Unconventional monetary policy—characterized by “zero interest rate policy” (ZIRP) and “quantitative easing” (QE), along with macro-prudential regulation—has increased the power of central banks in the United States, Japan, and Europe. In the new issue of Cato Journal, contributors revisit the thinking behind unconventional monetary policy and the “new monetary framework,” make the case for transparent monetary rules versus foggy discretion, and point to the distortions generated by ultra-low interest rates and preferential credit allocation.
When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper’s culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations to freedom of speech in the 21st century. In The Tyranny of Silence, Flemming Rose provides a personal account of an event that has shaped the debate about what it means to be a citizen in a democracy and how to coexist in a world that is increasingly multicultural, multireligious, and multiethnic.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
Identity Crisis: How Identification Is Overused and Misunderstood
Featuring the author Jim Harper,
Director of Information Policy Studies,
Cato Institute; with comments by
Director and Senior Fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Jay Stanley,
Public Education Director, Technology and Liberty Project
American Civil Liberties Union.
Identification is an essential social and economic process, but the advance of identification technologies such as biometrics, identity cards, surveillance, databases, and dossiers threatens privacy, civil liberties, and related human interests. Since September 11, 2001, identification has been advanced as a national security tool, most conspicuously in the REAL ID Act, which calls for states to issue nationally uniform drivers’ licenses and ID cards by May 2008. But state legislators and the American people are chafing at what may be an $11 billion, unfunded surveillance mandate, and legislation to repeal REAL ID has already been introduced. In Identity Crisis Jim Harper argues that identification does not provide the security often assumed, and the overuse of identification harms Americans’ interests in a variety of ways. The solution is to replace the uniform national identity system being advanced by the REAL ID Act with a diverse, competitive identification and credentialing marketplace. Please join us for a lively discussion with distinguished commentators.