20 YEARS AGO—February 1997
"More broadly, the GOP agenda is not entirely consistent. Rep. Christopher Shays (R–Conn.) admitted to reporter Elizabeth Drew that Republicans 'have some conflicting interests, and we want block granting and freedom for local and state governments when it fits our agenda, and we want restrictions when that fits our agenda.'"
John J. Pitney Jr.
"The Many Faces of Newt Gingrich"
"Judging from poll data, there is currently little support for legalization. But as the passage of Props. 200 and 215 forces prohibitionists to justify their policies, and the country's experience with the open medical use of illegal substances gets underway, that debate should prove to be one full of possibilities."
"Although everyone 'knows' that science must be publicly funded, everyone also knows that nearly all the great leaps of classical science—Newtonian physics, relativity, atomic theory, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, genetics, and many others—occurred with no government aid whatever."
"Who Should Pay for Science?"
"The great hallmark of assimilation, American style, is that immigrants are free to retain or discard as much or as little of their homeland cultures as they wish without compromising their assimilation."
Peter D. Salins
"Assimilation, American Style"
25 YEARS AGO—February 1992
"The politics of resentment are abroad in the land—and this time they aren't the monopoly of egalitarian Democrats buying votes with envy. The recession is an obvious reason for the surge of resentment. But it is, despite the pain, too fleeting to explain the whole phenomenon."
"By giving parents, rather than the state, the final word on educational policy, school choice would settle some of the most vexing civil-liberties questions of our time, not through the victory of one ideology or religious outlook over another, but by allowing each family to select a school in harmony with its beliefs."
David E. Bernstein
"Why Johnny Can't Pray"
"Mexico's timidity about setting up a water market is similar to California's reluctance to let farmers sell their water rights to higher—mostly urban and drought-stricken—bidders. In both cases, urban water users will suffer. In Mexico, the poor suffer the most."
"The campaign coverage of 1992 will present a bewildering welter of polls, good and bad. The stories that quote them carry the same caveat that is built into any piece of news—not 'let the reader beware,' but certainly 'let the reader be smart.'"
T. Keating Holland
"Margins of Error"
35 YEARS AGO—February 1982
"Lying perilously close beneath the surface of the discussion is the assumption that if we need the oil badly enough we ought to take it by force. Apart from its immorality, such a doctrine falls of its own economic weight. According to one administration estimate, war in the Persian Gulf would cost a trillion dollars, not to mention the bloodshed and the danger of nuclear war. Such a war would so split the country—and it should—that the home front during the Vietnam War would seem a paradise."
Laurence W. Beilenson and Kevin Lynch
"Should We Spill Blood Over Oil?"
"Orthodox public-finance economists are, in effect, philosophers advising a prince. While they might suggest that he limit his expenditure, they would never advise him to choose taxes designed to limit the revenue he can collect."
45 YEARS AGO—February 1972
"Once again the threatened transit and taxi operations sought help from state and local legislatures and were successful in eliminating the legal gypsy taxicab in most American cities."
"Taxis and Jitneys: The Case for Deregulation"
"What we come to learn in time is that in order to live, we are going to have to live in a world where there are few if any guarantees. Government cannot guarantee you against a wrong being committed: neither can a private agency. The only guarantee you can rely on is the one you make to yourself. You can guarantee to live your life, reasonably, morally, and in a manner which minimizes the likelihood of violence being imposed upon you."
"Justice on Trial"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "From the Archives".