Archives: March 2024

10 years ago
March 2014

“In December, when the New York City Council voted to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in public places such as bars and restaurants, the ban’s backers conceded there is no evidence that vapor from the battery-powered devices poses a threat to bystanders. But they worried that e-cigarettes would sow confusion because they look too much like the real thing. Councilman James Gennaro, a sponsor of the ban, warned that children might mistake e-cigarettes for the conventional kind, conclude that smoking must be cool again, and proceed directly to a pack-a-day habit that would threaten their health and shorten their lives.”
Jacob Sullum
“Smoked Out”

15 years ago
March 2009

“For conservatives and activists who have linked their lives, reputations and fortunes to the Republican Party, it’s a time of reappraisal, retrenchment, and recrimination. Just six years ago, their team controlled the executive branch, both houses of Congress, and a majority of gubernatorial seats. Since then the party has fallen dizzily, weighed down by an unpopular war, a deadly hurricane, and a deepening recession. Republicans have lost control of the White House and Capitol Hill, and now hold just 22 governorships. What’s particularly galling to true believers is that the candidate who knocked them off their perch, Barack Obama, is a man they labeled the most socialist, culturally liberal, and downright un-American foe they’ve faced since George McGovern.”
Brian Doherty
“Conservatism’s Hollow Defeat”

“Before the financial crisis, total taxpayer exposure via loan programs—the cost if every borrower defaulted—was about $500 billion, taking interest into account. With the additional guarantees now totaling more than half of GDP, taxpayers’ exposure has grown exponentially while their ability to repay the loans has if anything shrank. Such a risk would seem to call for strict oversight of how these loans turn out, both in terms of default rates and social goods. Yet until now the federal government has refused to systematically measure the performance of its 40 existing loan programs. Why? Perhaps because the data show that most of them never deliver any of the promised social and economic value.”
Veronique de Rugy
“Dissatisfaction Guaranteed”

35 years ago
March 1989

“The only beneficiaries of any farm subsidy are domestic farmers. Home consumers lose. Foreign consumers lose. Foreign producers lose. Taxpayers everywhere lose. The environment loses. Debt-ridden Third World countries lose. Pleasing farmers—and satisfying a vague need for ‘food self-sufficiency’—is the only reason for agricultural subsidies. And in the United States there are 2.5 million farmers and $30 billion a year in subsidies; in the [European Community], 12 million farmers and about the same subsidy payout.”
Marty Zupan
“The Farm Barrier”

40 years ago
March 1984

“It is not the United States alone, in an effort to prevent a nuclear confrontation with the Soviets, that has an interest in Israel’s self-defensive capability. Israel itself, of course, has an acute stake in the matter. In the second half of this century Israel has been in more wars than any other country and presently seems heading toward the next one. As is always the case when a liberal democratic country goes to war, the cost to Israel has been high and little has been accomplished by way of preventing future conflicts.”
Sam Cohen
“Wall Against War”

“Using the police power as a rationale, courts frequently sanction regulations imposing enormous financial losses on property owners and abridging their control over their own property. So long as these regulations are clothed in the proper police-power language—if a legislature proclaims that they were enacted to further the ‘public health, safety, morals, or general welfare’—courts will normally see them as ‘reasonable’ and not examine either the motives of the legislators, the necessity for such measures, or the efficacy of the schemes. Zoning boards, planning commissions, city councils, and state legislatures are permitted to run roughshod over landowners’ property rights, provided only that fraud, deception, or transparent favoritism are not conspicuously apparent. The rights to use, develop, enjoy, and transfer property—rights considered of intrinsic and preeminent importance by our Founding Fathers—suffer accordingly.”
Ellen Paul
“Taking Liberty”

The post Archives: March 2024 appeared first on