15 years ago
"For all the crowing over the benefits of altruism, no one has suggested that surgeons are tainted by the market that pays them so well; no one seems upset that biotech companies sell rather than donate their treatments. Patients and doctors cheer as new technologies find their way into the stream of commerce but recoil in revulsion at the thought of paying the donors at the source."
"Who Owns Your Body Parts?"
"Milton Friedman's relentless belief in the power of a free people and the justice of a free society had vivid real-world effects. Thanks to Friedman, we are no longer forced into the armed services. Thanks to Friedman's monetary ideas, the cash in our pockets is worth something close to what it was a year ago. Thanks to Friedman, many more people appreciate the arguments against government policies that are no longer considered as untouchable and unquestionably right as they were before he came along."
"The Life and Times of Milton Friedman"
20 years ago
"Some panics dissolve quickly, leaving no institutional legacy. But others are frozen into law, even if the initial fears that inspired them quickly fade. Even minor panics can leave a legal imprint. The late-'80s frenzy over freeway shootings, in which a small handful of unrelated incidents were mistaken for an emerging trend, faded quickly when the Road Warrior-style bloodbath failed to arrive. Even so, California passed three freeway violence bills, ranging from a mild measure beefing up the highway patrol to a law adding five years to convicted freeway shooters' sentences."
25 years ago
"'If it saves one life, it's worth it' is the mantra of the modern-day regulatory safety maven. That's a powerful phrase, with resonance for anyone who values human life. It has proved an effective totem to keep cost-benefit -analysis of safety regulations at bay."
"Airbags and Gasbags"
"Just as anti-gay conservatives are far more threatened by stable, bourgeois same-sex couples (who want to get married!) than by anonymous bathhouse sex or exhibitionists parading in leather jock straps, nothing would undermine the official line on drugs more than lots of respectable, otherwise law-abiding people admitting that they smoke marijuana without ruining their lives."
30 years ago
"So the answer to the question, How do they do it in Canada?, is that they do not do it. The total cost of health care is controlled by arbitrarily limiting the number of procedures of certain types, by limiting access to technology and diagnostic machinery, and by compensating physicians so that they are discouraged from responding to the demands of their patients. There are measurable consequences of this supply limitation in the form of queues or waiting lists for surgery."
40 years ago
"The notion of a housing shortage as the rationale for imposing rent control is absurd not only because one can expect that underpricing any consumer good is guaranteed to exacerbate its scarcity but because demonstrably in every locale that has invoked this rationale there was no housing shortage before rent control was imposed and there came to be one afterward.…. Anyone who has ever lived in a rent-controlled city knows that many of the beneficiaries of rent control are by no means poor, and, conversely, many of its 'victims' (that is, landlords) are by no means rich."
"Worldwide Woes of Rent Control"