Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category The Public and Governance

Why I like voting by m...

Why I like voting by mail

It has been a few years since I queued up at a polling place, and I am the happier for it. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for the pageantry: citizen volunteers man polling places; activists outside hand out flyers in hopes of swinging votes; I get a little sticker to wear proudly […]

Voters Hold Officials Accountable for Deficits in Many Countries. Just Not He...

Voters Hold Officials Accountable for Deficits in Many Countries. Just Not Here.

Wouldn’t it be nice if voters punished politicians who increase budget deficits? Well, according to one research paper, they do. Adi Brender (Bank of Israel) and Allan Drazen (University of Maryland) crunched data from 23 nations on budgets and the electoral fortunes of chief executives. Their unambiguous finding was that “increased deficits during an incumbent’s […]

How an Idyllic Italian Village Was Crippled by Family-Centr...

How an Idyllic Italian Village Was Crippled by Family-Centrism

More than 60 years ago, an American family arrived in a seemingly idyllic town in Southern Italy. Stone buildings resembled “a white beehive against the top of a mountain.” Donkeys and pigs idled in the ancient, winding streets. A town crier tooting a brass horn announced “fish for sale in the piazza at 100 lire […]

Is Regulatory Reform a Hopeless Cau...

Is Regulatory Reform a Hopeless Cause?

In short, no, although the reader of Charles Murray’s new book might come away with that conclusion. In By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission (Crown Forum, 2015), Murray paints a dispiriting picture of the modern American state. The U.S. Constitution established a limited federal government within a federal system. The 10th Amendment encapsulates their […]

Review of John DiIulio’s Bring Back the Bureaucr...

Review of John DiIulio’s Bring Back the Bureaucrats

The May 4 copy of the Weekly Standard carries my review of John DiIulio’s Bring Back the Bureaucrats: Why More Federal Workers Will Lead To Better (And Smaller!) Government. The federal government now spends $3.5 trillion annually, much of which is transferred to state and local governments and private organizations. In 2012, for example, the Department […]

U.S. Returns Magna Carta to England: A Catalyst for Civilization and Good Governa...

U.S. Returns Magna Carta to England: A Catalyst for Civilization and Good Governance

Today, January 20, 2015, America bids farewell to the Magna Carta. The 800-year old document returns home to Lincolnshire, England after six months in America. It landed at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in July, and spent the past few months at the Library of Congress. This copy of the Magna Carta visited here once […]

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