Ever feel like an outnumbered
ideological minority? And/or that your ideas are growing strong
enough that the establishment is now impelled to strike you down?
Either way, today’s New York Times op-ed page is for you.Four op-eds, four assaults on the libertarian senses. Starting
with Mark Binelli–”Can
a libertarian island paradise rescue a blighted city? No”:
Belle Isle was recently at the center of a different moneymaking
scheme. A group of wealthy libertarians suggested that private
investors buy the island from the city [of Detroit] for the nice,
round, Dr. Evil-ish sum of $1 billion and transform it into an
independent, self-governing territory. With the price for
citizenship set at $300,000, the Commonwealth of Belle
Isle would exist as a sort of free-market paradise; within
30 years, the group’s Web site predicted, the island would be known
as the “‘Midwest Tiger,’ rivaling Singapore as an economic
miracle.” One can order from that Web site a novella about this
future Belle Isle, which describes the commonwealth’s low taxes,
minimal government, even its own currency (called — seriously —
The book — a preview of its opening chapter has the hero landing
on the rooftop helipad of the commonwealth’s 57-story Four Seasons
hotel — makes the entire scheme very easy to mock as Objectivist
fan fiction. But it’s not entirely a joke: private foundations and
deep-pocketed members of the local business elite exercise an
outsize influence in a city as broke as Detroit, providing
financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line to the
Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.
is not the time for spending cuts”:
Given the state we’re in, it would be irresponsible and
destructive not to kick that can down the road.
Start with a basic point: Slashing government spending destroys
jobs and causes the economy to shrink.
This really isn’t a debatable proposition at this point.
we don’t need more foreign high-tech workers”:
Bringing over more — there are already 500,000 workers on H-1B
visas — would obviously darken job prospects for America’s
struggling young scientists and engineers. But it would also hurt
our efforts to produce more: if the message to American students
is, “Don’t bother working hard for a high-tech degree, because we
can import someone to do the job for less,” we could do significant
long-term damage to the high-tech educational system we value so
And David Brooks–”Machiavelli
in an age of terror”:
Acting brutally abroad saves lives at home.
For a different view on urban development, government
spending, immigration, and overseas brutality,
I recommend a very nice magazine, for the low low price of less than $15 per year.
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