As executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Tom G. Palmer spends a lot of time on the road. Technically a resident of Washington, D.C., Palmer says he really lives on “airplanes, mostly.” The high point of his travels may have been the time he was caught at the Czechoslovakian border in 1989 “with a photocopier, 5,000 sheets of paper, [and] 100 photocopies of The Road to Serfdom in Czech.” Palmer, 55, is the author of The Morality of Capitalism (Jameson Books) and Realizing Freedom (Cato Institute). In “Markets vs. Morals?” (page 56), he takes on Harvard philosopher Michael J. Sandel’s critique of markets.

In “The Streetcar Swindle” (page 36), Samuel L. Scheib chronicles American planners’ obsession with streetcars. Scheib, 38, is the editor of Trip Planner Magazine and senior planner for Tallahassee’s StarMetro. A native Floridian, he became fascinated by transportation in college, eventually getting a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Florida State University. Though he studies more elaborate forms of transportation, his favorite method of getting around is walking. The key, he says, is not “being stuck in a car.”

Scott Rasmussen, 56, is the founder and president of Rasmussen Reports polling and the author of a new book, The People’s Money (Threshold). In “Ready to Cut Military Spending” (page 30), Rasmussen argues that Americans are more willing to cut military spending than politicians believe. “The key to reducing government spending,” he says, “is to put decision making in the hands of individual Americans.” Born on Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle, Rasmussen’s résumé includes more than just polling: He co-founded ESPN and worked as a hockey play-by-play announcer for the New England Whalers. But his favorite job was “umbrella boy at the Jersey Shore.”