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Liberalism is Bringing About the State of Nature it Sought to Escape

Liberal theory starts by imagining a state of nature: a world that never existed, could never have existed, and leads liberals to a wholly unreal view of human nature.

Social Media Requires Utility Style Regulation

I’ve raised the issue of social media regulation before. This is an issue that won’t be going away anytime soon in the wake of Google’s decision to ban two websites Read more…

Dignity Inequality

A great deal of ink has been spilt over the issue of income inequality. This is not an undue concern. As Alexis de Tocqueville observed nearly two hundred years ago, the democratic spirit aspires to an equality of condition. But income should not be our only concern. A healthy society should also encourage an equality of dignity that transcends the merely financial.

Unexplored Pathways

A Response to David P. Goldman

A Better Model for Worker Training

A Response to Samuel Hammond

Change Market Structure, Not the Tax Code

A Response to Rob Atkinson

Echoing the Imperative

A Response to David P. Goldman

Diplomatic Considerations for LCRs

A Response to Michael Lind

Lessons from China

A Response to Michael Lind

Reshoring with the Government We Have

A Response to Ganesh Sitaraman

The Limits of Regulatory Capture

A Response to Ganesh Sitaraman

Doubling Down on R&D

A Response to Willy Shih

A Note on High-Tech Infrastructure

A Response to Willy Shih and Terrence Keeley

U.S. Supreme Court Building
Taking Back America From the Libertarians

Washington Post columnist George Will has added his voice to that of Brad Thompson in decrying the rise of an un-American conservative authoritarianism, represented, among others, by such thinkers as Adrian Vermeule, Sohrab Ahmari, and yours truly.

If Only Private Funds Still Enabled American Power

Grant Kettering’s critique of Coin-Flip Capitalism defends private finance as “a major competitive advantage and source of comprehensive national power.”

What are America’s Pensioners Getting from Private Equity?

Imagine a schoolteacher in a mid-sized American city. She earns approximately $60,000 per year and each month contributes somewhere between 6 and 12 percent of her wages to the state’s public employee pension plan. Given her salary and associated living expenses, a robust personal savings plan seems out of the question. For the teacher – and the firefighter, the police officer, and many other public employees – pension benefits are the only hope for financial security in retirement.

Balanced Trade, Robust Industry, and Rising Productivity: Pick All Three

Professor Dan Drezner is again illustrating how we ended up with a misbegotten consensus on globalization built upon inadequate assumptions and shallow analysis. A couple of weeks ago, we encountered him badly mischaracterizing a study about the supposed value of trade liberalization. Breezing past that issue, he is back now with a more outlandish claim, that: “a world in which ‘trade were balanced, domestic industry robust, and productivity rising’ is a world that not only does not exist, but very likely cannot exist” (emphasis in original).

Chaos in the Time of Covid

In physics, to reveal deeper truths, you slam particles together to expose their inner structure. The pandemic has been like that, slamming different parts of the country together, revealing it to be deeply divided by geography, race, education, and wealth. It is hard to imagine it once fit together or will ever fit together again.

A Tale of Two Media

Faced over the past few years with a deepening sense of dread around the increasing irrelevance of academic political theory, I shifted much of my perspective on the accelerating unraveling of the modern order to media theory–specifically, media theory rooted in the work of Marshall McLuhan and his son Eric. While political theory as an endeavor is far from dead, the profound disconnect between the conceptual frameworks dominating the discipline and the reshaping of our inner and outer realities by digital technology has made it difficult to push the political debate around “tech” today in the direction the McLuhans draw us.

How Should We Regulate the Social Media Companies? Hint: More Competition Might not be the Answer

Donald Trump threatened to close Twitter down a day after the social media giant marked his tweets with a fact-check warning label for the first time. The president followed this threat up with an executive order that would encourage federal regulators to allow tech companies to be held liable for the comments, videos, and other content posted by users on their platforms. As is often the case with this president, his impetuous actions were more than a touch self-serving and legally dubious absent a congressionally legislated regulatory framework.

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