Featuring A. Trevor Thrall, Associate Professor, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University; and Erik Goepner, Doctoral student in public policy, George Mason University; with comments by Betsy Woodruff, Politics Reporter, The Daily Beast; Emily Ekins, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; and Aaron Schumacher, Director, International, Foreign Policy Group, and Senior Vice President, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
A limited constitutional government calls for a rules-based, freemarket monetary system, not the topsy-turvy fiat dollar that now exists under central banking. This issue of the Cato Journal examines the case for alternatives to central banking and the reforms needed to move toward free-market money.
Americans are finally enjoying an improving economy after years of recession and slow growth. The unemployment rate is dropping, the economy is expanding, and public confidence is rising. Surely our economic crisis is behind us. Or is it? In Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis, Cato scholar Michael D. Tanner examines the growing national debt and its dire implications for our future and explains why a looming financial meltdown may be far worse than anyone expects.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is not just a framework for utopia,” 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.
Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right
Under common law, private property and liberty of contract were long protected by the courts — not entirely, but sufficiently to enable a free society to emerge in America. In the late 19th century, however, and for some 40 years thereafter, that protection intensified, yet it was still not an era of unbridled “laissez faire constitutionalism” that later critics of the era would label it, pointing to the Supreme Court’s famous Lochner decision of 1905. Rather, early 20th-century Progressives were making steady inroads on the liberty of contract in particular. And with the New Deal, that liberty, especially concerning economic affairs, almost disappeared, and continues even today as a “second-class” right. In a penetrating new Cato Institute book, constitutional scholar David Mayer subtly explores the complex history of liberty of contract, exploding current myths and shedding new light on this fundamental right. Please join us for a discussion of this important issue.