Cato Events

January/​February 1996 • Policy Report

October 5: Frank Gaffney, executive director of the Center for SecurityPolicy, and Stanley Kober, a Cato research fellow, discussed “Are We Headedfor a New Cold War?” at a Policy Forum. Gaffney said American interestscould be threatened by developments in Russia, China, North Korea, andelsewhere and called for more and wiser military spending. Kober warned thatthe United States should be very cautious about expanding its militaryguarantees against Russia because a policy that is “too forceful” couldbackfire sparking a new cold war and perhaps worse.

October 11: Donald T. Brash, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bankof New Zealand, discussed monetary policy with members of Cato’s policystaff at a Roundtable Luncheon.

October 12: Rep. David McIntosh (R‐​Ind.) and members of his staff discussedlegislative issues with the Cato policy staff at a Congressional RoundtableBreakfast.

October 13: A Capitol Hill Policy Briefing explored the question, “Whitherthe Republican Tax Cuts?” Rep. Phil Crane (R‐​Ill.) said that the Americanpeople suffer under a record aggregate tax rate and are overdue for a cut.Former senator Malcolm Wallop, chairman of the Frontiers of FreedomFoundation, criticized the congressional Republicans for failing to makeclear that cutting the capital gains tax would stimulate economic growth.Jude Wanniski, president of Polyconomics, Inc., agreed, noting that thesource of growth is risk taking, which is punished by a tax on capitalformation.

October 16: Jose Pinera, cochairman of Cato’s Social Security PrivatizationProject, and Michael Tanner, director of the project, explained why we needa private pension program and how to get one at a Social Security Luncheonheld in New York City. Pinera privatized the pension system in Chile asminister of labor.

October 17: A Social Security Luncheon was held in Boston with Pinera,Tanner, Cato president Edward H. Crane, and William Shipman, cochairman ofthe Social Security Privatization Project.

October 18: Nien Cheng, author of Life and Death in Shanghai, discussed herimprisonment by the Chinese communists during the Cultural Revolution andthe future of U.S.-Chinese relations at a Roundtable Luncheon with Catostaff members and guests.

October 18: A Social Security Dinner for members of Congress featuredPinera, Tanner, Crane, and Shipman.

October 19: Legislative aides were briefed on Cato’s Social SecurityPrivatization Project at a Congressional Staff Breakfast. Speakers includedReps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Bill Orton (D‐​Utah); Boston Universityeconomist Laurence Kotlikoff; former Minnesota congressman Tim Penny, Catofellow in fiscal policy studies; Mark Weinberger, a member of the projectadvisory board; and Pinera, Tanner, and Shipman.

October 20: A Social Security Luncheon was held in Chicago with Pinera,Tanner, and Crane.

October 24: A Capitol Hill Briefing entitled “The United Nations after 50Years: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed?” examined the case for U.S. withdrawalfrom the world body. Rep. Joe Scarborough (R‐​Fla.), who is sponsoringappropriate legislation, said Congress should repeal the United NationsParticipation Act. Rep. David Funderburk (R-N.C.) expressed support forScarborough’s bill. Syndicated columnist Stefan Halper emphasized the UN’sbureaucratic corruption but stopped short of advocating withdrawal. Catosenior fellow Doug Bandow accused the UN of overreaching through nationbuilding and civil‐​war management that threaten to draw the United Statesinto armed conflict.

October 27: Members of the parliament of the Czech Republic joined the Catopolicy staff in discussing the transition to the free market at a RoundtableLuncheon.

October 26: A Policy Forum asked, “Can the People Be Trusted with Privacy?The Matter of Computer Encryption.” Philip Zimmermann, author of thepowerful encryption software Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), said the constantthreat of abusive government makes it necessary for people to be able toprotect their computer documents from government snooping. Stewart Baker,former general counsel with the National Security Agency, said that mostpeople don’t need military‐​grade encryption to achieve adequate privacy andthat programs such as PGP will be used by criminals to evade detection.

October 31: Roy C. Chapman, chairman and CEO of Human Capital Resources,Inc., outlined his alternative to traditional student loans to members ofthe Cato Institute policy staff at a Roundtable Luncheon. He plans to makeequity investments in the value added by college education and package suchinvestments as mutual funds that could be an alternative to the federal loanprogram.

November 2: Psychologist and author Nathaniel Branden discussed “ThePhilosophical Foundations of a Free Society” at a Policy Forum. He pointedout that the case for freedom must be based on a defense of self‐​interestand the pursuit of profit, which have done more to improve human life thanexplicit humanitarian efforts. Earlier, at a roundtable discussion with theCato policy staff, he outlined his plans for a book about freedom, morality,and culture.

November 3: At a Book Forum, journalist Robert James Bidinotto, editor ofCriminal Justice? The Legal System vs. Individual Responsibility, deploredthe decline of morality and called for tougher law enforcement and longerprison terms on behalf of the victims of crime. Timothy Lynch, assistantdirector of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, agreed with much ofBidinotto’s thesis but took issue with his call for elimination of theexclusionary rule on illegally seized evidence and the building of moreprisons.

November 20: Visiting scholar Shikha Dalmia presented a paper on the theoryof liberal toleration and attacks on it by conservatives, radicals, andcommunitarians at a Roundtable Luncheon attended by policy staff members andguests.

November 30: A reception and dinner were held for the Board of Directorsat Cato headquarters.

December 1: The Board of Directors held their semiannual meeting.

December 4: Czech Republic prime minister Vaclav Klaus spoke on “The CzechRepublic, Its Transition, and Europe” before an overflow crowd at a PolicyForum, followed by a private luncheon with Cato policy staff and guests.Klaus explained that his formally communist country has successfully passedthrough the transition stage and now faces the difficult economic problemstypical of market‐​oriented countries.