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Reason

Reason December 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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United States
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English
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Reason Magazine
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Monthly
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11 Números

en aquest número

6 min.
the dangerous lure of political violence

JUST DOWN THE street from the Reason offices in D.C., protesters recently built a guillotine. No necks were harmed that night; it wasn’t fully functional. But they did it in front of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ house, and the message was clear: While we aren’t going to do violence to you personally right now, we want you to know that we think capitalist billionaires like you are so terrible that some violence may, in fact, be justified. Another iteration of the guillotine had popped up a couple of weeks earlier in front of the White House, with similar implications for the president and his allies. The question, which has taken on increasing importance as Election Day draws near, is how seriously (or literally) to take such threats. The best-case scenario is that…

2 min.
predictive policing or targeted harassment?

RIO WOJTECKI, A 15-year-old Florida resident, hadn’t been in trouble for nearly a year. But in late 2019, sheriff’s deputies started showing up everywhere to “check up” on him. Over four months, deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office contacted Wojtecki or his family 21 times—at his house, at his gym, at his parents’ work. When Wojtecki’s older sisters refused to let deputies inside the house during one of their frequent late-night visits, a deputy shouted, “You’re about to have some issues.” He threatened to write the family a ticket for not having their address number appropriately posted on their mailbox. Wojtecki was one of nearly 1,000 Pasco County residents who ended up on a list of “prolific offenders” created by the sheriff’s predictive policing program. The scope of the program, launched…

2 min.
still waiting for drone deliveries

WHEN JURISDICTIONS ACROSS the United States responded to the COVID-19 epidemic with broad lockdown orders in March and April, home delivery services lacked the manpower to keep up with the explosion in demand. Stores and companies such as Instacart went on hiring sprees; in some areas, it was very hard, if not impossible, to get goods delivered. You know what might have made things a bit easier? Drones. It has taken years for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow the use of unmanned aerial devices for commercial delivery. Over the course of a decade, we’ve gone from a complete ban to slow, heavily regulated, and restricted initial testing. At the end of August, the FAA finally gave Amazon approval for its Prime Air drone delivery fleet. It did that by classifying…

5 min.
the shaky case for state bailouts

IN WASHINGTON, D.C., it is common to hear that anyone who opposes the federal rescue of states experiencing budget issues due to COVID-19 must be out of his or her mind. Newspapers are running story after story about how, in the absence of such bailouts, state and local legislators are forced to slash funding for services. But if you decide to shed tears for these poor states and cities, let them be crocodile tears—as those are all this tale of woe deserves. Consider a recent New York Times article, “With Washington Deadlocked on Aid, States Face Dire Fiscal Crisis.” The report tells us: “Alaska chopped resources for public broadcasting. New York City gutted a nascent composting program that could have kept tons of food waste out of landfills….In Maryland, the Baltimore…

2 min.
solar and wind power struggle as california faces blackouts

ROLLING ELECTRIC POWER blackouts afflicted roughly 2 million California residents in August as a heat wave gripped the Golden State. At the center of the problem is a state policy requiring that 33 percent of California’s electricity come from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, rising to a goal of 60 percent by 2030. Yet data showed that power demand peaks just before the sun begins to go down, when overheated people turn up their air conditioning in the late afternoon. Meanwhile, the power output from California’s wind farms in August was erratic. Until this summer, California utilities and grid operators were able to purchase extra electricity from other states. But the August heat wave stretched from Texas to Oregon, so there was little to no surplus energy available.…

3 min.
pandemic rules are only for the little people

THE DEFINING MOMENT in the “rules for thee but not for me” ethos of the ruling class during the COVID-19 pandemic may have come when Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist behind Britain’s lockdown policy, met with his married girlfriend in defiance of the restrictions he promoted. Eager to threaten the common people with penalties if they failed to socially distance, he saw no reason to inconvenience himself the same way—although at least he conceded that propriety required him to resign his government post when the trysts were discovered in May. “He has peculiarly breached his own guidelines, and for an intelligent man I find that very hard to believe,” marveled Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a prominent member of the ruling Conservative Party. “It risks undermining the Government’s lockdown message.” Well, yes. But like…