What’s Your Metric?

How do you measure freedom?

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

September 2009

How do you watch freedom?  How do you watch it grow? How do you watch it shrink? What’s the metric? What’s your metric? What do you think the metrics of your fellow citizens are? If you have no idea what their metric is, how do you talk to them about freedom with any sense of urgency?

Milton Friedman’s metric was the percentage of GDP spent by government.

Friedman said we could … Read more

News Quiz #3 Report Card

The identity of our winners may be an issue, but not the identity of the bogus paragraph they astutely fingered.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

July 26th 2010

In last Monday’s Quiz #3 (here), contestants were asked to identify the bogus paragraph. Although takers of earlier quizzes complained that they were too easy, they would have done better to study harder. In order to get a passing grade to a decent number of the takers of Quiz#2, it had to be graded on … Read more

The New America Firsters

As opposed to the Government Firsters (and Lasters).

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

February 7th 2011

As we mused here a few days ago — in a piece pointing out that deregulation had to begin somewhere — Rome wasn’t burned in a day. (According to the Roman historian Tacitus, the fire, in 64 A.D., actually burned for five and a half days.)

The Republican Study Committee, the caucus of the conservative members of the House of Representatives, has lighted a small fire by … Read more

Social Security and the Ghost of Ephram Nestor

Entitlements? Uncle Sam’s big bait and switch.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

April 6th 2011

Very few senior citizens have heard of Ephram Nestor. And not many junior citizens, either. Nestor was a Bulgarian who came to America in 1913 and lived here continuously for 43 years. Then, in July 1956, he was deported for having been a Communist from 1933 to 1939, a period of time during which membership in the Communist Party as such was not illegal and wasn’t even a … Read more

Conscripts in a Ponzi Scheme

The upending truth about Social Security that no one — no one — is willing to face.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

June 13th 2011

The spit turns slowly over the Social Security roasting fire but there is no whimpering from the children being cooked. Yet.

Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal (one of English literature’s great satires) for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to their parents or their country, and for making them beneficial to the public … Read more

Republican Social Justice?

Arthur Brooks tries to add a new layer of varnish to an old GOP agenda.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Conservative

March 11th 2014

The soul of the Republican Party, always assuming it has a soul, is back in play. Arthur Brooks has written a piece in Commentary decrying conservatives’ reluctance to articulate a social justice agenda. Peter Wehner lauded the piece in his column in Commentary. Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff dissented from Wehner’s defense of the term “social justice,” and Wehner responded.

Inside … Read more

Let’s Make A Deal With the Middle Class

By Daniel Oliver

The Daily Caller

January 5th 2015

Happy New Year, middle class. Now let’s have a serious discussion.

After the electoral shellacking the Democrats took in November, Senator Chuck Schumer (D, Govt.) said the Democrats should propose more middle-class-oriented programs to try to win back the core: white, working-class voters.

Middle-class income is said to be down, and the middle class is said to be upset. But it’s not clear that the first statement is true, or that the second statement is … Read more