The Politics of Freedom

Release Date
May 13, 2011

Topic

Democracy and Voting
Description

According to David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, libertarianism is the application of science and reason to the study of politics and public policy. By focusing on the actual effects of policies, libertarians understand that intentions do not equal outcomes. As such, libertarians understand that private property, free markets, and tolerance are all vital elements of a prosperous and free society. Boaz uses this analysis to contrast the past and present, and examine the consequences of adopting various rules of social order.

  •  The Fight for Liberty in Latin America (Video): Ian Vasquez of the Cato Institute argues that great advances in civil and economic liberty in Latin America have often been accompanied or followed by illiberal policies that have lead to stagnation, crisis, and political instability.
  • Good Intentions (Video): Walter Williams examines the failure of the war on poverty and the devastating effect of well-meaning government policies on blacks.
  •  Public Choice [Article]: William Shughart II discusses the economic theory of public choice, which holds that political actors face the same incentives in the policy world than do market actors.
  • Does Unemployment Insurance Fuel Economic Growth? [Article]: Emily Washington holds that arguing for extending unemployment insurance benefits ignores the long-run consequences associated with government-provided insurance.
  • Free to Choose [Book]: The Friedmans discuss the extent to which personal freedom has been eroded by government regulations and agencies while personal prosperity has been undermined by government spending and economic controls.