From the Archives


20 YEARS AGO—January 1997
"In a representative government, who watches the watchers is neither a rhetorical question nor an easy riddle to solve. Although outside groups can exercise some oversight, the unsettling truth is that, to a considerable degree, the watchers must be able to watch themselves."
Nick Gillespie
"Out of Sight, Out of Hand?"

"Americans have always had mixed feelings about psychoactive substances. To deal with our ambivalence, we tend to divide drugs into neat categories: good and bad, legal and illegal, therapeutic and recreational. We are not comfortable with drugs that straddle categories, as the opioids do."
Jacob Sullum
"No Relief in Sight"

30 YEARS AGO—January 1987
"Until the satellite dish came along, communications technologies had always spread from population centers outward. But the dish revolution has advanced, like some Third World guerrilla army, from the country to the cities. And now it promises a change in the landscape of communications all across the United States. For, although the various players in the industry don't fully realize it yet, satellite TV could erode, perhaps even wipe out, the monopolistic foundations on which the cable-TV industry was built."
Milton Mueller
"Dishing Out Competition"

"In South Africa, a state that intrudes on every aspect of blacks' economic lives, it is impossible to separate economic and political reforms. For it is not capitalism but socialism that has forged the chains which shackle South Africa's blacks. The way to break the chains is not by passing more laws but by repealing forthwith those that discriminate against blacks. Our platform, with its protection of property rights and guarantees of equal treatment of all races, would accomplish this goal."
Frances Kendall
"South Africa's Only Hope?"

35 YEARS AGO—January 1982
"The geopolitical rationale of those urging a new draft is that it would send a signal to friend and foe alike that the United States is 'serious' about a strong defense. But what kind of message are we sending if we must resort to coercion to get people to defend us?"
Robert Poole Jr.
"A Draft Is No Solution"

"Books on the economy are like opening lines in a singles' bar: The trick is to devise some crafty, innovative vehicle to steer you to the destination whereto the whole world knows you're headed."
Thomas W. Hazlett
"Paper Tiger"

"Prior to deregulation in the United States, the most frequently voiced fear was that under competition service to small communities would decline. Experience has proved precisely the opposite…It turns out that the small communities had been the most ill-served by bureaucratic planning of routes and absence of competition."
Peter Samuel
"Spreading Wings Across America"

"The federal budget is like an 18-wheel truck with a feather-touch accelerator and no brake. Those at the wheel have very limited choices. They can swerve to one side to avoid hitting one group, but then they flatten another. They have no real power to stop the thing."
Jim Davidson
"Breaking the Budget"

40 YEARS AGO—January 1977
"In the United States, tobacco dealers, restaurant cashiers, druggists, and hotel clerks will hand out billions of matchbooks this year to millions of Americans. And in spite of the fact that nine out of ten are given away free, these little booklets make money for practically everyone who touches them."
Irwin Ross
"The Salesman in Your Pocket"

"If education is truly valued, why do we allow the state to become involved?"
Manuel S. Klausner
"Get Big Brother Out of the Schools"

"If I am offended by a phonograph record, I may complain to the producer or to the store in which it is sold, or I may refuse to purchase it. I have no right to prevent anyone else from buying it. In contrast, if I am offended by a television broadcast, for whatever reason, I may write to the FCC to complain. This complaint will be taken seriously. If there are a sufficient number of protests, the [Federal Communications Commission] may refuse to renew the station's license. Thus, a vocal minority has the de facto right to block the creation of television shows of which they disapprove."
David Levy
"Videodisks: Communications Revolution"