Archives: January 2022

Excerpts from Reason's vaults


15 years ago

January 2007

"NewSpacers have passed out of their whiny adolescent phase and into industrious young adulthood. Their aspirations are appropriately modest—mostly suborbital, just a quick trip to the edge of the atmosphere. They're setting aside deep space exploration and the moon for now (though they talk a big game about what's next), opting instead for reasonable, practical, short-term goals: quick hops for tourists and other near-to-Earth fun."
Katherine Mangu-Ward
"Space Travel for Fun and Profit"

20 years ago

January 2002

"Why…is [the World Health Organization] concerned with seatbelts and smoking when the world's poor are still dying of measles and tuberculosis? Public choice analysis—which presumes that government agencies, like their private-sector counterparts, seek to grow their market share—suggests an answer: Since the WHO's funding is mostly from First World governments, making them its relevant 'customer base,' it caters to First World concerns."
Brian Doherty
"WHO Cares?"

25 years ago

January 1997

"From merit pay to charter schools to measures that would relax teaching certification requirements, the [National Education Association's] recalcitrance has earned it the title bestowed by Forbes in 1993: the National Extortion Association."
Rick Henderson
"Schools of Thought"

"The good-government types are right when they say the problem is power. But the power they worry about is the wrong kind. The clout wielded by well-connected individuals, businesses, and advocacy groups is less troublesome than the coercive might of government. When the actions of legislators, agencies, and bureaucrats can bankrupt you, enrich you, or send you to prison, campaign contributions seem like a logical form of protection money."
Rick Henderson
"Lippo Suction"

40 years ago

January 1982

"The geopolitical rationale of those urging a new draft is that it would send a signal to friend and foe alike that the United States is 'serious' about a strong defense. But what kind of message are we sending if we must resort to coercion to get people to defend us?"
Robert W. Poole Jr.
"The Draft Is No Solution"

50 years ago

January 1972

"In truth, the principal fact about Soviet Russia which stands out for any observer who looks even a little behind the appearances is the omnipresence, and the omnipotence, of government. The State is the sole owner of land (except the private garden plots); no one may buy land, one can only rent it from the State. The State is the sole owner of houses: in fact, no houses for individual families have been built in Russia for years; there are only apartments, in the badly constructed apartment buildings already described. And if a family (not an individual—individuals must live with their parents) wants to live in one, they put their names on a waiting list until an apartment is assigned them by the government. No one may hire anyone else for a job: the State is the sole employer."
John Hospers
"A Political Travelogue"

"Most economists dislike mergers, particularly large ones, since they hold the market structure approach to 'measuring' competition. They mistakenly assume that the number of firms in a 'market,' or the relative size of the firms, is the crucial determinant of competitive behavior. Since mergers reduce numbers and increase relative size (concentration), some economists argue that they automatically reduce competition."
D.T. Armentano
"Capitalism and the Antitrust Laws"