Liberty: A capital idea

Originally published June 10, 2007 in The Seattle Times

During a recent visit to Seattle, I encountered a young woman standing on a street corner demanding that President Bush take action to stop the genocide in Sudan. When I asked her if she thought Bush should send troops to the region as he did in Iraq, she responded with a blank stare. It was then that I realized she had not thought that far down the road. Although she wanted to use American power to stop genocide, she did not want to get her hands dirty accomplishing the task.

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The key to economic stimulus success

Originally published February 3, 2009 in The Washington Times

As the United States struggles through a recession, political leaders are hoping a "stimulus package" will save us. There is nothing wrong with the government trying to stabilize or even energize the economy. It is the reason we craft fiscal and monetary polices. The problem with most stimulus packages is that they usually don't work.

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The Coming Crisis in Citizenship

Originally published online in July 2007 at the Washington Policy Center

Thomas Jefferson was blunt when he talked about the role of education in a free society. He said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Because Americans, in general, accept Jefferson's admonition, we invest considerable time, effort, and money in our system of public education. In return, we hope that our schools will teach children the basic facts about our history, government and economic system, preparing the next generation to be good citizens.

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How To Fix the Coming Crisis in Citizenship

Originally published online in September 2007 at the Washington Policy Center

As kids head back to school this week, parents and all of us concerned about education need to be aware of some disturbing trends in civic education at our nation's universities and colleges. Recently I wrote about a nationwide survey conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), in partnership with the University of Connecticut, of 14,000 college students from across the nation. The survey found that when college seniors were tested on four subjects - American history, government, foreign policy and economics - the average correct score was just over 50%.

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Understanding Tort Reform:   Strategic Actors, Public Policy, and Feedback Loops

Vol. 5 (2003) The Berkeley Electronic Press

This paper discusses the problems in the effective implementation of tort reform policy.
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Land Use Laws Create Unintended Consequences

Originally published November, 2006 through the Washington Policy Center

In the recent election, Initiative 933 - a proposal to compensate property owners for value lost to government regulations - failed, but the consequences created by burgeoning land-use regulations remain. Fears that Initiative 933's passage would inhibit the ability of local and state governments to maintain the rural areas in our state were one reason the initiative failed. Unfortunately, opponents of Initiative 933 failed to grasp the counterintuitive notion that, sometimes, laws designed to protect rural areas actually backfire and cause additional development.
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