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The Problem With Nordhaus

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Friday, August 27, 2021

Economist’s insistence on a global carbon tax ignores other approaches to handling climate change.

The Dire Consequences Of Afghanistan

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 23, 2021

Biden’s hasty pullout, in defiance of military advice and strategic patience, has raised the odds of both local and global conflict.

Civics Education: Let It Bloom

by David Davenportvia Defining Ideas
Friday, August 20, 2021

The “weeds” of political clashes are less important than the “seeds” of a deep, unifying message of American citizenship.

False Choices In Afghanistan

by Timothy Kanevia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The US mission there, as elsewhere around the world, was never simply “stay or go.” Biden failed to count both costs and benefits.

Global Warming: How Not To Respond

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Think first of marginal adjustments before resorting to massive changes.

Eviction Freezes: Unfair And Unproductive

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, August 12, 2021

A moratorium interferes with fair economic exchanges, scapegoats property owners, and ultimately drives down the stock of rental housing.

Human Tragedy On The Texas Border

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 9, 2021

Weak, uninformed Biden administration policies fuel an immigration crisis—and a jurisdictional puzzle demands to be solved.

“Infrastructure” Distortions

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The compromise legislation, though pared down, still inflates public spending to no reasonable end.

The Uneasy Case For Universal Vaccinations

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Serious medical and legal issues surround the push for mandatory COVID shots.

A Green Light For Russian Hegemony

by Paul R. Gregoryvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 26, 2021

The US-German decision not to block Nord Stream 2 pipeline clears the way for Putin to tighten his grip on Ukraine and defy Europe.


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Richard Epstein presents his classically libertarian perspective on national developments in public policy and the law. The Libertarian archives »


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Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions


Policy Insights answers important policy questions by pulling together relevant op-eds, books, podcasts, and videos from Hoover fellows. Readers are given a one stop shop that guides them through big issues and points them in the direction of more Hoover resources.

The Caravan

Visit the Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemnas of the greater Middle East.

With its distinct intellectual assets and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a uniquely distinguished contributor to the marketplace of ideas.

Defining Ideas builds on the strength of Hoover’s research: publishing on-line the original work of Hoover fellows and affiliated scholars, as well as that of task force and working group members, whose scholarship lies within the fields of economics, history, law, and political science.

This online journal is the result of our concerted efforts to be part of America’s most important conversations, conveying to the public and to lawmakers an in-depth understanding of key public policy issues. Crucial to this effort is a commitment to develop enduring solutions for the challenges that face our nation and our world—in effect, to advance ideas defining a free society.

Throughout history, ideas have had consequences for the human condition, both beneficial and detrimental. The Hoover Institution’s working groups have been convened to promote ideas that advance freedom, peace, and prosperity. Defining Ideas is intended to illuminate the work of these groups.



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The opinions expressed in Defining Ideas are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.