Welcome to the Spring 2009 issue of TOS. Here is an overview of the content at hand.
First up is my interview with Yaron Brook about Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and current events, in which Dr. Brook explains why, more than fifty years ago, Rand was able to project the kinds of crises we are seeing today.
“America’s Unfree Market” by Dr. Brook and Don Watkins demonstrates the actual nature of the allegedly free market that delivered the current mayhem.
“Altruism: The Moral Root of the Financial Crisis” by Richard M. Salsman zeros in on the fundamental cause of the problem, showing that widespread acceptance of the morality of self-sacrifice necessitated the kinds of laws, regulations, and decisions that have driven the financial markets into the gutter.
“Lest We Be Doomed to Repeat It: A Survey of Amity Shlaes’s History of the Great Depression” by Ari Armstrong provides an essentialized chronology of the era, focusing on the (ominously familiar sounding) policies of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
“Houston, We Have a (Zoning) Problem” by J. Brian Phillips demonstrates that Houston’s absence of zoning laws is largely responsible for the city’s relative health and prosperity, and urges Houstonians to halt and reverse the encroachments on their property rights before they find themselves zoned.
“Of Freedom and Fat: Why Anti-Obesity Laws Are Immoral” by Stella Daily discusses efforts at state and federal levels to put Americans on a collective diet by violating the rights of food producers, restaurateurs, and consumers.
“Doubt vs. Certainty” by Gena Gorlin casts certainty on why the movie Doubt is leaving viewers wondering whether they can know anything for sure.
“Religion vs. Subjectivism: Why Neither Will Do,” a chapter from my book Loving Life, examines those alternatives and finds them equally life-thwarting and revealingly similar.
The books reviewed in this issue are Greenspan’s Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve by William A. Fleckenstein with Frederick Sheehan (reviewed by Joe Kroeger); Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (reviewed by Eric Daniels); and Concierge Medicine: A New System to Get the Best Healthcare by Steven D. Knope (reviewed by Michael Garrett).
Enjoy the articles and reviews, and let your friends know about The Objective Standard. Everyone concerned with the future should be reading this journal today.
Editor and Publisher