Category Archives: Politics

Free Trade Is Pluralistic. Government Has a Monopoly on Force. Protectionism Cannot Bolster Free Trade.

The silver lining to the president’s protectionist trade agenda is the desperation with which he and his officials attempt to sell it under the guise of free trade. One would be hard pressed to come to this realization, given all the nationalist rhetoric the president and his allies are employing to sell tariffs, but it…

Localism and the Possibility of Self-Rule: Part 2

Series Overview The concept of limited government seemingly takes self-rule from the realm of the abstract and makes it the basis of a functional society. But, though it precludes the possibility of a central authority imbued with broad, sweeping powers, limited government is not synonymous to self-rule. The devolution of power that necessarily occurs as…

Trump’s Tariffs Are Economically and Politically Disastrous

In an apparent bid to make mercantilism great again, the Trump administration has amped-up its pursuit of protectionist trade measures in recent months, even as others within the president’s own party descry the adverse effects these policies will likely have on the domestic economy. For his part, the president—always a fan of a good superlative—has…

Localism and the Possibility of Self-Rule: Part 1

Series Overview The concept of limited government seemingly takes self-rule from the realm of the abstract and makes it the basis of a functional society. But, though it precludes the possibility of a central authority imbued with broad, sweeping powers, limited government is not synonymous to self-rule. The devolution of power that necessarily occurs as…

The Trouble With the Executive Branch

Article II of the Constitution—which sets the bounds of executive power—is notoriously short; the document imbues remarkably scant powers to the executive, and to the president in particular. Much of the text outlines procedural mechanisms, to do with the time, place and manner of elections, and behavioral limitations: duties the president is either compelled to…

Rand Paul’s Intransigence Is Exactly What Politics Needs

To read the derogatory charges being brought against Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) by his party colleagues, the libertarian-leaning legislator’s last-ditch effort to inject some measure of fiscal sanity into the hastily-cobbled together stopgap spending bill was tantamount to some sort of putsch. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) called Paul’s actions “grossly irresponsible”, while Sen. John Thune…

The Missing Element of Political Reform Debates

Political reform, whether it favors sweeping institutional overhauls or looks to fixes tailored towards more narrow problems, operates under the assumption that government dysfunction ultimately stems from some flaw within government. This statement might seem blatantly tautological, but in fact it reflects a deeper problem with American politics: a fundamental misunderstanding of the complex role…

Is National Security Replacing the Commerce Clause as the Basis for Sweeping Federal Power?

The falling away of federalistic principles from government is often linked to the increasingly nationalistic scope of politics. Under the auspices of the commerce clause and the “necessary and proper” clause, federal government officials have been able to rationalize their claim to final regulatory authority over an increasingly wide swathe of issues. The commerce clause…

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