Freedom in the 50 States

Which state is the freest? Which state the least free? Which one has the most lightly taxed and regulated economy? Which states protect personal freedoms the best and the worst? How does your state fare? The newly published 2016 edition of Freedom in the 50 States presents a completely revised and updated ranking of the American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms. Authors William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens have gathered data on more than 230 variables to measure freedom now and in the past. Freedom in the 50 States is an essential work for anyone interested in state policy and in advancing a better understanding of a free society.

Systemic Deficiencies in Policing

Following the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man, from injuries suffered in police custody, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a wide-ranging probe into the tactics and policies of the Baltimore Police Department. The final report was recently released and it is a damning indictment. Federal investigators found “systemic deficiencies” in the department’s operations. Unfortunately, similar investigations in cities around the U.S., such as New Orleans, Newark, Oakland, and Cleveland, have found widespread problems. Last year, Cato Institute scholars held a forum titled “Lessons from Baltimore.” Cato also hosted a conference, “Policing in America” where experts offered recommendations for reform.  Some related policy analysis here:

Our Foreign Policy Choices: Rethinking America’s Global Role

America’s current foreign policy of maintaining a global military presence and intervening even when vital U.S. interests are not at stake is expensive, dangerous, and unnecessary. In a new policy guide, Our Foreign Policy Choices: Rethinking America’s Global Role, Cato Institute scholars offer a clear strategic vision and a set of foreign policy options that starkly contrast with the foreign policy platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

After Brexit: Charting a Course for the United Kingdom’s Trade Policy

Last month’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union gives control over trade policy back to British officials, who are now faced with the difficult task of creating new domestic institutions and formulating trade and other international economic policies. Two big questions are: (1) How free-trade oriented will the UK be? And (2) how will the UK approach trade negotiations with countries outside Europe? In a new paper, Cato scholar Simon Lester evaluates the UK’s options, and makes recommendations for how it should proceed.

Recent Commentary


September 2

Immigration Economics

Featuring Alex Nowrasteh, Immigration Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; Giovanni Peri, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Economics, University of California, Davis; Ethan Lewis, Associate Professor, Economics Department, Dartmouth College; Alan de Brauw, Senior Research Fellow in the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division, International Food Policy Research Institute; David Roodman, Senior Advisor, Open Philanthropy; Douglas S. Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University; Jacob Vigdor, Daniel J. Evans Professor of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington; Mark Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute; Margaret Blume-Kohout, Visiting Faculty, Department of Economics, Colgate University; Magnus Lofstrom, Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California; Brink Lindsey, Vice President for Research, Cato Institute; Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; Ryan Murphy, Research Assistant Professor, O’Neil Center, Southern Methodist University; Benjamin Powell, Director, Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University; Gary D. Painter, Professor and Director of Social Policy, USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation; Philip E. Wolgin, Managing Director, Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress.

9:00AM to 5:00PM
Hayek Auditorium

September 7

Monetary Rules for a Post-Crisis World

Featuring John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University and George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institution; David Laidler, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Western Ontario; Mark Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute; Scott Sumner, Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy and Director, Program on Monetary Policy, Mercatus Center and Professor of Economics at Bentley University; David Papell, Joel W. Sailors Endowed Professor of Economics and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Houston; Perry Mehrling, Professor of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University; Kevin Sheedy, Assistant Professor of Economics, London School of Economics; Walker F. Todd, Trustee, American Institute for Economic Research, and former Assistant General Counsel and Economics Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; David Beckworth, Senior Research Fellow, Program on Monetary Policy, Mercatus Center; Peter Ireland, Murray and Monti Professor of Economics, Boston College; Miles Kimball, Professor of Economics and Research Professor of Survey Research, University of Michigan Department of Economics and Survey Research Center; George Selgin, Director, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute; David Glasner, Economist, Federal Trade Commission

9:00AM to 5:00PM
George Mason University, Arlington VA

Of Special Note

What Is Justice?

Political Philosophy: An Introductio

Political Philosophy: An Introduction is the latest in a series of self-paced, online guides from – a project of the Cato Institute. The goal of political philosophy is to determine the standards by which we judge different institutions good or bad, just or unjust. Political Philosophy is a primer on major theories of justice, arguments philosophers have made for and against them, and to how to be more thoughtful and rigorous in our own thinking. Guides – videos and accompanying text – are detailed at – and are also available through online retailers nationwide.

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.

Now Available

The Libertarian Mind Audiobook

The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, is the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of libertarianism, and is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement. This acclaimed book is now available as a fully unabridged audiobook, ready for immediate downloading, on

15th Annual Constitution Day

Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies is pleased to announce its symposium The Supreme Court: Past and Prologue, A Look at the October 2015 and 2016 Terms to celebrate Constitution Day and the publication of the 15th annual Cato Supreme Court Review. This annual event will be held at the Cato Institute on Thursday, September 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event includes four panel sessions from notable experts with multiple perspectives. Hon. Clint Bolick, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Arizona, will present the event’s B. Kenneth Simon Lecture on “State Constitutions: Freedom’s Frontier.”