From the Archives: November 2020

Excerpts from Reason's vaults


20 Years Ago

November 2000

"You can see…why black reparations activists might get the idea that such political settlements, no matter how secure and final they looked at the time, are subject to perpetual reconsideration: They've been watching the stunningly successful campaign over World War II–era reparations. After the end of that war, American policy makers concluded treaties with the former Axis powers intended to resolve with finality questions of who owed what and to cut off the prospect of debilitating litigation. For about 50 years they thought they'd succeeded, until American lawyer-activists suddenly appeared on the front pages demanding separate, added reparations."
Walter Olson
"Stale Claims"

25 Years Ago

November 1995

"From the beginning, stories about 'assault weapons' blurred the distinction between semi-automatics and machine guns. Machine guns are automatics: They fire as long as the trigger is held back. The possession of such firearms has been strictly regulated by the federal government since 1934…and no new automatics have legally entered civilian circulation in the United States since 1986. But semi-automatics, regardless of how much some of them may look like machine guns, fire one shot per trigger pull. Civilians have commonly used them for recreation and self-defense since the turn of the century."
William Tonso
"Shooting Blind"

"Social workers across the country have a longheld practice of preventing the adoption of minority children by different-race parents, calling interracial adoption 'cultural genocide.' Since the infants and children involved don't have lobbyists, their voices go unheard as they get shuffled from foster home to foster home."
Nina Shokraii
"Adopting Racism"

35 Years Ago

November 1985

"The East River tunnel is supposed, one day, to improve train service between Queens and midtown Manhattan, but as construction has dribbled on, there has been controversy about which line to connect it to on the east side. The under-river tunnel itself—already 14 years in the making—is due to be finished within the next two years. And the rail connection at the east end is going to be a whole lot slower….A mere 520-foot length of subway, this connecting line is going to take eight years to build, according to an MTA spokesman. That works out to 65 feet a year!"
Peter Samuel
"Snail Beats Subway"

"In its view of 'social responsibility,' much of American business and the American public still follow [Andrew] Carnegie. They accept as he did that wealth and economic power entail responsibility for the community. They may not share his vision of the rich man as social reformer, but they accept, at least in theory, Carnegie's assertion that doing well commits one to doing good. Carnegie's innovation has become a uniquely American institution: the foundation, with one after the other of the super-rich, from Rockefeller to Ford, following Carnegie's example."
Peter Drucker
"Doing Good Makes Cents"

45 Years Ago

November 1975

"Since the end of the Second World War, Britain has become almost completely socialized. All of the great socialist ideals have been legislated into existence in Britain: subsidized medical care, subsidized housing, food, redistribution of income, social planning. The failure of each and every one of these plans combined with towering balance of payments deficits have left the country on the verge of social disintegration and economic collapse."
A. Keerma
"The Socialization of Canada"

"As owner of my home, my 'property rights' include (among other things) the privilege of entering it whenever I please, the right that others not enter without my permission, the immunity against unilateral revocation of these rights or privileges by any private individual, and the power to transfer my rights and privileges of ownership to another through sale."
Edwin Dolan
"The Limits of Liberty"