From the Archives: January 2021
Excerpts from Reason's vaults
15 Years Ago
"It's a valuable exercise to follow the tortured life of a T-shirt as it navigates the perversions of international trade. But to see what we are sacrificing by embracing protectionism while preaching free markets, Americans need look no further than their closets."
"Not every book for young readers fits those stereotypes. During the last 12 years, two popular, critically acclaimed authors have written series that combine the familiar themes of rebellion and coming of age with some of the most subversive story lines seen in juvenile fiction. The novels of Lois Lowry, 68, and Margaret Peterson Haddix, 41, are thoroughly skeptical of the idea that the state should be an all-powerful benefactor. They have gained a large and loyal following, striking a receptive chord in a market not normally associated with anti-government themes."
"The Books That Rock the Cradle"
30 Years Ago
"In the future, the Net—the combination of all the computer networks—will be the primary means of information transmission, with print publication merely its adjunct. The Net will replace the press, and users of the Net must enjoy precisely the freedoms enjoyed by the press. If users of the Net have to worry about police surveillance, if censorship is rife, if the state forbids mere discussion of certain topics—then the liberty for which the Founders fought will have been destroyed, not by war or tyranny, but by mere technological change."
"Closing the Net"
"In America's successful black private schools, no single approach seems to work best. Autonomous schools, diverse in program and personnel, meet the varying needs of students and parents….Education-reform efforts that rely on state mandates and higher spending are doomed. Diversity is the key to quality."
"Strength in Diversity"
"Now as then, those who oppose free trade claim they are for 'fair trade.' Many deny being protectionists and claim their calls for 'retaliation' are really meant to further free trade by opening foreign markets."
35 Years Ago
"Whenever I feel a twinge of self-doubt, I call up my fans at OSHA and ask them to appraise me. They tell me I'm worth the sun and the moon. It makes me feel good. It gives me reason to go on living. I walk with my head a little higher. And I'm a little more careful around unglued olives."
"Know Thy Worth"
"Six years ago no one, not even those of us who were hammering out privatization strategies at the Adam Smith Institute, dreamed that the British state could be rolled back as far as it has. Nor would anyone, least of all the putative representatives of the workers, have predicted that the working class would be an important new constituency in this battle to restore capitalism. But it has—and that may be the most revolutionary legacy of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative administration."
"Buying Out of Socialism"
45 Years Ago
"One hears quite frequently that there must be a new attitude toward land use, that we can no longer live with the policies of the past. These words usually preface an argument favoring strong national or state land use regulation….'It will preserve the land for generations yet unborn.' I submit that there is little substance to merit the flowery prose. The proposed controls will accomplish more of what proponents say they want to prevent. Instead of conserving a precious resource, more of it will be misused and wasted."
"The Case Against Land Use Planning"