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December 2005

Volume 55, 2005

FEATURES

Why Not Monetary Freedom?

The Best Monetary Policy Would Be No Monetary Policy at All

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by RICHARD EBELING

In all of the commentaries that have appeared since President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Ben S. Bernanke as Alan Greenspan

Bureaucracy Can't Be Run Like a Business

Wal-Mart Shouldn't Take Over FEMA--Wal-Mart Should Replace FEMA

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by SHELDON RICHMAN

Hurricane Katrina Shows that Government Is Too Small?

Bureaucracies Cannot Prevent or Mitigate Damage from Natural Disasters

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by ROBERT P. MURPHY

By now everyone is aware of the almost inconceivable incompetence of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) response to Hurricane Katrina.

Africans Whom Westerners Should Heed

Foreign Aid to Africa Is Harmful

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by LAWRENCE W. REED

At the G8 Summit in Scotland last July, hosted by Britains Tony Blair, European and North American politicians (all of them white) cried crocodile tears for the plight of black Africans. Echoing a gaggle of actors, rock stars, socialist ideologues, Third World dictators, and other learned economic-development experts, they called for another transfer of wealth from developed nations to the undeveloped ones of Africa, which, by most measures, would seem to exclude no country on the continent.

The Mad-Genius Controversy

Our Ideas about Mad Geniuses Are Modern Inventions

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by THOMAS S. SZASZ

Our ideas about genius, madness, and the existence of a close relationship between them are modern inventions. For millennia people explained the world about themespecially creative/ good and destructive/bad behaviorsin spiritual or God terms.

From Kleenex to Zippers: The Unpredictable Results of Entrepreneurs

No Planning Board Could Have Invented These Products

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by BURTON FOLSOM

The 1920s was a decade that taught us many lessons in economicsperhaps foremost among them is that cutting tax rates encouraged entrepreneurs to invest in a variety of revolutionary products, from radios to refrigerators.

Economics for the Citizen, Part III

Relative Prices, Not Absolute Prices, Influence Behavior

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by WALTER E. WILLIAMS

Someone might have made you a gift of The Freeman. Does that mean reading this article is free? The answer is a big fat no.

Mitigating Disaster: Abolish FEMA and Let Gas Prices Rise

Taxpayer-Funded Disaster Relief Is Inefficient and Ineffective

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by DWIGHT R. LEE

The waste, delays, and incompetence that characterize FEMA are the result of a free-rider problem inherent in all federal spending programs.

Repeal Davis-Bacon

Taxpayers Are Hit Twice by Anticompetitive Government Construction Contracts

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by GEORGE C. LEEF

Manuel Ayau: Guatemala’s Liberal Searcher

Guatemala Boasts an Impressive Community of Classical Liberals

DECEMBER 01, 2005 by DONALD BOUDREAUX

Driving to my hotel from the Guatemala City airport on my first trip to Guatemala in January 2000, I commented to my host that I was pleasantly surprised to find no customs agents ransacking people's luggage. In fact, once my fellow fliers and I had our passports stamped by the passport-control officials, the airport was refreshingly clear of the usual swarms of harassing government officials.

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Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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