Time to Privatize the TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has another failure on its hands. In recent tests, undercover investigators smuggled mock explosives and banned weapons through U.S. airport checkpoints 96 percent of the time. The solution, says Cato scholar Chris Edwards, is to dismantle TSA and move responsibility for screening operations to the nation’s airports. “Over a decade of experience has shown that the nationalization of airport screening under the Bush administration was a mistake. Let’s learn from reforms abroad, and bring in the private sector to boost the quality of our aviation security system.”

The Minimalist Surveillance Reforms of USA Freedom

The Senate on Tuesday passed (and President Obama later signed into law) the USA Freedom Act, which reforms the way U.S. agencies conduct surveillance and gather data. Cato scholar Patrick G. Eddington argues that while the USA Freedom Act is an improvement, it still needs work: “Even the USA Freedom Act would not end the executive branch’s authority to collect metadata; it would (assuming the best case scenario) simply narrow the scope of such metadata collection.”

Alternatives to Central Banking: Toward Free-Market Money

A limited constitutional government calls for a rules-based, free-market monetary system, not the topsy-turvy fiat dollar that now exists under central banking. The new issue of Cato Journal, based on last year’s Cato Monetary Conference, examines the constitutional basis for alternatives to central banking, the role of gold in a market-based monetary system, the obstacles to fundamental reform and how they might be overcome, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, and the bitcoin revolution.

Designer Drugs: A New, Futile Front in the War on Illegal Drugs

Even as officials devote billions of dollars each year to enforcing laws against marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs, the market for synthetic equivalents or variations has soared.  In a new paper, Cato scholar Ted Galen Carpenter argues that the problems associated with suppressing the use of designer drugs underscores the inherent futility of the broader War on Drugs. “Instead of persisting in the failed strategy of drug prohibition,” says Carpenter, “policymakers should examine ways to accommodate legal markets in mind-altering substances while promoting public safety by requiring strict production standards to prevent contamination or mislabeling.”

Recent Commentary

After Another Failure, Time to Privatize TSA

Over a decade of experience has shown that the nationalization of airport screening under the Bush administration was a mistake. Let’s learn from reforms abroad, and bring in the private sector to boost the quality of our aviation security system.

Events

June 4

Magna Carta and the Rule of Law around the World

Featuring Richard Helmholz, Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School; Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute; Tom Palmer, Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Richard Pipes, Professor of History Emeritus, Harvard University; Swaminathan Aiyar, Research Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; Juan Carlos Botero, Executive Director, World Justice Project; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute; and Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

9:00am Hayek Auditorium

June 11

Property Rights on the 10th Anniversary of Kelo v. City of New London

Featuring Ilya Somin, Author, The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain, and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law; Scott Bullock, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice and Plaintiffs’ Counsel, Kelo v. City of New London; Wesley W. Horton, Partner, Horton, Shields & Knox, P.C. and Defendants’ Counsel, Kelo v. City of New London; Dana Berliner, Director of Litigation, Institute for Justice; Jeremy Hopkins, Waldo & Lyle, P.C.; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute.

9:00am Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom

Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses, have given rise to a growing libertarian movement in our country – with a greater focus on individual liberty and less government power. David Boaz’s newly released The Libertarian Mind is a comprehensive guide to the history, philosophy, and growth of the libertarian movement, with incisive analyses of today’s most pressing issues and policies. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.

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.

Cato Book

The Tyranny of Silence

With the tragedies in Denmark and Paris, self-censorship in the face of intimidation and the nature of free speech are at the forefront of public debate. No one knows this debate better than Flemming Rose, the editor of the Danish newspaper that published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005 that set off a global firestorm. In Tyranny of Silence, published by the Cato Institute, Rose offers a deeply personal look at attempts to limit free speech in a multireligious, culturally borderless world.

Get your copy today.

Cato University 2015

Sen. Jeff Flake to Address Cato University 2015

We are delighted to announce that Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) will be a featured speaker at this year’s Cato University. Yet another outstanding reason why we hope you’ll consider joining us this summer! Cato University – our Summer Seminar on Political Economy – is the Cato Institute’s premier, one-of-a-kind educational event. This annual program – held this year at Cato in Washington, DC from July 26-31 – brings together outstanding faculty and participants from across the country and, often, from around the globe – all sharing a commitment to liberty and learning.