Notícies i Política

Reason August/September 2020

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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7 min.
editorial notes on police brutality

A DEADLY PANDEMIC originates in Asia and sweeps around the globe, killing more than 100,000 Americans. A successful manned space mission briefly unites a nation with a sense of wonder. Police and National Guardsmen face off against protesters demanding racial justice and suppress riots in city streets. The military is tied up in unwinnable foreign entanglements, a culture war rages, and electoral politics is a dumpster fire. It is 1969. Reason magazine is a baby, just over a year old, and editor Lanny Friedlander is wrapping up the November issue. It is a small operation, so he has also written most of the contents. The question he poses on the cover is “The Cops: Heroes or Villains?” He sketches the landscape: “After each recent mass police action that shed blood—People’s Park, Chicago, Harvard,…

2 min.
the weed warriors who mistook tea for marijuana

ON A FRIDAY morning in April 2012, heavily armed sheriff’s deputies stormed into Bob and Addie Harte’s house in Leawood, Kansas, looking for a nonexistent marijuana garden. The deputies confined the Hartes and their two children to a living room couch for two hours as they conducted an increasingly desperate search that discovered nothing illegal. The Hartes were the victims of a comically inept publicity stunt executed by cops who did not realize that hydroponic equipment could be used to grow tomatoes and did not know the difference between tea and marijuana. The fiasco led to seven years of litigation that culminated in a settlement, unsealed in May, in which the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office agreed to pay the family $150,000. The Hartes were targeted because Sgt. James Wingo of the Missouri…

2 min.
the supreme court, livestreamed and uncut

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has upended business as usual at the U.S. Supreme Court. In March, the body announced that it was postponing all remaining oral arguments from its 2019–2020 term while it “examine[d] the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances.” After weighing its options, the Court took the unprecedented step of rescheduling several of the remaining cases for early May, with all parties participating remotely by telephone while a live audio feed went out to the media. Just like millions of their fellow Americans, the justices would have to adjust to the strange new realities of social distancing and working from home. It actually went pretty well. The justices asked their questions in order of seniority, producing calm and orderly discussions that left…

5 min.
has the u.s. government finally spent too much?

WHEN COVID-19 ARRIVED in America, Uncle Sam was already deep in debt. The federal government was poised to have a permanent annual budget deficit of at least $1 trillion. Debt was already sky high thanks to demographic trends and a few entitlement programs that experts had warned us about for decades. But after the most recent three months of frenzied, bipartisan spending, those previous balances seem like small potatoes. Emergency spending related to COVID-19 has increased government outlays by $3.6 trillion. The net deficit impact of this fiscal incontinence is roughly $2.4 trillion. So far, $1.4 trillion of this authorized spending has been committed. Another $400 billion has been authorized through executive action, with a net deficit impact of $80 billion. And $300 billion of that $400 billion has already been…

2 min.
a coronavirus bailout won’t save (or fix) the usps

CONGRESS HAS PROPOSED a $25 billion bailout for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as part of the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill, but it’s unlikely that any amount of cash will be enough to stabilize the agency’s finances. Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the House Oversight Committee in April that the postal service stands to lose $13 billion this year. That’s an acceleration of an ongoing trend, not a new problem created by the coronavirus pandemic; the post office has lost $69 billion since 2007. In May, a report from the Government Accountability Office called the agency’s business model “not financially sustainable”—a conclusion it had reached before the impact of the coronavirus was factored in. The report called for Congress to make changes to “critical foundational elements” of how USPS operates. In…

3 min.
covid-19 pulls back the mask on america’s prison system

AS OF MAY 30, more than 300 incarcerated people across the United States have died from COVID-19. Victims of the virus include a woman who was sent to federal prison during her third trimester of pregnancy, a Michigan man who was two weeks away from release, and a wheel-chair-bound 67-year-old man with no legs who died in a hospital two days after his release date. None of these prisoners were sentenced to death. When the pandemic first hit, an unusual alliance of civil liberties groups, public defenders, and prison guard unions warned that prisons and jails were ill-equipped to handle the problem. They knew better than anyone that a deadly and contagious disease would expose problems with prison systems that have been ignored for decades. U.S. prisons and jails are opaque, crowded,…