Should Colorado legislators ban spanking in public schools? Absolutely.
First my own experience: I grew up mostly in and around the peach orchards of Western Colorado, where my grandfather was a farmer. But then my stepfather went to flight school and started working his way up the pilot seniority ladder—and that meant moving to some less-desirable places. During my grade school years in the early 1980s, we moved to Muleshoe, middle-of-nowhere Texas.
In my pleasant and comfortable Colorado schools, it never occurred to me that teachers or school staff might beat students. It occurred to me in Muleshoe right away—because teachers and staff beat students with wooden boards on practically a daily basis, sometimes in private but often behind a thin screen where other students could hear. Frankly it was terrifying. Continue reading “Ban Spanking at School”
“U.S. appeals court revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple,” goes the headline of a recent Reuters story. This is just the most recent example of a long line of government acts of persecution of businesses for the “crime” of trading with consenting customers on mutually agreed terms. Continue reading “Abolish Antitrust”
Just how big of a problem is fake news? As one indication, consider that Americans currently are debating the extent to which the Russian government used “classical propaganda, disinformation, [and] fake news” (in addition to outright hacking) in an effort to influence the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election. Glenn Greenwald argues that the Washington Post (among others) exaggerated the scope of such activities. Regardless, the fact that we’re discussing whether news about fake news is fake suggests that fake news is a real problem.
What can we do about fake news? Continue reading “How Partisans Can Help Fight Fake News”
Benjamin Dancer believes “the most important issue we have to tackle as a species” is “the unintended consequences of continued population growth.” And that’s a lesson he taught to his English class at Jefferson County Open School, a public “option” school. (See update at end.) Continue reading ““Let the Human Species Die Out”—Colorado Students React to Environmentalist English Class”
Recently the Washington Post has published numerous stories that worry about “fake news” (see a first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth example out of many articles on the subject). It seems odd, then, that the paper also published the ludicrous claim that Donald Trump is an “Ayn Rand-acolyte” and an “objectivist” who follows Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. In fact, there is zero evidence that Trump understands any aspect of Rand’s ideas and much evidence that in the main he flatly rejects them. Continue reading “Ayn Rand Is the Anti-Trump”
Should state governments be able to force out-of-state retailers to aid in the collection of taxes on goods purchased by state residents? On December 12, the Supreme Court declined to review a circuit court ruling that let stand Colorado’s 2010 “Amazon tax”—so nicknamed because its main goal was to capture revenue from online sales. By implication, other states are now free to pass similar measures. Continue reading “Kill the Amazon Tax”
President-elect Donald Trump is explicitly an “America first” nationalist. Stephen Bannon, one of Trump’s key advisers, calls himself an “economic nationalist.” But what does nationalism mean? Is it compatible with American liberty or inimical to it?
A source of confusion is that “nationalism” can mean very different things. Trump mashes together two essentially conflicting versions of nationalism, making his views and policies hard to sort out. Continue reading “The Trouble with Donald Trump’s Nationalism”
Recently President-Elect Donald Trump intervened in the business of Carrier, an Indiana manufacturer of furnace and air conditioner units, by cajoling the Indiana government to offer the company $7 million in tax breaks to keep hundreds of jobs in the state rather than move that work to Mexico.
Trump’s Carrier deal is cronyist in nature, not capitalist. But what are the ways in which it is cronyist? Here I seek to cut through widespread confusion about this. I begin with a basic review of the key concepts, then discuss two main fallacies pertaining to cronyism. Continue reading “Crony Fallacies and Trump’s Carrier Deal”