The Lesson of Tax Day

Over the past week, those Americans frantically filling out their returns have been reminded of the tax system’s increasing complexity and inefficiency. But it is also important to remember that the root cause of this woe is out-of-control government spending. Cato Institute scholars have long been pushing for cuts in spending and a renewed commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Was Financial Crisis Panic over Institution Runs Justified?

Throughout history there has been a consistent fear of bank runs, particularly regarding large institutions during times of crisis. The financial crisis of 2007–09 was no exception. The interventions of the authorities in response to these runs, however, raise a number of questions. In a new paper, Vern McKinley considers the facts surrounding each of the runs, and assesses what the various runs induced the authorities to do. “Serious analysis of the risks facing the financial sector was sorely lacking,” concludes McKinley, “and outright misstatement of the facts was evident.”

How Property Rights Can Save the World’s Fisheries

In the new issue of Regulation, Jonathan H. Adler and Nathaniel Stewart make the case for property-based fishery management, utilizing territorial or catch-share allocation among fishery participants. Adler and Stewart argue that property-based management aligns fisher incentives with the underlying health of the resource and appears to reduce the adverse environmental effects of commercial fishing. Also in this issue, Michael L. Wachter explores the relationship between the much-maligned National Labor Relations Act and the decline in union membership.

The Government Debt Iceberg

Nobody who has even a passing acquaintance with economics could fail to realize that Western governments are highly indebted. Current generations have been consuming at the expense of future generations. However, just how indebted are we? In The Government Debt Iceberg, Cato scholar Jagadeesh Gokhale reveals the extent to which western governments are keeping taxpayers in the dark about true levels of debt by hiding the magnitude of future spending commitments that cannot be met by future tax receipts.

Recent Commentary

The Zombie National ID

Like some sort of zombie from a 1950s B-movie, the REAL ID Act shambles forward, awaiting the day when some national emergency can bring it back to life.


April 30

Is College Worth It?

Featuring Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, and Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; and Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center For Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; moderated by Chip Bishop, Director of Student Programs, Cato Institute.

6:00pm Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice

Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice

What is freedom? How is freedom related to justice, law, property, peace, and prosperity? Tom Palmer has spent a lifetime-as a scholar, teacher, journalist, and activist-asking and answering these questions. This expanded paperback edition of the widely acclaimed Realizing Freedom adds even greater depth and dimension to the book, with newly added essays that confirm Palmer’s role as one of liberty’s most articulate advocates. The essays in this volume are drawn from his decades of work on the theory of justice, democracy and limited government, and globalization, among many other topics.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

2014 Milton Friedman Prize

Attend the 2014 Milton Friedman Prize Biennial Dinner

The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize, a cash award of $250,000, will be presented at the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty’s Biennial Dinner on May 21, 2014, in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.