2000 Issues Booklet


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2000 Issues Booklet

  1. 1. 5555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555 Libertarian Party 2000Issues Briefing Booklet If you are a Libertarian Party candidate, it is not enough to simply assert that a particular government program, policy, or law is causing problems. You must be able to prove it with specific facts, figures, and studies. s And if you Facts, are speaking to an audience, it is not enough statistics, to talk in broad generalities. You must be able to give the “human dimension” of a problem — & opinions by telling stories about specific people who have suffered. s In this booklet, you’ll find those to bolster kinds of resources: Statistics, research studies, the case quotations, anecdotes, and analysis about most of the major policy issues of the day — in easy, for liberty bite-size sections. And each one is source-cited, just in case you are questioned about where you got your information. s In short, this “Issues Compiled by Briefing Booklet” can make you a smarter, better- Bill Winter prepared, more effective Libertarian candidate.
  2. 2. 55555555555555555555555555555555 2 555555555555555555555555555555555Affirmative Action Americans With 1990 the world literacy rate for tion. The story begins in the liberal adults rose from 61.5% to 73.5%. academy. Over the past quarter s In the mid-1940s, the Disabilities Act Art museums and attendance are century an intellectual war hasDetroit Tigers were at the top of booming. Live performance of arts raged on university campuses s The Americans with Disabil-baseball, winning the American has flourished as well. New musical between left-wing advocates of ities Act (ADA) was supposed toLeague pennant in 1945 and genres continue to blossom. women’s and minority rights on mean more disabled Americansfinishing in second place the Creators have the best chance of the one hand, and advocates of could enter the workforce. Yetfollowing two years. living from their work in a wealthy, civil liberties on the other. this year, only 29% of disabled Their fortunes turned, however, capitalist society. Capitalist art Many cause-oriented feminists people are employed full or partin the next decade, as the Tigers consists fundamentally of bringing and minority activists see time, according to survey resultsfinished among the top three teams the consumer and producer freedom of speech, and civil reported in the Washington Postin their league only once and found together. Therein lies its exhilarat- liberties in general, as a barrier to (July 23, 1998). This figure isthemselves in last place in 1952. ing, challenging, and poetic empowerment. They know the lower than before the law was What happened? While many nature. We should not deplore truth, and tend to be intolerant of enacted. In 1986, 33% of disabledthings contribute to a team’s our culture, as do the pessimists. the right of others to express Americans were employed.victory on the field, we shouldn’t Rather, we should recognize its counter-truth or politically incorrect — Competitive Enterpriseoverlook the impact of baseball’s fundamentally capitalist nature, views. These impatient left-wing Institute UpDate, December 1998integration. After Jackie Robinson’s which implies creativity, enter- advocates are winning the battle,major league debut in 1947, the tainment, innovation, and above and their academic victory is being s When the list of “victims”Cleveland Indians, for example, all, diversity. translated into political policy. The defined under various civil rightsimmediately signed African- — Tyler Cowen, Cato Policy translation is not a difficult one acts was completed in 1991, someAmerican talent such as Larry Doby Report, September/October 1998 because left-wing political causes 80% of all Americans (everyoneand Satchel Paige and won the — abortion rights, gay rights, but white males under 40, notWorld Series in 1948. By contrast, Walter Briggs, disabled, and not on welfare or Civil Liberties affirmative action — garner votes. SSI disability) were classified as Civil liberties, however, do notowner of the Tigers, refused to s In Hong Kong, two demo- have a significant constituency. “minorities.” It has become such asign any African Americans, and cracy activists were convicted of On some issues moreover — statistical joke that most citizens,the Tigers dropped from second desecrating the Hong Kong and particularly those affecting freedom including many of the “disabled,”to fifth place in 1948 — and Chinese flags at a rally calling for of speech — the radical left has have finally become angered.continued to spiral down the the end of one-party rule in joined the religious right in a — Martin L. Gross, The End ofstandings throughout the 1950s. China. Defacing the flags became censorial coalition. As a result, civil Sanity, Avon Books (1997) The sad story of the Detroit illegal when Hong Kong was liberties have become bad politics,Tigers illuminates a facet of the handed over to China. while the anti-civil libertiesmorality of capitalism: It makes Art & Government The judge who convicted the agenda is a political freebie.immoral decisions such as bigotry s The Left concludes that two said the Chinese flag is “a — Alan M. Dershowitz, Penthouseexpensive. government support for the arts symbol which represents the magazine, June 1998 Briggs could insist on preserving is needed; the Right often favors state, her people, and her land”racial barriers only at the cost of government support for “tradi- and “should remain as a sacred s Minnesota citizens may soonfewer wins and, by extension, fewer tional” culture. A review of the symbol respected by all Chinese be guinea pigs for yet anotherfans. In a free market, artificial evidence offers strong reasons for regardless of their social, political, privacy invasion experiment.limitations on potential employees cultural optimism and confidence or philosophical beliefs.” A new law authorizes a studyand customers mar the product that a modern commercial society Funny, I could have sworn I to fingerprint all citizens.and cripple the firm. will stimulate artistic creativity heard members of the U.S. House Proponents of the law are excited By contrast, firms that want to and diversity. of Representatives saying about the possibility thatremain competitive will seek The music of Bach, Mozart, something very similar a few fingerprinting requirements ontalent and markets wherever they and Beethoven is more accessible months ago. driver’s licenses would allowmay be found. And this drive to today than it was in the 18th and — Charles Oliver, Reason retailers to check the fingerprintsremain competitive prompts firms 19th centuries. Movies can be magazine, December 1998 of suspect customers and “knowto more open patterns of hiring, rented on videocassette very in three minutes” if they are whobuying, and selling. cheaply. New editions of many s To understand Clinton’s dis- they say they are. (Imagine the— Robert Sirico, Acton Notes, literary works are published mal record on civil liberties requires embarrassment experienced at January 2000 regularly. Between 1970 and an understanding of his genera- grocery stores by citizens waiting
  3. 3. 55555555555555555555555555555555 3 555555555555555555555555555555555to be “verified.”) on Ritalin alone, while Alexander Card, in self-defense, stabbed the one percent of U.S. homes were The original language of the Cockburn, writing in the Los mugger in the head and neck with connected to central alarm systems.bill clearly shows the future plans Angeles Times (July 6), reports the penknife he was carrying. By 1990, one in ten homes were.for identification by biometrics. that Ritalin is being given to about After the struggle, Card — Bruce L. Benson, The CatoThese include “tobacco, liquor, and two million American school retrieved and returned the gold Institute, August 20, 1999lottery sales enforcement; health children. chains to Evans. Then he walkedcare; voter registration; and Eighteen-year-old Eric Harris, away towards his house, where s The avalanche of new lawsschool access, and other situations who with his friend Dylan Klebold, he planned to get ready for work Congress has passed since 1970where accurate personal identifi- 17, massacred their classmates in a Midtown video arcade, but to make America’s streets safe hascation is essential.” and a teacher at Columbine High cops arrested him two blocks failed, a report concludes.— Twila Brase, Intellectual School in Littleton, Colorado on away from the Prospect Avenue “There is no persuasive Ammunition, June/July 1998 April 20, had been taking Luvox train station. Card now faces evidence that federalization of for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. attempted murder charges and 25 local crime makes the streetsCrime T. J. Solomon, 15, who shot and years in jail. safer for American citizens,” says wounded six fellow students at — Douglas Montero, The New a report prepared by a blue- s In the wake of the recent Heritage High School in Conyers, York Post, September 27, 1999 ribbon task force sponsored bywave of shootings in America’s Georgia, on May 20 was on Ritalin the American Bar Association andgovernment schools, there has for depression. Also on Ritalin for s Crime rates, according to chaired by former Attorneybeen an orgy of hand-wringing bi-polar disorder was 15-year-old FBI reports, fell about 16% per General Edwin Meese III.and finger-pointing in the main- Shawn Cooper, who fired two 100,000 population from their 1991 The 16-member task force saysstream media. Blame for these shotgun rounds, narrowly missing peak to 1997 and fell another 7% a Congress worried about beingtragedies is variously ascribed to classmates and teachers at his in 1998. Politicians claim credit called “soft on crime” actuallythe availability of firearms or the high school in Notus, Idaho. because of their support for prison may be hurting the fight againstviolent content of movies, Kip Kinkel, 15, who first killed construction, longer mandated street violence by passing federaltelevision, and video games. his parents and later killed two sentences, greater police funding, laws that duplicate state and localOccasionally, blame is placed with students and wounded 22 more or policies that reduce unemploy- efforts nationwide.the parents of the perpetrators. in his Oregon school’s cafeteria, ment . . . — The Associated Press, Amidst all the clamor, there was on Ritalin and Prozac. No doubt many of these factors February 17, 1999have been a few voices sounding Mitchell Johnson, 13, who, help explain falling crime rates,a very different alarm: That with his friend, Andrew Golden, but there is another, perhaps s The Department of Justicemillions of American children are 11, shot several children and a more important, cause which has reported in January [1998] thaton psychotropic drugs — many of teacher at Westside Middle School gone largely unnoticed: Private the nation’s prison and jailwhich have violent side-effects. in Jonesboro, Arkansas, was being citizens’ growing investments of populations have risen nearly 6% Samuel L. Blumenfield, writing treated by a psychiatrist and is time and money in security. from the previous year — morein WorldNetDaily (July 7, 1999) presumed to have been on some Private crime control—including than 50% since the beginning ofnoted: “What is most disturbing, sort of medication. voluntary watch, patrol and escort the decade. At midyear 1997 anhowever, is the growing aware- — Mark Valverde, Freedom Net- arrangements, alarms, improved estimated 1,725,842 men andness that the increased violence work News, August-October 1999 locks and better lighting, self- women — roughly 645 out of everyamong school children may have protection, and private security 100,000 Americans — were heldmore to do with the drugs than s “That could have been my personnel — has been a growth in the nation’s prisons and jails.with the guns they use to carry mother.” industry for decades. A 1970 esti- — Jubilee Extra, Prison Fellowshipout their violence.” That’s what drove Maleke mate put private security personnel Ministries, March 1998 Kelly O’Meara, writing in the Card, 19, to step in and grapple at roughly equal to public police,June 28, 1999 issue of Insight with the mugger tugging at the but by 1990 there were about 2.5 s Number of sex criminalsmagazine, reports that there are gold chains that were around the private security personnel for every (rapists and child molesters)now over five million school neck of Nicole Evans, 40, Friday public police officer. Today, the ratio released from jail in 1994 onchildren on psychotropic drugs, morning outside a Bronx subway is probably at least three to one. parole or probation: 134,000.most of which are prescribed and station. Consider [also] the market for s Number of sex criminalsadministered in the government Card, a good kid, didn’t hesitate security alarms. Alarm sales who remained behind bars inschools themselves. The Decem- when he leaped into action to increased by about 11% per year 1994: 99,300.ber 1996 Teacher Magazine defend a woman he didn’t even in 1970, but this growth rate — NRA’s CrimeWatch Weekly,reports that there are four million know. During the ensuing struggle, reached 15% in 1990. In 1970, February 18, 1997
  4. 4. 55555555555555555555555555555555 4 555555555555555555555555555555555Defense & s Number of foreign countries innocent and the guilty. As a You would be hard-pressed to where U.S troops were deployed result, the war on drugs has gone explain the taxonomy of chemicalsMilitary Spending in 1997: 100 beyond keeping the peace. It’s underpinning the drug war to an s Republican prosecutors s Total number of countries become a threat to liberty. extraterrestrial. Is it, for example,have spent the better part of the on the planet: 197 From asset forfeitures to home addictiveness that causes thispast year obsessively looking for s Percentage of countries invasions to military involvement, society to condemn a drug? (No;a smoking gun to hold against the with U.S troops: 51% the war on drugs has taken nicotine is legal, and millions ofpresident. But they might have s Some countries where U.S. disturbing turns. Americans have battled addictionsdug up more dirt if they had troops were deployed, and their Among the more recent incidents, to prescription drugs.)thought a little more literally: Bill mission: Haiti (dig water wells); a SWAT team broke into a Compton, So then, our inquisitive alienClinton is, after all, the world’s Congo (to evacuate 57 people and California, home at about 11 p.m. might ask, is safety the decisivebiggest arms dealer. one dog); Morocco (to supervise a on Aug. 9. They killed a retired factor? (Not really; over-the- From 1993 to 1997, the civil war cease-fire); Cambodia and grandfather by shooting him twice counter and prescription drugsPentagon sold $70.6 billion in Laos (to clear land mines): Micro- in the back. His widow — handcuffed kill more than 45,000 Americansweapons to virtually every nation nesia (to build a warehouse); Egypt and wearing only a towel and every year while, according toon earth, including governments (to monitor the Israel/Egypt demil- panties, according to the Los The New England Journal ofthat have used them against their itarized zone); Belize (to renovate Angeles Times — and six others Medicine, “There is no risk ofown people, notably Indonesia, schools and roads); Ecuador and were taken into custody. All were death from smoking marijuana.”)Mexico, and Turkey. Peru (to monitor a disputed questioned. None was charged. Is it drugs associated with violent— Mother Jones magazine, border region). By the way — no drugs were behavior that your society April 1999 — U.S. Army News Releases, found on the property. But one condemns? (If so, alcohol would May 23, 1997 & July 4, 1997 life was ended and others changed still be illegal.) s Containing Saddam Hussein forever because those officers Perhaps, then, it is the promiseisn’t cheap. Frequent military build- Drug Prohibition were waging a war on drugs. of pleasure that puts a drug beyondups in the Persian Gulf since the — Investor’s Business Daily, the pale? (That would once again s Though [New Mexico September 21, 1999 rule out alcohol, as well as Viagra.)1991 war have cost the nation Governor Gary] Johnson now Then maybe the molecules youabout $7 billion, in addition to advocates a drug-free lifestyle, he s The boundary between despise are the ones that alter thethe tens of billions of dollars still does not think drug users good and bad drugs is harder texture of consciousness, or evensome budget analysts estimate is should be treated like criminals. than ever to draw. a human’s personality? Tell thatspent annually on maintaining a “Did we belong in jail?” The same week that a Republican to someone who has been savedstrong U.S. military in the region. Johnson asked the Cato audience, candidate for President spent from depression by Prozac. The Pentagon does not release noting that a felony record would struggling to compose ever more — Michael Pollan, New Yorkfigures on the spending for day-to- have prevented him from running tortuous non-denials of his drug Sunday Times Magazine,day Gulf duties, [but] by private for governor. “Does anybody use as a young man, a former September 12, 1999budget analysts’ estimates, roughly want to press a button and retro- Republican Presidential candidate$50 billion of the annual $270 actively punish the 80 million could be seen in full-page adver- s Percentage of inmates atbillion in U.S. defense spending Americans who have used drugs?” tisements forthrightly acknowledg- Joliet maximum security prison ingoes toward maintaining the Gulf In 1997, Johnson noted, state ing his own use of another drug. Illinois who tested positive fordeployment and keeping the Iraqi and local officials arrested 1.6 Oh, I know: two completely drugs in 1999: 2president in line. million people for drug offenses, different and incomparable s Percentage of prison “You’ve got carriers, ground and about 400,000 drug offenders situations; how unfair to Robert employees who tested positive: 4troops in Kuwait, pre-positioned are behind bars right now. Dole and the Pfizer pharmaceuti- — Playboy, August 2000equipment all over and you’re “I don’t think we can continue cal company even to mentionspending money on no-fly zones to lock Americans up [for] bad them in the same paragraph as s Futile efforts to enforcein northern and southern Iraq,” choices,” he said. George W. Bush and cocaine. One [drug] prohibition have beensaid Lawrence Korb, a former — Reason, December 1999 concerns an illegal drug that pursued even more vigorously inassistant secretary of defense. Around the Gulf, U.S. forces people take strictly for pleasure. the 1980s and 1990s than they s In the name of establishing The other concerns a legal drug were during alcohol prohibitioninclude at least 24,000 soldiers, a drug-free society, overzealous that people take . . .well, also in the 1920s. Drug enforcementsailors, and Marines, many on ships. police have too often failed to strictly for pleasure, but (almost) cost about $22 billion in the— Associated Press, notice the difference between the always with a prescription. Reagan years and another $45 November 26, 1998
  5. 5. 55555555555555555555555555555555 5 555555555555555555555555555555555billion in the four years of the said. “For this reason, numerous smuggled millions of dollars’ tion concluded.Bush administration. The federal localities, including Houston, worth of cocaine onto the streets Nationally, only corn, soybeans,government spent $16 billion on Oakland, and Seattle are scrapping of America’s cities. At that level, and hay rank as more profitabledrug control programs in 1998 the program.” it’s hard to see the difference crops to American farmers.alone and plans to spend $18 Researchers tracked over 1,000 between successful infiltration — NORML Press Release,billion this year. States and local students who participated in the and full-scale participation. October 15, 1998communities spend even more. D.A.R.E. program in sixth grade. So, across the country, What good has it all done? Well, They re-evaluated the students at undercover DEA agents are s Two new reports, one fromtotal drug arrests are now more age 20, ten years after receiving staking out undercover FBI agents the FBI and one from the Generalthan 1.5 million a year. There are the drug prevention education. who are selling drugs to under- Accounting Office (GAO), foundabout 400,000 drug offenders in The study found that the program cover DEA agents who are staking that drug-related corruptionjails and prisons now, and over initially influenced the students’ out undercover ATF agents. among law enforcement has80% of the increase in the federal perceptions towards drug use, but — Mark Steyn, The American increased since the early 1990s.prison population from 1985 to concluded that these changes did Spectator, April 1999 The FBI report, “Misconduct to1995 was due to drug convictions. not persist over time. Corruption,” found that theDrug offenders are about 60% of all — NORML Foundation News s I agree that marijuana laws number of federal, state, and localfederal prisoners, while those in Release, July 29, 1999 are long overdue for an overhaul. officials in prison has increasedfederal prison for violent offenses I also favor the medical use of fivefold in four years, from 107 inare only 12.4% of the total. s While African-Americans and marijuana — if it’s prescribed by a 1994 to 548 in 1998. As for discouraging young people Hispanics make up 20% of the physician. I cannot understand — The Drug Policy Letter,from using drugs, the massive federal United States’ marijuana users (and why the federal government Summer 1998effort has largely been a dud. Every about 20% of the population), they should interfere with the doctor-year from 1975 to 1995 at least make up 58% of those arrested patient relationship, nor why it s In the early 1960s, the United82% of high school seniors said for federal marijuana charges. would ignore the will of a Nations committed itself to elim-they found marijuana “fairly easy” — The Drug Policy Letter, majority of voters who have inating the plant sources of cocaine,or “very easy” to obtain. January/February 1999 legally approved such legislation. heroin, and marijuana in 25 years. When a public policy isn’t — Abigail VanBuren, “Dear Abby,” The clock ran out in 1989. Insteadworking, we should try something s Number of Americans March 1, 1999 of reevaluating its plan, the Uniteddifferent. If spending more than arrested in 1997 for murder, Nations promised last June to get$30 billion a year and arresting rape, robbery, and aggravated s Increased drug arrests and the job done in 10 years.1.5 million people a year isn’t assault (combined): 717,720. longer prison sentences have not In 1989, President Bushstopping drug use and abuse, then s Number of Americans slowed illegal drug use, according proposed cutting drug use 55% inwe should try a different strategy. arrested for marijuana offenses: to a study by the nation’s largest 10 years. In February, President— David Boaz, The Albuquerque 695,200. organization of lawyers. Clinton introduced his plan to cut Journal (New Mexico), s Percentage arrested for In a study, the American Bar drug use in half in 10 years, August 23, 1999 possession: 87. Association’s Criminal Justice without mentioning Bush’s plan. s Percentage of federal Section found that illicit drug use Not to be outdone, the speaker s The nation’s largest federally prisoners incarcerated on drug increased 7% from 1996-1997. . . of the House of Representatives,funded teen anti-drug program, charges: 59. [At the same time], the ABA Newt Gingrich, rejected Clinton’sD.A.R.E., has no long-term effect s For violent crimes: 2.5. study found that 1.2 million people plan and declared that the timelineon adolescent drug use, a new s Number of Americans in were arrested on drug charges in should be four, not 10, years.study to be published in the August federal and state prisons in 1980 1997, a 73% increase over the — Rob Stewart, The Drug Policyissue of the American Psychological for violating drug laws: 23,900. number of people arrested in 1992. Letter, Summer 1998Association’s (APA) Journal of s Number of people in federal — Gary Fields, USA Today,Consulting and Clinical Psychology and state prison in 1996 for February 4, 1999 s California law enforcementfound. violating drug laws: 292,794 arrested more citizens on mari- “This study joins a growing — Playboy magazine, April 1999 s Marijuana remains the fourth- juana charges in 1997 than in anybody of academic research largest cash crop in America year since 1985, newly releaseddemonstrating D.A.R.E.’s ineffec- s In 1996, it was revealed despite law enforcement spending figures from the Bureau oftiveness as a deterrent to youthful that, as part of their infiltration of approximately $10 billion annually Criminal Statistics revealed.drug use,” NORML Foundation one Latin American drug cartel, to enforce prohibition, a new The rising number of arrestsExecutive Director Allen St. Pierre federal agents had successfully report from the NORML founda- one full year after voters legalized
  6. 6. 55555555555555555555555555555555 6 555555555555555555555555555555555the use of marijuana for medical stems from government policies. 90 hours of work in 1910; today it strong investor class. The newpurposes alarmed many activists Before 1914, Americans had the costs less than two minutes of work investor class is increasingly madewho question whether police are right to possess and use drugs. Of time. Cars at first seem to cost up of middle-class people. Recentcontinuing to punish patients despite course there were abuses, but about the same as they did in the surveys show that during the 1990s,the new law. Law enforcement there was no $400 million black 1970s. But they are now far safer, 49% of the newest investors havearrested 57,667 Californians on market or widespread corruption pollute much less and are loaded been women. Thirty-eight percentmarijuana charges in 1997, the and violence, nor was there the with standard goodies like stereos of the new investors are non-data showed. vastly disproportionate incarcera- that weren’t even options in 1970. professional salaried workers. The— NORML Press Release, tion of non-whites, until the If there’s something sad about typical new stockowner earns less August 7, 1998 Harrison Act of 1914 criminalized all this, it’s that so many Americans than $70,000. drugs. Prohibition does not work. are convinced these improvements Karl Marx is both dead and s Thomas Jefferson: states- — Joseph D. McNamara, The New are the fruits of reinvented govern- wrong. Through the stock market,man, philosopher, drug kingpin. York Times, March 18, 1998 ment. As Michael Cox and Richard the American work force owns As anyone who follows the Alm observe in Myths of Rich the means of production.hemp movement knows, our third s Nearly 642,000 total and Poor: It’s not government — Lawrence Kudlow,president grew cannabis on his marijuana arrests were made by policy that gave us drive-through The Washington Times,Virginia farm. Lots of it. state and local law enforcement service, instant mail, [automatic] November 3, 1998 According to Marijuana News, during 1996, according to the teller machines, home shoppingpublished by an Ohio chapter of latest edition of the Federal networks, air-conditioned offices, Educationthe National Organization for the Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) and much, much more.Reform of Marijuana Laws, in Uniform Crime Report. It wasn’t public decree that s [In his book], The Con-some seasons Jefferson raised This figure is an 80% increase raised life expectancies by 30 spiracy of Ignorance: The Failuremore than 100 acres of hemp, since 1990 and pushes the total years over the past century, or of American Public Schools,which was used to make sailcloth number of marijuana arrests shortened our workweek by more author Martin L. Gross [notes]:and rigging. With a typical yield under the Clinton administration than 20 hours. Over the past 200 s Since 1960, the number ofof 150 plants per square yard, to approximately 2.1 million. years, we’ve progressed not by teachers in the U.S. has doubled,multiplied by 4,840 square yards The 1996 yearly arrest total the grace of government but by while the number of “supportper acre, that’s more than 70 for marijuana violations is the the mechanism of the market. personnel” has quadrupled.million plants a year. highest ever recorded by the FBI. — Michael Fumento, Reason, s Would-be teachers usually Under the 1995 Omnibus Of the 642,000 arrests made for April 1999 come from the bottom third ofCrime Control Act, anyone who marijuana in 1996, approximately their high school graduating classes.cultivates more than 60,000 85% (545,700) were for simple s Without the wealthy, fewer s [Most] teacher exams aremarijuana plants is a “drug possession. new goods and services would geared towards the 10th-gradekingpin,” subject to execution. In — The NORML Foundation, find their way to the rest of us. level. When Massachusettsa single year, then, the author of October 7, 1997 The system harnesses the spending teachers were tested last year at athe Declaration of Independence of a relative few and puts it to work somewhat higher standard, 59% of them flunked.qualified for the death penalty a The Economy & delivering goods to the many. s 12% of all students nowthousand times over. Unequal income distribution Noting that the Democratic the Free Market drives society forward. qualify for federal grants underParty’s platform praises the drug A cellular phone costs just 2% the Individuals with Disabilities s Adjusted for inflation, thekingpin provision, Marijuana News of what it did a decade and a half Education Act. hourly wage has fallen nearlyconcludes, “If Thomas Jefferson ago, and computing power is less — Capital Ideas, September/ 15% since 1973. So what? Thewere alive today, William Jefferson than 1% of its 1984 real price. October 1999 only measure that counts is whatClinton would execute him.” we can buy for the time we spend What better proof could there— Reason magazine, June 1998 be that free enterprise is society’s s The next time you hear a working. greatest welfare program? politician or a National Education A half-gallon of milk cost 10 s As a career police officer for — Michael Cox, Wall Street Association spokesperson say that minutes of labor in 1970; and35 years (including police chief of Journal, March 6, 1998 more money means better only 7 minutes in 1997. A gallonKansas City, Missouri, and San schools, remind them of the of gasoline cost 11 minutes inJose, California), I have seen the s Stock prices and retirement ignominious failure of the Kansas 1950 and now goes for less thanracism, violence, corruption, and wealth have become more City School District. half that. A three-minute coast-to-failure to curb drug abuse that important to the new 125 million- In response to a desegregation coast phone call cost an incredible
  7. 7. 55555555555555555555555555555555 7 555555555555555555555555555555555lawsuit and orders from U.S. educational improvement, why, s Reducing class size meets Environment &District Judge Russell Clark, Kansas after 45 years of declining pupil- one Democratic criterion for aCity spent $2 billion building the teacher ratios, are [government] national program: It’s expensive. Global Warmingmost expensive school system in schools so unsatisfactory they Eric Hanushek of the University of s [For people who wonderthe world. Beginning teacher need to be “revolutionized” by [Al Rochester notes that reducing the whether non-governmentalsalaries rose from a low of Gore’s proposed] “investments”? size of the average classroom by groups can protect wilderness$17,000 to a high of $47,851. — George F. Will, The Washington just one kid for one year costs areas], during 1999, The Nature Fifteen new schools were Post, May 4, 2000 something like $350. Multiply that Conservancy took direct action toconstructed and 70 had additions by all the American children in bring 900,000 acres of biologi-or renovations. The luxurious s The majority, 60%, of U.S. grammar school and you come up cally significant land in the Unitedfacilities include a planetarium, a high school students don’t under- with $12 billion over seven years. States into conservation owner-vivarium, greenhouses, a model stand the purpose of profits and But as Prof. Hanushek points out, ship or management.United Nations wired for language think wages are set by the govern- there’s a problem here: There is That brings The Naturetranslation, radio and television ment, according to the National little evidence that reducing class Conservancy’s 48-year total tostudios, movie editing and screening Council on Economic Education. size has any effect on education. well over 11 million acres, anrooms, swimming pools, a zoo, a — USA Today, December 15, 1999 In fact, the nation has already run area larger than Switzerland.farm, a wildland area, a tempera- the class-size experiment. — The Nature Conservancyture-controlled art gallery, and 15 s American schools, on In the past 45 years, the President’s Report,computers per classroom. Students average, have 52.1 teachers [and average pupil-teacher ratio in this January 10, 2000can study Suzuki violin, animal 47.8 people in non-teaching country fell by 35%. Many of ourscience, and robotics. Language positions] — 15.2 in school staff, parents recall that they learned s Wilderness conservation hasinstruction spans French to Swahili. 8.6 district staff, and 24 county- reading in classes with more than little to do with urban sprawl. Despite the extraordinary and state-level bureaucrats out of 35 students. Many of our children Our cities, suburbs, highways, andfacilities and massive sums of every 100 education personnel. In are in classes with fewer than 25. local roads now cover about 60money, student performance is so seven states — Michigan, Oklahoma, Yet with this dramatic change in million acres, well over double thelow that recently the state had to Indiana, Mississippi, Florida, New class size has come little or no area they occupied in 1920 — butstrip the Kansas City School Mexico and Alaska — more than improvement in performance. Data still under 3% of the land area ofDistrict of its accreditation. The half of “education” personnel are from the National Assessment of the continental United States.school district has fewer students not teachers. Rhode Island and Educational Progress show that, Most of what the wildernessand is less integrated today than Hawaii have the highest number of despite shrinking classes, 17-year- has lost to Americans it has lostin 1984 when Judge Clark took teachers — 63 per 100 education olds today perform about as well to our agriculture. For every acrecontrol of the school district in personnel. In almost all cases, the now as they did in 1970. of land we use for home or office,order to achieve “mathematical bureaucrats earn more than — The Wall Street Journal, roads, and byways, we currentlyracial balance.” teachers do. September 30, 1998 use six acres for crops. Another— Paul Craig Roberts, — Center for Education Reform, eight acres are designated as range- The Washington Times, August 17, 1999 s Percentage of Americans larders for our livestock, which, December 9, 1999 who send their children to private pound for pound, outweigh us. s Literacy levels have school: 14% Happily, however, our s Pupil-teacher ratios have declined over the past 30 years, s Percentage of U.S. House agricultural footprint has beenbeen shrinking for a century. In despite significantly increased members who sent their children shrinking a lot faster than our1955 pupil-teacher ratios in public resources for public schools: to private school: 34.4% cities have been sprawling. Whenelementary and secondary schools s Inflation-adjusted per-pupil s Percentage of members of Europeans first arrived on thiswere 30.2-to-one and 20.9-to-one expenditures have increased more the U.S. House Education continent, the area now representedrespectively. In 1998 they were than 14 times since 1920. Committee who send their by the lower 48 United States had18.9-to-one and 14.7-to-one. s In 1955, there were 27 children to private school: 40% about 950 million acres of forest. We now know it is possible to students per teacher; by 1990 s Percentage of U.S. Senators That area shrank steadily untilhave, simultaneously, declining there were 17. who sent their children to private about 1920, to a low of 600pupil-teacher ratios and declining s In 1949, there were 19 school: 50% million acres, as Americans spreadscores on tests measuring schools’ pupils per staff member; by 1990 — Nina H. Shokraii, The Heritage across the landscape.cognitive results. there were nine. Foundation, September 9, 1997 Then, astonishingly, we began If making classes smaller is — David Kirkpatrick, School to retreat, and the wildernesssuch an effective route to Reform News, May 1999 began to expand once again.
  8. 8. 55555555555555555555555555555555 8 555555555555555555555555555555555Precisely how fast is hard to nail s While environmentalists rail in 2050 done for me? took place prior to the spewing ofdown: The continent is large, most against the use of fossil fuels, the My actual conduct belies that so-called greenhouse gases fromof the land is privately owned, federal government spends tens sentiment. I own a nice home that cars and the like, meaning that theand the definitional debates rage. of millions of dollars every year is well cared for. Trees have been rise is most likely natural. DuringBut all analyses show more, not subsidizing the use of fossil fuels. planted, rooms added, and many the past 20 years, weather satellitesless, forest land in America today For instance, in fiscal year other improvements have been inform us, atmospheric tempera-— somewhere between 20 million 1997, fossil energy research and made that will outlast me and be tures have actually cooled some.”and 140 million acres more — development at the Department available for that kid born in 2050. — Jay Ambrose, Scripps Howardthan in 1920. Roughly 80 million of Energy received $365 million. Part of the reason I made sacrifices News Service, August 2, 1997more acres of cropland were The Clean Coal Technology in current consumption to improveharvested 60 years ago than are Program (CCTP), which subsidizes my house is that the longer it s “The climate warming of theharvested today. additional coal-related research, provides housing services, the more past 100 years, which occurred— Peter Huber, The Washington has cost taxpayers approximately I get when the house is sold. mainly before 1940, in no way Post, April 21, 2000 $1.5 billion since its inception. The free market and private supports the results of computer — Intellectual Ammunition property rights do not produce a models that predict a drastic future s You never hear about the (The Heartland Institute), Utopia; we’ll have to wait for warming. Even [the U.N.’s] Inter-1997 survey of 36 official state March/April 1999 heaven for that. But here on Earth, governmental Panel on Climateclimatologists finding that 58% private property rights and free Change Chairman Bert Bolin hasdisagreed with President Clinton’s s In the early 1990s, the markets beat any other social admitted that the pre-1940 warmingclaim that “the overwhelming National Toxic Campaign Fund (a arrangements in serving is likely a natural recovery from abalance of evidence and scientific private environmental advocacy mankind’s needs. previous, natural cooling.”opinion is that it is no longer a group) labeled the military — Walter Williams, — S. Fred Singer, President, Thetheory, but now fact, that global establishment the nation’s worst The Washington Times, Science & Environmental Policywarming is for real.” Nine out of polluter, responsible for more than August 16, 1998 Project, The Wall Street Journal,10 agreed that “scientific evidence 14,000 “toxic hot spots” at military July 25, 1997indicates variations in global bases around the nation. The s “There is not a shred oftemperature are likely to be environmental group estimated persuasive evidence that humans Farm Policynaturally occurring and cyclical that, in 1989, the defense Depart- have been responsible forover very long periods of time.” ment generated 900 million increasing global temperatures. s Another absurdity arising Further, last year more than pounds of hazardous waste. During the past 50 years, as atmo- from the latest farm [subsidy bill15,000 scientists signed a petition No private business, or combin- spheric carbon dioxide levels have being considered in Washington,declaring, “There is no convincing ation of companies, has anywhere risen, scientists have made precise DC]: How can the Congressscientific evidence that human near such a devastating impact on measurements of atmospheric consider relief simultaneously forrelease of carbon dioxide, methane America’s environment. Neverthe- temperature. These measurements poor prices and poor production?or other greenhouse gases is causing less, because of poorly drafted laws have definitively shown that Some farmers in the Midwest areor will, in the foreseeable future, and regulations, the public continues major greenhouse warming of the to receive money because therecause catastrophic heating of the to associate environmental degra- atmosphere is not occurring and are too many harvests, others inEarth’s atmosphere and disrup- dation exclusively with businesses. is unlikely ever to occur.” the East because there are tootion of the Earth’s climate.” — Murray Weidenbaum, — Arthur Robinson few. By this strange rationale, The petitioners strongly urged The Washington Times, & Zachary Robinson, farmers are to be paid whetherrejection of the accord signed in September 26, 1998 The Wall Street Journal, they lose their crops to drought,Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 committing December 4, 1997 or produce a surfeit and thus helpthe United States to drastic, s Private property serves a saturate the market.incredibly costly reductions in vital social function often ignored s “Unfortunately for the If there were no drought inemissions of these gases, declaring or trivialized. You don’t have to [global warming] theoreticians, the East, farmers of some cropsit “would harm the environment, be a keen observer to notice that computer models they have there would be subsidized forhinder the advance of science and privately owned property tends to constructed predict one thing, producing too much and gettingtechnology, and damage the receive better care than commu- while the climate keeps doing paid too little; if there werehealth and welfare of mankind.” nally owned property. I’ve often other things. Although tempera- natural calamity throughout the— Michael Fumento, said that I don’t care that much tures have gone up something Midwest, farmers would be paid The Washington Times, about future generations. What more than one degree Fahrenheit for producing too little rather July 8, 1999 has a kid who’s going to be born over the past century, the increase than too much. We need an
  9. 9. 55555555555555555555555555555555 9 555555555555555555555555555555555Orwell to figure out why some Illinois, and North Carolina have a year before. for her lost investment. So sheare considered in need and not enacted laws requiring that burgers There was a time when opened a casket store. The first inothers, or why low prices bring as be cooked medium to medium well. reformers thought the answer Atlanta, her store offers caskets atmuch federal aid as high prices, — The Wall Street Journal, was to elect Republicans. Give the prices far below those of funeralor why a kind nature is as bad as July 15, 1999 GOP control of Congress, it was homes.an adverse one. said, and they will rein in the For doing so she’s facing a— Victor Davis Hanson, The Wall s Who are the heaviest-duty regulators. penalty of up to a year in prison Street Journal, August 10, 1999 regulators? Try the Department of Now we know better. Four years and a $1,000 fine. Georgia law Transportation, Environmental ago, Congress enacted the Cong- allows only licensed funeral s For some farmers, the best Protection Agency, Treasury Depart- ressional Review Act, which requires directors to sell caskets. This, ofcrop is the one they don’t harvest. ment, Department of Agriculture, all agencies to submit their rules course, is to protect the public. In west Texas last year, 200 and Department of Health and to Congress. Lawmakers then Ask Jim Fowler, executivefarmers obtained federally Human Services. The report have 60 days to use an expedited director of the Georgia Funeralsubsidized insurance on a type of calculates there are 117 rules in process to block the proposals. Directors Association. “Thecotton that wasn’t feasible to the works that will cost businesses Not once has Congress acted. majority of the population, I feel,grow in their arid region. They and consumers more than $100 Perhaps every regulation will still want to deal with someonepaid $4.4 million in premiums million annually; 38 of those will advanced by the administration who is experienced in service withand then claimed nearly $15 come from the EPA. Another 70 has been a good one. All 4,684 families upon the death of a lovedmillion in benefits when most of rules costing more than $100 final rules issued in 1999. And the one. Folks in a retail establishmentthe crop failed. million were finalized last year. 4,899 implemented the year are not those types of people.” Farmers in North Dakota and — The Washington Post, before. And the 4,584 imposed in Critics charge that Georgiasurrounding states recently April 9, 1999 1997. More than 14,167 new funeral homes, thanks to this mono-rushed out and bought seed for regulations passed after Congress poly, charge consumers markupsdurum wheat, even in areas not s Regulation has become approved the CRA, and appar- of 300% to 700% on caskets.suited for the crop, to take America’s version of socialism. ently not one warranted rejection. — The Liberator Online,advantage of a new insurance A recent report from the — Doug Bandow, The Washington October 17, 1998policy offering benefits far higher Competitive Enterprise Institute, Times, June 6, 2000than they could earn if they grew Ten Thousand Commandments, s On average, for every newand sold ordinary wheat. tallies the price tag for imple- s Shortly after the National law passed by Congress, unelected The [crop insurance] program menting and sustaining federal Maximum Speed Limit was bureaucrats turn out 18 newhas been costing the government regulations. The grand total is repealed in 1995, the National regulations with the force of law.more than $1.5 billion a year, and $688 billion per year. Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- — Paul Harvey, Imprimis,Congress is considering doubling More than 4,400 new tration (NHTSA) predicted that an October 1998that to improve the coverage and regulations seeped through the additional 6,400 motorists’ deathsmake it less costly to producers — bureaucratic pipeline last year, would occur annually, as a result s For four decades, [auto][even though] government imposing at least $12.5 billion of rising speed limits. safety experts all assumed thatauditors say the insurance system yearly in future costs. Now the most recent NHTSA safer models were better. Nowis riddled with abuse, conflicts of [At least] 125 rules qualified reports show the exact opposite federal officials say we wereinterest, and errors because for “economically significant” occurred: 1997 had the lowest wrong the whole time. Nationaltaxpayers bear most of the risk status: They will cost at least $100 traffic death rate in the nation’s Highway Traffic Safety Adminis-for losses, not the private million apiece annually. history. In 1996, the traffic tration honchos believe thatcompanies that sell and service —Dan Miller, Intellectual accident death rate was 1.7 per because the occupants of heavierthe policies. Ammunition, November/ 100 million miles driven. This vehicles fare better in crashes— Philip Brasher, Associated December 1998 number dropped in 1997 to 1.6 with lighter vehicles, the heavier Press, April 1, 1999 per million miles driven. vehicles are a safety problem. s The Clinton administration — National Motorists Association Oddly, the government is notGovernment has some 4,538 regulations in Press Release, October 1998 mandating that small cars be process, 137 of which are strengthened.Regulation “economically significant” and s When the casket company Lighter cars mandated by s Add the medium-rare burger will cost at least $100 million she worked for went belly-up, government fuel-economyto the endangered list of American each. The number of these big executive and stockholder Thelma standards are already causingvices. States including California, rules is up nearly a fifth from just Jaco was given caskets in return 2,200 to 3,900 deaths annually,
  10. 10. 55555555555555555555555555555555 10 555555555555555555555555555555555according to a study by the Consider last fall’s budget s So what happens when a s The federal government isBrookings Institution and compromise. Way back in 1997, surplus appears? Politicians slated to spend over $200 billionHarvard. Paramedics, who witness the president and Congress devour it. [Economist Richard] on highways over the next severaltraffic accidents daily, tend to put agreed that in fiscal year 2000, Vedder and his Ohio University years, [while at the same time]their families in SUVs, pickups, or the federal government would colleague Lowell Galloway have the Environmental Protectionlarge cars. Let the bureaucrats spend no more than $580 billion studied government budgets since Agency (EPA) is doling out taxpayerand insurance executives leave from its discretionary accounts. 1789 and discovered the following: dollars to support anti-highwaytheir luxury cars and limousines No matter: President Clinton In the last 50 years, 74 cents of activism at the state and localand drive the subcompacts they proposed spending $592 billion. every surplus dollar has gone for level.recommend to us. After much wrangling, Congress new spending, 21 cents for debt According to Peter Samuel,— David C. Stolinsky, Wall Street managed to get him to agree to reduction, and five cents for tax editor of the Toll Roads Newsletter, Journal, April 15, 1998 spend a mere $617 billion. reduction. the EPA’s “Transportation Part- “This is how agreements are — Tony Snow, The Washington ners” program derides road- s Standards for organic food made in Washington,” says Scott Times, July 30, 1999 building as “an expensive short-can be handled much more Hodge, a budget analyst at Citizens term fix” that (heaven forbid)cheaply, much more simply, and for a Sound Economy. “The presi- s Nearly $6 of every $10 of “encourages driving,” and iswith much less bureaucracy, by dent requests a level of spending, Superfund money is used for funding 340 groups in 43 statesprivate industry. Organic farmers Congress approves a slightly lower purposes other than toxic materials that feel the same way.could get together and form a amount, and after they negotiate clean-up, according to a report Recipients of EPA’s anti-roadstandards association. Farmers they compromise at a higher level issued by the General Accounting largess range from the Bicycleand food merchants would submit than even the president asked for.” Office. The majority of all Superfund Federation of America to the Envi-to regular inspections by This dynamic was on display money, the GAO found, goes to ronmental Defense Fund. Thus,employees of the association, and in the agriculture research bill, overhead expenses —salaries for American tax dollars don’t just payif they meet the standards, they which funds such worthy items as managers and secretaries, rent, and for roads, they also pay for thecan display a certificate attesting blueberry research and aquacul- laboratory work. The GAO also found campaign to stop building them.to that fact. Violators would be ture studies. Clinton requested the percentage of money spent on — Competitive Enterprise Institutesubject to civil and criminal action $469 million, the Senate ap- cleanup has been declining for UpDate, January 1999under existing fraud statutes, with proved $474 million, and they several years.no need for any additional laws compromised at $486 million. — Environmental News, s Debate over the size andor regulations. In the case of education, August 1999 scope of government has long In a free market, anyone who congressional leadership actually been the stuff of politics, and thethinks one association’s standards bragged that they spent $1 billion s Tens of billions of taxpayer upcoming presidential electionare too lax or too strict would be more than the president requested. dollars are wasted each year on will be no different. Al Gore isfree to start another association — Michael W. Lynch, Reason, hundreds of federal programs that certain to advertise his credentialswhich could issue its own certificates. March 2000 duplicate or overlap the work of as a “New Democrat” by taking Utopian? Impractical? Not neces- other programs. For example, there credit for nearly 400,000 jobs cutsarily. That’s how kosher food has s In a study funded by the EPA, are 74 clean water programs, 127 from the federal payroll over thebeen regulated for centuries. Kip Viscusi and James Hamilton programs for “at-risk” youth, 340 past five years.— Charles Lembke, KNX Radio, (1999) have found that EPA clean- programs for children and families, To see the true picture one May 19, 1998 ups of Superfund sites cost an 64 economic development pro- must count all the heads, average of almost $12 billion for grams, and 12 food safety programs. including full-time federal civilGovernment Size, every cancer case prevented. Even — Citizens for a Sound Economy servants, uniformed military more amazing is that virtually all Issues Analysis, April 2, 1999 personnel, postal workers, andCost, & Waste — 99.5% — of the cancer cases people who deliver goods and s The standard definition of a that will be averted by EPA efforts s Government employment at services on behalf of the federalcompromise is that each side gives are prevented by the first 5% of all levels rose by 324,000 in 1998, government under contracts,up something to facilitate a deal. In the agency’s expenditures. The the largest increase in eight years, grants, and mandates to state andWashington, however, compromise remaining 95% of expenditures the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute local government.means that both sides get more avert only 0.5% of the cancer of Government at State University When all those numbers arethan they originally asked for; cases at a cost per case of an of New York in Albany reported. added together, the federalonly taxpayers are asked to give astonishing $200 billion. — The Wall Street Journal, government looks very bigsomething up. — PERC Reports, December 1999 June 1, 1999 indeed. In 1996, the most recent
  11. 11. 55555555555555555555555555555555 11 555555555555555555555555555555555year for which good numbers are extra $3.00. hospitals not to train doctors, to anti-gun view, a new study concludes.available, the true size of govern- Over the same period, the reduce the doctor glut: $9.7 billion. “It’s clear that when it comesment was just under 17 million, average federal employee has — Amy Goldstein, The Washington to the gun debate, TV news is notor roughly 10 times as large as taken home five times more in Post, August 24, 1997 an objective referee. It is athe head count Mr. Clinton used additional compensation than his partisan player that has chosenwhen he announced the end of private sector counterpart. s Number of Americans sides,” said L. Brent Bozell III,big government. That 17 million The average state and local exposed to radiation by the chairman of the Media Researchincludes the 1.8 million civil government worker now earns federal government’s Cold War Center, which released the study,servants in the president’s head over 30% more than the average nuclear tests: 230,000 “Outgunned: How the Networkcount, plus 1.5 million uniformed private sector worker, while the s Number of Americans who News Media are Spinning the Gunmilitary personnel, 850,000 postal average federal non-military may develop fatal thyroid cancer Control Debate.”workers, 5.6 million contract em- employee earns 50% more. because of government nuclear The two-year study analyzedployees (of whom 4 million were — Adrian T. Moore, Reason, tests: 10,000 to 75,000 635 stories on gun policy by fourworking under service contracts), February 1998 — Steve Sternberg, USA Today, major networks — ABC, CBS, CNN2.5 million grant employees, and August 4, 1997 and NBC — and found that while4.7 million state and local employ- s In the year Newt Gingrich 260 stories could be classified asees encumbered under federal became Speaker of the House, s Amount of money the U.S. neutral, stories that advocatedmandates. federal outlays totaled $1.46 Senate spent from 1992-1997 to more gun control outnumbered Although the contract, grant, trillion. This year, federal outlays subsidize haircuts at the Senate stories that opposed suchand mandate numbers are esti- are expected to hit $1.7 trillion. Barber Shop & Beauty Salon: $1.8 measures, 357 to 36.mates, they suggest the presence By 2002, they are expected to hit million “That translates into anof a huge shadow workforce that $1.9 trillion. s In 1998, amount of money astounding 10-to-l ratio of newsaccounted for 64 jobs per 1,000 “It is hard to grasp amounts so the U.S. Senate spent to subsidize segments advocating gun controlAmericans in 1996 — not the 11 unfathomably huge, but here is an haircuts: $180,000 — hardly what any objectiveper 1,000 advertised in that exercise that may help: Add s Salaries earned by the federal observer would consider balance,”year’s federal budget. together every penny the federal employees of the Senate Barber said Mr. Bozell.— Paul C. Light, The Wall Street government spent from 1800 to Shop & Beauty Salon: Barber Good Morning America was Journal, January 13, 1999 1940. Adjust the total upward to ($62,000 a year); receptionist the most anti-gun program, reflect nearly two centuries of ($47,000); shoe-shine attendant according to the MRC study, with s In the first-ever independent inflation. You will wind up with ($27,400). 99.7% of its stories advocatingaudit of the federal government, less than the $1.7 trillion — Ed Henry, Roll Call, October 13, gun control.number of the 24 major agencies budgeted for this fiscal year. 1997 & Andrew Moulton, — The Washington Times,that received a passing grade for — Jeff Jacoby, Syndicated The Washington Post, January 6, 2000keeping basic records in order: Columnist, November 3, 1997 November 28, 1997Eight. s My guess is that if you go out Value of military equipment s Amount of money the gov- Gun Rights and ask people how many gunthat cannot be located: $636 ernment has spent on the “War deaths involve children under age s Guns, like drugs, save livesbillion (including a $1 million on Cancer” since 1971: $30 billion 5, or under age 10, in the United and money. Research shows thatsurface-to-air missile launcher, a s Change in America’s cancer States, they’re going to say citizens use guns two and a half to$423,000 Howitzer cannon, two death rate: Increased from 199 thousands. When you tell them five times more often to prevent$875,000 harbor tugboats, and deaths per 100,000 population to that in 1996 there were 17 gun crimes than to commit them. Indeed,two $4 million jet engines). 200.9 deaths deaths for children under age 5 in firearms are the most effective way— Playboy, November 1998 — Steve Sternberg, USA Today, the United States and 44 for to protect oneself against criminals May 29, 1997 children under age 10, they’re — which is why police carry guns s Economist Wendell Cox has just astounded. rather than going unarmed ordiscovered that since 1980, for s Amount of money the There’s a reason why they carrying knives.every inflation-adjusted dollar of federal government spends believe these deaths occur much —H. Sterling Burnett, The Lasextra compensation (wages and annually to train new doctors: $7 more frequently: If you have a Vegas Review-Journal,benefits) the average private billion gun death in the home involving December 21, 1999sector employee has earned, the s Amount of money the a child under age 5, you’re goingaverage state and local govern- federal government might spend s Network television news- to get national news coverage.ment employee has received an over the next several years to pay casts overwhelmingly promote an Five times more children drown
  12. 12. 55555555555555555555555555555555 12 555555555555555555555555555555555in bathtubs; more than twice as s Are gun locks, as President golf, however, Switzerland is any- by non-resident foreigners, whommany drown in five-gallon water Clinton says, a “no brainer”? Yes, thing but “dull.” By car or train, locals call “criminal tourists.”buckets around the home. But indeed. The lock-up-the-guns you see shooting ranges every- — Stephen P. Halbrook, The Wallthose deaths do not get national proposal is great — as long as one where, but few golf courses. If Street Journal (Europe), June 4,news coverage. doesn’t think about it carefully. there is a Schuetzenfest (shooting 1999 This type of news coverage has Contrary to the impression festival) in town, you will find riflesconsequences, because it affects created by sensationalist media, slung on hat racks in restaurants, s While gun ban proponentspeople’s perceptions of the benefits fatal firearms accidents involving and you will encounter men and and several big cities continue toand costs of having guns around. children are far from common. women, old and young, walking, push forward with their recklessConcentrating on gun deaths in According to the National Safety biking and taking the tram with lawsuits against firearm manufac-the home, exaggerating the risks Council, there were about 30 fatal rifles over their shoulders, to and turers, distributors, and dealers, aof that, creates a false impression. gun deaths in 1995 among kids from the range. They stroll right recent study by the National Center People are going to die because age 0 to 4, and less than 40 for past the police station and no one for Policy Analysis has exposedof that false impression. They’re kids 5 to 9. This shows that even bats an eye. (Try this in the U.S., the suits as being in conflict withnot going to have guns in the home, without legislation from Washing- and a SWAT team might do you in.) their alleged goal — recoveringeven though that’s by far the safest ton, the overwhelming majority Shooting is the national sport, the cost to the cities due to thecourse of action for them to take of families with firearms already and the backbone of the national action of criminals and negligentwhen they’re confronted by a know how to act responsibly. defense as well. More per-capita individuals’ misuse of firearms.criminal. You may prevent some Any parent knows that a single firepower exists in Switzerland NCPA’s study indicates thatof the accidental deaths, but child’s death is unspeakably than in any other place in the firearms in the hands of law-you’re going to create other types tragic. Yet the number of toddlers world, yet it is one of the safest abiding citizens save far moreof deaths because people won’t be who die from gun accidents is places to be. money in preventing crime andable to defend themselves. fewer than the number who die According to the U.N. Interna- injuries than criminals cost the— John Lott, Reason, January 2000 from drowning in buckets. And tional Study on Firearm Regulation, cities through their misuse of it’s much lower than the 500 who England’s 1994 homicide rate was firearms. The net financial benefit s “Gun control? It’s the best die in swimming pools. Yet the 1.4 (9% involving firearms), and to this country because of firearms,thing you can do for crooks and President is not scoring political the robbery rate 116, per 100,000 according to the study, ranges asgangsters. I want you to have points inveighing against bucket population. In the United States, high as $38.8 billion, easily dwarfingnothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m manufacturers, or demanding the homicide rate was 9.0 (70% the medical and law-enforcementalways gonna have a gun. Safety federal laws against unfenced involving firearms), and the costs incurred because of thelocks? You pull the trigger with a pools in private homes. Politics, robbery rate 234, per 100,000. actions of armed criminals.lock on and I’ll pull the trigger not saving children’s lives, is the [But] Switzerland, which is A copy of this study can be[without a safety lock]. We’ll see foundation of the current anti-gun awash in guns . . . has substan- found at http://www.ncpa.org.who wins.” (Mobster Sammy “The campaign. tially lower murder and robbery — NRA-ILA [National RifleBull” Gravano, interviewed by — Dave Kopel & Eugene Volokh, rates than England, where most Association/Institute forHoward Blum.) Independence Institute Feature guns are banned. Legislative Action] Fax Alert,— Vanity Fair, September 1999 Syndicate, June 3, 1999 Here are the figures: The Swiss March 26, 1999 Federal Police Office reports that s President Clinton goes on s In 1994, when the U.S. in 1997 there were 87 intentional s A recent study by John LottGood Morning America to advance Congress debated whether to ban homicides and 102 attempted and David Mustard of the Univer-what he calls the “common sense” “assault weapons,” a talk show homicides in the entire country. sity of Chicago published in theidea that guns should be registered host asked then-Senator Bill Bradley Some 91 of these 189 murders and Journal of Legal Studies foundjust like cars. (NJ), a sponsor of the ban, attempts involved firearms. With that concealed handgun laws At last check there was no federal whether guns cause crime. The its population of seven million reduced murder by 8.5% andDMV, no waiting period to buy cars, host noted that, in Switzerland, (including 1.2 million foreigners), severe assault by 7% from 1977and no limit on the number of cars all males are issued assault rifles Switzerland had a homicide rate to 1992. Had “right-to-carry” lawsyou can buy. Nor do the feds monitor for militia service and keep them of 1.2 per 100,000. There were been in effect throughout thecar sales between individuals. at home, yet little crime exists 2,498 robberies (and attempted country, there would have been Yet Clinton and other gun-grabbers there. Sen. Bradley responded robberies), of which 546 involved 1,600 fewer murders and 60,000continue to make the analogy. that the Swiss “are pretty dull.” firearms, resulting in a robbery fewer assaults every year.— Reason magazine, August/ For those who think that rate of 36 per 100,000. Almost half — Investors Business Daily, September 1999 target shooting is more fun than of these crimes were committed January 8, 1998