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Government Intervention in U.S. Agriculture: Part 3

Aren’t government-created monopolies great?! For just one example of the colossal power wielded through the Hoover administration’s newly-created Federal Farm Board in the late twenties, you only need to look at how the government provided incredible amounts of spending to fund the corporate board’s interests. In December of 1930, Congress voted to give the FFB […]

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Government Intervention in U.S. Agriculture: Part 2

The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929, as Peter Zavodnyik describes in The Rise of the Federal Colossus: The Growth of Federal Power from Lincoln to F.D.R., “constituted the most significant expansion of the pecuniary relationship between the federal government and the American people in the nation’s history.” The AMA was a government-sponsored monopoly at its […]

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Government Intervention in U.S. Agriculture: Part 1

Starting today and continuing into next week, I’ll be discussing government involvement in agriculture in detail, especially policies enacted during the late 1920s and the New Deal era. Here’s some background to start out with… Louis Carabini writes in Inclined to Liberty about being a child during the 1930s, having his father talk to him […]

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Government Role in Honeybee Population Decline

In recent weeks, a number of reporters have started ramping up coverage of the drastic decline in America’s honeybee population. Many stories have rightly pointed to Monsanto and Bayer, arguing that the pesticides they created in the 1990s (called neonicotinoids) are the prime cause of hundreds-of-thousands of bees becoming not just disoriented, but unable to […]

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U.S. Agricultural Policies Just Like Ancient Rome’s

Some might think that centralized control of the agricultural sector is unique to modern government. Not so! As H. J. Haskell argues in his unparalleled work The New Deal in Old Rome, a number of New Deal-era agricultural policies (which still exist today in various forms) can be viewed as a matter of U.S. administrations […]

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Understanding GMOs in Light of Subsidies

Just think of how mixed up the agricultural industry is. If companies decide to do less with their food (growing it organically), they have to pay an extra expense in order to obtain certification to show that they’re truly doing this. If they want to do more (genetically modifying crops, etc.), then absolutely nothing is […]

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In Case You Missed It: ObamaCare is Corporate Welfare

Just five years ago, the insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield suggested a foolproof plan to cover people who are still uninsured… encourage them to buy insurance! If that works, well, how much better will forcing them to buy it work?! Boy, there’s a winner. That’s ObamaCare in a nutshell. Interesting too how Obama had […]

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The Benefits of Economic Competition

Robust competition is always present in a society where free markets are allowed to flourish. In the words of David Boaz, that type of system will simply “produce better results than centralized or monopoly systems.” In monopolies, of course, a limited number of entities will have sole dominion over a given product, service, or general […]

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Mommy Gov’t Takes Care of Her Own

If you want a great example of crony capitalism run amok, look no further than oil pipeline deals. Oftentimes, libertarians aren’t hard enough on condemning corporate eminent domain abuses in particular. There’s nothing that more clearly gives business an unfair economic advantage over others than being able to take people’s private property at will. If […]

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Foreign Policy Flavors of the Week

Our foreign policy since the early 20th century has been so schizophrenic: We support Stalin in the fight against the Nazis; later, we’re outraged at Stalin’s ethnic cleansing practices. We sign a bilateral agreement with Iran in 1959, saying we’ll aid them if they’re ever attacked; throughout the 1970s, Iran is actually the United States’ […]

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The Nonsense of Free Necessities for All

Have you heard this one? There’s the idea advocated every once in a while that things like food, health care, education, transportation, housing, energy, and other such “basic necessities” should all be provided to every living person at no cost. All monetary systems should be eliminated as well. To begin with, one has to recognize this misguided notion […]

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Would Our Economy Fail Without a Federal Reserve?

There’s no doubt it’s a commonly-held opinion, that the Federal Reserve System is what has always stabilized us – without it, you might say, recessions would be far more severe. But the Federal Reserve, let’s remember, preceded the Great Depression by 16 years. Canada – in the absence of a central bank until 1934 – […]

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A Minarchist Take on the Proper Role of Government

Since my fellow columnist Desmond Jones, Jr. recently discussed the more anarcho-capitalist strain of libertarian thought, I thought it might be worth describing the other side of libertarianism, which is minarchism (or minimal statism). Both minarchism are anarcho-capitalism are completely legitimate forms of the liberty philosophy: we’re free to choose! You might even encounter a third […]

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Colonialism and its Lessons

The late economist Ludwig von Mises affirms in Liberalism that “no chapter of history is steeped further in blood than the history of colonialism. Blood was shed uselessly and senselessly. Flourishing lands were laid waste; whole peoples destroyed and exterminated.” There are certainly a number of things for us to learn from the worst excesses […]

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