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Social Security: Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

by Charles Blahousvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 17, 2011

The crafters of the 1983 reforms did not intend to pay in advance for today’s shortfalls.

The Follies of Rent Control

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our federal courts have made a pig's ear of property rights.

Abusing a Dead Marine

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why did the Supreme Court place free speech on a pedestal?

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The Work Ethic, RIP

by Russell Muirheadvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 10, 2011

As the work ethic goes, so goes our sense of meaning and purpose in the workplace.

Throttled by Compliance

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feckless regulations will kill America’s innovative spirit.

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Compassionate Conservatism: A Primer

by Clifford Orwinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The historical and political origins of a philosophy.

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Un-American Reservations

by Terry Anderson, Dominic Parkervia Defining Ideas
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why don't our Indian lands have secure property rights?

The Wisconsin Shoot Out on Public Unions

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The road to economic growth and fiscal order requires ending all collective bargaining arrangements in all states.

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Imperiled By Innovation

by Benjamin Wittesvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Technology aids national security. It also makes us vulnerable.

Fire the FDA Now

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Congress should strip the FDA of its gatekeeper role for new drugs.


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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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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.