad people doing bad things" rather than with a theoretical framework. The economic accounts, with some exception, rarely incorporate the politics of finance. It is this vacuum that Political Bubbles attempts to fill.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jeb Hensarling
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Before I get into the body of the remarks, I want to thank the Cato Institute for everything it stands for and everything it has meant to me. As I was walking in the foyer, I noticed a copy of the Cato Journal on a table there. I recall as an undergraduate student at Texas A University in the 1970s that I took $25 dollars—and I'm a guy who worked my way through college—of my hard-earned money to invest in the Cato Journal. That was money I could have invested in long necks at the Dixie Chicken, our local watering hole. Also, I would like to thank John Allison. If you have not read his book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope, I commend it to you. Finally, I would like to tell you that as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, before I decide to move out on any particular issue, I certainly glean the scholarship of Cato in general and Mark Calabria in particular.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Kevin P. Brady
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: By every economic measure, our nation is presently mired in a disappointing economic recovery. In fact, ours is the weakest recovery of the past half century. Uncertainty reigns as the purchasing power of the dollar declines. What ails us goes well beyond federal fiscal policy, and it is certainly not the result of an irrational marketplace. What ails us goes much deeper to our nation's monetary policy, which is well overdue for a review.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jonathan Blanks
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Criminal justice reform has been gaining momentum in Washington, attracting policymakers from both sides of the aisle. Draconian mandatory minimum sentences, overcrowded prisons, and bloated criminal justice budgets have made reform a bipartisan issue. This is undoubtedly a positive development, but—as is typical with the political process—the most popular reforms are not enough. Most of the political capital and rhetoric focuses on "back-end" criminal justice reforms, such as sentencing reform, early release, and alternatives to incarceration. While these reforms are sorely needed, the "front end" of the criminal justice system—criminal laws, the courts, and policing itself—also needs thorough examination. Radley Balko's Rise of the Warrior Cop is an exemplar of what these assessments should look like in the American context.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Travis Evans
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For the better part of a decade, the United States has been mired in mediocrity, settling for what feels like a new normal of low eco- nomic growth, stagnant wages, political intransigence, and an unending war or terror. Many think America's better days are behind it. Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, disagrees. In Foreign Policy Begins at Home , Haass attempts to reverse American defeatism and assuage fears of American decline, arguing instead that the United States is simply underperforming, suffering from "American made" problems that can be corrected by restoring the "foundations of its power." He explains that America's true strength abroad comes from its strength at home, and if America is to provide global leadership it "must first put its house in order." While much of Foreign Policy focuses on policy prescriptions that would restore American strength, the true contribution of the book is its explanation of why such a strategy is needed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America
  • Author: Emily McKlintock Ekins
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In this review, I will focus on three main points: their test of whether the tea party is comprised of "reactionary" or "responsible conservatives," their statistical methods testing if racism and a preference for social dominance drive tea party supporters, and their comparison of the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. The authors prematurely reject the argument that the tea party is primarily motivated by genuine concerns about spending, the size and scope of government, and taxes in part because they rely on a problematic comparison of local tea party group websites to the National Review Online (NRO). From this analysis, they conclude the movement is a contemporary manifestation of paranoid reactionary conservatism.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Lampo
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It might seem odd that, in a time when political pundits routinely condemn the rampant if not unprecedented polarization in American politics, one writer would try to make the case that polarized politics is a good thing, but that is indeed what former Reagan advisor Jeffrey Bell attempts in The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism . His arguments to justify an outspoken social conservatism as necessary to both the success of the Republican Party and the long-term success of what he calls "American exceptionalism," however, fall short on several levels.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale, Erin Partin
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: What are the implications of Europe's economic troubles for America? Several EU economies now face deep private and sovereign debt overhangs-a situation not unlike that in the United States, which also faces its own challenges with fiscal policy. How do the economic conditions in America and the EU compare in the short and longer terms? This article provides an overview of key indicators that summarize and help to project the two regions' economic prospects. It should be noted at the outset, however, that economic conditions and policies in the two regions differ in substantive ways. As in the United States, most European economies-members of the European Monetary Union (EMU)-now participate in a single currency (euro) system operated by the European Central Bank-the counterpart of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. However, the EU lacks a single central fiscal authority that operates a significant cross-nation transfer system. Having surrendered authority over monetary policy and, by the definition of a single currency, exchange rate policy, EMU member nations must depend on national fiscal policies to exert stewardship over their economies.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It does not take more than a glance at the headlines to see that European countries are in trouble. From Greece to Britain, from France to Portugal, it is becoming clear that the modern welfare state is unsustainable, facing fiscal catastrophe, stagnant economic growth, punishing taxes, and prolonged joblessness. European countries are being forced, kicking and screaming, to rethink their approach to social welfare. But how much better off is the United States?
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Europe, Greece, France, Portugal
  • Author: Pierre Lemieux
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The American welfare state is not as different from the European welfare state as conventional wisdom would have it. If we define the welfare state as that part of the state (the whole apparatus of government at all levels) devoted to taking charge of the welfare of the public, welfare-state functions cover social protection (which includes public pensions), health, and education. These functions make up 57 percent of total U.S. government expenditures compared to 63 percent for the typical euro zone country. In this sense, the American welfare state is only about 10 percent smaller than the European welfare state.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Jason Kuznicki
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: I often tell aspiring libertarians that they both can and should learn from people who are far removed from them ideologically. Indeed, if they fail to do so, then they are neglecting a vital part of their self-education. When asked whom I have in mind, I almost always mention James C. Scott. Two of Scott's earlier books, Seeing Like a State and The Art of Not Being Governed, are fascinating intellectual excursions for people of the libertarian bent, as well as for many others.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The question of whether immigration has been good for America has been on the minds of Americans since the beginning of our republic and continues in the pages of this issue of the Cato Journal. As the United States enters another presidential election year, President Obama has been calling on Congress to enact immigration reform while his administration has been deporting record numbers of unauthorized immigrants. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates have been competing with each other to adopt the toughest positions to enforce existing law, including the completion of a fence along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Outside of Washington, legislatures in Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, and other states have enacted laws designed to make life more difficult for undocumented immigrants.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Georgia, Mexico, Alabama, Arizona
  • Author: Gordon H. Hanson
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, there will be intense public debate about the direction of economic policy. The continuing torpor of the U.S. economy and mounting government debt oblige candidates to detail how they would improve prospects for economic growth and reduce the federal budget deficit. We are sure to hear a great deal about plans to lower taxes, reduce government regulation, improve U.S. education, and rebuild infrastructure. But it is a near certainty that no candidate will make immigration part of his or her vision for achieving higher rates of long-run economic growth. To be sure, stump speeches will contain pat pronouncements about securing American borders, restoring the rule of law, or bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, depending on the candidate's political orientation. Yet, it is a safe bet that after getting through these bullet points candidates will seek to change the subject. Immigration is a divisive issue that most national politicians prefer to avoid. President Obama checked his immigration box by making a halfhearted call for immigration reform in May 2011. That proposal was quickly buried under many more pressing items in his legislative outbox.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Giovanni Peri
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: According to a survey in 2008, about 50 percent of Americans perceived immigration as a problem rather than as an opportunity (Transatlantic Trends 2008). Similar surveys conducted in the prerecession years of 2007 and before also showed that Americans were much less supportive of more open immigration policies than they were of other aspects of globalization such as free trade or free capital movements (Pew Research Center 2007). Since the onset of the recession of 2008–2009 and during the jobless recovery of 2010–11, public opinion about immigration further deteriorated. The idea that immigrants take American jobs, depress national wages, and threaten the U.S. economy has become even more rooted, as often happens during economic recessions. The political discourse accompanying the economic and labor market impact of immigrants is very intense and pervasive in the media but often generates “more heat than light”.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Joel Kotkin, Erika Ozuna
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Perhaps nothing has more defined America and its promise than immigration. In the future, immigration and the consequent development of what Walt Whitman (1855: iv) called “a race of races” will remain one of the country's greatest assets in the decades to come.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stuart Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: If the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies formulated coherent policies, then here is what our immigration system would look like: highly skilled foreign nationals could be hired quickly and gain permanent residence, employers could hire foreign workers to fill niches in lower-skilled jobs, foreign entrepreneurs could easily start businesses in the United States, and close relatives of American citizens could immigrate in a short period of time. If all those things were true, then we wouldn't be talking about America's immigration system.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jim Harper
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Successful “internal enforcement” of immigration law requires having a national identity system. If expanded, “E-Verify,” the muchdebated effort to control illegal immigration through access to employment, will become such a system, and it could easily be converted to controlling many dimensions of Americans' lives from Washington, D.C.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Margaret Stock
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Declaration of Independence famously asserted that “all men are created equal,” but this assertion did not become an American constitutional reality until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment's Citizenship Clause—intended to overturn the infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott (1857) case—states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” Traditionally, the clause has been interpreted to confer U.S. citizenship on anyone born within the United States whose parents are subject to U.S. civil and criminal laws—which has historically meant that only babies born in the United States to diplomats, invading armies, or within certain sovereign Native American tribes have been excluded from birthright American citizenship. Alarmed by the thought that unauthorized immigrants, wealthy tourists, and temporary workers are giving birth to thousands of U.S. citizens, some want to change the long-standing rule by reinterpreting or amending the Citizenship Clause. But will this proposed change be good for America? Will it benefit America to reduce substantially the number of birthright U.S. citizens—and put in place more complex rules that would provide that U.S.-born babies are not created equal?
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Among the more serious arguments against liberalizing immigration is that it can be costly to taxpayers. Low-skilled immigrants in particular consume more government services than they pay in taxes, increasing the burden of government for native-born Americans. Organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform have produced reports claiming that immigration costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year, with the heaviest costs borne by state and local taxpayers. No less a classical liberal than Milton Freidman mused that open immigration is incompatible with a welfare state. Responding to a question at a libertarian conference in 1999, Friedman rejected the idea of opening the U.S. border to all immigrants, declaring that “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state” (Free Students 2008).
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John Samples
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Richard Brookhiser, a longtime senior editor of National Review, has contributed more than most to satisfying the revivified demand for books about the lives and works of the American Founders. He has published books about Washington, Hamilton, the Adamses, Gouverneur Morris, and now James Madison. His biography is both serious and readable.
  • Political Geography: China, America, Washington
  • Author: Aaron Powell
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Grab anyone at a coffee shop, political rally, or cocktail party. Ask him, “Do you think we have a duty to vote?” Chances are he'll say “Yes.” Follow it up with, “Is it because there's something special about voting that places it above other duties we might have, like sayavoiding speeding or paying our taxes?” It's a safe bet you'll get a “yes” to this one as well.Jason Brennan calls the thinking behind these twin affirmatives the “folk theory of voting ethics.” It's the common view of civics classes, straw polls, and town hall meetings. The folk theory is what we all learn in school, along with the three branches of government and the Founding Fathers.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Overresponse to short-run events and neglect of longer-term consequences of its actions is one of the main errors that the Federal Reserve makes repeatedly. The current recession offers many examples of actions that some characterize as bold and innovative. I regard many of these actions as inappropriate for an allegedly independent central bank because they involve credit allocation, fill the Fed's portfolio with an unprecedented volume of long-term assets, evade or neglect the dual mandate, distort the credit markets, and initiate other actions that are not the responsibility of a central bank.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James A. Grant
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: "Has anyone bothered to study the cumulative effect of all these things?" the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase reasonably inquired of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board at a bankers gathering in Atlanta last June. The CEO, Jamie Dimon, was referring to the combination of cyclical hangover and regulatory constriction. The chairman, Ben Bernanke, replied, "It's just too complicated. We don't really have the quantitative tools to do that" (Grant and Masters 2011: 1).
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ivan Osorio
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Ronald Reagan's firing of more than 12,000 illegally striking air traffic controllers in August 1981 is widely considered a defining moment both for Reagan's presidency and for American organized labor. For Reagan, it was the first of many lines in the sand he drew during his presidency. For organized labor, it marked an assault from an anti-union president determined to prevail against a Democratic constituency.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Nathan L. Gray
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: K–12 education policy has recently received much scrutiny from policymakers, taxpayers, parents, and students. Reformers have often cited increases in spending with little noticeable gain in test scores, coupled with the fact that American students lag behind their foreign peers on standardized tests, as the policy problem. School choice, specifically charter school policy, has emerged as a potential remedy. School choice is hypothesized to have both participant and systemic (sometimes called competitive) effects. This article concentrates on the latter by using a novel design not used before in studies of this subject. School level data from Ohio are analyzed to estimate if traditional public schools potentially threatened by charter schools respond with positive test score gains. Specifically, an exogenous change to the education system in 2003 provides a natural experiment to examine potential systemic effects. Results indicate that the threat of charter schools seems to have had a small positive effect on traditional public school achievement.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Charles Zakaib
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In 2008, many Americans feared another Great Depression had begun. Amidst all the gloom and doom, however, Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff, sounded more hopeful: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before.” There is no greater example of that mantra in American history than World War II, a time of unprecedented government spending and unsurpassed government control over daily life. In Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government , James T. Sparrow demonstrates how, in a crisis, the government can increase its reach into Americans' lives by promising an ever-expanding set of rights and benefits.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jim F. Couch, Mark D. Foster, Keith Malone, David L. Black
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Washington's remedy to the financial problems that began in 2008 was the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)—the so called bailout of the banking system. Whatever its merits, it was, for the most part, unpopular with the American public. Lawmakers, fearful that the economy might actually collapse without some action, were likewise fearful that action—in the form of a payout to the Wall Street financiers—would prove to be harmful to them at the polls. Thus, politicians sought to assure the public that their vote on the measure would reflect Main Street virtues, not Wall Street greed.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ilya Somin
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As has often been the case in American history, federalism is once again a major focus of political debate. Numerous recent political conflicts focus at least in part on the constitutional balance of power between the states and the central government. The lawsuits challenging the recently passed Obama health care plan, the federal bailout of state governments during the current economic crisis, and the conflicts over social issues such as medical marijuana and assisted suicide are just a few of the more prominent examples.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Daniel M. Gropper, Robert A. Lawson, Jere T. Thorne Jr.
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: That liberty is necessary for greater happiness and a better life is a notion deeply rooted in the American sensibility. But is there a link between greater freedom and greater happiness across countries? In this article we explore this question by examining the empirical relationship between liberty, as measured by economic freedom, and happiness across more than 100 countries.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Joseph Romance
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In many ways, George Washington represents the most difficult of the Founders to approach. His importance in the American Revolution and the central role he played in the formation of the Republic is beyond dispute. Yet, as so many have pointed out, he becomes more the marble statue than a real man. Thus, it may not be surprising that the most recent spurt of scholarship and popular history concerning the American Founders tends to focus on reinterpretations of the agreed-upon intellectual greats (Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton) and a rediscovery of neglected Founders (Mason, Morris, and Pickney). Alas, what are we to do with Washington beyond revere?
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Jim Harper
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Lisa Nelson's America Identified: Biometric Technology and Society is a slow and careful examination of a formidably broad landscape—at least until she springs to her conclusions. Among them: “Individual liberty must be reconceptualized to account for the use of data by individuals for communication, transactions, and networking.” It's a scholar's way of saying, “Move over, sovereign individual. Experts are going to handle this.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This special issue of the Cato Journal was made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation . The question posed in this issue—Are Unions Good for America?—has both normative and positive aspects. Normatively, if one takes freedom as a fundamental principle, then compulsory unionism cannot be justified in a free society; it violates the rights of both workers and employers. Under current U.S. labor law, workers are often compelled to join unions and employers are compelled to negotiate “in good faith.” Public sector unions are even more onerous than private sector unions; they limit consumer choices and impose heavy tax burdens.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Randall G. Holcombe, James D. Gwartney
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The freedom to enter into contracts and to direct the use of economic resources one owns are essential to the operation of a market economy. Allowing employees to form unions to bargain collectively over wages and employment conditions is consistent with economic freedom, and any government intervention preventing unionization would be a violation of economic freedom. Nevertheless, American labor law, especially since the 1930s, has altered the terms and conditions under which unions collectively bargain to heavily favor unions over the firms that hire union labor. Labor law has given unions the power to dictate to employees collective bargaining conditions, and has deprived employees of the right to bargain for themselves regarding their conditions of employment. While unions and economic freedom are conceptually compatible, labor law in the United States, and throughout the world, has restricted the freedom of contract between employees and employers.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Stephen J. K. Walters
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The usual suspects in the tragic demise of many of America's core cities are well known. For decades, scholars, politicians, and pundits have condemned the racism that led whites to flee diverse urban populations after World War II, sneered at Americans' vulgar affection for cars and expansive lawns, criticized policies that encouraged us to indulge these tastes, and blamed capitalist greed and unwhole- some technological change for the deindustrialization that has wrecked urban labor markets.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Andrew J. Coulson
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Public school employee unions are politically partisan and polarizing institutions. Of the National Education Association's $30 million in federal campaign contributions since 1990, 93 percent has gone to Democrats or the Democratic Party. Of the $26 million in federal campaign contributions by the American Federation of Teachers, 99 percent has gone to Democrats or the Democratic Party (Center for Responsive Politics 2009). Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, conservatives and Republicans have often accused these unions of simultaneously raising the cost and lowering the quality of American public schools. Many advocates of charter schools, vouchers, and education tax credits have cited union political influence as the greatest impediment to their chosen reforms. But in academic circles, scholars have sometimes disagreed on the unions' impact on wages and educational productivity. The purpose of the present review is to summarize, and attempt to reconcile, the empirical research on the actual impact teachers unions have on American education.
  • Topic: Education, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Daniel Griswold
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, labor union leaders have emerged as among the chief critics of trade liberalization, while the economic evidence has grown that labor unions compromise the ability of American companies to compete in global markets.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Charles W. Baird
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: F. A. Hayek and W. H. Hutt wrote extensively about the malign economic and social effects of the special privileges and immunities granted by governments to labor unions, but they wrote much less about what a free-market unionism might look like. They argued that all legislation that has conferred coercive powers on unions should be repealed, but they did not propose any specific free-market union legislation to take its place. Perhaps they thought that if all offending legislation were repealed there would be no need for any union-specific legislation. The common law of property, contract, and tort would suffice. Nevertheless, it is difficult in American politics to replace something with nothing. Therefore, I think it is useful, albeit constructivist, to propose a free-market alternative to the Norris- LaGuardia Act of 1932 (NLA) and the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 as amended in 1947 (NLRA). Perhaps the chief value of such a proposal is to make explicit what the ordinary law of property, contract and tort implies for the labor market and the role of unions therein. New Zealand's 1991 Employment Contracts Act (ECA) is a good, but imperfect, guide in this endeavor.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: America, New Zealand
  • Author: Neal McCluskey
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Historian David Tyack breaks educational progressives into two types: pedagogical and administrative (Tyack 1974). The former are champions of “child-centered” instruction in the classroom, while the latter want centralized, government control of the schools.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This special issue of the Cato Journal was made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation. The question posed in this issue—Are Unions Good for America?—has both normative and positive aspects. Normatively, if one takes freedom as a fundamental principle, then compulsory unionism cannot be justified in a free society; it violates the rights of both workers and employers. Under current U.S. labor law, workers are often compelled to join unions and employers are compelled to negotiate "in good faith." Public sector unions are even more onerous than private sector unions; they limit consumer choices and impose heavy tax burdens.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Richard L. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Robert H. Nelson, one of the world's leading natural resource economists, long has argued that the ideologies in economics are secularizations of traditional religion and that this concealment is ill advised. Less convincingly, he advocates linking these new ideologies to their religious roots. He now also brands environmentalism as a secular religion whose roots need examination. This book postulates a war between that religion and the economic religion that he previously criticized.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: R. Sam Garrett
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Ray La Raja has written one of the most provocative campaign finance books in recent memory. Small Change causes the reader to struggle with fundamental “truths” about money and politics, to revisit old questions, and to ask new ones. La Raja directly challenges prevailing scholarship—and popular wisdom—concerning the purposes and origins of campaign finance regulation and its effect on political parties. The dual focus on campaign finance and American political parties is arguably the book's greatest strength. (La Raja generally uses the term “regulation” broadly, although his focus is on major changes in law rather than on regulations, such as those issued by the Federal Election Commission. For expediency, this review also uses the term “regulation” to encompass both federal campaign finance law and agency regulations.)
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Andrei Illarionov
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: One day I asked Milton Friedman a question. That question was in my mind every time we met: “Could he have achieved the same status he did in America if he had lived in Russia—not only in terms of his research, but in shaping his outlook on life and in his under-standing of freedom?” Having kept silent for a moment, he answered: “no.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: David Schap, Andrew Feeley
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Paul Rubin (2005) has addressed the evolution of American tort law from a public choice perspective. In contrast to earlier work in law and economics, which generally regarded tort law norms as efficient (Landes and Posner 1987), Rubin relied on more recent work in the field (Epstein 1988, Rubin and Bailey 1994) that regards tort law as being shaped by the special interests of plaintiff and (perhaps to a somewhat lesser extent) defense attorneys. In addition, Rubin envisioned business interests' influence toward tort reform as enhancing efficiency. He ended his article with a call for additional empirical research on modern American tort law from the public choice perspective and indeed suggested a number of specific items and areas of possible fruitful research. The spirit of Rubin's anticipated research program, as well as many of his specific suggestions, can be applied to our survey research findings concerning statutory reform of the collateral source rule.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Brendan Rittenhouse Green
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Credit where credit is due: At 229 pages, Matthew Yglesias has written the world's longest blog post. The first of a generation of journalists who came to prominence through their personal weblogs, Yglesias now blogs professionally for the Center for American Progress. Heads in the Sand has all the virtues and flaws of the medium Yglesias helped pioneer. It tends toward bite-sized arguments and pith over substance, which leaves some of the chapters with a stapled-together feel. Heads in the Sand gives the impression of a Web journal read straight through, with an extremely thin set of foot-notes substituting for links. Nevertheless, the book is by and large excellent. It is full of wit and erudition, stringing together a series of incisive arguments about politics and foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: America