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Tibor R. Machan
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Tibor Machan is a professor of business ethics and Western Civilization at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and recent author of Neither Left Nor Right: Selected Columns (Hoover Institution Press, 2004).  He is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

RECENT COMMENTS BY Tibor R. Machan

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Columns by Tibor R. Machan

Communists Given Unearned Sympathy
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-04-12 16:00
What is gross and, actually, quite shameful is when, say, The Los Angeles Times assigns the task to one of its staff writers, Susan King in this case, to do a very friendly write-up of someone who reportedly had been an avid supporter of everything Soviet and communist in his life but has, of course, done a thing or two in the movies that may be quite admirable. In this case, Mr. Dassin'who is...
Journalism, Competition and Objectivity
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-04-10 16:00
Whenever a controversy breaks, some will argue that too many journalists fail to be objective and let their partisan loyalties color their reporting. When the topic has international significance, the issue of objectivity even overshadows certain newsworthy topics. Many journalists become defensive and start focusing not on what they are supposed to be covering but on whether their coverage is...
Welcoming Versus Blocking Innovation
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-04-08 16:00
One need not await yet another multimillion dollar study to learn that the Internet has improved efficiency in innumerable areas of human productivity. What is not so widely appreciated, judging by all the complaints one hears about outsourcing'taking jobs that have been done in a given location and relocating them someplace else where labor is less expensive'is the incredible volatility that...
Were the Founders Libertarian?
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-04-01 16:00
In the fall 2001 issue of The National Interest, Francis Fukuyama writes in response to my brief statement of the meaning of the term 'natural rights,' namely, that 'properly understood, [they] are liberties, spheres of personal authority within which one does as one judges fit-even if it may be unwise, imprudent or cowardly-and others must gain entrance by permission. Fukuyama responds that 'Mr...
If It Really Were Their Money
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-04-01 16:00
A famous theory about taxes has it that wealth belongs to society and taxation merely determines how much of it the citizenry may use. This is what is argued in The Myth of Ownership by co-authors Thomas Nagel and Liam Murphy (Oxford, 2002). You and I do not own even our labor. It belongs to society and government is in charge of telling what we get to use and what remains in its coffers....
"We Are Shocked, Shocked!"
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-26 17:00
Here is a topic on which I have some personal feelings'the success of Richard A. Clarke's book, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Clarke is today's liberal democratic hero since he has come out attacking President George W. Bush for the latter's alleged failure to properly prosecute the war on terror. Despite having earlier defended Bush'Clarke...
Replacing Arguments with Name Calling
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-25 17:00
Rush Limbaugh has claimed that the modern liberalism of Ted Kennedy & Co. is dead in the water as far as arguments are concerned. I am not sure this isn't true also of modern conservatism, a la George W. Bush'are there really any arguments in support of Bush's bloated big government 'compassionate' conservatism? Limbaugh seems to be right about the demise of arguments for modern liberalism'I...
Responding to a "Review"
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-25 17:00
That venerable magazine, Publishers Weekly, ran a review of my book, Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature's Favorite (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). It is a mean-minded short little thing that looks to me was meant to bury the book, especially since Amazon.com published it in full next to where the work is described. Here is what Publishers Weekly said: 'This cranky manifesto opposes the...
Were the Good Old Days Free?
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-22 17:00
It pains me when some of my fellow loyal champions of liberty speak as if liberty were something in America to which we could perhaps return. As if those good old days were rife with individual liberty across the land. Well, the country may have had a few more favorable speeches promoting individual liberty, yes. That is one thing that I do miss'we didn't only hear a few vapid words in support...
Revisiting and Expanding the Laffer Curve
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-17 17:00
The Laffer curve is about how much imposition or other types of trouble people are willing to tolerate from their fellows. Arthur Laffer, a professor at the University of Southern California, is supposed to have drawn a bell shaped graph on a napkin once to show that up to the peak point of it people are likely to put up with the burden of taxation. The peak isn't the same for everyone, but...
"Government" vs. "State"
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-14 17:00
Concepts such as that of 'government,' like those of 'democracy,' 'law,' 'justice,' 'freedom' and 'love,' to cite just a few, is what W. B. Gallie, called 'essentially contestable' (see his "Essentially Contested Concepts", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. 56 [1955-56]). I heard the characterization from Alasdair McIntyre back in the mid-70s at the Creighton Club, the New York State...
On Navigating Mixed Systems
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-14 17:00
Over the years attending libertarian meetings I have always been a bit uneasy about folks in attendance who think being forced to wear helmets while riding motorcycles or having to wear seatbelts in cars are central libertarian issues. They are and aren't. For starters, the real issue, one that only a few directly touch on, is whether the roads of a free society are to be public. If they ought...
Why Animal Rights Don"t Exist
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-13 17:00
Since 1991 I have been arguing about animal rights and liberation. It came about because I wrote a paper, 'Do Animals Have Rights?' after learning that a colleague, Tom Regan, had had a book prominently published by University of California Press, The Case for Animals Rights. I had been writing on natural rights theory since I did my doctoral dissertation on the topic, and so I thought I needed...
Is Morality Illiberal, Un-Libertarian?
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-12 17:00
In his book Getting What you Want: A Critique of Liberal Morality (Routledge, 1998), Robert Brecher chides classical liberals and libertarians--in a civil tone and with considerable respect--for their subjectivist theory of values. This is the idea we find often expressed by economists to the effect that whatever it is that's of value to a person achieves its status in virtue of the person's...
Business Mini-Malpractices
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-11 17:00
You probably know this'when you champion the free market, your critics often unleash ad hominems like, 'Hey you are just an apologist for big, greedy business, so shut up.' As if this amounted any kind of argument. (I suspect such retorts are meant to make one feel bad, that's all'a kind of punishment for disagreement!) I need, however, to assure these critics now and then that I have absolutely...
Some Further Causes of Outsourcing
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-11 17:00
All over the country some employees face this situation: Although they have deliberately refused to join a labor union, the federal government is forcing them to pay union dues on the grounds that they are benefiting from high wages unions allegedly have achieved for not just their members but for all the workers where they are employed. How else could they send letters to these non-union...
I Get Letters!
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-10 17:00
These days when one publishes and makes one's email address available, one is likely to receive posts of all kinds, very positive and pleased, even grateful, or, alternatively, courteously negative as well as out and out hostile and insulting. My plethora of recent pieces on job outsourcing, job losses, CEO pay, free trade policy and such, from my normative political economic perspective'rather...
Is the Right Kind of Liberalism Coming Back?
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-10 17:00
Many folks tend to know this'the label 'liberalism' or 'liberal' has been hijacked over the last century so that now it means something that's a 180 degree opposite of what it originally meant. This is why 'libertarianism' or 'libertarian' had to take over, because the former somehow managed to come to mean 'welfare statism' or 'welfare statist' in American political parlance. The reason may...
Martha Stewart and Her "Crime"
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-09 17:00
Let me start by noting that I am no expert in SEC regulations. The law isn't my area of concern here, ethics is. Did Martha Stewart do anything morally or ethically wrong? What did she do? What we know of is that she had sold stock in a company that was about to go bust before anyone else but some of her close pals knew this. We don't know how she came to decide to sell, whether it was because...
Prejudice Against Business
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-09 17:00
With all the talk about media bias it may be worth noting that nearly all news services treat malpractice-'or even just the whiff of it-'at business corporations with much greater severity than malpractice'-even the blatant instances of it'-at universities and, well, the news media. I am thinking her of the vehemence with which everyone in the press descended upon corporate commerce in general...
Forcing Some to Make Others" Jobs Secure
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-08 17:00
If you wish to come up with examples of support for vile policies by government, all you need to do is keep your eyes on the letters and Op Ed pages of The New York Times. The latest of these beauties appeared in The Magazine section, March 7, 2004, where the writer proceeds as follows: "But not all jobs are created equal. Working in a unionized factory with good pay, affordable health care...
Liberty and Freedom of the Press
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Tibor R. Machan 2004-03-04 17:00
How annoying is it that journalists scream bloody murder whenever anyone goes near their liberty to scribble on endlessly about anything they like, in any form they prefer, with whatever illustrations they favor, but have no compunction about calling for government to meddle in everyone else's profession? Prior restraint is forbidden by law where the press is concerned but not where all the...