15 Years Ago January 2004
"The money quote from baseball's most nauseating bit of self-mythology, the 1989 Kevin Costner vehicle Field of Dreams, was, 'If you build it, they will come.' Like much of the national pastime's lore, the truth is actually much closer to the opposite: Build a stadium with tax money, and they will eventually leave."
"If You Build It, They Will Leave"
"Napster, iTunes, and the rest change all that. While consumers can download whole albums for about $10 a throw, individual tracks are where all the action is, for obvious reasons. As music industry analyst Mike Goodman told Wired News, 'An album is…two songs you like and seven or eight you don't.…With a single, you're purchasing exactly what you want.' As important, the new services allow listeners to get album tracks that would never be released as singles."
"Welcome Back, Napster"
"During the last decade DARE has been widely criticized as unproven and unsophisticated. In one of the most damning studies, published in 1999, a team of researchers at the University of Kentucky found that 10 years after receiving the anti-drug lessons, former DARE students were no different from non-DARE students in terms of drug use, drug attitudes, or self-esteem. 'This report adds to the accumulating literature on DARE's lack of efficacy in preventing or reducing substance use,' the researchers noted. In a 2003 report, the General Accounting Office reviewed six long-term evaluations of DARE and concluded that there were 'no significant differences in illicit drug use between students who received DARE…and students who did not.' The surgeon general, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Education also have declared DARE ineffective."
"Just Say No Again"
25 Years Ago January 1994
"People who have good intentions but are eager to do something quickly are those most likely to enact policies that destroy rights. Clinton has said he wants to pre-empt federal law to speed health-care regulations into effect without the legally mandated period for public comment and government response. This rush to goodness is surely a sign of benevolent totalitarianism."
Richard D. Mohr
"Clinton's Protection Racket"
"In truth, evangelicals differ on the extent to which the law should reflect Christian values. For example, although they all believe that heterosexual marriage is the only proper context for sex, most would leave such matters to the individual. On the other hand, a minority among the Reconstructionists, themselves a minority within the evangelical movement, believe the state should enforce religious law, including the death penalty for homosexuality and abortion."
William L. Anderson
"Onward, Christian Soldiers?"
35 Years Ago January 1984
"Clearly, the popular support for vouchers in this country has survived and prospered without nurturing by the political establishment. One can only conclude that parents' alienation from the current state monopoly in education is very strong indeed. So while economists propose and teachers unions dispose, the mass of parents out there may well come to consider education vouchers as natural as generations of smalltown Vermonters have found them."
"Who Says Vouchers Wouldn't Work?"
"Normally when a crisis is announced, the single best policy that Washington could (but usually does not) adopt is doing absolutely nothing. What these crises really signify is that some entrenched bureaucracy is eager for a raid on the Treasury. If it gets what it wants, things will surely get no better and will probably get worse. If the worry is why Johnny can't read, the response is to toss federal dollars into education, create a new cabinet-level agency, and watch SAT scores plummet to the level of a utility infielder's batting average. If OPEC connives to raise the price of oil, the government declares an energy crisis, baptizes yet another cabinet post, and produces lines at gas pumps that would gladden the stern heart of an ayatollah."
Loren E. Lomasky
"Buying Out of Social Security"
50 Years Ago January 1969
"Voluntary action is the only logical alternative to the institutionalized chaos from which America now suffers. Problems have intensified in the last dozen years—the solutions may not bring immediate physical results. But that is all the more reason to reject naive government programs."
"Black Capitalism—A Preface"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "From the Archives".