Archives: October 2022

Excerpts from Reason's vaults


15 years ago

October 2007

"Government and foundations are more likely to fund earlier stages of drug development, where the risk of failure is higher. Companies jump in to sponsor drug research at later stages of development, when success is more likely. Thus it is not surprising that industry-funded research is more likely to reach positive conclusions. If a drug company's trials regularly turned up negative findings, that would signal serious flaws in its drug discovery process."
Ronald Bailey
"Is Industry-Funded Science Killing You?"

20 years ago

October 2002

"Unlike drug use, of course, terrorism is inherently criminal, a kind of aggression that no civilized society can tolerate. But the open-ended nature of the struggle against it means that the war on terrorism, unlike conventional wars, cannot be viewed as a passing emergency. That fact has important implications for the debate about how much liberty we should give up so the government can fight terrorism more effectively. Since there's no way of knowing when the war is over—no territory to occupy, no surrender to accept—any sacrifices we make are likely to be permanent."
Jacob Sullum
"The Forever War"

"America badly needs to clarify its objectives. A war against Al Qaeda and any other organization or government that targets the United States is different from a general crusade against all organizations that use terrorist tactics against some adversary. The latter would be an extraordinarily broad and difficult mission. Yet even that mission would be narrower than a crusade against all terrorist organizations, plus all evil regimes that might possess weapons of mass destruction. A prime requirement of any good security strategy is that its objectives be realistic and attainable. Neither the second mission nor the third meets that test."
Ted Carpenter
"Fixing Foreign Policy"

25 years ago

October 1997

"In the story of nail salon competition, we can see many economic trends, both contemporary and timeless: Immigrants expand markets, rather than just taking existing jobs. Competition pushes prices down and spurs productivity-increasing innovation. It also encourages a backlash from old-timers; veteran nail techs like to insinuate, with minimal evidence, that the discount salons are unsanitary and dangerous, and they have pushed for increased licensing requirements and more-intrusive government oversight."
Virginia Postrel
"The Nail File"

35 years ago

October 1987

"For all [Massachusetts Gov. Michael] Dukakis's talk about helping those ignored by the 'bicoastal recovery,' the nation's blue-collar workers shouldn't look to him to somehow save their jobs. While the Boston and Lowell areas are doing fine, the situation is much grimmer in the cities and towns in the hinterlands, where nondefense manufacturing is still the main source of employment. Last year, while Dukakis was trumpeting the state's economic successes to the National Governor's Conference, General Electric was closing a plant in Pittsfield and laying off 1,000 workers. Another plant recently closed in Lynn, sending 1,800 more manufacturing jobs to the history books."
John A. Barnes
"The Duke Talks Tall"

40 years ago

October 1982

"Why should the world's most affluent and advanced nation, with free, compulsory education for all, have a 'reading problem' in the first place? What, indeed, are the kids doing in school if not learning to read? How is it that our network of state-owned and -operated teachers colleges with strict certification requirements doesn't produce teachers who can teach?"
Samuel Blumenfeld
"The Victims of 'Dick and Jane'"

45 years ago

October 1977

"The contribution of aid to long-term development is at best marginal. It means that some investible funds are available more cheaply than would be the case otherwise. These funds are likely to be less productive than capital supplied commercially since their use cannot be adjusted so readily to market conditions, including complementary factors of production. And when capital is productive, it will usually be generated locally or be readily available from abroad on commercial terms."
Peter T. Bauer
"Foreign Aid Hasn't Worked….and It Never Will"