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Tommy Douglas, the pragmatic socialist

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

November 22, 2010
He set an example of fiscal restraint (and, ironically, of limited government) that no other Canadian premier approached in the 20th century. In 17 years as premier, he produced 17 balanced budgets. From this perspective, he governed in a uniquely rational, disciplined and principled way… By reducing the debt, and thereby reducing interest costs, he was able to spend more on public services – without raising taxes.

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Reflections on the narrative of liberal

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Nov. 1, 2010
It was a historic mistake… when reformist political parties began to call themselves “Liberal” in the 19th century. They expropriated a cultural word for narrow, political purposes – and debased the only word that integrates a coherent political philosophy with a code of tolerance. Collectivist doctrine comes and goes – communism and fascism in days gone by, religious fanaticism now. Mr. Vargas Llosa proposes a simple defensive reform: Get rid of Liberals so we can unite again as liberals, democratic left and democratic right together, as champions of an integrated philosophy of freedom.

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Are we sliding into a tyranny of good intentions?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

October 4, 2010
“Debt, intemperance and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable – but they are vices, and – left alone – they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians and most sensible governments in the past have left moral faults to the churches. “The point is that governments have no business telling us how to live…”

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The steadfast strangling of U.S. economic freedom – and its citizens’ wealth

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

September 8, 2010
The Fraser Institute thinks that economic freedom is a good thing and that more of it is better than less. (The freest economies, it says, “operate with minimal government interference” and rely for economic decisions on “personal choice and markets.”… Economic freedom has a more powerful impact in the United States than in Canada because Canada’s “fiscal federalism”

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The disintegration of the welfare state

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

July 11, 2010
… Italy’s debt purchased benefits that weren’t necessary. It paid for early retirement of public-sector workers, for example, and provided these pensioners with incomes much higher than private-sector workers. Now, with revenues falling and costs rising, Italy can avert insolvency only by adopting a constitutional prohibition of deficits, the economists say. This stringent assignment is Mission: Impossible… Democracies have made people more dependent on the state than any humanitarian necessity required.

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