Letters

Get a Job! 

Breezing through “Get a Job!” (November), I found myself nodding in agreement until I came across the entry by Bruce Bartlett in which he proposes yet another massive dose of Keynesian interference in the free market, via inflationary monetary policy and massive government spending. The first seven free market ideas came from individuals working outside of government, and the Keynesian brain cramp came from a former high-level government bureaucrat. Reality has proven Marx catastrophically wrong on many levels, but his identification of the strong correlation between one’s environment and one’s viewpoint does have some merit. 

The theme of this essay collection was “free market ideas for reducing unemployment,” not a more vague “ideas for reducing unemployment,” or a more descriptive “free and anti-free market ideas for reducing unemployment.” Was this a test to see if your readers are paying attention? By all means, include Bartlett’s anti-free market idea in your magazine, and let the battle of ideas and their consequences commence. But do so in a manner that accurately labels his Keynesian remedy of massive governmental interference, which has been tried, tested, and failed many times over, for what it is. 

Bob Debevec 

Mentor, OH

Your experts all made sensible suggestions to increase jobs and stimulate economic growth. But the collection as a whole seemed a bit timid, especially for reason. How about some red meat? Why not call, as the late Libertarian Party presidential candidate Harry Browne did, for abolishing the personal and corporate income taxes and replacing them with…nothing? This would release a flood of pent-up entrepreneurial activity. The economy would roar to life overnight. 

America did marvelously well without the income tax until it was foisted upon us by a gaggle of schemers and plunderers in 1913. Activists have built strong and growing constituencies in the past for big and bold libertarian reforms like ending the draft and relegalizing marijuana. So why not this? 

James W. Harris 

Court Rydal, GA

Amending the 10th Amendment

A politician who believes in resolving an important issue at the national level by amending the Constitution is practicing federalism (“Amending the 10th Amendment,” November). 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said federalism is violated when Congress or the federal courts invalidate state laws where there is no federal jurisdiction. Does Jacob Sullum believe in prior amendments to the Constitution that provided for voting regardless of race or sex, prohibited poll taxes for federal elections, and set the voting age at 18? The amendment process is a core mechanism supporting our nation’s long-term adherence to federalism.

Michael Frost 

Windsor Heights, IA

reason News

Senior Editor Damon Root won the International Policy Network’s first-ever R.C. Hoiles Prize for Journalism. Root won first place and $10,000 for two reason articles: “The Great Basketball Swindle,” about the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, and “Licensed to Ill,” a look at occupational licensing laws in Florida.    

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