20 Years Ago
March 1997 "Just as anti-gay conservatives are far more threatened by stable, bourgeois same-sex couples (who want to get married!) than by anonymous bathhouse sex or exhibitionists parading in leather jock straps, nothing would undermine the official line on drugs more than lots of respectable, otherwise law-abiding people admitting that they smoke marijuana without ruining their lives."
"The trick, of course, is that doing nothing in the public policy world allows much more to be done in the real world."
THOMAS W. HAZLETT
"Shakespeare made us see the business company as like a theater company, a troupe of actors, whose interactions generate the plot of the play and the interest that draws the paying audience; he taught us practically how life with others is not necessarily a zero-sum game but an arena where all may profit and competition increases the payoffs for everyone."
"The Merchant of Avon"
30 Years Ago
March 1987 "The criminalization of insider trading defies rational explanation. If using 'inside' information—knowledge not available to the general investing public—is a crime, then who are its victims?"
"In Defense of Traders, Raiders, and Arbs"
"Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is trying hard to take a few percentage points off the lowest (yes, lowest) rate of 29 percent. She's got plenty of incentive: 95 percent of British taxpayers fall into that bracket."
"Lite Taxes: America's Contribution to the World's New Taste"
40 Years Ago
March 1977 "The outgoing Ford administration issued a policy statement on Federal strategy for drug abuse prevention that, for the first time, questioned the use of criminal penalties for marijuana possession."
"Easing Drug Laws"
"It is a regrettable but undeniable fact that economics, more than other scientific disciplines, is liable to recurrent fashions and fads, the periodic reintrusion into professional discussion of popular superstitions which earlier generations of economists had successfully driven back into the circles of cranks and demagogues."
"'Planning' Our Way to Serfdom"
"Any form of revenue sharing is, of course, an outrageous fraud. The Federal government has no source of revenue that doesn't ultimately come out of the hides of the people who live within cities and states."
"In the past 10 years, Rabushka has travelled to more than 25 countries to investigate freeports and plural societies. 'To the extent that multiracial societies have a maximum of economic freedom for individuals, they tend to have racial harmony,' Rabushka says. 'The greater the amount of political controls, the greater the conflict between groups, especially with democracy.…You end up with Northern Irelands and Lebanons.'"
"Spotlight: Alvin Rabushka"
45 Years Ago
March 1972 "An analysis of New York City health officials showed that the maternal death rate declined from 51 per 100,000 live births in the first four months of 1970 to 16 per 100,000 in 1971. The main reason for the decline is that unsanitary illegal abortion had been the largest cause of maternal deaths until the antiabortion law was repealed."
"Abortion Saves Lives"
"When Rothbard states that defense firms must be 'noncoercive against noninvaders,' he is making the implicit assumption that it is known who is an invader and who isn't. This is not always the case, of course; and the system that Rothbard proposes, with its absence of the power of subpoena, can make it extremely difficult to discover and prosecute criminals after the fact."
"Anarchaos: A Critical Look at Rothbard's 'Defense Agencies'"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "From the Archives".