Reforming U.S. Environmental Policy

Environmental Policy: Benjamin Zycher Responds to His Critics

Environmental protection can be an important government function, in particular because private incentives, as reflected in market prices, often do not capture the full social value of environmental quality, or perhaps more precisely, changes in that quality. In the standard analytic framework, private actors cannot capture the value of environmental …

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The Multiple Levels of the Ford-Kavanaugh Controversy

The Multiple Levels of the Ford-Kavanaugh Controversy

Obviously, this is one of those issues that just sucks the oxygen from all other political issues at the time. While the country is strongly divided, it is worthwhile analyzing the matter to get clearer on what is going on. One aspect of the controversy is that there are multiple …

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How Our Confirmation Wars Resemble the English Civil War

How Our Confirmation Wars Resemble the English Civil War

The English fought a civil war over the issue of sovereignty. Charles I believed it lay essentially with him—by divine right no less. He asserted his right to tax subjects without Parliament’s agreement and to dismiss Parliament, which was in his view just advisory. In contrast, almost all members of …

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Understanding Law with Thomas Aquinas

Understanding Law with Thomas Aquinas

Aquinas’ definition of law is very brief and straight-forward. Most lawyers and even college students will at least have heard tell of it. It reads: “Law is an ordination of reason, by the proper authority, for the common good, and promulgated.” Many things are stated and implied in this brief, …

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Mark Pulliam Sees No Evil

Mark Pulliam Sees No Evil

My new book, Liberal Suppression, argues that section 501(c)(3)’s speech restrictions are prejudiced and unconstitutional. These conclusions run counter to widespread assumptions, and it is therefore understandable that Mark Pulliam and other thoughtful readers find them difficult to stomach. All the same, it is important at least to come to …

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The Murderer Comes Home

The Murderer Comes Home

Edmund Wilson famously skewered the literary merits of detective fiction by asking, “Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd?” Wilson’s short essay surveying the genre did not actually discuss that Agatha Christie character or the 1926 novel that featured his untimely demise. Had the critic done so, a deeper, civilizational point …

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A Coasian Theory of the Family

A Coasian Theory of the Family

In The Market Revolution, historian John Lauritz Larson quips that no farm wife lost her job because she stopped spinning her own thread or yarn and instead bought it on the market. While true enough, it is nonetheless also true that the implicit economic value of a farm wife changed …

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Lame Ducks and Congressional Accountability

Lame Ducks and Congressional Accountability

The ranks of those writing about the state of American governance have swelled recently as more people are alarmed by its dysfunction. Their growing corpus on the subject has facilitated a much-needed debate about how our politics is broken and what reforms are needed to fix it. Still, Congress’s decision …

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Liu Xiaobo’s Fight for Freedom

Liu Xiaobo’s Fight for Freedom

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Law & Liberty on September 17, 2017. It was the Czech writer Milan Kundera who said: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” His fellow writer Liu Xiaobo, who died this summer under police guard while serving …

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