Archives: October 2021

Excerpts from Reason's vaults


15 years ago

October 2006

"The regulations are so onerous that principals rarely even try to fire a teacher. Most just put the bad ones in pretend-work jobs, or sucker another school into taking them. (They call that the 'dance of the lemons.') The city payrolls include hundreds of teachers who have been deemed incompetent, violent, or guilty of sexual misconduct. Since the schools are afraid to let them teach, they put them in so-called 'rubber rooms' instead. There they read magazines, play cards, and chat, at a cost to New York taxpayers of $20 million a year."
John Stossel
"How To Fire an Incompetent Teacher"

"Beyond the issues of race and guns, beyond even the question of Cory Maye's guilt or innocence, the death of Ron Jones illustrates the dangers of an increasingly literal war on drugs featuring unnecessarily aggressive, militaristic tactics that regularly lead to tragedies for police officers and civilians alike."
Radley Balko
"The Case of Cory Maye"

25 years ago

October 1996

"Congress did not mean to censor political speech, and the courts have for years attempted to restrain the commission's regulatory reflexes. Rather, the [Federal Election Commission] is a case study in the growth and transformation of oversight power. It begins with the reform of political financing, develops into ever more complex regulation of political activities, and finally matures into attempts to control political speech itself."
Allison Hayward and Steven Hayward
"Gagging on Political Reform"

"Ultimately, the defining political characteristic of the religious right is its concern with moral issues. Economic conservatives can and should work with the religious right to achieve common aims. But libertarians should never fool themselves. There remain profound disagreements between the two groups."
Charles Oliver
"Coalition Politics"

35 years ago

October 1986

"Even some leftists are beginning to notice that rent control hasn't helped poor people. Earlier this year, the Center for Community Change, an Oakland-based organization that provides housing aid to low-income tenants, released a study entitled 'Who Benefits from Rent Control?' It concludes that the principal beneficiaries have been middle-class people who could afford market rents and now spend their money on such luxuries as gourmet food and stereos. And it declares that rent control, notably in Santa Monica and Berkeley, has driven away landlords and cut off new construction. All, it notes, without protecting the 'elderly, poor, or minorities from unreasonable rents.'"
Jeff Riggenbach
"Berkeley's Radical Slumlords"

"Hindsight is not 20/20; it can provide a clear but incomplete, and therefore misleading, picture. The story of U.S. involvement in Vietnam wasn't simply one of black hats and white hats; it wasn't simply a story of a noble cause. And in the telling today, a real tragedy is too often obscured. Fifty-eight thousand American soldiers were killed. Fifty-eight thousand vital young men. Fifty-eight thousand brothers and friends and fathers. Fifty-eight thousand sons. And still no one gives a good reason why."
Greg Todd
"Duty, Honor, Country—but No Draft"

"Man's ignorance and arrogance makes him think that just because he managed to split the atom and travel to the moon, he can easily accomplish 'trivial' tasks like managing the family….We cannot know all of the unknown and possibly unknowable web of social interrelationships that lead to and sustain that spontaneous order known as the family. The evidence available suggests that all government intervention can do for the institution of the family is weaken it."
Walter Williams
"What Went Wrong With the War on Poverty"

45 years ago

October 1976

"The early days of foreign aid were marked by high hopes and what must now seem absurd optimism. In the 1950s, prominent American economists argued that limited aid over a few years would ensure the self-sustaining economic development of the recipients and thus would remove the need for external assistance. But now aid is envisaged as a practically open-ended commitment extending into the indefinite future. Incredible as it may seem, multinational aid even goes to the oil states of the Middle East and North Africa."
P.T. Bauer
"Foreign Aid Hasn't Worked….and It Never Will"

"Newspapers are on the firmest ground when they contend that government regulation of the press would operate tyrannically and incompetently. Censorship is wrong both for philosophical and pragmatic reasons. It is not a device reserved solely for the press, however. Government regulators who decide what can be produced in the economic market, and where, and make aesthetic judgments—as, for example, zoning authorities continually do—carry out essentially the role of a censor. The most persuasive rationale for press freedom, accordingly, applies equally to other sectors of society."
Bernard Siegan
"If the Press Is Free, Why Aren't We?"