Jan Helfeld, The Socratic Imperative, and Testing Principles

            Jan Helfeld is an independent journalist using peculiar tactics while interviewing government and media figures.  Helfeld merely asks simple questions, and while most interviews start off smoothly, the Socratic Impretive slowly exposes the interviewee's lack of consistency.               For example:  "Do you believe in government-forced redistribution of wealth?"             While most would say no, Helfeld goes on to ask about farm subsidies and foreign aid–forms of redistribution that people often find themselves in favor of, despite contradicting themselves by claiming a stance against redistribution.  Congressman Gerald Connolly is interviewed below.  

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FEE: Milton Friedman, Right to Work, and Free Riders

            by CHARLES BAIRD             On December 11, 2012, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, signed a bill that made the state�home of the United Auto Workers (UAW)�the twenty-fourth right-to-work (RTW) state. A RTW law prohibits unions from forcing workers to pay union dues and fees as a condition of continued employment.              The UAW and other unions reacted with predictable wrath and violence, even going so far as to tear down a large Americans for Prosperity tent with several pro-RTW people in it. Not to be outdone, state representative Douglas Geiss, a reliable union crony, threatened that blood would be spilled in reaction …

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Cafe Hayek: Lauding Commercial Culture

            by DON BOUDREAUX             Here�s a letter to the New York Post:             In �The art of Free Markets� (April 11), you rightly applaud Leonard Lauder�s gift of cubist art to the Met.  But such philanthropy is not the chief means by which free markets promote the arts.             Free markets greatly expand the availability of the leisure that is necessary for both the creation and enjoyment of art.  Perhaps even more importantly, though, as my colleague Tyler Cowen documents in his book In Praise of Commercial Culture, free markets also create a diverse range of high-quality, affordable media on which art …

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Have We Learned Nothing? President pushes Banks to make Risky Housing Loans

            Despite the fact that many have weak credit, The Obama Administration is implying that our banking system leaves too many people behind in the housing market.   As if a Federal Housing Administration–which the Founding Fathers would be perplexed by–isn't enough of an impediment on the free market, we are now flirting with the same functions that led to the disastrous housing bubble just a few years ago.  Interests Rates are already as low as they can feasibly go, and so we must wonder, if the President intends on making money even cheaper, are we risking another housing …

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Liberty and Optimism: Why Freedom will still Flourish

            by KEVIN CZARZASTY             Faith in our leadersis dwindling.  As families and governments drown deeper in debt, our never-ending spending spree persists.  Worse, we continue entangling alliances, ourwelfare state is neither well nor fair, and our currency is currentlycrumbling.  All of this is reason tobelieve that something terrible is coming to America.  However, despite the grim conditions, I amoptimistic for three reasons.             First and foremost,Americans are smart.  Etched into ourculture are common sense, innovation and problem-solving.  Friedrich von Hayek wrote of SpontaneousOrder, the tendency for societies to organically solve issues not because ofcentral planning, but by individuals sorting things …

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