15 YEARS AGO
"Not that religion should be singled out as the source of intolerance: The worst acts of individual or state-sponsored terrorism during the last 100 years were driven by aggressively secular ideologies that promised an earthly paradise. It's more accurate to say that every belief system that lays claim to the One Truth carries within it the seeds of violent intolerance."
25 YEARS AGO
"When presented with packaged food, my 5-year-old niece will carefully examine the label, looking for the symbol that assures her it's OK to eat: a U inside a circle, which certifies that the food has been prepared according to Jewish dietary laws, under the supervision of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. She will not accept a mere K, which represents the manufacturer's unverified statement that the product is kosher. You might think that if a preschooler is capable of making such distinctions, so is the average adult, observant Jew. But some people don't want to take any chances. For decades regulators in 20 states have inspected businesses selling ostensibly kosher food to make sure they follow the laws of kashrut."
"Any appreciation of the overreaching of politics must be accompanied by an understanding of how markets can provide nonpoliticized alternative solutions, even if, in many cases, organizational judgments must be made by pragmatic comparisons between an imperfect politics and an imperfect market."
JAMES M. BUCHANAN
"What Should the President Read?"
"That phrase—'The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without.…'—has become the justification for all sorts of nefarious schemes, from mandatory parental leave to national health insurance."
"In the Babel that is Miami, it is not unusual to walk for blocks at a time without hearing a word of English; the city is home to many immigrants who speak only Spanish or Haitian Creole. But the powerful bus drivers' union has blocked the county from assigning drivers to routes on any basis but seniority, which means buses are often packed with passengers who can't communicate with their driver."
40 YEARS AGO
"Congress recently passed a bill to increase the number of unemployed persons by 1.5 million. It was not, of course, called the Unemployment Act of 1977. No, in the semantic quagmire known as Capitol Hill, it was called 'an increase in the minimum wage, from $2.30 to $2.65/hour, as of Jan. 1, 1978.'"
ROBERT POOLE JR.
"Because libertarianism cuts across the left/right political spectrum, it has views in common with the left and right. While liberals agree with us on certain civil liberties issues, conservatives endorse most of our free-market positions. But how can we bring both sides into full alignment with freedom?…Political cross-dressing means using right-wing words, evidence, and arguments to support civil liberties, and left-wing terms and reasons to support the free market. Because statism is unjust and inefficient, evil and impractical, libertarians can present moral and utilitarian cases against it in all spheres."
"How to Get Converts Left and Right"
"We don't have enough experience with limited governments that strive to protect individual rights, on the one hand, or with the absence of government, on the other. I don't think we have adequate experience to determine which one is best.…I'll settle for either one at this point."
"Reason Interview: Woody Jenkins"
"So if you get satisfaction from working to improve the social or political conditions you live under—great! And if your career is fun and rewarding for you—wonderful. But if not, do a bit less of it and more of something you do like. Love, laugh, read, travel, play games, screw yourself silly, see movies and plays—do as you please, literally. Because the important thing, the one principle that comes closest to being a 'moral imperative,' is to enjoy your life."
PAUL L. GROSS
"Wrong Answers? No. Wrong Questions."
Photo Credit: June Boy Kosher Style Dill Pickles label detail