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.”

NSA Surveillance: What Happens Next?

Key provisions of the controversial post-9/11 anti-terrorism law (including section 215, which authorizes the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ telephone calling records) are set to expire on June 1.  While the House has addressed the issue by passing the USA Freedom Act, the Senate is still dealing with competing proposals. In a ten-and-a-half-hour-long filibuster over the NSA surveillance programs, Sen. Rand Paul cited analysis by former CIA analyst and current Cato scholar Patrick G. Eddington. “Through his filibuster, Paul has all but assured that 215 will sunset — at least until Congress returns from its Memorial Day recess in early June,” notes Eddington.

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.

Recent Commentary


June 2

Capital Unbound: The Cato Summit on Financial Regulation

Featuring Mark Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute; Joshua Rosner, Graham Fisher & Co. and Co-Author, Reckless Endangerment; Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Kevin Dowd, Professor of Finance & Economics, Durham University and Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Thaya Knight, Associate Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute; Commissioner Michael Piwowar, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; George Selgin, Director, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute.

10:00am Waldorf-Astoria New York, 301 Park Avenue, New York, NY

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; 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

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.

The Beautiful Tree Audiobook

The Beautiful Tree Audiobook Now Available

Upon its release several years ago, The Beautiful Tree was hailed as “a masterpiece.” Author James Tooley braids together personal experience, community action, individual courage, and family devotion to tell the story of the small, parent-funded schools he first came upon in India that could help achieve universal education. Tooley details his travels from the largest shanty town in Africa to the mountains of China, and the children, parents, teachers, and entrepreneurs who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and learning to save themselves.

This best selling and award winning Cato Institute book is now available as an unabridged audiobook for $24.95.