Ten Second News

A Romantic, a Monk, and a Neoliberal Walk Into a Bar…

On Romanticism in Politics Romanticism is wonderful in a work of fiction, art or video game. As a died-in-the-wool modern day romantic, I’ve spent most of my life doing my best to use fantasy novels, role-playing-games, and other modes of escape to travel to other worlds. This world can feel awfully pale and insubstantial at…

Craft Beer and the Human Economy

Tom Philpott observes that not all alcohol regulations need necessarily be a bad thing: It’s true that Carter’s move on behalf of home brewers helped push along the craft-brew revolution, as did the state-by-state unwinding of rules preventing the opening of brew pubs, which largely happened in the 1980s and ’90s. But in both cases,…

Kip’s Law Sighting: Trash Collection Edition

One of my earliest blog-buddies, Kip Esquire, used to have a running feature called “Kip’s Law Sighting.”  Kip’s Law is simply described as: “Every advocate of central planning always — always — envisions himself as the central planner.” I always found this to be a pretty succinct description of the big problem with nanny-statism and…

Walmart is not the culprit, it is the symptom

Whatever else one thinks of how we live these days, it’s hard to not see it as temporary, historically anomalous, a peculiar blip in human experience. I’ve spent my whole life riding around in cars, never questioning whether the makings of tomorrow’s supper would be there waiting on the supermarket shelves, never doubting when I…

A brief defense of Walmart

In my ‘wealth and moral character’ post, the discussion quickly turned to the Walmart debate, and whether Walmart was bad or good for local economies, communities, etc.  Let me first say that I understand the impulse to blame Walmart for many perceived ills in local communities.  Walmart is not an attractive place.  I am instinctively…

conservatives as self-parodies

This interview with Andy Schlafly [below] of conservapedia.com is hard to watch.  It’s almost embarrassing.  I think Colbert is at his best for most of the exchange, and the zinger about creating his own reality is marvelous.  Schlafly really is the ultimate self-parodic conservative, and I’m not just saying that because he has one of the…

I Give Up

If there was ever even the faintest glimmer of hope for Wyden-Bennett or any other kind of meaningful health care reform proposal amenable to conservative and libertarian sensibilities, the Club For Growth just killed it.  Honestly, I find this nothing short of sickening.  It is now clear that supposedly free market leadership types really don’t…

It’s About Structure, Not Volume

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has a good piece up that explores some of the same ground I explored in my self-critique of libertarianism, although he unfortunately does so without the assistance of Monty Python.  Gobry’s central point is one that bears re-emphasizing, though: “one thing that often bothers me about US defenders of free markets is how…

the unintended consequences of economic populism

“POPULIST, n. A fossil patriot of the early agricultural period, found in the old red soapstone underlying Kansas; characterized by an uncommon spread of ear, which some naturalists contend gave him the power of flight, though Professors Morse and Whitney, pursuing independent lines of thought, have ingeniously pointed out that had he possessed it he…