Tax Fairness

The President says he wants the wealthy to pay their fair share. What would that be? He never says. How would one decide whether a given level of taxation is fair? He never says. Neither do his supporters, who are remarkably calalier about the theoretical foundations of their policy positions. Let’s start by asking, Who pays how much now? And let’s consider not just federal … Continue reading Tax Fairness


Thanks to James Pethokoukis and economists Richard V. Burkhauser, Jeff Larrimore, and Kosali I. Simon for tackling the Left’s absurd claims about income stagnation for the middle class. I’ve never understood how the stagnation argument gets any traction, since it’s obviously false. Anyone who has lived in America for the past several decades knows that there has been a tremendous rise in the median family’s standard of … Continue reading Inequality

Thoughts on Equality

A Facebook friend recently posted something sympathetic with Occupy Wall Street and related concerns about inequality. I commented that inequality seems to me utterly irrelevant. If a wealthy person becomes even more wealthy at my expense, I have reason to be upset. If that person thrives without disadvantaging me, however, I see no reason to complain. In fact, it seems to me I should prefer … Continue reading Thoughts on Equality

Assassinating American Citizens

OK, I’m just as happy seeing al-Awlaqi meet his maker and however many virgins.  But, for those of us who did take the whole FISA debate seriously, and that whole due process rigamarole that the Bill of Rights blathers on about, and as someone who felt the sting of the sarcasm embodied in the bumpersticker wisdom of “Go Ahead, Take My Rights; I Wasn’t Using … Continue reading Assassinating American Citizens

Spitzer’s Boner

Eliot Spitzer has resigned as Governor of New York, giving the state its first African-American governor. Michael Barone has reflections on the danger of selective enforcement when a law on the books generally goes unenforced: When society has effectively legalized something that is still theoretically illegal, there is always the possibility of selective prosecution—targeting individuals who are in disfavor with someone in government. Selective prosecution … Continue reading Spitzer’s Boner

Schools of Social Work

The National Association of Scholars has published a report on schools of social work throughout the country, finding that most are committed to ideological indoctrination rather than unbiased research: “Social work education is a national academic scandal.” Stephen Balch, NAS Director: Defenders of the American university claim that the seriousness of the problem of political correctness has been greatly exaggerated by critics. There is, however, … Continue reading Schools of Social Work

Free Jonathan Pollard

Morris Pollard (Jonathan’s father) and David Kirshenbaum argue that Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel in 1985, should be freed. The key passage: Jonathan was never accused of intending to, or even of having reason to believe that the information he transmitted to Israel could cause injury to America. Indeed, 22 years after Jonathan’s arrest, no evidence has ever been presented of any damage … Continue reading Free Jonathan Pollard

Holy Moses

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has an astounding summary of what things were like in the jury room in deliberations in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist funding trial in Dallas. It appears that one juror was able to bully others. Think of “Twelve Angry Men” without Henry Fonda, and you’ll start to get the picture. Whenever people discussed evidence, asked to see evidence, or otherwise … Continue reading Holy Moses


G. A. Cohen presents two cases meant to illustrate points about distributive justice. (1) Tiny Tim is disabled. He nevertheless has a sunny disposition, sitting happily by the fire with his loving family. The family can’t afford a wheelchair. But Tiny Tim doesn’t mind. Still, a wheelchair would make it possible for him to function in many ways he can’t function otherwise. Would an ideal … Continue reading Entitlements