Reason February 2021

Reason is the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets." It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity.

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Reason Magazine
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11 Edições

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7 minutos
in defense of covid billionaires

PEOPLE LOVE TO hate billionaires. And they really love to hate large pharmaceutical companies. But at the very least, the last year has complicated the popular narrative that drug manufacturers and businessmen are selfish profit-taking parasites, hoarding wealth at the expense of the sick. Faced with the challenge of the novel coronavirus, big pharmaceutical companies didn’t just beat their record for developing a new vaccine. They utterly demolished it. Multiple vaccines have been created and tested in under a year. The previous record was set in the 1960s by the mumps vaccine, which took five times longer. The fact that there were numerous firms racing toward many different vaccines wasn’t wasteful; it was crucial redundancy on a difficult high-stakes problem where time was of the essence. And one reason so many were…

2 minutos
the risk of arrest for cannabis consumers is shrinking

AFTER RISING FOR three years in a row, marijuana arrests in the United States fell by 18 percent in 2019. Police made about 545,600 such arrests in 2019, according to the FBI, compared to about 663,400 in 2018. As usual, the vast majority of those arrests—92 percent—were for possession rather than manufacture or sale. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws reported that “much of the national decline resulted from a drop-off in marijuana arrests in Texas,” where the total fell by more than 50,000. Nationwide, marijuana arrests peaked at nearly 873,000 in 2007; the 2019 number was 37 percent lower. While the odds that any given cannabis consumer will be arrested have always been low, they are getting lower. Possession arrests in 2007 represented about 3 percent of marijuana…

2 minutos
the silver lining in biden’s massive housing plan

A DEMOCRATIC WHITE House and a Republican Senate might be the best of all worlds when it comes to federal housing policy. We can expect the return of heavy-handed regulations under Joe Biden’s presidency, but his worst, most expensive ideas involving increased federal funding likely won’t make it through Congress. Meanwhile, the president-elect could lend crucial support to efforts to nudge local and state governments into zoning deregulation. On the spending side, Biden has pledged to plow $640 billion over 10 years into new and existing housing programs, including a new $100 billion Affordable Housing Fund to finance low-income housing and energy-efficient upgrades. Biden also wants to fully fund the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program so that all renters who qualify for it receive a voucher, and he wants to…

3 minutos
what amy coney barrett got wrong about lochner

ACCORDING TO THE conventional wisdom, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett successfully bobbed and weaved her way through her Senate confirmation hearings without really sharing any of her substantive legal views. But Barrett did disclose one big thing: She thinks the Supreme Court got it wrong when it protected the constitutional right to economic liberty in the famous 1905 case Lochner v. New York. On October 14, Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) asked Barrett to “talk just a little bit about how a court could substitute its own views on economic policy for those of a law-enacting body, of a legislature or of Congress.” Barrett replied that “in the Lochner era” and “in Lochner itself,” the Supreme Court “was standing in the way of reforms for workers that legislatures were enacting.” Say a…

3 minutos
preserve your sanity by preserving food

WHILE EATING FROM cans is far from my preferred sustenance, putting my own food into them for later consumption is a different matter. Throughout 2020—a year we could have skipped—my family took to home-canning food even as we expanded a garden that we hope will provide us with more to store. It’s a means of armoring ourselves against a world that seems determined to throw every possible challenge our way and of turning our focus from insane headlines to comforting home activities. For us, a big spur was the supply disruptions, when chicken, ground beef, canned goods, and other foods disappeared from markets and were rationed when available. We got in the habit of grabbing and storing goods as they appeared. But the chest freezer has limited capacity. And what do…

3 minutos
district attorney candidates win big against ‘tough on crime’

YOU MIGHT HAVE missed it amid all the shouting about the 2020 election, but the most populous county in the United States will now have a reform-minded district attorney. Challenger George Gascón beat incumbent Jackie Lacey 54–46 percent in November to become the top prosecutor of Los Angeles County, which has a population of 10 million. It was the most significant win of the cycle for criminal justice reformers who in recent years have focused on local prosecutor races. D.A.s wield an enormous amount of power and discretion in the criminal justice system, deciding which crimes to prioritize, how to charge defendants, and whether to seek high bail amounts. During the last few election cycles, a wave of well-funded progressive candidates have run for prosecutor’s offices in major cities, turning what were…