June 2013 cover 600

June 2013

Volume 63, 2013

Cities are vast, complex orders that emerge from the voluntary actions of millions of people. In this issue, we take a look at them, from Sandy Ikeda's examination of the invisible blueprints that define cities, to Rod Lockwood's concept of a free city that could rescue Detroit, to Troy Camplin's theories of why cities exemplify the unity of paradox that defines beauty. Speaking of beauty, we reintroduce poetry to The Freeman. We also introduce The Arena, a monthly debate feature, and much, much more.   


The Beautiful City

APRIL 30, 2013 by

The beauty of cities emerges, like with anything else, from paradox. For cities, the paradoxes of the life within them produce beauty; understanding this fact will make us as at home in them as we should be.

Belle Isle, City of Dreams: An Interview with Rod Lockwood

APRIL 29, 2013 by

Over the years, Rodney Lockwood watched his beloved Detroit fall into ruin thanks to the rise of unions and the welfare state. He wants to rebuild Detroit. In this interview, Lockwood describes his vision for doing so.

Hiding the Unemployed: Disability and the Politics of Stats

APRIL 11, 2013 by

The unemployment rate is exactly the kind of statistic whose meaning relies on the political context as much as or more than the reality it's meant to reflect.

What's Right with Malthus?

APRIL 19, 2013 by

It turns out the mainstream view of Tom Malthus was first created by opponents of markets, was sustained throughout the nineteenth century by lovers of hierarchy, and was resuscitated in the twentieth century by environmentalists committed to the view that there are natural limits to economic growth. These environmentalists picked out the bits they liked and scrapped the rest, as it suited their agendas.

Why Rhett Butler’s Weed Is So Strong

APRIL 23, 2013 by

Prohibition has driven the development of ever-stronger drugs, whereas a free market would see a proliferation of lighter options.


APRIL 17, 2013 by

Give me a vision of your city, friend.


MAY 15, 2013 by

Back then we put our pennies on the tracks...


Cities and Emergent Order

MAY 29, 2013 by

The Invisible City

MAY 08, 2013 by

A great city is composed of the networks of relationships between people. It's an invisible kind of order, in a Hayekian sense, that cannot be seen in its entirety.

For Safer Streets, Use Fairer Courts

MAY 02, 2013 by

Having government courts try government agents such as cops is a lot less fair than allowing independent arbitration. As a result, everyone is less safe.

Keeping Austin Weird

MAY 01, 2013 by

Austin only seems weird because it's so much more interesting--and tolerant--than most other places. And Austinites understand and love the freedom that makes this wildly fertile, vastly creative, "weird" place possible.

Meet the Targets or Die the Death

APRIL 25, 2013 by

The Atlanta schools cheating scandal is the expected result of State interference in the incentive structure.

Why Is There a Dole for Farmers?

APRIL 26, 2013 by

Farm welfare takes money from some hardworking Americans to give to other hardworking Americans with more romantic-sounding jobs. This system makes no sense, especially when Washington is already broke.

Built on Sand

MAY 03, 2013 by

The sprawling, pre-Holocaust family saga of The Brothers Ashkenazi displays the shortcomings of all systematic, simple answers to the problem of being human.

Why Brooklyn Is Home

MAY 09, 2013 by

I call Brooklyn home because the emotional cage match between the desires, the emotions, the location, and the city I make of it is too complex--and too personal--to go by any other name.


What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

MARCH 21, 2013 by ,

Michael Sandel's arguments that markets crowd out "nonmarket values worth caring about" is appealing and easy to understand, but often fails to account fully for the roles prices play or the constraints on our abilities to form deep, intimate bonds with millions of people at once.

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