This week is the 101st anniversary of Milton Friedman's birth, and it will be widely celebrated among the vast number of Americans who march in Tea Parties and wear tricorn hats in public. But the new "libertarian populism" is increasingly at odds with the possibility of a shared future.
Politics, they say, makes strange bedfellows. Nowhere could this be more true than in the current case of liberals and libertarians finding common ground on a host of issues, ranging from U.S. drone policy to the NSA's spying activities on Americans.
Friedman's vision is worth studying, if only because it reflects the distorted perspective of some very wealthy and influential people. In their world the problems of the many are as easily fixed as a line of code, with no sacrifice required of them or their fellow billionaires.
Why is David Stockman driving everyone crazy? The shoot-the-messenger frenzy that has greeted Sunday's New York Times op-ed by Ronald Reagan's former budget director leaves one searching for the message that has so unhinged his critics.
The libertarian premise that without government intervention everyone would be free to do what they want is simply a myth for marginalized communities. True equality for the LGBT community will require government enforcement and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial ban on large, sugary drinks was slated to go into effect today. The regulations were intended to help curb runaway obesity rates. This is based on sound psychological science.
Paul Ryan's no libertarian, for sure. But by emphasizing fiscal, rather than social issues, he may unite tea partiers, appeal to libertarians and win general election voters concerned about the economy.
One view of the election season is as a contest between liberty and freedom, between a republic and a democracy, and between the nations of a Northern alliance and the Dixie bloc that predates the Constitution.
My argument that liberals should bargain with corporations and not outright fight them is not terribly populist. I wasn't expecting conservatives to use my piece as an opportunity to claim the populist mantle for themselves.
I see enough of myself in libertarians to recognize that they do not deserve to be marginalized. Though they are certainly quirky, any group with this many original ideas should be listened to, not scorned.
The images of college students thronging to Ron Paul campaign events inspire a nostalgic twinge in me. Once I upon a time, I, too, needed nothing more in life than to be left free to achieve. I was a Libertarian, at least until graduation.
Of course, there are Latino libertarians out there. But in general, talking Hispanics into espousing the Ron Paul agenda is only slightly easier than getting the pope to show up at the Stonewall Inn for a drink.
Last year, Bachmann mentioned that one of her favorite economists is Ludwig von Mises. Her endorsement of Romney, though, has Mises turning in his grave. Romney's political views represent everything the Austrian economist despised.