Losing Count: The Empty Case for “High-Capacity” Magazine Restrictions

Since the early 1990s, several states have passed restrictions on firearm magazines as a purported public safety measure. To date, the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to hear cases surrounding these “high-capacity” magazine bans. This has led to a fractured and unpredictable state of the law. In a new bulletin, Cato scholar Matthew Larosiere argues that these laws, as well as the “assault weapon” bans they tend to come packaged with, are abridgments of the natural right to self-defense. Moreover, says Larosiere, they fail to provide sufficient benefit to justify their inherent costs.

Trump’s Misguided Trade Policy

The last 13 presidents of the United States — going back to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed into law the watershed Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in 1934 — considered trade to be mutually beneficial for their fostering of economic growth and good relations among nations. President Trump sees the world differently. Cato scholars have written extensively on how Trump’s trade policy is motivated by a toxic blend of ignorance, petulance, and nationalist grievance.

Why Does the Federal Government Issue Damaging Dietary Guidelines?

There is a tradition of politicians involving themselves in science. From William Jennings Bryan’s attack on evolutionary theory in the Scopes Trial, to Al Gore and Donald Trump distorting modern climate science, politicians inevitably politicize science and almost always get it wrong. In a new study, Cato scholar Terence Kealey recounts how dietary advice disseminated by the government during the 1970s coincided with—and probably contributed to—the subsequent epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. “More than 200 years ago Thomas Jefferson warned politicians particularly not to engage with dietary science,” says Kealey, “and we need to reheed his warning.”

Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much For Health Care

Why is the American health care system so dysfunctional and costly? How can it be fixed? Overcharged – Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care, a new Cato Institute book, drills into these issues with exceptional energy and power and is the culmination of years of research by authors Charles Silver and David Hyman. Overcharged lays bare the root causes of why health care is so expensive, out of control, and operates with no apparent accountability, and then shows how subjecting our health care system to the same competitive forces that apply to the rest of the economy will result in lower costs and improved access for all.

Recent Commentary

The Fed’s Recent Defense of Interest on Reserves

Despite their promise to “normalize” monetary policy, Fed officials have been determined to maintain the Fed’s post-crisis “floor” system of monetary control, in which changes to the Fed’s monetary policy stance are mainly achieved by means of adjustments to the rate of interest the Fed pays on banks’ excess reserve balances.

Events

Of Special Note

Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man

Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass rose to become a preeminent American intellectual and activist who, as statesman, author, lecturer, and scholar, helped lead the fight against slavery and racial oppression. Unlike many other leading abolitionists, Douglass embraced the U.S. Constitution, believing it to be an essentially anti-slavery document guaranteeing that individual rights belonged to all Americans, of all races. This biography from Cato scholar Timothy Sandefur takes a fresh look at the life and inspirational legacy of one of America’s most passionate and dedicated thinkers.

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

Home Study Resources

The Cato Institute offers a wealth of online educational audio and video resources, from self-paced guides on the ideas of liberty and the principles of economics, to exclusive, archived lectures by thinkers such as Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek. Browse through some highlights of our collections, for personal study or for use in the classroom.

Cato University: College of History and Philosophy

History is indispensable to understanding and defending liberty under our constitutionally limited, representative government. And at the core of that history are the philosophical beliefs and values on which the American republic was founded. Cato University’s College of History and Philosophy, August 2-4 in San Diego, brings these two powerful subjects together to explore the foundations of liberty and justice, of wealth and poverty, of individual rights and the rule of law.