Americans everywhere expect their government to do something about the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. But what exactly should its role be?
In a world of paper money, ATM machines, debit cards, and cryptocurrencies, it is difficult to imagine a time when all money was based on a precious metal, either gold or silver. But only a few generations ago, all paper money was fully backed by gold or silver — meaning that paper notes could be redeemed on demand for gold or silver — and both gold and silver coins were in daily circulation.
Enemies of the free market claim that “too much” capitalism lead inevitably to the monopolistic concentration of wealth in the hands of a few oligarch. Are they correct? Throughout the 19th century, many wealthy “robber barons” did indeed establish monopolies in their respective markets — but always by procuring favors from politicians.
We now have presidents waging war at their pleasure, exactly like the monarchs of the British Empire. But this was not the intent of the founders.
A proper and principled military policy would reserve the might of our armed forces for defense of our own territory, including embassies abroad — but not nebulously defined “American interests.” It would seek neither to police the world nor to impose our civic values by force.
With all the storm and stress over President Trump’s temporary ban on citizens of several countries wishing to enter the United States, we may well wonder whether a country professing to be a land of the free has any moral justification for enforcing border controls. It is sometimes argued that international borders are artificial and unjustifiable limitations on one of the most fundamental of human rights, the right to freedom of movement. But are they?
With President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare now a priority in the GOP-led Congress, it’s worth asking why ObamaCare — as well as other government-sponsored healthcare initiatives, including Medicare and Medicaid — should be such a contentious topic.
To understand the workings of government, it is necessary to acknowledge the mostly unseen hand of conspiracy. Only seldom do historians mention it, and even less the majority of commentators on current events; the very word “conspiracy” has acquired overtones of hysteria and emotionalism. To be styled a “conspiracy theorist” is perhaps the ultimate reproach in media-driven discourse. Yet conspiracies, difficult to detect and even more difficult to prove, are as natural an element of politics as algae is of pond water.