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Reason

Reason August - September 2017

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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United States
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English
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Reason Magazine
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Monthly
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11 Números

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6 min.
giant ziplock baggies full of lambs are going to change everything

IN APRIL, RESEARCHERS announced they had managed to keep several extremely premature lambs alive and growing in artificial wombs. After spending up to four weeks in a clear plastic “extra-uterine device” at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, each sheep transformed from a decidedly undercooked fetal specimen to a much more robust critter with long limbs and a fluffy wool coat, the sort of animal you wouldn’t be terribly alarmed to see plop to the ground in a field on a spring afternoon. The setup strongly resembles a sous vide cooking apparatus: a tiny, tender lamb floats in a large plastic ziplock, hooked up to tubes and monitors. But a video clip posted by the researchers has the emotional heft of feeling a fetus kick when you put a hand on a…

2 min.
go ahead, put salt on your food

“SALT,” AN UNKNOWN wit once said, “is what makes things taste bad when it isn’t in them.” In that sense, government nutrition nannies have spent decades urging Americans to make their food taste bad. In June 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued proposed guidelines to the food industry to reduce the amount of sodium in many prepared foods. The agency, noting that the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium daily, wants to cut that back to only 2,300 mg. That is basically the amount of sodium in one teaspoon of salt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) similarly advises that “most Americans should consume less sodium” because “excess sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart disease and stroke.” There’s one problem:…

2 min.
use a cellphone, void the fourth amendment?

IN MAY, THE Indiana Supreme Court tackled one of the most pressing questions in modern Fourth Amendment law: When the police decide to use someone’s cellphone to track his location, do they need a search warrant to get the data from his cellular service provider? In Zanders v. Indiana, cops obtained Marcus Zanders’ cell site data without a warrant and used that information to trace back his whereabouts during the time periods in which several armed robberies were committed. Those records were later used against Zanders at trial. Cellphones are “double-edged swords, increasing convenience at the expense of privacy,” the Indiana Supreme Court observed. The justices then demonstrated just how expensive the costs to privacy can be. “Zanders presumptively knew that his phone makes and receives calls by sending signals to towers,”…

2 min.
health care and the politics of disruption

AT THE BEGINNING of May, the insurance giant Aetna announced that it would cease selling health coverage in Obamacare’s insurance exchanges entirely. The individual market created by the law relies on the participation of both individuals and insurers. But Aetna is arguing that the system is fundamentally flawed. The company said it was projecting losses of about $200 million this year, “the result of marketplace structural issues that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits, and subsequent risk pool deterioration.” The insurer’s exit provided yet another reminder of the instability that exists within the system created under Obamacare, which is built around a series of exchanges run by states and the federal government. Most of the non-profit insurers— called co-ops under the law—have failed, and many of the nation’s major insurance…

5 min.
the myth of technological unemployement

AS A SAVVY reader, you already know that technological change is why the jobs in manufacturing are drifting away from Youngstown, Ohio. You know that most of the drift goes to other American cities, such as Houston or Chattanooga. You know that Appalachian jobs in coal mining are not coming back, because new techniques have permanently cheapened natural gas. You know that the Trump administration’s scapegoat, foreign competition, bears little responsibility for any of this. And when foreign encroachment does happen, you know it’s good, not bad, for most Americans. Still, many reasonable people fret. Isn’t technological unemployment a real and serious problem? Non-economists of a quantitative bent fret about what we’re going to do when all the jobs go away— when, say, autonomous vehicles replace America’s 3.5 million truck drivers. Even…

3 min.
can’t afford a vacation? blame the state!

WITH TEMPERATURES RISING, your sweet summer getaway is just around the corner— if you can afford one. But however you get to and from your favorite vacation spot, the government is there to take a cut. If you’re a road tripper, you’ll pay a tax on gasoline that accounts for almost 19 percent of the price of refilling your tank. Even more annoyingly, a quarter of that money is diverted from relevant tasks like highway maintenance to other projects, including turtle bridges and bike lanes. Repaving the roads is low on the priority list, but at least you can experience first-hand what driving in the Soviet Union must have been like. If you fly, Washington will get you too. A ticket from New York to Paris in September on the French airline…