31 August 2010

A Libertarian Conundrum?

Adam Smith argued that showing "too little spirit" can sometimes be a vice, because sometimes a situation can call for rising to confront a challenge--even when the challenge confronted is merely a verbal one. I think this suggests that there is such a thing as a "justified punch in the nose." If I'm right, it might present a limited counter-example to the first principle of libertarianism, which is an injunction against initiating violence.

26 August 2010

Robots, Bureaucrats, and New Jersey's Race to the Top

New Jersey was just denied in its bid to receive funding from the federal government's "Race to the Top" initiative. The reason New Jersey was denied provides an object lesson in the way centralized, that is to say bureaucratic, decisions are made.

19 August 2010

Happy Government Freedom Day!

Today is the day that the average American worker finally begins working for himself and his family, the previous 231 days having gone to pay off federal, state, and local tax and regulatory burdens. This is the latest in the year that this date has ever fallen, more than a month later than just two years ago.

This state of affairs prompts several questions.

17 August 2010

Rating Educational Institutions

It is the time of year again when high schoolers will be choosing their colleges and universities--which means it's also the time of year for ratings to come out. Here are two ratings that are worth a look.