,

Victory in Iraq?

There is no peace treaty, no humbled enemy, no national glory and certainly no newfound freedom. The “liberation” of Iraq leaves a widely hated puppet dictator in charge with a mandate “to see that process of strengthened central authority continue,” in the words of a U.S. cable revealed by WikiLeaks. Still, the U.S. has declared …

,

The Twelve-Year Sentence

You look at the parade of mindless dopes and dopers that make up the Occupy protesters and think: What is wrong with these people? They are mostly kids. They don’t have jobs. Most don’t even look employable. Those who are employable can’t find work at a wage they are willing to accept. Instead, they meander …

,

Does the Market Preserve or Wreck Tradition?

The fliers from the local grocery arrive by the day. “Buy your complete holiday meal for $40!” To me, this is just thrilling. You get a golden brown baked turkey, rolls, salad, stuffing, cranberries, and the rest of the works, straight off a Norman Rockwell painting, all for a low and memorably even price, and …

,

I’ve Tried But Failed to Become a Wine Snob

Yes, I’ve been the wine-tasting parties with the index cards to fill out sip by sip. I’ve compared the 1984 with the 1986 variety of French wine and commented on their subtle differences. I’ve swished and swirled and learned how to affect a face of revelation just from the mere passing scent of a light …

,

Is OWS Really Radical?

The Occupy protesters imagine that they stand in a great tradition of American radicalism, willing to stand up to the man and risk arrest in order to achieve their goals. The most obvious case of such a mass movement would be the anti-war protests of the 1960s. They started small and grew and grew until …

,

A Hymn to Taco Bell

We’ve all visited Taco Bell a thousand times – 2 billion of us at least once every year – but now I’ve taken the time to examine why it is we love this place so much. Let’s just start with the obvious thing: the food. It is, of course, wonderful and full of varied textures: …

,

Leaping toward the Keynesian Dream

The Fed’s latest inflationary scheme sounds like a technocratic innovation. It lowered the costs of currency swaps between central banks of the world, with the idea that the Fed would do for the globe what Europe, England and China are too shy to do, which is run the printing presses 24/7 to bail out failing …

,

Unemployment Solutions: Weird and Scary

There was a brief moment of joy at the news that retailers hired 206,000 new people in November. But only one day later, the other shoe dropped: Jobless claims are, again, past the 400,000 mark — meaning that the unemployment problem is, overall, getting worse, not better. The broadest measure of unemployment exceeds 17%. It …

,

Taxes Can Kill the Web Marketplace

Let’s say you are a farmer and most of your animals are dead from disease. But there are a handful of chickens still making it, and a couple of cows too. So you decided to kill them too. Now, why would you do that? I want to ask the same question of those who are …

,

The Blessing of Falling Prices

The DVD player crashed last night. The disc wouldn’t load. Clearly, the player had gone the way of all flesh. With great reluctance, it was off to Wal-Mart to replace this appliance for the first time in perhaps 10 years. While I was there, I figured I would get a case for my iPhone. Much …

,

Spooner the Entrepreneur

Do you know the amazing story of Lysander Spooner? He lived from 1808 to 1887. His first great battle was taking on the post office monopoly. In the 1840s, he was like most people at the time: fed up with the high prices and bad service. But as an intellectual and entrepreneur, he decided to do something about it. He started the American Letter Mail Company, and his letter business gave the government some serious competition.

,

The Equality Obsession

The word “equality” is being rammed down our throats every day, with special focus on the so-called “income gap.” The presumption is that we should all denounce the gap, work to eliminate it and embrace perfect equality as an ideal. It’s true that inequality is growing, but the focus on that alone is sheer folly. …

,

What is America Anyway?

There are occasions in American life – and they come too often these days – when you want to scream: “what the heck has happened to this country?!” Everyone encounters events that strike a particular nerve, some egregious violations of the norms for a free country that cut very deeply and personally. We wonder: do …

,

Unemployment Solutions: Both Weird and Scary

There was a brief moment of joy at the news that retailers hired 206,000 new people in November. But only one day later, the other shoe dropped: Jobless claims are, again, past the 400,000 mark — meaning that the unemployment problem is, overall, getting worse, not better. The broadest measure of unemployment exceeds 17%. It …

,

Spooner the Prophet

How much more ridiculous can the US Postal Service get? This you will not believe. It has embarked on a public relations campaign to get people to stop sending so much email and start licking more stamps. This is how it is dealing with its $10 billion loss last year. Meanwhile, rather than offering better …

,

Deleverage the World

Capitalism is supposed to be a system of profit and loss, but in recent years, central bankers and central planners seem to have forgotten the part about losses. The push and pull every lever on the control board to try to make losses for the big players go away, which can be a bit like …

,

What the Heck Happened to America?

There are occasions in American life – and they come too often these days – when you want to scream: “what the heck has happened to this country?!” Everyone encounters events that strike a particular nerve, some egregious violations of the norms for a free country that cut very deeply and personally. We wonder: do …

,

How We Adore Taco Bell

We’ve all visited Taco Bell a thousand times – 2 billion of us at least once every year – but now I’ve taken the time to examine why it is we love this place so much. Let’s just start with the obvious thing: the food. It is, of course, wonderful and full of varied textures: …