Research Fellow and Student Programs Director at the Independent Institute

Associations

Fellow, Center for a Stateless Society
Policy Adviser, The Future of Freedom Foundation
Research Fellow, Independent Institute

Writings

Aaron Russo's extremism in defense of liberty, Rational Review, 18 May 2004
Related Topic: Aaron Russo
UpdBush's Secret Surveillance State, 26 Dec 2005
"... the administration gathered much more information through the NSA program ... including a wide range of data to perform 'pattern analysis,' ... — a process that reportedly exposed the entire U.S. telecommunications system, including e-mail, to surveillance — and ... monitored both domestic and international calls."
Don't Privatize Plunder, 22 Sep 2004
"That's three fourths of every typical worker's Monday, spent working for a fraudulent system inherited from Otto von Bismarck. ... Social Security is 'regressive,' in that the poor pay proportionately more, or, at least, more than the super rich, whose payroll taxes are capped at a certain amount. ..."
Related Topic: Social Security Tax
Exploiting the Workers, 14 Apr 2006
"... the coerced payment occurs continuously as every dollar is earned. Ever since World War II, Americans have had their income tax withheld by their employers, so they don't realize all at once how much they're being milked and revolt. Government funding runs more smoothly, especially in larger amounts, when the taxpayer is soaked gradually."
Related Topic: Taxation
Independence Day Propaganda, 4 Jul 2011
Argues that the American Revolution, albeit of a libertarian flavor, had several unsavory shortcomings
"There is a heroic side to the American Revolution, and surely no U.S. war since has been nearly as just in its cause. But the political shenanigans that led to war, the war itself, and its aftermath all deserve more criticism. Sadly enough, those who support the federal government's domestic ambitions and foreign occupations while waving the flag on Independence Day are only as hypocritical as the colonists who tarred and feathered their antiwar countrymen in the name of liberty, the soldiers who invaded Canada in the name of anti-imperialism, the rebels who destroyed privately owned tea in the name of property rights, the Founders who waged a war against tyranny only to create a regime as formidable as King George's ..."
UpdSwift Boat Censorship, 8 Sep 2004
Examines the Bush-Kerry controversy over Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads and Bush's advocacy of campaign finance reform to censor political ads
"True censorship involves force, specifically government force, used to prohibit people from speaking, writing, or publishing, under penalties of law. When people boycott or pressure companies to refrain from publishing or broadcasting, by threatening to withhold patronage or to complain loudly in public, such pressure, even though directed to lessen the impact of another's message, is certainly not censorship — in fact, it is itself an exercise of free speech."
Related Topic: Freedom of Speech
The Drug War's Immorality and Abject Failure, Future of Freedom, Jul 2006
Discusses how drug use differs from criminal, property-rights violations, the justifications for the drug war and the many areas where it has had detrimental effects on society: inner cities, rule of law, foreign relations, etc.
"If the idea is to create a drug-free America, then we can safely say that after hundreds of billions of dollars spent, millions of arrests, and decades of escalating police and military efforts, the war on drugs is a complete failure. ... The attempt to use government force and central planning ... to effectively mold society by preventing people on an individual basis from growing, producing, transferring, and ingesting drugs of their choice, is a ridiculous fantasy and always has been."
The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
Review of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs
"Hawks will sometimes argue that ... a war will give a much-needed boost to production and thus bolster the economic health of the country. Leftist cynics will also sometimes say war benefits the economy ... Such naive reactions to spending due to war ... are perfect examples of what ... Bastiat described as the broken-window fallacy."
The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Jan 2007
Review of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs
"Unfortunately, the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the U.S. garrison economy – its alleged promotion of productivity and the general welfare and its ostensible nature as an essentially capitalistic sector free of the trappings borne by the classic archetypes of socialist central planning – have endured."
Related Topic: Militarism
Two-dimensional libertarianism, Rational Review, 30 Sep 2004
Questions the usefulness of the two-dimensional Nolan Chart and the World's Smallest Political Quiz and advocates instead a one-dimensional liberty vs. power spectrum
"It might be useful to notice that conservatives and liberals tend to advocate certain liberties, which tend to fit in these somewhat distinguishable categories -- but in the end it's arbitrary. What makes libertarians libertarians is that we recognize that all liberties relate to each other. ... the two-dimensional chart ... may just perpetuate the myth that conservatives and liberals have internally consistent positions, and that each group has more in common with libertarians than the two groups have with each other."