All Commentary
Thursday, December 31, 2015

FEE’s Top 10 Articles of 2015

Our year in review


FEE was founded in 1946 to be a voice for liberty in our world, and today FEE makes ideas on freedom, markets, and ethical principles familiar and credible to the rising generation.

This year FEE’s outreach broke all records in achieving that goal. You can see the progress in programs, publications, and media appearances by FEE faculty and staff. This has coincided with major progress in how we reach the world through FEE.org.

Here is a roundup of activities on FEE.org this year.

Top Ten Articles

FEE has been a leading commentary on current affairs, using everything from technological trends to popular culture to politics as a way to illustrating the usefulness of good economics backed by evolved norms.

Hundreds of articles, blog posts, books, and other resources have been published on FEE.org this year, all contributing to record-breaking traffic performance. Here are our top 15 performers of 2015:

10) New York’s Taxi Cartel Is Collapsing. Now They Want a Bailout.

Ride sharing apps are fundamentally changing transportation, dethroning taxi monopolies and replacing them with human choice. Note that this isn’t happening through any political reform. Innovation is the force that is making the difference.

9) The Economics of a Toddler and the Ethics of a Thug

This headline neatly sums up so much of the “progressive” political mindset, particularly socialist supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders. They scream about the need to plunder the rich, using massive police-state power, without a thought given to where new wealth is going to come from.

8) “Jesus Christ Was a Progressive Because He Advocated Income Redistribution to Help the Poor”

This piece by FEE president Larry Reed dealt squarely with an intellectual confusion that dates nearly to the beginning of Christianity itself. He shows that Jesus did not advocate income redistribution. “One can scour the Scriptures with a fine-tooth comb and find nary a word from Christ that endorses the forcible redistribution of wealth by political authorities.”

7) How Policing Works in a Privatized City

We are fortunate to have examples of the success of liberty all around us. Many cities today are carving out areas that are purchased by private developers. The results are spectacular, and Atlanta’s “Atlantic Station” is one such case: private streets, private policing, private housing. Surprise: these places are not walled gardens but rather hugely welcoming to all.

6) Supreme Court to DoJ: Fourth Amendment Is Not a “Useless Piece of Paper”

When the Supreme Court actually does something right, it’s worth noting. A sound opinion from the Court said that police can’t use a traffic stop to do search missions that are completely unrelated, without having some reasonable and specific suspicions. It’s a good start.

5) Alabama Senate Votes to End State Marriage Licenses

This article covered a possible solution to the marriage debate: get rid of licenses completely and replace them with regular contracts. Opponents of same-sex marriage favored the bill too, but, ironically, such a step would help de-politicize the entire subject. Sadly, the bill died in the House.

4) The Eugenics Plot of the Minimum Wage

How many times have you heard that a higher minimum wage will help the poor? The original architects of wage floors actually knew the truth. They favored the laws in order to exclude the poor, whom they wanted swept out of the population. This is chilling material and completely forgotten history.

3) America Isn’t Getting More Liberal — It’s Getting More Libertarian

This piece documents public polling on a range of issues: immigration, drugs, taxes, gay rights, guns, environment, the draft, and federal power. In most cases, it finds that people are becoming more libertarian over time. It’s another case where mainstream narrative is completely wrong.

2) How Many Children Are You Required to Save?

Just when you think only current news goes viral, this serious philosophical piece rocked the traffic hard. The post showed how the popular argument by Peter Singer relies on false intuitions and casuistry.

1) 6 Reasons to Welcome Refugees after Paris

Our most popular piece of the year! The more you look at the arguments over immigration and refugees, the more you realize that so much of what people think they know is wrong. There is no evidence that vetted US refugees are likely to become terrorists. In fact, refugees tend to become more successful in America than economic immigrants. ISIS sees Syrian refugees as traitors to their cause, so there’s every reason to welcome them as a part of stopping violent extremism.

Other big hits this year included “7 Habits of Highly Effective Libertarians,” “Millions in Brazil Follow a Teen Leader to Freedom,” “Handcuffed and Helpless,” and “Bernie Sanders’ Anti-Immigration Crankery.”

And don’t forget, you can also check out the beautiful and completely redesigned quarterly Freeman magazines online.

Best Books on FEE.org in 2015

The entire book Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises is online at FEE.org. Also, a lost work, Interventionism: An Economic Analysis, is now available. Planned Chaos also made its first online appearance this year.

The first book that FEE ever published, Essays on Liberty, is available as an ePub.

The classic by Henry Hazlitt, What You Should Know About Inflation, is now free to download. FEE also has the full text of Henry Hazlitt’s classic Economics in One Lesson online.

Our five most popular books are available on iTunes and Amazon.

In the physical world, FEE’s edition of Economics in One Lesson is still one of our most popular among young adults — 70 years after its first publication.

Web Development

FEE.org went through dramatic redesign and restructuring this year, and part of this included the building of a platform for leveraging content from like-minded institutions. This has multiplied the reach of great content many times over.

2015 was also the first year that FEE.org became part of the “Creative Commons”, allowing anyone to repost, republish, remix, adapt, sell, or do anything else with FEE’s original content. This move has enormously increased the reach and impact of FEE’s content, which has been published in many new outlets, such as Newsweek.com.

We also took steps to move all web development in house, using the best talent to make FEE.org an ever greater platform. You can look forward to a more comprehensive front page, a member center, tools for finding related material, online learning, and much more.

We’ve also released a major new program for networking: the FEE Faculty Network!

One more thing: we are now distributing some awesome swag in our fancy store. Have a look!

Thank you for an amazing year. Let’s continue to build a freer world in 2016.