Cato Events: “Epstein, Mao, and Friedman Discuss Liberty”

January/​February 1999 • Policy Report

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October 1:

At "Papers, Please! National IDs in the Nineties,"

Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) argued that the government has the burden of proving that there is a need for national ID cards. Dan Griswold, associate director of Cato's Center for Trade Policy Studies, argued that national ID cards are unnecessary, won't work, and compromise our basic liberties.

October 5:

The day before the case was argued before the Supreme Court, Del Monte Dunes v. City of Monterey was discussed at a Policy Forum, "Just Whose Property Is It, Anyway?" Del Monte Dunes Corporation's attempt to develop its oceanfront property has been consistently blocked by the city of Monterey, California, since 1981. Gideon Kanner, professor of law emeritus at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and a lawyer for Del Monte Dunes, debated Robert Brauneis, associate professor at the George Washington University School of Law.

October 7:

Although U.S. troops have fought overseas on numerous occasions since World War II, Congress has never been asked to declare war. At a Policy Forum titled "Does Congress Need to Authorize U.S. Military Action Overseas?" Rep. David E. Skaggs (D-Colo.) argued that President Clinton should not act in Kosovo without specific congressional authority. Louis Fisher of the Congressional Research Service said the 1973 War Powers Resolution should be repealed because it gives too much power to the president to act without a congressional declaration of war. Stanley Kober, research fellow in foreign policy studies at Cato, argued that the Founding Fathers clearly were wary of presidents' waging undeclared wars and therefore vested the war power in the legislative branch. Robert F. Turner, associate director of the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia Law School, argued that the Constitution gives the president general control of the nation's foreign affairs and that, as commander in chief of the armed forces, he can send troops into combat without congressional approval.

October 9–12:

A Cato University Seminar on economics, history, and law was held in San Francisco. The speakers were David Friedman, professor of law at Santa Clara University; Randy Barnett, professor of law at Boston University Law School; David Kelley, executive director of the Institute for Objectivist Studies; and David Boaz, executive vice president at the Cato Institute.

October 14:

Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School discussed his book Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good at a Book Forum. Epstein examined the extent to which government can compel involuntary exchanges of property to achieve a public benefit.

October 15:

At a Book Forum for The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice, Christopher H. Foreman Jr. contended that some serious environmental problems do have a disproportionate effect on low-income people and minorities but that the approach of advocates of "environmental justice" diverts attention from more serious health issues.

October 16:

The implications of the European Union's decision to enhance protection of personal data were discussed at a Policy Forum, "What the EU's Privacy Directive Means for the United States." Speakers were Peter Swire, John E. Calfee, and Solveig Singleton.

October 19:

Section 4705 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which ended private payments by Medicare recipients to doctors for Medicare-covered services unless doctors agreed not to participate in the Medicare program for two years, was discussed by Lois Copeland, Marty Corry, and Roger Pilon at a Policy Forum, "Should Senior Citizens Be Able to Contract Privately for Medicare Services?"

October 20:

About two weeks before congressional elections, authors Major Garrett and Tim Penny discussed their book The Biggest Lies in American Politics at a Book Forum. Garrett, of U.S. News & World Report, and Tim Penny, a former member of Congress (D-Minn.) and now a fellow in fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute, discussed four of the biggest lies of American politics: (1) all tax cuts are good for the economy, (2) big money is corrupting the political system, (3) the Republicans believe in smaller government, and (4) the Democrats are the compassionate party.

October 22:

The Cato Institute cohosted with The Economist the 16th Annual Monetary Conference, "Money in the New Millennium: The Global Financial Architecture." Speakers included Lawrence Summers, deputy secretary of the Treasury; William Poole, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Michael Mussa and Hubert Neiss of the International Monetary Fund; Laurence Meyer of the Federal Reserve System; and Randall Kroszner of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago.

October 27:

Cato held a City Seminar in Philadelphia on "Liberty in the New

"Millennium." The speakers were Steve H. Hanke of John Hopkins University and Ted Carpenter, Roger Pilon, and José Piñera of the Cato Institute.

October 29:

Judith Kleinfeld, professor of psychology at the University of Alaska, discussed her study, "The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls," at a Policy Forum. Kleinfeld argued that girls do well in school and that low-income boys are the students we should worry about most.

November 5:

Before 1996 there was a growing consensus that the old regulatory models for telecommunications were falling behind market innovations. Congress responded with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to deregulate the industry. At a Book Forum for the new Cato book Regulators' Revenge: Whatever Happened to Telecommunications Deregulation? Cato's director of information studies Solveig Singleton argued that the act has replaced regulated monopoly with regulated competition. Commissioner Harold Furcht-gott- Roth of the Federal Communications Commission contended that the telecommu-nications industry law has worked well for many industries that were under much more burdensome regulations in the recent past.

November 12:

The Cato Institute held a City Seminar at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The speakers were syndicated columnist Robert Novak and José Piñera, Steve Moore, Roger Pilon, and Patrick Michaels of Cato.

November 16:

What do Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader, "right-wing" nativists, and "left-wing" environmentalists have in common? According to Reason magazine's editor Virginia Postrel, they share a devotion to "stasis." The true enemies of humanity's future are the people who insist on circumventing competition and experiment in favor of their own preconceptions, said Postrel at a Book Forum for The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress. David Frum of the Manhattan Institute argued that Postrel's view would move classical liberalism from a philosophy of procedural rights to one of substantive policy.

November 19:

With the demise of socialism, the welfare state has been left as the primary ideological rival to classical liberalism. Discussing his book A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State at a Book Forum, philosopher David Kelley examined the moral and philosophical foundations of the contemporary welfare state. Kelley argued that the welfare state is based on the faulty moral and philosophical premise that people have a moral right to goods and services (food, shelter, health care, retirement income). Communitarian philosopher William Galston defended the morality of income transfers.

November 19–21:

"Washington, D.C., vs. Silicon Valley" was the theme of the second annual Cato Institute–Forbes ASAP Conference on Technology and Society. Held in San Jose, the conference addressed why some Silicon Valley companies have embraced the antitrust attack on Microsoft. Speakers included Cypress Semiconductor chairman T. J. Rodgers, David Friedman of Santa Clara University, author K. Eric Drexler, Novell chairman Eric Schmidt, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Intuit chairman Scott Cook, and Financial Engines CEO Jeff Maggioncalda.

November 20:

Since the late 1970s, China's economic liberalization and opening to the outside world have increased prosperity and advanced civil society. However, the lack of a true market economy—which depends on the rule of law and private property— means that the future of China's market system is unclear. At a Book Forum to celebrate Cato's release of China in the New Millennium: Market Reforms and Social Development, Mao Yushi of the Unirule Institute of Economics in Beijing contended that China must follow the path of market liberalism. "As long as there is a human society, there must be negotiation between the supplier and the demander; there must be free choice; there must be competition. In order to have a negotiation between supply and demand, we must have ownership—to protect one's property, to protect one's personal security." The book was edited by James A. Dorn, Cato's vice president for academic affairs.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 1999 edition of Cato Policy Report.