The Goalposts of Consent

People routinely justify government on the basis of “consent.” As in: “There’s a social contract, and you’re obliged to follow it.” If you deny consent, they just move the goalposts of consent very close. In fact, they usually give the government an instant touchdown. How […]

‘New Madison Approach’ Should Be Retained to Promote American Innovation

The leading contribution to sound competition policy made by former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Makan Delrahim was his enunciation of the “New Madison Approach” to patent-antitrust enforcement—and, in particular, to the antitrust treatment of standard essential patent licensing (see, for example, here, here, and here). […]

A Reminiscence about George Akerlof

How I persuaded George Akerlof to advocate a Nixon veto of a minimum wage increase. I posted recently about Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s draconian proposal for surveilling bank accounts of high rollers who have an ingo or outgo of more than $10,000 per year. Writing […]

Enright on Caplan on Immigration

Sam Enright has written a good review of Bryan Caplan’s Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration. I like it for two main reasons: (1) he takes Bryan completely seriously and doesn’t take cheap shots, and, related to that, (2) the tone is quite […]

Fred Foldvary, a Joyous Friend

I met Fred in the 1990s, through a shared interest in the voluntary provision of collective goods. In 1996 I joined the faculty at Santa Clara University, and soon thereafter worked with Fred, Henry Demmert, Larry Iannaccone, and Bob Finocchio in a campus institute. Fred […]

What kind of immigrants does the GOP want?

In recent years, I’ve seen many conservatives argue against illegal immigration, warning darkly of our society being polluted by “rapists and murderers”, despite the fact that immigrants have a lower crime rate than native born Americans. They also seem to worry about the fact that […]

Legally Black: Riley on Carter on Affirmative Action

I’m enjoying Jason L. Riley’s book Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell. In a chapter titled “Higher Education, Lower Expectations,” Riley adds to his discussion of Sowell’s critical views on affirmative action by telling of Yale law professor Stephen Carter’s experience with school officials at […]

Fred Hiatt’s Soft Pitch

Answering Fred Hiatt’s challenge. As an electronic subscriber to the Washington Post, I get an email early every morning highlighting various items at the Post. Yesterday morning, Fred Hiatt, editorial page director of the Post, emailed me (and, presumably, tens of thousands of others) to […]

A Hitler Hypothetical

On December 11, 1941 Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States. Almost everyone who has analyzed this decision has been puzzled. Why go out of your way to antagonize the United States when it’s consumed with fury against Japan? The leading reply: At this […]