Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall 2009 Issue of The Independent Review Now Available!

A Journal of Political Economy
Volume 14, Number 2 (Fall 2009) 160 pages

Summary of Articles and Reviews


Some Costs of the Great War: Nationalizing Private Life
By T. Hunt Tooley
The casualties of World War I did not end with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Part of the toll was the war’s acceleration of the nationalization of private life, a trend that continues to the present day.

The Application of Darwinism to Ideological Change, with a Case Study of Food-Safety Regulations
By Tomohide Yasuda
Like living organisms, ideologies come in varieties, pass certain traits to their offshoots, and are subject to a process of selection. Thus, the application of concepts from biological evolution to the study of ideological change can help us understand ideologies more systematically, as the politics of U.S. food-safety regulations illustrates.

Rolling the DICE: William Nordhaus’s Dubious Case for Carbon Tax
By Robert P. Murphy
The case for adopting a carbon tax to curb global warming is weaker than most economists and scientists assume. One reason is that William Nordhaus’s influential DICE model, far from producing a reliable estimate of an “optimal” carbon tax, yields vastly different results depending on which numerical estimates are plugged into it.

Justice and Climate Change: Toward a Libertarian Analysis
By Dan C. Shahar
Arguing that the proper response to man-made climate change is simply to allow individuals to adapt to it, as many libertarians do, presupposes that man-made climate change would not represent an injustice. But if it were an injustice, libertarians should eagerly offer ideas about how best to protect the victims’ rights.

Why Are There So Few Female Top Executives in Egalitarian Welfare States?
By Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula
Despite high rates of female participation in the workforce, women in top corporate positions are much rarer in egalitarian Scandinavian countries than in individualistic Anglo-Saxon countries. Scandinavia’s dearth of female CEOs is related to the region’s particular policies of parental leave, childcare, and personal taxation, and to the psychological dynamics of career success.

Will Czech Trains Ever Reach Their Destinations Efficiently?
By Tomas Otáhal and Tomas Pospisil
The Czech Ministry of Transport views the country’s dominant railway company as a profit-seeking state monopoly that benefits the public, but economists view the firm as wasteful and the railway industry as noncompetitive. Most economists have been reluctant, however, to recommend a reform essential to fostering competition and efficiency in the railway industry--namely, ending its support from government subsidies.

Conservative Magazines and the Presumption of Liberty: A Content Analysis on Sex, Gambling, and Drugs
By Daniel B. Klein and Jason Briggeman
More often than not, National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, and the now-defunct American Enterprise have failed to oppose government intrusion into America’s bedrooms, gambling places, and drug activities. Whatever political principles these leading conservative magazines have espoused, the presumption of liberty is not among them.

Book Reviews:

Origins of American Health Insurance: A History of Industrial Sickness Funds, by John Murray
Reviewed by Werner Troesken
Why couldn’t Progressive Era reformers secure the passage of universal, government-provided health insurance? Although most writers have claimed that special-interest groups thwarted the will of the people, John Murray’s superb book shows that a large segment of the industrial workforce was satisfied with its coverage from privately provided sickness funds.

Global Tax Revolution: The Rise of Tax Competition and the Battle to Defend It, by Chris Edwards and Daniel J. Mitchell
Reviewed by Randall G. Holcombe
A worldwide tax-cut revolution is in progress, with many countries greatly reducing their rates of income and capital-gains taxes in order to attract more foreign investment. Edwards and Mitchell argue that more countries should join this movement and resist pressure to support the high-tax cartels favored by the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Climate Change Policies: Challenging the Activists, edited by Colin Robinson
Reviewed by Roy Cordato
Brevity and readability make Climate Change Policies a worthwhile book, particularly for those who may not have given the subject much thought. Perhaps its best chapters for “challenging the activists” are those that examine the eco-alarmist predictions of the past fifty years and reveal the political nature of reports issued by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

You and the State: A Fairly Brief Introduction to Political Philosophy, by Jan Narveson
Reviewed by George Bragues
Among other virtues, Jan Narveson’s You and the State grapples with a key question neglected by most contemporary political philosophers: what, if anything, justifies the state? The book introduces fundamental issues in political philosophy by examining three conceptions of justice, each represented by characters in Plato’s The Republic, and argues in favor of a social-contract justification for a libertarian society.

Request a free trial issue of The Independent Review.

Special offer for first time subscribers: Subscribe today to The Independent Review and receive TWO complimentary issues--the next six issues for the price of four!

Purchase this issue or single copies of back issues.

Please recommend The Independent Review to the librarian at your local school, business, government, public and other libraries! Print out a subscription request for your library.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

The staff and editorial board of The Independent Review

No comments: