Cafe Hayek: Public Choice Theorizing is Never Optional

            by DON BOUDREAUX             Pete Boettke’s recent post on the importance of public choice prompts this modest thought – one that I am vain enough to fancy supports Pete’s point.  My thought is this: for a social scientist to assume away public-choice problems is not akin to a physicist studying the law of gravity assuming away, say, air friction.  It is, rather, more like a physician assuming away human mortality (or, indeed, like a physicist assuming away the law of gravity itself!).             Choosing assumptions for scientific theories is always a matter of judgment.  Reasonable people can and do disagree over just what set …

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FEE: A Place of Learning for Reformers

            by WAYNE LEIGHTON             Imagine you’re the president, your state’s governor, chair of the most powerful committee in Congress—or best friend and trusted advisor to one of these leaders.             What would you reform? Would it be Social Security, healthcare, the legal system, or something else?             Now here’s a harder question: Exactly how would you do it?             Thinking about how to make the world a better place—then doing something about it—is the role of the entrepreneur. A special type of entrepreneur deals in reform that expands liberty and economic opportunity. Like the entrepreneur in the market, this type of entrepreneur constantly looks …

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An Excerpt from Murray Rothbard’s review of Orwell’s 1984

            “One significant method that the Party uses to remain in power is to contrive to keep its country always at war with some other country. The other countries are also run by similar parties, though each have different names. By the process of doublethink every loyal Party member believes that his part will ultimately conquer the world, yet also recognizes that all the countries tacitly engage in a war that never becomes too “hot.” Thus, each Party has an excuse to starve and terrorize its subjects in the name of military necessity, while its ruler remains secure from …

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FEE: Sticky Thoughts

            by JEFFREY TUCKER             My car had languished at the airport parking lot for a full week. The blazing sun did its work on my rearview mirror, weakening the adhesive on the window. As I got into the driver�s seat, the mirror was hanging as if from the gallows. Now I had to drive without being able to see behind me�and on some tricky highways no less. There was no obvious fix, so off I drove with a number of blind spots.             I stopped at the nearest gas station with full knowledge of what I …

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