In this blog I provide a libertarian perspective on economic and social policy. By libertarian, I mean consequential libertarian, not philosophical libertarian. Thus, my arguments are based on assessments of costs and benefits, not on assertions about rights. My claim is that most government policies do more harm than good, even when the policies have good intentions and even when private arrangements work imperfectly.

 

Most posts will take one of two forms.†† Some will draw the readerís attention to a news article, or opinion piece, or blog, that seems worth reading, with or without my comments.Others will present my views on a particular news story or particular policy.Overall, I emphasize three themes in particular.

 

The first is that consequential libertarianism is consistent in its approach to the issues. Modern liberalism and conservatism are not.

 

The second theme is that both liberals and conservatives advocate massive amounts of government intervention. The two perspectives disagree about precise policy choices, but overall they are far more similar than different. The libertarian perspective, however, is truly distinct from either mainstream view.

 

The third theme is that most economic and social problems are best addressed by eliminating the government interventions that caused or exacerbated the problem in the first place. Creating even more government is never a sensible approach.

 

This blog aims to persuade, but it also aims to educate. I hope to convince readers that the libertarian perspective is interesting, even if I cannot convince them it is right. Time will tell whether I succeed.

 

This blog is one outgrowth of a course titled A Libertarian Perspective on Economic and Social Policy that I teach at Harvard University. The course presents the libertarian perspective on a broad range of issues, from drug legalization to Social Security to environmental policy to abortion rights to gay marriage and more.

 

A second outgrowth of the course will be a book on the same themes. The publication date will likely be late 2007. I will provide details as they become available.

 

To everyone who visits this blog, thanks for your interest. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

 

Jeffrey Alan Miron