15 Years Ago April 2004
"As devotees of free minds and free markets, we spend our nights pining for a major-party politician who not only looks dreamy while reading a Teleprompter but shows some passion for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll."
Nick Gillespie and Tim Cavanaugh
"Building the Perfect Candidate"
"This manic drive toward maximum transparency may seem like overkill in an age where we can watch several hours' worth of candidates' speeches every day on C-SPAN, read hundreds of pages of detailed policy plans, and see a lifetime of voting records sliced up and analyzed every which way. But when citizens become journalists, and journalists become accountable, the biggest losers will eventually be politicians with something to hide."
25 Years Ago April 1994
"As the home television/computer/videophone becomes an ever more important part of people's lives, they may seek opportunities to escape from the confines of their homes. The cinema could be one of their destinations."
"The Last Picture Shows"
"The double standard on laughter has been stretched so wide it now covers the entire hemisphere like a continental prophylactic. Tune into virtually any daytime television show, and one is treated to an unending parade of gleeful male bashing. 'Men are scum' is the least controversial thing one can utter in this carefully monitored era of thought control, and columnists writing 'Stupid Man Tricks' ridicule the brutish gender with aplomb."
Thomas Winslow Hazlett
"That's Not Funny!"
"Both critics outside the Muslim world and liberal activists within it have taken aim at the lack of civil rights, especially for women, in these countries. But they have overlooked that property rights are among the most important of the civil rights that these governments fail to protect. Because we are not disembodied beings, civil rights in the absence of property rights don't get us very far at all."
"The Mother of All Rights"
40 Years Ago April 1979
"Critics from a wide political spectrum have challenged the voting system for a multitude of sins, ranging from slick ad campaigns to the outright stealing of votes. But the paradox of voting shows that, amid all the other problems of collective decision making, the voting process itself permits logical inconsistencies. Schemes such as maximizing social welfare through voting can often lead to irrational, intransitive outcomes, even when all affected persons are given an equal opportunity to vote. If each member of the group is rational and consistent in his individual preference patterns, the collective voting method still has the possibility of irrational and inconsistent results."
"The Paradox of Voting"
"Up till now space has been a realm solely for exploration. One-of-a-kind, virtually hand-made rockets have put a few men and some equipment into orbit for short periods at a cost of up to several thousand dollars per pound. Even with the Apollo/Saturn system the cost was nearly $1,000 a pound, in today's dollars. But the new reusable Space Shuttle to be launched this fall will cut that cost to around $250. A more advanced version, with both stages reusable, will cut the cost to $100–$150 per pound. And more advanced design heavy-lift launchers, now on the drawing boards, could cut the cost to $50—using technology that already exists! With launch costs this low, it will be economically feasible to move from exploration to exploitation of space."
Robert W. Poole Jr.
"There's a New Age Dawning"
50 Years Ago April 1969
"After nearly a year in the field (June 21, 1968 until present), we return to report our amazing adventure. We discovered strange terrain and rare, oddly shaped animals called 'dialectics.' It was a dangerous mission; we nearly lost our guide to an unaccountable persuasive tribal ritual called 'black capitalism' (Reason, March 69), finally convincing him to return with us to the coast. There were several injuries; a young researcher who tripped over a slender vine the natives refer to as 'underprivileged,' and our doctor, who foolishly wounded himself while carelessly playing with his rifle in a local custom called 'gun control.'"
"The Judge and the Jungle"