Liberty Fund was founded in 1960 by Pierre F. Goodrich, an Indianapolis lawyer and businessman, to the end that some hopeful contribution may be made to the preservation, restoration, and development of individual liberty through investigation, research, and educational activity.
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Great books are the repository of knowledge and experience. Liberty Fund seeks to preserve the wisdom and learning of the ages and to strengthen our understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and responsibility.
For over four decades, Liberty Fund has made available some of the finest books in history, politics, philosophy, law, education, and economics—books of enduring value that have helped to shape ideas and events in man’s quest for liberty, order, and justice.
By 1989, when Michael Oakeshott’s Voice of Liberal Learning was first published by Yale University Press, books that held a negative view of education in the United States had garnered a remarkable amount of attention.
These resources are designed to further Liberty Fund’s educational activities. They include classic works in the tradition of limited government, as well as lively current discussions of how classical-liberal principles apply in today’s world.
Economist and author Daniel Klein of George Mason University talks about the ethics of working and the potential for our working lives to make the world a better place. This is a wide-ranging conversation that includes discussion of Adam Smith, what jobs we should work on, what charities we should donate to, how we can […]
Is the story of WeWork now typical or emblematic of—or even necessitated by—our current economic system?
Postell and O'Neill have produced a volume that perpetuates the unfortunate “Wall Street vs. Main Street” divide in American conservatism.
Yuval Levin pinpoints that American alienation and anger emerges from our weak political, social, and religious institutions.
On a global scale, inequality is declining. While it has increased within the United States, it has not grown nearly as much as people often claim. The American poor and middle class have been gaining ground, and the much-touted disappearance of the middle class has happened mainly because the ranks of the people above the middle class have swollen. And while substantially raising tax rates on higher-income people is often touted as a fix for inequality, it would probably hurt lower-income people as well as the wealthy. The same goes for a tax on wealth.
Most important: Not all income inequality is bad. Inequality emerges in more than one way, some of it justifiable, some of it not. Most of what is framed as a problem of inequality is better conceived as either a problem of poverty or a problem of unjustly acquired wealth.
These are two of the opening paragraphs of my article “The Truth About Income Inequality,” Reason, February 2020.
Read the whole thing.
As President Trump’s impeachment trial plays out in the U.S. Senate, it’s striking that such a grave situation has resulted from such a trivial cause. By that I don’t mean the allegations against him are trivial, but rather that the gains he allegedly sought from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seem meager when compared to the legal and reputational risks he and several of his adjutants appear to have taken.
A Ukrainian announcement of an investigation into dubious conspiracy theories involving the president’s political opponents was unlikely to deliver Trump much political benefit. However, the costs of pursuing that benefit are proving to be steep: history will record him as the third U.S. president to be impeached, the congressional proceedings and other investigations of his administration are revealing embarrassing information about him and his inner circle, and defending against the allegations (in public as well as the Senate) is consuming substantial resources that he and other Republicans could have devoted to the 2020 election cycle. It’s tempting to conclude that President Trump severely miscalculated in his benefit–cost analysis when he decided to get involved in Ukraine.
Yet, he has made similar apparent miscalculations in other matters. Whether Sharpie-gate or tweeting, or short-changing his small contractors, there’s a “C’mon, really?” quality to many of the scandals and embarrassments surrounding Trump’s administration and his business. This even extends to some of his closest advisers, such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s swiping Sweet-n-Lo packets and alleged nickel-and-dime financial improprieties.
In this edition of Liberty Matters, Adam MacLeod, Professor of Law at Faulkner University, Jones School of Law, considers the English constitution of Walter Bagehot. Bagehot’s constitutionalism is not just a theory of institutions. It is far more radical. It concerns what it means to be human. At stake is the question whether a people can govern themselves or instead must be ruled by their intellectual superiors. Bagehot’s constitutional anthropology matters because Bagehot’s constitutionalism is now our constitutionalism. The ascendance of the administrative state, rule-making and adjudication predicated on expert insights, legal positivism and judicial supremacy, and many other features of American constitutionalism that are now taken for granted in our law schools, policy schools, and bar associations are rooted ultimately in the concept of human nature that Bagehot articulated.
The Alchemy of Happiness, by Mohammed Al-Ghazzali, the Mohammedan Philosopher, trans. Henry A. Homes (Albany, N.Y.: Munsell, 1873). Transactions of the Albany Institute, vol. VIII.
In the absence of either public virtue or a decent elite, the logic of Federalist 10 collapses.
Speeches and Evidence contains the texts of Ricardo’s numerous speeches. It consists of his speeches given in the House of Commons and evidentiary advocacies before Parliamentary committees. The introduction provides insightful context to the circumstances and events that preceded Ricardo’s appointment as a Member of Parliament and describes his subsequent influence and role on various committees.
Few observers and even few experts remember that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created in response to the 1959 imposition of import quotas on crude oil and refined products by the United States. In 1959, the U.S. government established the Mandatory Oil Import Quota program (MOIP), which restricted the amount of imported crude oil and refined products allowed into the United States and gave preferential treatment to oil imports from Canada, Mexico, and, somewhat later, Venezuela. This partial exclusion of Persian Gulf oil from the U.S. market depressed prices for Middle Eastern oil; as a result, oil prices “posted” (paid to the selling nations) were reduced in February 1959 and August 1960.
In September 1960, four Persian Gulf nations (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia) and Venezuela formed OPEC in order to obtain higher prices for crude oil. By 1973, eight other nations (Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) had joined OPEC; Ecuador withdrew at the end of 1992, and Gabon withdrew in 1994.
The collective effort to raise oil prices was unsuccessful during the 1960s; real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) world market prices for crude oil fell from 9.78 (in 2004 dollars) in 1960 to 7.08 in 1970. However, real prices began to rise slowly in 1971 and then increased sharply in late 1973 and 1974, from roughly 10.00 per barrel to more than 36.00 per barrel in the wake of the 1973 Arab-Israeli (“Yom Kippur”) War.
The Best of the OLL No. 37: Montesquieu, “Of the Constitution of England” (1748) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).