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From the Archives: June 2020

Excerpts from Reason's vaults

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15 Years Ago

June 2005

"There are fewer than 1 million professional journalists in this country. There are an estimated 8 million bloggers—and potentially 280 million more. Extending a limited profession-based privilege, one otherwise confined to priests, lawyers, and therapists, to the entire population could make the whole nation impervious to court orders. But limiting the privilege puts the government in the dicey position of deciding who is and who isn't a journalist."
Matt Welch
"Who Gets To Play Journalist?"

25 Years Ago

June 1995

"And yet, it's hard to find a 'libertarian' who is satisfied with the name, which only came into common usage in the late 1960s. The list of complaints is a long one—it's clumsy, it's associated with kooky causes, it's obscure, it's clichéd—but it all adds up to the simple fact that libertarian just doesn't cut it. If it's true that 'a good name is better than precious ointment'—and the Book of Ecclesiastes, the only book in the Bible with a #1 hit ('Turn! Turn! Turn!') under its belt, says it is—then we libertarians must admit that we're stuck with the equivalent of Vick's Vapo-Rub: It gets the job done, but it pretty much stinks up the joint."
Nick Gillespie
"Liberating Liberal"

40 Years Ago

June 1980

"The sound business practice involved here is to leverage your equity position through maximum borrowing, which carries an element of risk. Depending upon when you were born, or just how much 'remember the depression' philosophy your parents may have showered upon you, this could cut across your grain of thinking. But to get an economic leg up on inflation, you must become a part of our free-enterprise system. To accomplish this feat, to join the group, you will need to pay for your ticket on the way in. There are only three legitimate ways to acquire these means: earn and accumulate it (the depression-era legacy), inherit it (the lucky way), or borrow it (and that's what we're talking about here)."
Robert Haisman
"Make the IRS Your Partner"

"The Carter crackdown is on us, the consumers—strongly implying, of course, that our hedonism is responsible for inflation. Credit cards—that marvelous convenience of capitalism that enables us to enjoy first and pay later—have, like installment credit since the 1920s, long been the bane of Christian moralists. Now they are to be curbed and made more costly. Foreign oil is to be restricted once again, on the rather odd reasoning that inflation will be combated because the higher price will restrict consumption. On that reasoning, of course, we should hope for ever higher prices, unto the very stratosphere, as a method of 'curbing inflation.' Money market mutual funds, which, like credit cards, have nothing to do with generating inflation but are marvelous ways for ordinary people to try to catch up with inflation and not get wiped out, are also to be cracked down on and made far more costly. It is almost as if [President Jimmy] Carter looked around and discovered two dramatic recent innovations by which the lives of ordinary consumers and investors have been made more tolerable—credit cards and money market mutuals—and determined to punish us grievously for these sins."
Murray Rothbard
"Carter, Pain, and Inflation"

50 Years Ago

June 1970

"It is no wonder that people scream that if the [Food and Drug Administration] were to be abolished we'd all be poisoned: if people were to continue to use so little caution and intelligence in selecting drugs and physicians to advise them, that could very well happen. Any industry needs an incentive for excellence if the thugs are not to take over. The FDA provides an incentive based on fear, via a government-backed gun. If the FDA were abolished, physicians and consumers, by means of testing labs and computerized information systems, could provide an incentive based on reputation. Doctors and patients would at last be free to make their own decisions about what risks to take in using a particular drug, free of government coercion. And one's full ownership of his body would advance another step towards being a legal reality."
Lynn Kinsky
"The Impact of FDA Regulation on Drug Research in America Today"

NEXT: Brickbat: Soiled

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  1. It’s nice to reminisce about when Reason had writers and editors with standards and libertarian leanings.

    It’s far more galling to see what Reason has become.

    1. I strongly disagree.

      I don’t know who this “Murray Rothbard” character is. But I appreciate that Reason’s current writers are primarily dedicated to promoting Charles Koch’s open borders agenda, and secondarily dedicated to social issues like allowing females with beards and testicles to compete in women’s sports.

      1. There is no greater endorsement than to have OBL-Titania McGrath reply to my post.

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    2. I assume there’s just so many articles to be written about how bad the FDA is.

      1. I could happily ingest one every day.

        1. I wish there was a Vox for libertarians: a cadre of young, condescending smart-ass metrosexual nerds trolling progressives with infographics. “Here’s how many people the FDA killed this year”, “Here’s how rich you’d be if you invested a tax cut”. Show people how much government sucks with numbers.

          1. “Here’s what your net worth would be if every dollar you paid into Social Security went into an index fund you owned instead” is the key to get low income people to understand that the government is fucking them more than any greedy capitalist.

      2. This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

  2. [L]ibertarians should try to develop a sympathetic comprehension of what being a homosexual in this society involves, and the sort of legal discrimination a homosexual encounters. For instance, a lesbian can be virtually assured of losing her children if their custody ever gets called into question (as in a divorce case) — her sexual orientation is considered by most courts to be prima facie evidence of her unfitness to be a mother. The marriage laws are obviously discriminatory and thereby deny to homosexual couples legal benefits granted to heterosexual marrieds — lower tax rates, immunity from being forced to testify against a spouse, etc. Probably the most blatantly homophobic institution in our society is the military and security establishment. The armed forces’ refusal to allow homosexuals to join or to stay in the military reaches beyond the issue of whether homosexuals should have a chance to receive the training, pensions, and other benefits their tax dollars are paying for-veteran status and an honorable discharge affect a man’s chances of getting a job, being admitted to a school, receiving preferential insurance rates, etc. (Note that I am not talking about a private business discriminating against homosexuals — libertarians certainly recognize the right to discriminate so long as no force is involved. I am talking about private business using a government certification and the government’s using some nonrelevant criterion in awarding it.) An inability to get a security clearance (even where they don’t present a security risk) can cut a homosexual off from employment in any company holding government contracts and in fact can close whole industries to homosexuals. — Lynn Kinsky, 1975

    1. I should mention that that is an excerpt from this article: https://reason.com/1975/09/01/defending-tolerance-2/

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