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Reason

Reason February 2019

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.

País:
United States
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Reason Magazine
Periodicitat:
Monthly
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11 Números

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6 min.
budget hawks fly the coop

MORE THAN A decade ago, a young Rep. Paul Ryan (R–Wisc.) swooped into the House Budget Committee, talons extended. Even before he ascended to committee chairman in 2011, the hardcore hawk had already drafted functional legislation to replace Medicare with vouchers. He was going to privatize Social Security! There were tax cuts balanced by huge cuts to discretionary spending! He gave his interns copies of Atlas Shrugged and slept in his office to save taxpayers money! His reputation as a wonk preceded him and he rose high, gliding on the updrafts of the Tea Party movement. But as the 115th Congress comes to a close, Ryan is slinking out the door like a trod-upon rattlesnake. The speaker of the House declined to seek re-election, an unusual move for a man at…

2 min.
liberty has a new champion on the federal bench

DON WILLETT FIRST rose to fame as a libertarian-leaning Texas Supreme Court justice who penned constitutional defenses of economic freedom. Since joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in late 2017, Willett has been making a name for himself in another area of the law: criminal justice reform. In August 2018, Willett took aim at the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial doctrine of qualified immunity, which shields police officers and other government officials from being sued when they violate citizens’ constitutional rights. “To some observers, qualified immunity smacks of unqualified impunity, letting public officials duck consequences for bad behavior,” Willett wrote in a concurring opinion in Zadeh v. Robinson. “I add my voice to a growing, cross-ideological chorus of jurists and scholars urging recalibration of contemporary immunity jurisprudence.” Next, in…

2 min.
can public pensions survive the next recession?

A DECADE OF consistent economic growth lifted the major stock market indices to all-time highs in 2018. But even before the recent dip, many state pension plans were struggling to get back to where they were before the last recession. Unfunded pension debt across the 50 states totals a staggering $1.6 trillion, even by the plans’ own (often overly rosy) accounting. If a decade of positive investment returns can’t fix what’s wrong with America’s public pension systems, how much worse could things get in the event of another downturn? That’s what Greg Mennis, Susan Banta, and David Draine, three researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School, set out to determine. They subjected state pension plans to a series of stress tests meant to simulate the consequences of a variety of adverse economic…

2 min.
jeff sessions deals one more blow to criminal justice reform on his way out the door

AS HIS LAST move before resigning as U.S. attorney general in October, former Sen. Jeff Sessions signed a memo making it much more difficult for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to enter into binding court agreements with police departments accused of civil rights violations. It was a parting shot at Sessions’ longtime ideological enemies, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and his department’s own Civil Rights Division. The DOJ first began creating so-called “consent decrees” to rein in rogue police departments in the 1990s, following the Rodney King trial. But they were used sparingly until the Obama era, during which time the DOJ launched a record 25 civil rights investigations into state and local law enforcement agencies. Probes in Baltimore; Chicago; Ferguson, Missouri; and elsewhere revealed excessive force, unconstitutional…

3 min.
after living abroad, kids struggle with american overparenting

WHEN JEAN PHILLIPSON’S family returned to Fairfax, Virginia, after living in Bolivia, the main thing her 10-year-old son complained about was the bus ride home from school. “He wasn’t allowed to have a pencil out,” says the mom of three, “because it was considered unsafe.” Welcome back, kid, to the land of the outlandishly cautious. I asked children and parents who’d lived both abroad and here in the States what struck them as the biggest difference. They all said it was the lack of childhood independence in America. In Berlin, says Tully Comfort, an 11-year-old living there now, “me and my friends will meet up and go to the market and get something to eat on our own.” But a year ago, when she was living in the U.S., “the parents had to…

6 min.
the mcconnell era has been terrible for american politics

WE TEND TO think of political eras in terms of presidents: The 1980s remind us of Ronald Reagan, not Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. The same is true of the 1990s and Bill Clinton, the post-9/11 era and George W. Bush, the years after the financial collapse and Barack Obama. Now, it is assumed, we are in the era of Donald Trump. But are we? Trump is certainly the most visible elected leader in our national political life. But with his inescapably controversial persona serving as the starkest partisan dividing line in our polarized age, he is, perhaps more than any other modern president, also a figurehead—a president-in-name-only, elected to sit in the Oval Office and tweet into the abyss, which may or may not tweet back. Meanwhile, the real work of…