Freedom Circle logo
Freedom Circle
Where Can You Find Freedom Today?
Director of research at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, former professor at Northwood University

George Charles Leef (born 4 February 1951) is the director of research of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


4 Feb 1951, George Charles Leef, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Web Pages

Dr. George C. Leef - Mackinac Center
Author page at Mackinac Center for Public Policy; includes photo, profile and links to articles and other writings
Dr. George C. Leef--born Feb. 4, 1951 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. B.A. from Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1973. J.D. from Duke University Law School in 1977. ... Taught economics, law, logic and philosophy at Northwood University 1980-1989 with rank of assistant professor. ... Adjunct Scholar with Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 1988 to present. Former President of Patrick Henry Associates; Liberty consultants, East Lansing, Michigan. ... He also lectures and debates frequently on a variety of topics involving the economic and moral virtues of freedom and the harms of statism.
George Leef, Author at The Future of Freedom Foundation
Includes photo, short profile and links to articles since Nov 1995
George C. Leef is the research director of the Martin Center for Academic Renewal in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was previously the president of Patrick Henry Associates, East Lansing, Michigan, an adjunct professor of law and economics, Northwood University, and a scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
George Leef, Author at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal
Author page at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal; includes photo, profile and links to articles
George Leef is director of editorial content for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. ... He was a vice president of the John Locke Foundation until 2003. ... He has also worked as a policy adviser in the Michigan Senate. A regular columnist for, Leef was book review editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, from 1996 to 2012. He has published numerous articles in The Freeman, Reason, The Free Market, Cato Journal, The Detroit News, Independent Review, and Regulation. He writes regularly for the National Review's The Corner blog and for


An End to Eminent Domain Abuse?, Future of Freedom, Apr 2005
Published just two months before the unfortunate Kelo v. City of New London U.S. Supreme Court decision, expresses hope that the court would rectify the 1954 Berman v. Parker ruling
Among the many ways in which American citizens have become less secure at the hands of government is the possibility that they will be victimized by eminent domain. At one time limited only to seizures of land necessary for some public use — and then only with the payment of just compensation — the use of eminent domain expanded greatly in the latter half of the 20th century ... My worry, however, is that the Court will avoid the big issue presented in Kelo and instead find some narrow ground for ruling ... Let us hope that it does something unexpected here and brings our wayward law back in line with the Constitution.
The Federal Ripoff, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
Review of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money (2006) by Timothy P. Carney
Frédéric Bastiat called it legal plunder — the process by which people and organizations use their political connections to obtain wealth that doesn't belong to them. When a government has the power to enact laws and regulations that confer unearned benefits on the favored few, as virtually all do, it is as certain as anything can be in this world that unscrupulous people will find ways to manipulate that power ... Nothing will be done to eliminate corporate welfare until large numbers of people comprehend the reality that public officials use government to grant favors to businesses that lick their boots.
Housing Discrimination Laws and the Continuing Erosion of Property Rights, Future of Freedom, May 1999
Discusses a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court whereby a married couple who (for religious reasons) declined to rent an apartment to another, unwed couple were deemed to be in violation of the Michigan Civil Rights Act
Not so long ago in this country, you could stay out of legal trouble by refraining from aggression against other people. The law of torts, crimes, and property was well established and under those bodies of law, you committed no offense unless you acted so as to hurt another by taking or damaging something that was rightfully his. If you declined an offer to deal with someone else, you were perfectly within your rights because you had committed no aggression ... Laws against housing discrimination have no place in a free society. They solve an imaginary problem with a vicious and wasteful means that hastens the erosion of freedom.
Islam and the Discovery of Freedom, The Freeman, Sep 1998
Review of the 1997 book, based on Rose Wilder Lane's The Discovery of Freedom, with introduction and commentary by Imad-Ad-Dean Ahmad
Mention "Islam" to most Americans and they think of Saddam Hussein or the Ayatollah Khomeini. It is popularly linked to violence and terrorism, which is unfortunate. Far from being synonymous with intolerance and bloodshed, Islam has a history of peace and respect for individual rights. One famous exponent of freedom who knew that was Rose Wilder Lane ... For non-Muslims, [this book] is a reminder of the universal value of liberty and markets unfettered by government meddling. When human minds and energies are free, people will prosper and progress. That is the message of this intriguing book.
"Liberal" Court Okays Eminent Domain Abuse, 1 Jul 2005
Discusses the U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City of New London
On June 23, the Supreme Court delivered its much-anticipated decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The case squarely presented an important constitutional issue — whether it is permissible for units of government to use the power of eminent domain to seize private property where the land is to be used for "economic development" purposes. The Constitution allows government to take private property only where it is for a "public use" and only when just compensation is paid ... Commenting on Kelo ... constitutional scholar Richard Epstein called the ruling "shameful" and that is exactly the word for [it].
Libertarians and Liberalism: Essays in Honour of Gerard Radnitzky, The Freeman, Jul 1997
Review of the 1996 book, edited by Hardy Bouillon, which includes essays by Walter Block, Arthur Seldon, Hans Sennholz, Anthony de Jasay, Gordon Tullock, Antony Flew and Vaclav Klaus
Gerard Radnitzky is a name little known in America, but he is a prominent figure in European liberal (using the word, of course, in its original meaning) circles. A native of Germany, he defected from the German military in April 1945, flying his airplane to Sweden. After acquiring Swedish citizenship, he became interested in politics and philosophy, thanks largely to socialists like Gunnar Myrdal, whose views Radnitzky found abhorrent. ... This book needed a more careful proofreading ... Nevertheless, this collection is chock full of brilliant insights and devastating arguments.
Misguided Democracy, Future of Freedom, Mar 2006
Review of Attention Deficit Democracy (2006) by James Bovard
One of Winston Churchill's most famous quips is that democracy is the worst form of government — except for all the others. The supposition behind the "except" clause is that bad rulers can be peacefully removed in a democracy, whereas dictators, monarchs, and other kinds of rulers can't usually be removed without violence. What if, however, the state becomes so omnipotent that the elections under democracy are virtually meaningless? ... One must contemplate ... that it might be easier to recover freedom in the face of a vicious dictatorship than in a country afflicted with attention deficit democracy.
A National Wealth Tax to Fund Education?, 25 Mar 2005
Examines a proposal from Robert Reich to do away with local property taxes and instead levy a national wealth tax to fund public education
Like all socialist enterprises, "public education" ... is very high in cost and very low in positive results. While some students graduate from public schools with sharp intellectual skills (often owing more to their home environment than to their school instruction), many others drift aimlessly through 12 years of classes where little is expected of them, academic standards have sunk out of sight, and discipline is a joke ... If you really care about the education of children — and not just poor ones — you should forget about new taxes or "reforms" and advocate the separation of school and state.
The Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 1, Future of Freedom, Dec 2007
Review of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (2007) by Amity Shlaes; introduction and focus on the "bad guys"
If you ask a random sample of Americans who know (or think they know) something about U.S. history to discuss the twin subjects of the Great Depression and the New Deal, most will say something like this: 'The Depression hit the country because capitalism has a tendency to sometimes collapse, but luckily Roosevelt was elected and his brilliant New Deal policies got the economy moving again.' ... More of the bad guys in the book are Roosevelt's henchmen who eagerly bad-mouthed and even prosecuted his opponents for spite and political advantage.
The Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 2, Future of Freedom, Jan 2008
Review of The Forgotten Man (2007) by Amity Shlaes; discusses the Schechter Supreme Court case which caused the National Recovery Administration (NRA) to be declared unconstitutional, the 1940 election and offers some concluding remarks
Who were the good guys? They were people who fought against the collectivization favored by Roosevelt and his 'brain trust.' Shlaes devotes a full chapter to the Schechter brothers. The Schechters were the defendants in the most important legal case during Roosevelt's first term. They ... were put on trial for criminal offenses against regulations enforced by the National Recovery Administration. ... I recommend reading it and then buying copies for friends and relatives who might be won over to the side of liberty if they knew that the Depression was nothing but governmental bungling piled high.
Piercing through Myths, Lies, and Stupidity, Future of Freedom, Aug 2006
Review of Stossel's Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity (2006)
John Stossel, anchor of the ABC News program 20/20, is a rarity among the ranks of American media personalities. ... Over the years, he has made a very good career in TV journalism, poking holes in the self-inflated posturing of union leaders, environmental zealots, businessmen who demand government favors, and, most of all, politicians. ... Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity is an easy, fun read that could get a lot of people who don't usually think about government and politics to drop their support for the philosophy and policies that are gradually wrecking the United States.
A Sacred Union of Citizens—George Washington's Farewell Address and the American Character, The Freeman, Nov 1997
Review of the 1996 book by Matthew Spalding and Patrick Garrity
Of all the Founders, George Washington is the most famous, but arguably the least well known. Washington's life is well chronicled, but when it comes to his thought, he is largely a mythic figure. People carefully study the writings of Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, et al., but as for Washington, he is known almost entirely for his deeds ... rather than for his words. What did he believe? ... A Sacred Union of Citizens is an intriguing project, well executed. For Americans interested in learning more about the workings of George Washington's mind, this book is indispensable.
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, The Freeman, Jan 2001
Review of the year 2000 book by Christina Hoff Sommers
Just when you think you've heard every last crackpot idea from the meddlers who say they could vastly improve the world if only we'd allow them to put their theories into practice (at gunpoint), along comes a new one. In The War Against Boys, philosophy professor and American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers identifies the new kid on the interventionist block ... The War Against Boys brilliantly argues for jettisoning past educational fads and steering away from the new "gender equity" being promoted by Carol Gilligan and her ilk. I regard the book as utterly imperative reading.
Related Topics: Children, Compulsory Education
Wartime Attacks on Civil Liberties, Future of Freedom, Dec 2005
Review of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (2004) by University of Chicago Law School professor Geoffrey R. Stone
If it is true to say, as Randolph Bourne did, that war is the health of the state, it is equally true to say that war is the sickness of individual liberty. The state always menaces its people with an array of orders, prohibitions, and confiscations, but never so much as in times of war, when it can count on widespread support for all measures said to be necessary to ensure victory ... It is a beautifully written and produced book that reminds us that the Constitution is only a group of words on paper, easily ignored and evaded by government officials when they please, which is most often during times of war.

Books Authored

Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement, Sep 2005
Partial contents: How Compulsory Unionism Invaded the Land of the Free - Right to Work Laws and the Origin of the National Right to Work Committee - Preventing Labor Law "Reform" - The (Big Labor) Empire Strikes Back - Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Related Topic: Labor

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "George Leef" as of 28 Aug 2019, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.