Penn Bullock is a freelance writer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In "Bernanke's Philosopher" (page 20), he traces the tangled threads of the free market economist Milton Friedman's thought through the current financial crisis. "Friedman's theories in their latest application have somewhat betrayed the libertarian ideal," he says. "The free market has to be disentangled from public-private behemoths like Fannie and Freddie, or the Federal Reserve." Bullock, 20, grew up in Taiwan and Hong Kong; he blogs at waste-bin.blogspot.com.
In this issue, reason is pleased to inaugurate two new monthly columns. One is by Ronald Bailey, our longtime science correspondent, who says his goal is to "take complicated science stuff and explain it so that regular people can get it." Bailey, 55, kicks off his column with a defense of climate change "policy nihilism" (page 26), and he plans to tackle issues such as resurgent overpopulation fears in future columns. "Bad theories are never disproved," he says. "They just come back every 10 to 15 years." Before coming to reason 12 years ago, Bailey was a staff writer at Forbes and a television producer for PBS and ABC News. His most recent book is Liberation Biology: The Moral and Scientific Case for the Biotech Revolution (Prometheus).
reason's other new column, written by Senior Editor Radley Balko, will focus on crime and punishment (page 36). "What I find fascinating is the disconnect between what most people think goes on in the criminal justice system and what actually happens," says Balko, 34. "What's legal and what's just are often two very different things." Balko's reporting in this area was cited by dissenting Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in Hudson v. Michigan. He is also credited with bringing national attention to the case of Cory Maye, a Mississippi man who prior to Balko's investigation was on death row for killing a police officer he believed was a home intruder.