Archives: February 2023

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Excerpts from Reason‘s vaults

Reason Staff |

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(Photo: G. Tompkinson/ Photo Researchers Inc./February 2003 issue of Reason)

15 years ago

February 2008

“There’s zero chance that Ron Paul will be the Republican nominee for president. And I must say that a number of his stances—his dogged support of ‘sound money’ and a border wall, to name a couple—perplex me from a specifically libertarian, ‘Free Minds and Free Markets’ perspective. But here’s hoping that many of the positions he’s taking—such as his principled opposition to an interventionist foreign policy, the PATRIOT Act, and the federal government’s drug war—have a major influence on how Campaign 2008 unfolds.”

Nick Gillespie

“A Better Choice”

20 years ago

February 2003

“Like any technology, neurological enhancements can be abused, especially if they’re doled out—or imposed—by an unchecked authority. But [Francis] Fukuyama and other critics have not made a strong case for why individuals, in consultation with their doctors, should not be allowed to take advantage of new neuroscientific breakthroughs to enhance the functioning of their brains. And it is those individuals that the critics will have to convince if they seriously expect to restrict this research.”

Ronald Bailey

“The Battle for Your Brain”

25 years ago

February 1998

“Political corruption follows political power. Dairy interests would be a lot less civic-minded if lucrative payoffs weren’t in the offing, because in the long run federal controls and subsidies are bad for the milk market. Government’s market manipulations can’t hold back the technological and systemic changes that make jobs we get really good at, such as farming, rapidly dwindle. Government-backed regional cartels, for example, are senseless in an era of efficient storage and transportation that could easily allow one productive dairy region to supply the whole nation.”

Brian Doherty

“Milk Money”

30 years ago

February 1993

“The interventionist ideologues who populate the Clinton administration don’t understand their own limitations. In their common conviction that the government must direct the economic choices of the nation, deciding where and how much to invest, they are substituting their monolithic decision making for the experimentation of thousands of businesses. By doing so, they are increasing both the risk and the cost of error.”

Virginia Postrel

“Real World Economics”

35 years ago

February 1988

“While lack of general support for a space station has been a compelling reason to oppose it from the start, today there is an additional and powerful reason: it can only continue to divert attention from the real challenge, which is to make sure that we can get into space when we want to. Once, not so long ago, we had that ability. Through the 1960s and ’70s we were launching dozens of spacecraft. But then NASA put all its eggs in the shuttle basket, phasing out existing rockets. NASA thus set itself up for the Challenger disaster, which wiped out the ability of this space transportation monopoly to launch satellites.”

T.A. Heppenheimer

“The Space Station Nobody Wants”

40 years ago

February 1983

“In none of the political debates has the full truth been uttered: Social Security is a pyramid club, and like any pyramid club or Ponzi scheme, it must sooner or later come to a halt when it runs out of suckers. Today’s short-term funding crunch is but a preview of the system’s longer-term crisis. Soon after the turn of the century there will be just two workers for every person retired (instead of the three at work today). Total Social Security taxes would have to be as much as 40 percent to ensure the kind of benefit levels people think they’ve been promised. Clearly, there is no way workers in the year 2020 will put up with such crippling rates of taxation.”

Robert Poole

“Shore Up or Ship Out”

45 years ago

February 1978

“A city of nearly two million people that doesn’t have zoning, has never had zoning? Traditional urban-planning beliefs would lead us to expect an uncivilized, dirty, chaotic mess. Houston, however, is quite the contrary. The nation’s fifth-largest city is attracting new residents at the rate of 1,000 per week. It’s become the corporate and financial capital of the South, and many people, particularly those from the corporate headquarters relocating there, say that Houston is the most livable and exciting city in the United States.”

Dick Bjornseth

“Houston Defies the Planners…and Thrives”

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