Topic: Cato Publications

David Friedman at Cato

David Friedman, the author of  Hidden OrderLaw’s Order, and Future Imperfect, will speak at the Cato Institute on Tuesday, November 29, at noon. His topic will be “The Market for Law.”

Is there a market for good law? Without the state providing law, could it be offered by multiple, private, and competing agencies? David Friedman, professor of law at Santa Clara University, explored this idea in his classic 1973 book, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism. But in the years since, he’s revised and strengthened some of his theories. In this talk, he will offer these new ideas from the last 30 years of thinking about the market for law.

David Friedman is always interesting and provocative. Register now! And note: because of our ongoing expansion project, this event will be held one block east of Cato at the Undercroft Auditorium, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Read more about David Friedman at Libertarianism.org.

Libertarianism: It Isn’t Just for Books Any More

If you haven’t already visited our new website, Libertarianism.org, you should check it out. And if you have already visited, note that there’s new material going up all the time. One of the most interesting parts of the site for long-time libertarians will be a continuing stream of  never-before-seen videos of talks by F. A. HayekMilton FriedmanMurray RothbardJoan Kennedy Taylor, and more. In his 1983 lecture, Hayek talks about the evolution of morality. In a 1990 talk to the International Society for Individual Liberty, Friedman chides Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises for what he considers dogmatism and an absence of humility. I was at that speech, and I remember it generated a lot of discussion afterward.

But there’s more! Weekly columns on the history of libertarian ideas by George H. Smith. Classic essays from Robert Nozick, Julian Simon, and Milton Friedman – not to mention Herbert Spencer, Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, and Mary Wollstonecraft – on various aspects of liberty. Recommended reading lists on introductory books, libertarian theory, history, and the most incisive critics of libertarianism. And of course I can’t resist recommending my own 20-minute talk, exclusive to Libertarianism.org, “An Introduction to Libertarian Thought,” in our video series Exploring Liberty.

More “Exploring Liberty” videos will be coming soon. Editor Aaron Ross Powell has written an introductory blog post with highlights – but I encourage you to just click over and look around. And over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, we’ll be adding much more to Libertarianism.org, including new videos, books, and essays. If you’d like to stay up to date, we’re on Facebook and Twitter.

The Antidumping Lobby’s Power to Destroy Jobs

President Obama claims to support America’s exporting and so-called “green jobs” industries, but he also likes rules that restrict the importation of critical inputs to those industries. Austin Bragg and I produced a short video detailing how antidumping duties serve to nudge American manufacturers offshore or out of business. The examples we cite are American manufactured products that fall squarely into the category of “green.”

Facebook it. Tweet it. And read more of Dan Ikenson’s heavy lifting on the antidumping issue here, here and here.

Cannabis Policy at Cato Unbound

This month at Cato Unbound, we mark a milestone in U.S. public policy. Last month, for the first time ever, the Gallup polling organization recorded 50% support for legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana to adults. (Medical marijuana has had majority approval for many years now.)

So why now? What’s changed lately to bring so many people around? And where are we going from here?

To discuss these questions, we’ve invited a quartet of marijuana reform activists to a roundtable discussion. Each will present an essay on a different facet of marijuana policy, and our conversation this month will be about political strategy, possible future trends, and the interplay among various sub-issues in the field.

Kicking things off will be Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), writing about the biomedical aspects of cannabis and its prohibition. He will be followed by former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, now with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, who will discuss public education and messaging; and Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, who will discuss upcoming ballot initiatives and legislative developments.

Although each of the four is fairly well in the same camp on this issue, each also brings to the table different experiences, different perspectives, and different areas of expertise. We hope you will find a discussion among them educational and thought-provoking.

As always, Cato Unbound readers are encouraged to take up our themes and enter into the conversation on their own websites and blogs, or at other venues. Trackbacks are enabled. We also welcome your letters and may publish them at our option. Send them to jkuznicki at cato.org

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing the Federal Government, we focused on the following issues this past week:

Follow Downsizing the Federal Government on Twitter (@DownsizeTheFeds) and connect with us on Facebook.

Announcing Libertarianism.org

I’m pleased to announce the immediate launch of Libertarianism.org, a new project from the Cato Institute.

Libertarianism is more than a set of policies about education, health care, defense, and trade. Behind those, providing their foundation, are ideas and history, the writings and actions of great men and women who have argued and fought for liberty. The mission of Libertarianism.org is to express and discuss those ideas directly.

There’s a great deal to explore on the site. You can watch never-before-seen videos of talks by Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard, and Joan Kennedy Taylor, and read the first in a new series of weekly columns from George H. Smith.

I’ve written an introductory blog post with highlights–but I encourage you to just click over and look around.

And over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, we’ll be adding much more to Libertarianism.org, including new videos, books, and essays. If you’d like to stay up to date, we’re on Facebook and Twitter.

So welcome to Libertarianism.org. I hope you’ll stick around for a while, come back often, and join us in exploring the theory and history of liberty.

The Euro Crisis in Prose and Poetry

The European debt crisis is inspiring public radio to literary analysis. Last week NPR’s Planet Money put the French-German relationship into a “threepenny opera”:

All

Everyone is counting on you
You’ve got the money
We’ve got the debt (Oh yes, we’ve got a lot of debt!)
And do we need a bailout—you bet

Germany

Zat’s it, I’ve had enough
Looks like it’s time now for me to leave…

France

Oh?

Germany

Vhy is ze door locked? You must let me out.

France

Dear when the times are tough
It’s better to give zan to receive

Then Monday Marketplace Radio turned to classics professor Emily Allen Hornblower and economist Bill Lastrapes to discuss Greek debt as classical tragedy—Oedipus? The ant and the grasshopper?

Loyal Cato readers will recognize Bill Lastrapes as the coauthor of the much-discussed Cato Working Paper “Has the Fed Been a Failure?

And then, if you prefer prose and sober analysis to literary analogies, let me recommend Holman Jenkins’s perceptive column on why Europe hasn’t solved its crisis yet, which unfortunately appeared in the less-read Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal. (OK, not less read than Cato-at-Liberty, but probably less read than the weekday Journal.)

Neither leader has an incentive to sacrifice what have become vital and divergent interests to produce a credible bailout plan for Europe. To simplify, German voters don’t want to bail out French banks, and the French government can’t afford to bail out French banks, when and if the long-awaited Greek default is allowed to happen….

There is another savior in the wings, of course, the European Central Bank. But the ECB has no incentive to betray in advance its willingness to get France and Germany off the hook by printing money to keep Europe’s heavily indebted governments afloat. Yet all know this is the outcome politicians are stalling for. This is the outcome markets are relying on, and why they haven’t crashed.

All are waiting for some market ruction hairy enough that the central bank will cast aside every political and legal restraint in order to save the euro….

And then the crisis will be over? Not by a long shot.

All these “solvent” countries and their banks will be dependent on the ECB to keep them “solvent,” a reality that can only lead to entrenched inflation across the European economy. That is, unless these governments undertake heroic reforms quickly to restore themselves to the good graces of the global bond market so they can stand up again without the ECB’s visible help.

It’s just conceivable that this might happen—that countries on the ECB life-support might put their nose to the grindstone to make good on their debts, held by ECB and others. Or they might just resume the game of chicken with German taxpayers, albeit in a new form, implicitly demanding that Germany bail out the ECB before the bank is forced thoroughly to debauch the continent’s common currency, the euro.