October 2013

October 2013

Volume 63, 2013

Work probably dominates your time in one way or another: Either you spend most of your waking hours on it, or you’re dealing with the hardship of not being able to find any. Work is also at the very heart of everything we value about the economy, so how we talk about it matters, says Sarah Skwire, even beyond just how we feel about our days. Bruce Yandle looks into where all those people who aren’t even trying to find work have gone. D.W. MacKenzie explains why raising the minimum wage is only going to mean more people fall back out of the workforce. Plus, Lawrence Reed discusses what we’re really all about at FEE, Jeffrey Tucker says there’s an encouraging trend in pop culture, Tom Bell lays out a way to keep cities vibrant, and much, much more.   


Magic Words and False Gods

Communicating Beyond Society, Market, and Hypostatization
AUGUST 29, 2013 by

Speaking of abstract concepts in concrete terms is a terrific way to prevent clear thinking or actual communication. You often hear "society" being used this way, and it's no different for "the market." Here's how to fix it.

Looking for Waldo

Can you find the disappearing labor force?
SEPTEMBER 05, 2013 by

Fewer people are part of the labor force than at any time since 1979. A look at incentives helps explain where everyone went.

Breaking the Law of Demand

Krueger and Card’s New Minimum-Wage Theory After 20 Years
AUGUST 05, 2013 by

Minimum-wage laws have failed to help the people whom these laws were supposed to help. Those who truly want to help lower-income Americans should press for the repeal of these laws.

Can Civil Society Save Us?

AUGUST 28, 2013 by

The philanthropy sector can help us avoid decline if it sheds its Progressive-era baggage.

On Selling Classical Liberalism

AUGUST 22, 2013 by

Classical liberals don't have a product to sell; we have ideas to transmit. We aren't offering a product with defined results but faith, vindicated time and again, in the open-ended adventure and humanity of placing people in control of their own lives.

Information Ages

Knowledge, Survival, and Progress
AUGUST 15, 2013 by

Humans have always relied on information to survive, even to thrive. Government intervention, though, distorts prices and makes it that much harder to do what we do best.

Lady Liberty: An Unauthorized Biography

The story of America’s most famous statue is more than a little libertarian
AUGUST 20, 2013 by

We hear that the Statue of Liberty was the gift of "the French people" to "the American people." Grammar-school civics aside, though, individuals from all walks of life wound up funding the statue voluntarily, without State funding or coercion.

Britain’s BBC Tax

Clogging the courts and slanting the news
SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 by

Great Britain's most ruthlessly collected tax pays lavish BBC salaries and buys badly slanted news coverage. Those who can least afford it (and have the least interest in the BBC) get hit the hardest.


Wanted: Missionaries, Not Monks

What Have You Done for Liberty Today?
JULY 01, 2013 by

FEE is devoted to bringing in newcomers to the liberty movement, not sitting on our haunches preaching to the converted. You should join us.

Take This Job

Work is the engine of the economy and the path to fulfillment
OCTOBER 01, 2013 by

Work isn't always pleasant, but it's the true engine of the economy, and it's gotten less dangerous and back-breaking even as it's become better paid. Free from the interference of the sanctimonious political types, it can be a path to fulfillment, whether on the job site or during increasing off hours, when we can, yes, work on what we truly love.

Labels and Ideological Bubbles

Be Mindful of How You Label the People with Whom You Disagree
AUGUST 30, 2013 by

Ideological bubbles restrict our intellectual development and make constructive dialogue that much harder. Pay attention to how you describe your intellectual opponents; using terms they would never use themselves is a good sign you've slipped into your own bubble.

Want to Own a City?

Shares in Incorporated Co-op Cities Might Be the Next Big Thing
AUGUST 14, 2013 by

Cities fail because governments take residents for granted and residents stop caring. An ownership model--based on co-ops or employee-owned firms--could fix that.


Our Cages and Labyrinths

Contemporary Pop-Culture Themes Point to a Conscious Awakening
AUGUST 21, 2013 by

Certain themes are emerging in pop literature and film that distinguish themselves from dominant strains of the past. Individuals aren't outrunning wild beasts or hurricanes or other features of nature's cruelty; they are outrunning enforcement agents, authority, and rules--and would-be tyrants.

Turns Out I’m Not Crazy

Area 51 Exists
SEPTEMBER 09, 2013 by

The government finally admitted that Area 51 exists, but said nothing about little green men. But that conspiracy theory, like the one about the faked moon landing, was always unlikely, given the government's track record when it comes to confidence.

Thoughts on Work and on Working

How we talk about works matters
JULY 26, 2013 by

Studs Terkel's survey of working illustrates the link between the way we talk about work and how we think about it.

Past Lives


These are the ghosts that gather at dawn,
drawn to light and company: the men
who meet each day at the auto shop counter
to talk of work, of what can be kept working.


SEPTEMBER 15, 2013 by

in the waking hours
we answer the ancient call

Download File