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Feb 12, 2020

Many people imagine that, when the government bans something, the banned thing goes away. In fact, what banning does is to remove government protections against violence, theft, and fraud. Justification for banning things that harm no one other than, perhaps, the person who wants those things hinges on inequality - that...


Feb 5, 2020

The Congressional Budget Office is tasked with forecasting the federal budget. Over the past twenty years, the CBO has tended to over-estimate future tax revenues and under-estimate future government spending. The result is that CBO paints an unrealistically rosy picture of the government’s financial future. If we...


Jan 29, 2020

When most people say, “equality,” they mean income equality. Economists draw a finer distinction between income equality and wealth equality. Political scientists draw an even finer distinction between economic equality and equality under the law. Philosophers distinguish even more finely, looking at equality...


Jan 22, 2020

The rising cost of tuition is merely a symptom of a disease. The disease, which is much more complex, involves misplaced incentives from administrators to faculty to students to parents. Phil Magnus joins Words & Numbers this week to talk about his recent book, Cracks in the Ivory Tower.

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Jan 15, 2020

The 18th Amendment was ratified a century ago, beginning the United States’ fourteen-year experiment with prohibition. An Amendment was needed because the Constitution did not give the federal government the power to ban alcohol. Yet, today, the federal government bans recreational drugs and puts medicinal drugs under...