George Leef is director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Carroll College (Waukesha, WI) and a juris doctor from Duke University School of Law. He was a vice president of the John Locke Foundation until the Pope Center became independent in 2003. Prior to joining the Locke Foundation, he was president of Patrick Henry Associates, a consulting firm in Michigan dedicated to assisting others in advocating free markets, minimal government, private property, and individual rights. He has served as book review editor of The Freeman, an educational free market magazine published by the Foundation for Economic Education, since 1997, and has published numerous articles in The Freeman, Reason, The Free Market, Cato Journal, The Detroit News, Independent Review, and Regulation.
(6.01.12) Ladies: Not All Women Collectivist
John Blundell’s book Ladies for Liberty is a strong antidote to the notion that women are prone to mushy, collectivistic thinking and are hostile to individualism.
(4.01.12) 'Occupy' Protesters Could Learn Much From Palmer's Morality of Capitalism
The Morality of Capitalism is aimed especially at young people who have gotten a negative impression of capitalism — as the subtitle accurately suggests, college students are likely to hear little that’s good or accurate about it in their courses — but even veterans of the battle for liberty will find a lot of fresh, intriguing material here.
(4.01.12) Freeze Details Iceland
In this relatively short but highly illuminating book, economics professors Philipp Bagus and David Howden (both of whom are schooled in Austrian theory) explain the collapse of Iceland’s economy in 2008. Why bother with the difficulties of that little nation (population 313,000) in the remote North Atlantic? The reason is that the Icelandic debacle stemmed from exactly the same governmental blunders that have caused so many other boom and bust cycles around the globe. Iceland’s horrible recent experience has important lessons for Americans — indeed for people everywhere.
(2.01.12) Rehabilitating Lochner a Sharp, Iconoclastic Work
For non-lawyers, the “Lochner” in this book’s title refers to the Supreme Court’s 1905 decision in Lochner v. New York, which author David Bernstein (of George Mason University Law School) argues has been misrepresented terribly by “progressive” intellectuals.
Among lawyers, the standard view of Lochner is that it was a perverse triumph of ideological judicial activism over a statute meant to protect workers. Bernstein shows that view to be mistaken, as his subtitle — “defending individual rights against progressive reform” — indicates. Instead of being demonized, the court’s decision should be extolled for its shielding of individual liberty against authoritarianism.
(1.01.12) Folsom's Book Portrays FDR As Devious Opportunist
Hillsdale College history professor Burton Folsom and his wife Anita have given a much-needed counterweight to the standard view that Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the greatest American presidents. After reading FDR Goes to War (and I also recommend Folsom’s earlier book New Deal or Raw Deal?), anyone who isn’t an utter zealot for our welfare-warfare state will have to conclude that FDR’s years of control over the nation were nothing short of cataclysmic.
(12.01.11) One Nation Will Make You Angry
Most Americans are aware of our government-caused economic debacle, but very few realize how badly our legal system has been perverted. That’s why I strongly recommend One Nation Under Arrest. You will be outraged at the injustices the authors present. You may find yourself thinking, “This seems like the way people were treated in the Soviet Union. America should be different.”
(10.01.11) Essays Confirm Socialism Affects People's Character
The book is made up of 10 essays. ...all splendid pieces.
(8.01.11) 'Fair Trade' Gets In-Depth Scrutiny
Mohan concludes by making the case that free trade is a far better development policy for the world’s poor. By extending the market and bringing capital investment to third world nations, free trade increases production, leading to higher living standards. Fair trade does little or nothing to speed up economic development; by interfering with the decisions of farmers, it might impede it.
Fair Trade Without the Froth will make consumers think twice before they plunk down extra money for fair trade goods.
(4.30.11) Malanga: Conspiracy of Pols, Interest Groups Robbing Taxpayers
In his latest book, Manhattan Institute scholar Steven Malanga explores the venal game of separating people from their money through conspiracies between politicians and special interest groups.
(3.01.11) Right To Earn a Living Highlights Erosion of Economic Freedom
Is there a right to earn a living? Most Americans would answer, “Of course there is, but … .” Following that “but” you would get a long list of exceptions and qualifications that whittle away at the right, such as “but the individual must have a license as required by law,” “but only if he charges reasonable prices for his work or goods,” or “but he is subject to regulations that protect the public interest.” Pile on enough of those restrictions and the right dies the death of a thousand cuts.
Attorney Timothy Sandefur’s book demonstrates that the right to earn a living is succumbing to that fate. The constant encroachments of statutes, regulations, and court decisions has altered the legal landscape to the point where it is more accurate to say that we may ask for permission to work and engage in commerce than that we have a right to do so.