Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


Return to Federalism

As we make sense of this week’s sea change — of the Great Shellacking Democrats took on Tuesday — some caution is in order. In 2006, voters did not choose the Democrats because of what they were or what they promised, but because of what they weren’t: corrupt, clueless Republicans.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Like most Americans, I pride myself on being able to detect irony at seven paces. Skimming through the news, I can certainly detect sarcasm (which is to irony what a cannon is to sidearms), as in this first paragraph from Reason magazine’s online pages: Los Angeles City Council today approved

Six Flags Over California

Though the Democrats who run the failed state of California insist that Governor Jerry Brown is leading them to a new era of prosperity, the results are mixed at best. The state is riddled with public employee pension problems, environmental over-regulation, and high taxes, to list just a few. The

How to Be a Bad-Law Killer

You have a golden opportunity to help kill some of the bad laws infesting San Francisco’s city code. The news is being passed along by the indefatigable champions of liberty and property rights at the Institute for Justice. Wherever local governments have assaulted the right of citizens to use and

Just What We Need

Why is schooling so expensive? Government makes it so. Take the recent example, in California, of “coder boot camps.” These are “schools” where computer coders receive training. We now learn that the Golden State’s education bureaucrats are cracking down on this unlicensed and unregulated form of learning. Unless they comply,

Planners Cover Up Waste

You know that politicians waste money. You guess that they waste a lot of time. But did you know they deliberately waste our time? Transportation scholar Randal O’Toole regales us with the fix that California’s overlords have put themselves in. Merely assuming that dense city living decreases commuting, California’s legislators

What’re They Smokin’?

We live in strange times. The “nanny state” mentality is ramping up into overdrive just as the War on Drugs hits the rock of enlightened public opinion. And nothing shows this to stranger effect than the contrast between the continuing success of the anti-tobacco movement while marijuana liberalization proceeds apace.

A Veto for the People

The war on democracy is ongoing. One of the ironies some folks note is that the biggest opponents of citizens’ direct say in government tend to be sitting Democratic politicians. But Democrats who earnestly support democracy can take heart, for not only can they remind Republicans of recent GOP-led jihads

A Streetcar Named Veblen

Around the country, cities are going ahead with trolley and streetcar projects, as well as light rail. I just returned from Seattle. Capitol Hill was torn apart at huge expense — all to add a streetcar line to cover a stretch where no buses now run. Trains are cool; trolleys

Equally Unequal

Two court cases come to our attention, courtesy of Cato’s Ilya Shapiro. Both involve the favoring of members of one group over another. The Sixth Circuit ruled that a voter-approved amendment to the Michigan state constitution outlawing racial preferences in college admissions would violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.

“Top Two” Goes South

Washington State has a long history of popular antagonism to political parties. For years, the state enforced an open primary, which meant that Republicans could vote in Democratic primaries and Democrats in Republican primaries. This was very popular, because it led to widespread strategic voting. Well, that’s a euphemism. In

Do-Gooders Do Bad

“Democracy should be for everyone,” says Michelle Romero of the Greenlining Institute. That sounds right. She also argues that “California speaks 200 languages, but our initiative petitions speak only one. We can bring millions of voters fully into our democratic process, and it will only cost about a penny per

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