Director of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, 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.

Archived Articles

George Leef: FFF Writings
since Nov 1995


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
"... public education follows a socialist recipe and we get educational results that are the equivalent of Soviet-built cars. ... Poor people can buy high-quality food, clothing, and other necessities because they get the benefit of a free market in those things. For good education, what they need is a free market in schools. "
Related Topic: Educational Freedom
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, expressed 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, owing to court decisions approving of its use for projects thought by politicians to provide some 'public benefit.' ... My worry, however, is that the Court will avoid the big issue presented in Kelo and instead find some narrow ground for ruling."
Book Review: 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, deeming it "indispensable" for those "interested in learning more about the workings of George Washington's mind"
"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—defeating Cornwallis, presiding over the Constitutional Convention, serving as the first president—rather than for his words. What did he believe? ... A Sacred Union of Citizens is an intriguing project, well executed."
Book Review: The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers, The Freeman, Jan 2001
"Sommers saves her counterattack for last, strongly arguing that the problem is not patriarchy, capitalism, or anything other than the fact that our educational system has for the most part stopped giving boys what they need: discipline, order, and challenges. In the schools where those things are present, boys improve both academically and behaviorally."
Libertarians and Liberalism: Essays in Honour of Gerard Radnitzky, The Freeman, Jul 1997
Review of the title 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."
Housing Discrimination Laws and the Continuing Erosion of Property Rights, Future of Freedom, May 1999
Related Topic: Property Rights
Islam and the Discovery of Freedom: A Message of Liberty for Muslims and Non-Muslims Alike, The Freeman, Sep 1998
Book review of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom, based on Rose Wilder Lane's book, with an introduction and commentary by Imad-Ad-Dean Ahmad
"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. Her original book, The Discovery of Freedom, contains an abundance of information on the golden era of Islamic civilization, particularly the role that free markets played in that remarkably progressive and virtually stateless society."
Related Topics: Magna Carta, Rose Wilder Lane
"Liberal" Court Okays Eminent Domain Abuse, 1 Jul 2005
"Going back to 1954, the Court has allowed property seizures where the reason is ... for a private investment where it is alleged that there will be a public benefit. ... Even if some project should prove to be commercially profitable, there isn't much reason to believe that 'the public' will receive 'substantial benefits.'"
Misguided Democracy, Future of Freedom, Mar 2006
A review of Attention Deficit Democracy by James Bovard
"What if, however, the state becomes so omnipotent that the elections under democracy are virtually meaningless? What if 'throwing the rascals out' means only replacing them with other rascals? ... Under those conditions, it might be the case that democracy is just a delusion — a fancy, elaborate ritual in which the results of elections scarcely matter."
Related Topics: James Bovard, Democracy, Voting
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."
The Federal Ripoff, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
Review of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money by Timothy P. Carney
"Today, nearly every business, either on its own or through a trade association, employs lobbyists who try to steer government policy in a 'favorable' direction. Sometimes, the political game is played defensively ... Often, however, businesses seek to use governmental power to raise prices, stifle competition, and obtain inputs it needs at artificially low prices."
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. "
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 by Geoffrey R. Stone
"If it is true ... that war is the health of the state, it is equally true ... 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."
Related Topics: Freedom of Speech, War

Books Authored

Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement, Sep 2005
Related Topic: Labor

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "George Leef" as of 03 Sep 2017, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.