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Territory in central and northwest North America, ruled since 1788 by the United States of America

The United States of America (USA or U.S.A.), commonly known as the United States (US or U.S.) or America, is country located primarily in North America. It is a federation of 50 states, a federal capital district (Washington, D.C.) and 326 Indian reservations. Outside the union of states, it claims sovereignty over five major unincorporated island territories and various uninhabited islands. The country has the world's third-largest land area, second-largest exclusive economic zone, and third-largest population, exceeding 334 million.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 40° N — Longitude: 100° W

Area: 9,525,067 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: US

Notable Places

  • Alabama - Motto: Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere (We Dare Defend Our Rights)
  • Alaska - The Last Frontier
  • Arizona - The Grand Canyon State
  • Arkansas - Motto: Regnat Populus (The People Rule)
  • California - The Golden State
  • Carolina, North - The Tarheel State - ratified Constitution 21 Nov 1789
  • Carolina, South - The Palmetto State - ratified Constitution 23 May 1788
  • Colonies, Thirteen - The 13 original colonies whose representatives signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence
  • Colorado - The Centennial State
  • Connecticut - The Constitution State - ratified Constitution 9 Jan 1788
  • Dakota, North - The Peace Garden State
  • Dakota, South - The Mount Rushmore State
  • Delaware - Motto: Liberty and Independence - ratified Constitution 7 Dec 1787
  • Florida - The Sunshine State
  • Georgia - The Peach State - ratified Constitution 2 Jan 1788
  • Hawaii - Islands in the central Pacific Ocean, ruled since 1959 by State of Hawaii - Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi
  • Idaho - The Gem State
  • Illinois - The Prairie State
  • Indiana - The Hoosier State
  • Iowa - Motto: Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain
  • Kansas - The Sunflower State
  • Kentucky - The Bluegrass State
  • Louisiana - The Pelican State
  • Maine - The Pine Tree State
  • Maryland - The Free State - ratified Constitution 28 Apr 1788
  • Massachusetts - The Bay State - ratified Constitution 6 Feb 1788
  • Michigan - The Wolverine State
  • Minnesota - The North Star State
  • Mississippi - The Magnolia State
  • Missouri - The Show Me State
  • Montana - Big Sky Country
  • Nebraska - The Cornhusker State
  • Nevada - The Battle Born State
  • New Hampshire - Motto: Live Free or Die - ratified Constitution 21 Jun 1788
  • New Jersey - Motto: Liberty and Prosperity - ratified Constitution 18 Dec 1787
  • New Mexico - Land of Enchantment
  • New York - The Empire State - ratified Constitution 26 Jul 1788
  • Ohio - The Buckeye State
  • Oklahoma - The Sooner State
  • Oregon - The Beaver State
  • Pennsylvania - The Keystone State - ratified Constitution 12 Dec 1787
  • Presidents, United States - Heads of the Executive branch of the United States government
  • Rhode Island - The Ocean State - ratified Constitution 29 May 1790
  • Tennessee - The Volunteer State
  • Texas - The Lone Star State
  • Utah - The Beehive State
  • Vermont - The Green Mountain State
  • Virginia - The Old Dominion - ratified Constitution 23 Jun 1788
  • Virginia, West - Motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Are Always Free)
  • Washington - The Evergreen State
  • Washington, D.C. - The Nation's Capital
  • Wisconsin - The Badger State
  • Wyoming - The Equality State

Birthplace of

Sharon Presley, on 23 Mar 1943
Robert Ringer, Robert J. Ringer, on 1938

Measures of Freedom

Economic Freedom Summary Index, Economic Freedom of the World, 19 Sep 2023
2021: 8.14, Rank: 5
Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 8.39, Rank: 17, Personal freedom: 8.57, Economic freedom: 8.14
United States: Freedom in the World 2024 Country Report, Freedom in the World 2024
2024: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 83/100, Political Rights: 33/40, Civil Liberties: 50/60
The United States is a federal republic whose people benefit from a vibrant political system, a strong rule-of-law tradition, robust freedoms of expression and religious belief, and a wide array of other civil liberties. However, in recent years its democratic institutions have suffered erosion, as reflected in rising political polarization and extremism, partisan pressure on the electoral process, mistreatment and dysfunction in the criminal justice and immigration systems, and growing disparities in wealth, economic opportunity, and political influence.

Articles

The Acton-Lee Correspondence, by John Dalberg-Acton, 4 Nov 1866
Exchange of letters between Lord Acton (4 Nov) and Robert E. Lee (15 Dec 1866)
I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to ... the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider ... the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it ... R.E. Lee
UpdAmerica as Utopia, by Robert Nisbet, Reason, Mar 1987
Historical survey of the "American Religion" (America as "the city upon a hill") from the Pilgrims to the present and questions whether it will progress further in the near future
America is unique among nations of Western society in its utopia-touched origins ... From the time of the Great Awakening of the 1730s in America, with Jonathan Edwards one of the principal figures involved, Christianity and Americanism would interpenetrate, with the fervor and even the liturgy of the former often infused into treatments of the 13 colonies, not least in their increasingly hated role of being subject to the British Crown. America was by now the "city upon a hill" in the eyes of a constantly enlarging number of pre-Revolutionary Americans.
UpdAn American Empire! If You Want It instead of Freedom, Part 1, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Apr 2003
Examines Garet Garrett's 1952 essay "The Rise of Empire" and contrasts it with Charles Krauthammer's "The Unipolar Moment Revisited" and his concept of "unilateralism"
[S]ince Garrett outlined ... the emerging American Empire, most ... analysts have denied that America ... was pursuing an empire. America was part of the world and as such could not walk away from the world's problems ... Military alliances with multitudes of other nations, military bases around the globe, tens of billions of dollars spent on foreign and military aid to numerous governments ..., and two protracted and bloody wars on the Asian mainland, were not signs of empire. They were merely the burden created by an unbalanced world in the wake of the destruction of the Second World War.
UpdAmericans Have Lost Their Country, by Paul Craig Roberts, 1 Mar 2007
Discusses (and lists) the neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration and the rationale for their actions furthering wars in the Middle East
The Bush-Cheney regime is America's first neoconservative regime. In a few short years, the regime has destroyed the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, the Geneva Conventions, and the remains of America's moral reputation ... This extraordinary aggressiveness toward the US Constitution, international law, and the Islamic world is the work, not of a vast movement, but of a handful of ideologues ... They have been supported by their media shills ... and by "scholars" in assorted think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute.
UpdAmericans Should Be "Anti-American", by Sheldon Richman, 21 Jun 2006
Examines Robert Kagan's statement that the Iraq War "made anti-Americanism respectable again" and what "anti-Americanism" is supposed to mean
Kagan and others cleverly use the term "America" as a package deal—... disparate ideas that need to be ... examined individually ... What exactly do anti-Americanists dislike? There are several possible candidates: the people, the culture, the tradition of freedom, the commercial spirit, the U.S. government's foreign policies ... The evidence is strong that non-Americans for the most part do not hate individual Americans or their culture, freedom, and commercial spirit. On the contrary, people in other most places seem to have a warm affection for Americans in their private capacity.
UpdAn Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Iran, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 31 Jan 2005
Discusses the history of Operation Ajax, the CIA-led 1953 coup d'état in Iran that removed the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, and which eventually led to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis
For years, the U.S. government, including the CIA, kept what it had done in Iran [in 1953] secret ..., although the Iranian people long suspected CIA involvement. U.S. officials, not surprisingly, considered the operation one of their greatest foreign-policy successes ... until, ... the violent ouster of the shah and the installation of a virulently anti-American Islamic regime in 1979 ... [T]he reason that the Iranian students took control of the U.S. embassy after the violent ouster of the shah in 1979 was their genuine fear that the U.S. government would repeat what it had done in 1953.
Benjamin Tucker, Liberty and Individualist Anarchism [PDF], by Wendy McElroy, The Independent Review, 1997
Presents a short biography of Tucker and then the history of the Liberty journal, including its major themes, the debates over Stirnerite egoism vs. natural rights and its literary and international coverage, concluding with commentary
With the Declaration of Independence and the cry of "no taxation without representation," government had been deemed to rule through the consent of the people. When the North refused to permit the South to withdraw its consent ..., the consensual view of government was severely weakened. Moreover, instead of viewing the relatively autonomous states as forming a loose federal union—as composing "these United States"—a new description arose, "the United States." As this centralized nation was deemed to be "One Union under God," the mystification of the American state proceeded.
Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist, by Marian Tupy, The Atlantic, 1 Mar 2016
Clarifies the meaning of various terms which young people tend to misunderstand, including socialism, communism, capitalism and corporatism, and then discusses the relative levels of economic freedom in the United States and other countries
[T]he United States does not have a strictly capitalist economy, but a mixed one. As such, it combines a high level of private ownership of capital and the means of production with relatively onerous regulation and taxation ... [T]o the extent that what anti-capitalist Sanders supporters really want is a Scandinavian-style social democracy, with its high level of wealth redistribution and income equality, they should consider that even some of the most socially democratic countries on earth are, in one crucial way, more capitalist than the United States.
UpdBorderlands: What’s Happening to America?, by Sheldon Richman, 30 Jul 2014
Discusses the extension of border patrol activities in the United States well beyond (100 miles) the traditional country and coastline limits
This should alarm anyone who thinks America is the "land of the free." "Imagine the once thin borderline of the American past as an ever-thickening band, now extending 100 miles inland around the United States—along the 2,000-mile southern border, the 4,000-mile northern border, and both coasts—and you will be able to visualize how vast the CBP's [Customs and Border Protection] jurisdiction has become," writes Todd Miller, author of Border Patrol Nation ... ... "This 'border' region now covers places where two-thirds of the U.S. population (197.4 million people) live ..."
The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, Jun 2004
Historical account of Ireland from 1840 to the first decade of the twentieth century, including the Young Irelanders, the famines, the Irish in North America, Captain Boycott, the demand for home rule, the Gaelic League and the emergence of Sinn Fein
In the ten years after 1845, two million Irish ... emigrated in overcrowded ships to America or Canada ... Immigrants to North America carried their hatred of Britain with them. In the Irish ghettos of America, children listened to recitations of Emmet's call for freedom; they learned Irish history and songs. Almost every Irish-American community had a Repeal Club that ... pressured American politicians to support a free Ireland. On St. Patrick's Day 1858, a new movement was born simultaneously in Dublin and New York City ... In America, it was known as the Fenian Brotherhood ...
UpdThe Criminality of the State, by Albert Jay Nock, The American Mercury, Mar 1939
Cautions Americans that rather than being worried or surprised by the doings of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, the Munich agreement and other foreign states, they should devote their energies to reining in the United States government
[I]n order to keep down the great American sin of self-righteousness, every public presentation ought to draw the deadly parallel with the record of the American State. The German State is persecuting a minority, just as the American State did after 1776; the Italian State breaks into Ethiopia, just as the American State broke into Mexico; the Japanese State kills off the Manchurian tribes in wholesale lots, just as the American State did the Indian tribes; the British State practices large-scale carpet-baggery, like the American State after 1864; ..., and so on.
The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise, by Milton Friedman, Friedman & Szasz on Liberty and Drugs, 16 Nov 1991
Chapter adapted from keynote address at Fifth International Conference on Drug Policy Reform; examines why, 20 years after his admonition against the drug war, the government continues its attempts at enforcement, in spite of the predicted results
I am speaking about the level of living of the great majority of the people ... How do people best vote? With their feet. Where do people try to immigrate? Some people do try to get into the European countries ... But so far as the United States is concerned, people from all over the world seek to immigrate here. They aren't coming here to be made miserable. They aren't coming here to be exploited. And you can't say that they're all fools; they know what they're getting into. So, I reject the idea that this is a country in which a few stand on the backs of the multitudes ...
Empire or Liberty: The Antifederalists and Foreign Policy, 1787-1788 [PDF], by Jonathan Marshall, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1980
Describes the arguments regarding foreign policy made during the period of ratification of the United States Constitution by the Federalists and the counterarguments, "largely ignored" by historians, from the Antifederalists
The Federalists saw foreign predators on all sides ready to take advantage of America's weakness: To the north, the British still occupied strategic forts; to the west, Indian tribes, apparently armed and encouraged by the British and Spanish, menaced frontiersmen; to the south, the Spanish were making trouble, especially on the Mississippi; and to the east, American commerce and fisheries were at the mercy of the French and British fleets ... Many Americans believed that national weakness produced these humiliations that undermined the dignity of their great republican experiment.
UpdFascism, by Sheldon Richman, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008
Defines fascism, contrasting it with other ideologies (such as socialism, capitalism, Marxism), identifying Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany as its two main exponents and discussing its influence on the New Deal
In the United States, beginning in 1933, the ... government interventions known as the New Deal had features suggestive of the corporate state. The National Industrial Recovery Act created code authorities and codes of practice that governed all aspects of manufacturing and commerce. The National Labor Relations Act made the federal government the final arbiter in labor issues. The Agricultural Adjustment Act introduced central planning to farming. The object was to reduce competition and output in order to keep prices and incomes of particular groups from falling during the Great Depression.
UpdThe Federalist No. II: Concerning Dangers from foreign Force and Influence, by Publius, The Independent Journal, 31 Oct 1787
Drawing a parallel with the wisdom of the Congress of 1774, that led to the Independence Declaration, recommends approval of a Union under a single national government rather than being "split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties"
It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories ... Providence has ... blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers ..., running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.
Related Topic: Government
UpdA Forgotten Day & a Forgotten Country, by Harry Browne, 28 Oct 2003
Reflections on the United States in 1886, when the Statue of Liberty was unveiled, and the current (2003) status
In 1886 there were no crimes against the state—no drug laws, no prohibitions of any kind. People lived their own lives, and if you didn't like the way someone lived, you simply didn't associate with him. You didn't run to the legislature to try to get a law passed ... In 2003 there is no law regulating conduct that is so ridiculous that someone won't introduce it in the U.S. Congress or some state legislature. In 1886 America, the individual stood above the state. In 2003 the state's "compelling interest" comes first. If America in 1886 was a land of liberty, what is America in 2003?
UpdFranklin's Golden Rules, by Mark Skousen, The Daily Reckoning, 18 May 2006
Guest essay describing how Franklin managed his finances, written upon releasing The Compleated Autobigraphy by Benjamin Franklin (2006), compiled and edited by Skousen
So, how did [Franklin] manage his money? First, [he] ignored the doomsayers and profited from his prediction that America was destined to be a great prosperous nation. An incurable optimist, Franklin was always bullish on America, and life in general. At the end of the War for Independence, he predicted, "America will, with God's blessing, become a great and happy country." The United States, he said, is "an immense territory, favored by nature with all advantages of climate, soil, great navigable rivers and lakes ... [and] destined to become a great country, populous and mighty."
Related Topic: Benjamin Franklin
UpdFreedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Jun 1994
Explains the counterintuitive notion that in order to achieve a caring, compassionate, "good" society it is necessary to allow everyone the freedom to be irresponsible, to do anything they want as long it does not infringe on others' equal freedom
We can point to a model—the United States of America from 1787 to 1900. With several exceptions (slavery, tariffs, and railroad grants being the most notable), people were free to do whatever they wanted, so long as it was peaceful ... [I]f a person wanted to start a business, he was free to do so ("free enterprise"). There was no welfare, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid-people were free to decide for themselves whether to help the poor or not. There was no system of public-schooling ... [I]f a person ingested harmful substances, he bore the responsibility for his conduct.
Give Me Liberty [PDF], by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
The test of the worth of personal freedom, then, can only be its practical results in a country whose institutions and ways of life and of thought have grown from individualism. The only such country is the United States of America. Here, on a new continent, peoples with no common tradition founded this republic on the rights of the individual. This country was the only country in the western world whose territory was largely settled and whose culture is dominated by those northwestern Europeans from whom the idea of individual liberty came into the world's history as a political principle.
Government Interventionism in Ireland, Part 2, by Scott McPherson, Freedom Daily, Jun 2004
Continued examination of the differences between Irish Protestants and Catholics in the early 20th century, suggesting the principles advocated by Mises could have resulted in better outcomes
During 1775–1787, Americans were experimenting with the idea of government as a tool for protecting individual rights, not a means for controlling the economy or promoting a particular language, culture, religion, or form of education. As a matter of fact, Americans created a central government that was largely restricted from interfering in any of those areas—precisely to avoid the kind of conflict that has raged in Ireland ... America's many cultures have generally co-existed quite peacefully, by comparison, for most of its history.
UpdGravity works, by Victor Milan, Rational Review, 3 Feb 2005
Discusses the state of democracy in the United States in the wake of the January 2005 Iraqi parliamentary election
Democracy is a fraud in the US—a control mechanism, a puppet-show to make the cattle think they have some role in governing themselves ... Imagine how you'd feel, here in the former United States of the former America, if you got to enjoy a Chinese People's Liberation Army goon pointing a Type 56 at your head during a routine traffic stop ... How can the US export freedom to Iraq or anyplace? We don't have any. The Constitution is a dead letter ... The average Unitedstatesian "citizen" subject now enjoys, in real terms, precisely the same "rights" enjoyed by Gitmo detainees.
Related Topic: Iraq
Henry David Thoreau: Founding Father of American Libertarian Thought, by Jeff Riggenbach, 15 Jul 2010
Biographical essay, transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 8 July 2010
During the late 1840s and the 1850s, the biggest problem Thoreau had with the American State was that it would not ignore him—it would not leave him alone to ramble the local fields and woods, fill his notebooks and his journal pages, and work for money his one day a week. Instead it intervened in his life, insisting that he help it apprehend escaped slaves, if only by paying taxes to support the cost of this endeavor. Even before these interventions began taking place, subsequent to the adoption of the fugitive slave law of 1850, Thoreau had not held the U.S. government in high esteem.
Here's How the U.S. Can Help Rid the World of Chemical Weapons, by Sheldon Richman, 11 Sep 2013
Argues that the U.S. government could set a better example by destroying all its chemical weapons, encouraging Israel and Egypt to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, and itself ratifying the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions
Although the United States has ratified the 20-year-old Chemical Weapons Convention, it has not destroyed its entire arsenal ... Besides destroying [it], the United States should go even further ... by publicly telling its closest Middle East allies, Egypt and Israel, to ratify the CWC and destroy their ... arsenals ... The U.S. military has used cluster bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other places. Moreover, the United States manufactures cluster bombs and recently sold 1,300 of them (for $640 million) to Saudi Arabia ... [It] also sold the weapons to Israel, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
Related Topics: Israel, Syria, War
UpdHow Empires Bamboozle the Bourgeoisie, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 28 Oct 2006
Speech at the Mises Institute Supporter's Summit; comments on two issues related to the U.S. population reaching 300 million: what kind of economy is needed to support that population and do all these people need to live under the same central government
The irony is that the policies of the environmentalists have moved far beyond the early conservation movement that saw merit in the wonders of the Grand Canyon and California Redwoods ... The truth is that this country has entirely too much unused nature, as is obvious when you take a coast-to-coast flight ... From a bird's eye view, this country is hardly overcrowded, a fact that is also underscored in, detailed maps. Indeed, most of the landmass of the United States is empty. Our population density is far lower than the rest of the world, especially that of Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
UpdHow Much More Harm Can Bush Do?, by Paul Craig Roberts, 7 Mar 2006
Discusses the casualties resulting from the 2003 Iraq invasion, the changed world opinion of the United States and the lobbies that benefit from the continuation of hostilities
Despite the unrelenting U.S. propaganda against Iran and North Korea, a poll ... in 27 countries ... found that Israel, Iran, and the U.S. in that order are regarded as the most negative influences on the world. Even North Korea is regarded as a less negative influence ... Japan, Canada, the EU, France, China, and India are all regarded as more positive influences ... than the United States ... Americans still regard themselves as the salt of the earth. But the rest of the world no longer sees Americans that way. When citizens of other countries turn their eyes toward America, they see evil.
How Star Wars Can Lead America Off the Dark Path, by Dan Sanchez, 4 May 2017
Examines the first two Star Wars trilogies, drawing parallels to 20th and 21st century U.S. and world history, and draws lessons from the films that could help the United States from "giving in to the dark side"
The casus belli of the Mexican-American War (the Thornton Affair), the Spanish-American War (the USS Maine), World War I (the Lusitania and the Zimmerman telegram), World War II (Pearl Harbor), and the Vietnam War (Gulf of Tonkin) all involved engineered conflicts, deliberate provocation and baiting, feigned ignorance, deception, or outright fabrication on the part of the US. The US armed the Soviets against the Nazis in the Second World War ... The US sold weapons of mass destruction ... to Saddam Hussein's Iraq for use in invading Iran, while secretly selling arms to Iran at the same time.
Improve the CIA? Better to abolish it, by Chalmers Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Feb 2004
Lists some of the countries where the CIA conducted subversive operations and recommends abolishing the agency
Adm. Stansfield Turner, former director of central intelligence from 1977 to 1981, recommended in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month that U. S. intelligence operations could be improved by adding another layer of bureaucracy to what he admits is a flawed system ... I have a better idea: Why don't we abolish the CIA and make public, as the Constitution requires, the billions spent by the intelligence agencies under the control of the Department of Defense so that Congress might have a fighting chance in doing oversight?
UpdIn Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything Is the Thing to Do, by Sheldon Richman, 24 Jul 2014
Comments on the arrogance of those who believe the President of the United States should intervene in any crisis around the world
Another stumbling block to presidential world-building is that historical regional powers—say, Russia or Iran—don't look kindly on the United States asserting its will in their neighborhoods, just as American presidents have not welcomed foreign influence in Latin America. To many people ..., American exceptionalism means that the [U.S.] alone gets to regard every region as within its sphere of influence. Responses to American arrogance produce many of the "crises" that the chief executive will be accused of having failed to anticipate and preempt. But no one can hope to manage the world.
UpdIraq Exit Strategy: America's Path Forward [PDF], by Libertarian Party, 29 Jun 2005
Proposal by the Libertarian National Committee for the U.S. to remove its troops from Iraq and a direct-aid program to allow Iraq to reconstruct its infrastructure (Note: the occupation officially lasted another six and a half years)
Now is the time for the United States to initiate an exit strategy, as the main military objectives have been accomplished ... As the United States removes troops from Iraq, 30,000 will be relocated to other Middle Eastern countries ... Decisions regarding troop reallocation will be based on the locations of existing U.S. military bases in the Middle East. The most likely candidates would be Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt and Oman ... All of the previously mentioned countries have U.S. military bases that possess additional acres to house more troops.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Iraq, Iraq War
"It's So Simple, It's Ridiculous", by Brian Doherty, Reason, May 2004
Describes the travails of Bob Schulz, the We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education and other American income tax protesters
Americans have been protesting and avoiding taxes since before the U.S. officially existed. We are a nation born of tax protests. This tradition feeds the attitude that unites the ... crowd here: the belief that they are the true patriots, staunch constitutionalists fiercely dedicated to the ideals that make America great. A radical transvaluation of values is going on right here ... Far from being the very foundation of solid citizenry, acceding to the federal personal income tax is, among this crowd, an act of treason against what defines America: its Constitution and its "true laws."
UpdKnow When to Fold 'Em, by Sheldon Richman, 19 Feb 2007
Discusses the attitudes of Sen. John McCain and other war hawks who opposed a non-binding resolution against the troop "surge" in Iraq, announced by George W. Bush on 10 Jan 2007 (Note: the surge went on as planned, peaking in late 2007)
[I]f any other country were doing the invading and occupying, [hawks] might agree with this analysis. But they make an exception for the United States. It's as though all the rules are suspended when the U.S. government is the perpetrator. It can always win—if only we have the will. But our will is undermined when "defeatists" say we can't win ... One should not have to point out that the rules are not different for the United States ... Americans do many noble things, including producing an unprecedented amount of wealth. But what does this have to do with America's war-making politicians?
UpdThe Land of the Free, by H. L. Mencken, The Baltimore Sun, 12 Jan 1925
Relates the story of Italian-American newspaper owner Carlo Tresca and his travails for daring to criticize the Italian Fascists
[T]he Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld his conviction ... What becomes of the old notion that the United States is a free country, that it is the refuge for the oppressed of other lands, that here they may voice their grievances and call for help? There was a time when such rebels against tyranny came here as a matter of course, and were received with open arms ... Also, what becomes of the old notion that a peaceable man, in this great Republic, should be unmolested—that the Polizei should not pursue and harass him day and night, and try by dodge after dodge to get him into their clutches?
Related Topic: Freedom of the Press
Letters to Mr. Malthus, on Several Subjects of Political Economy, and on the Cause of the Stagnation of Commerce, by Jean-Baptiste Say, 1820
Original title: Lettres à M. Malthus, sur différens sujets d'économie politique, notamment sur les causes de la stagnation générale du commerce
Series of five letters from Say to Malthus, written in response to the latter's criticisms in Principles of Political Economy (1820); the letters were translated from the French by John Richter
In the United States, the obstacles to production are few, the taxes are light; and there, as in all other places, merchandize abounds, for which there exists no demand. "These difficulties," you say, "cannot be attributed to the cultivation of poor land, restrictions upon commerce, and excess of taxation. Something else, therefore, is necessary to the continued increase of wealth, besides an increase in the power of producing." Well! will you believe it, Sir? it is the very power of production itself, at least for the present, of which the Americans are in want ...
Liberalism, by F. A. Hayek, New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas, 1978
Chapter 9; originally written in 1973 for the Enciclopedia del Novicento; covers both the history of both strands of liberalism as well as a systematic description of the "classical" or "evolutionary" type
[T]he USA never developed a liberal movement comparable to that which affected most of Europe during the nineteenth century ... The reason for the absence of a similar movement in the USA is mainly that the chief aspirations of European liberalism were largely embodied in the institutions of the United States since their foundation, and partly that the development of political parties there was unfavourable to the growth of parties based on ideologies. Indeed, what in Europe is or used to be called 'liberal' is in the USA today with some justification called 'conservative' ...
Our Elective Monarchy, by Sheldon Richman, 16 Jun 2004
Comments on the "fit for a king" funeral for Ronald Reagan and the similar treatment given to other U.S. Presidents, contrasting them to the treatment of Prime Ministers in Great Britain
Any president is treated like royalty in the United States ... [C]ompare the treatment of the prime minister of Britain. Look at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and No. 10 Downing Street. If you say, "But the United States is the leading power in the world," you're beginning to get my point. The unconstitutional aggrandizement of the national government in general, and the presidency in particular, is part of the cause; the royal treatment of the president the effect ... Some Americans are fascinated by [the vigorous questioning] of the prime minister ... Why? Because nothing like it happens here.
UpdPatriotism along the Southern Border, Part 1, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Dec 1998
Discusses patriotism, loyalty to a country, and treason, in the historical context of Texas between 1821 (as a territory of Mexico), 1836 (when it became an independent republic—not recognized by Mexico) and 1846-48 (the Mexican-American War)
Were the Mexican-American soccer fans ... behaving unpatriotically? To answer this question, it would be helpful to explore the background, history, and circumstances by which California, where the controversial soccer game took place, as well as Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, became part of the United States ... Before Mexico won its independence ..., the Spanish Empire stretched from Central America all the way to the lands encompassing the current states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. These territories also included parts of the current states of Utah, Colorado, and Nevada.
Related Topics: Government, Los Angeles, Mexico, Texas
UpdThe Poison Called Nationalism, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 6 Feb 2015
Discusses nationalism as exhibited by those who defend sniper Chris Kyle as a hero (in response to the earlier article "The American Sniper Was No Hero", 28 Jan 2015)
Nationalism ... is an unswerving religious-like devotion to the nation, construed as a quasi-mystical entity—"America"—that cannot be wrong and so has the authority to command reverence and obedience ... The United States did not begin with 50 states ... Had events gone differently, it might have included some or all of Canada and none of what was once part of Mexico. It might have been without the Florida territory and the 828,000 square miles that constituted the Louisiana Purchase. The current boundaries were the result of (often bloody) human action but not entirely of human design.
Related Topics: Government, Iraq War, Marriage
Protectionism and Unemployment, by Hans F. Sennholz, The Freeman, Mar 1985
Discusses why foreign and domestic trade are both beneficial, mercantilism and neo-mercantilism, the groups wanting tariffs and protectionism, the effects of trade restrictions on labor, the factors affecting industry competitiveness and more
The U.S. surely is no free-trade country; the U.S. government has entered into international trade agreements on cocoa, coffee, rubber, sugar, and tea. It has built trigger price mechanisms in steel and imposed "voluntary" quotas on autos and textiles. The maritime industry represented by seamen's unions and unionized domestic shipbuilders has managed to obtain legislation that forces Alaskan oil producers to ship their products in high cost U.S. tankers ... The legislation hit hard at Japanese levels of living by cutting the Japanese people off from Alaskan crude oil.
Pundit in Wonderland, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 28 Sep 2007
Criticizes a Washington Post op-ed by columnist Harold Meyerson about the results of a survey showing an increase in those who consider themselves the "have-nots" of American society
Where is Meyerson living? Surely not in the United States in 2007. The U.S. economy—more precisely, the American population—has been laden with taxes, regulations, and the consequences of political privilege for decades—make that centuries. Republicans ... have been more adept than Democrats at shoveling largess to favored interests. Corporations, rich farmers, and government contractors rake in billions of dollars ... "National security" is the catch-all rationalization for all manner of subsidies. Trade restrictions ... funnel tons of cash directly from consumers' pockets to business coffers.
Revisiting a Libertarian Classic: Nock's Our Enemy, the State, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Mar 2006
Examines some of the major themes of Nock's Our Enemy, the State (1935)
According to Nock, the admirable, though imperfect, Articles of Confederation were overthrown in the "coup d'etat" that took place in Philadelphia in 1787, resulting in a centralization of power (favoring industrial over agrarian interests) that revolted Jefferson. So for Nock, the United States does not represent the radical break in political history that it is often made out to be. It metamorphosed from the British system of privilege (through land grants, tariffs, and other enactments), despite the Jeffersonian window-dressing, then forged a distinctly American form of the merchant-State.
Ron Paul and the Empire, by Steven LaTulippe, 31 Jul 2007
Considers what steps the establishment could take to prevent Ron Paul from becoming President
... it's important to accept one fact about contemporary America: This is not a democracy, and certainly not a constitutional republic. America is actually a carefully concealed oligarchy. A few thousand people, mostly in government, finance, and the military-industrial complex, run this country for their own purposes. By manipulating the two-party system, influencing the mainstream media, and controlling the flow of campaign finance money, this oligarchy works to secure the nomination of its preferred candidates (Democratic and Republican alike), thus giving voters a choice' between Puppet A and Marionette B.
The Secret State, by Carl Oglesby, 19 Dec 1991
Details various events from the dismantling of the Office of Strategic Services after World War II to the 1991 death of Danny Casolaro, which Oglesby said are reason to be worried about "a secret and invisible state within the public state"
The National Security Act of 1947 reorganized the military and created the CIA, but the Gehlen Org was the base from which U.S. intelligence developed throughout the decades of the Cold War ... I believe this fact helps to explain how the American national-security community evolved the quasi-fascistic credo we can observe developing in the following incidents ... A secret state has set itself up within the darkest corners of the American government. It is what Nixon adviser John Dean called a cancer on the presidency, but it has metastasized well beyond the White House.
States' Rights vs. Monetary Monopoly, by Thomas DiLorenzo, 9 May 2003
Recounts the story of how various states and Andrew Jackson maneuvered against the second Bank of the United States (BUS) eventually causing it not to be re-chartered
Consequently, as early as 1816, Indiana and Illinois amended their state constitutions to prohibit the BUS from establishing branches within their jurisdictions. North Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland imposed heavy taxes on BUS branches within their states ... After Marshall's 1819 opinion, Ohio enacted a $50,000 per year tax on the BUS. ... Kentucky and Connecticut adopted Ohio's states' rights stand toward the Bank in 1825. In 1829, South Carolina imposed a tax on stockholders of the Bank within the state. New York and New Hampshire enacted resolutions urging that the Bank not be re-chartered.
States, United States: America's James Bond Complex, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Feb 2015
Argues that the doctrine of American "exceptionalism" means U.S. officials appear to have a de facto licence to kill and wonders why officials are treated so deferentially instead of being brought to judgment for their aggressive actions
We might say America has a James Bond complex. In the eyes of many Americans, the United States has a "Double O" ... Judging by how the U.S. government gets away with murder, terrorism and other horrible offenses, it apparently has a de facto license to kill ... Will George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld face charges for their wars of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan? ... For their torture programs? ... Will Barack Obama ever have to defend himself against murder counts for his drone kills? Will former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bear consequences for the havoc she unleashed in Libya?
Tocqueville, Alexis de (1805-1859), by Jason Kuznicki, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Tocqueville is best known for De la démocratie en Amérique, ... that was first published in 1835-1840 ... From 1831-1832, Tocqueville had traveled extensively throughout the United States and interviewed people in every stratum of society, including Native Americans, slaves, merchants, clergy, and the president ... Tocqueville's understanding of American society emphasized the liberty, egalitarianism, and entrepreneurship of the new republic. He found that, in contrast to Europeans of the same period, Americans tended to discount social rank and mixed freely with different social classes.
The Top 25 Liberty Songs, by Bill Winter, Libertarian Party News, Aug 2001
List of 25 "Liberty's Best Songs" chosen from over 200 suggestions, each with a short summary and highlighted lyrics, and a supplementary list of 25 runners-up
The perfect pro-immigration libertarian theme song. [Neil Diamond's "America"]'s lyrics embody what I believe is the best ideal of America: A star guiding the journey of people fleeing from hunger and oppression. People come to America because they "only want to be free." America will be their new "... home, [to] a new and [a shiny] place / Make our bed and we'll say our grace / Freedom's light burning warm ... Everywhere around the world / They're coming to America / Ev'ry time that flag's unfurled / They're coming to America." This song's stirring music gets anyone's heart pounding ...
Trump’s Support and Praise of Despots Is Central to the U.S. Tradition, Not a Deviation From It, by Glenn Greenwald, 2 May 2017
Discusses recent criticism of Donald Trump that claims that his foreign policy towards known dictators and tyrants constitutes a major shift, when in fact that has been standard U.S. policy since at least the end of World War II
[T]he post-World War II foreign policy of the U.S.—independent of its massive human rights violations committed over and over around the world—has been predicated on overthrowing democratically elected governments and ... aligning with, and propping up brutal dictators. This policy has been applied all over the world, on multiple continents and by every administration. It is impossible to understand ... the U.S. role in the world without knowing that. All of this history is now being erased and whitewashed, replaced with jingoistic fairy tales by the U.S. media and leading political officials.
Up from Serfdom, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 9 Apr 2010
Response to criticism by David Boaz on "Up From Slavery" (6 Apr 2010) to Hornberger's "Liberal Delusions about Freedom" (Freedom Daily, Nov 2009)
Let's consider, say, the year 1880. Here was a society in which people were free to keep everything they earned, because there was no income tax. They were also free to decide what to do with their own money—spend it, save it, invest it, donate it, or whatever. People were generally free to engage in occupations and professions without a license or permit. There were few federal economic regulations and regulatory agencies ... No slavery. No CIA. No FBI ... Notwithstanding slavery and other violations of liberty, our American ancestors brought into existence the freest society in history.
The U.S. Base on Diego Garcia: An Overlooked Atrocity, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Jun 2013
Describes the disheartening and shameful story of the forced evacuation of Diego Garcia's native inhabitants by Great Britain during 1968-1973, so that the United States could set up a Navy base, as well as current efforts to redress those actions
Vine has written a book, Island of Shame, ... about the savage treatment of the people of Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos Archipelago ... Americans may know Diego Garcia as a U.S. military base. It "helped launch the Afghan and Iraq wars and was part of the CIA's secret 'rendition' program for captured terrorist suspects," Vine writes. What's not widely known is that the island was once home to a couple of thousand people who were forcibly removed to make room for the U.S. military. The victims' 40-year effort to return or to be compensated for their losses have been futile.
U.S. Hypocrisy in Cuba, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 26 May 2006
Comments on a propaganda billboard posted by the U.S. Special Interest Section in Havana for Cubans to read, one of its messages stating "In a free country you don’t need permission to leave the country. Is Cuba a free country?"
Most Americans continue to view their federal government as a beloved parent, one who never lies to them; who takes care of them and gives them "freedom" in the form of welfare, health care, Social Security, education, grants, subsidies, and protection from drug dealers, immigrants, terrorists, and oil companies; and who is devoted to spreading freedom and democracy around the world. Most of the rest of the world sees the reality—an increasingly oppressive and military-oriented government whose cruel and brutal foreign policies have engendered deep-seated anger and hatred ...
Related Topics: Cuba, Socialism
The War the Government Cannot Win, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1 May 2007
Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state; talk given at the Wisconsin Forum in Milwaukee
[I]f history teaches us anything it is that no country wants to be ruled by a foreign power, whether that foreign occupation takes the form of colonialism or outright military dictatorship. People would rather run a country badly than have it run well from the outside. No one should understand this better than the American people, whose country was born in a revolt ... against not only the British Empire but also the very idea of empire itself ... [T]he only way the US Constitution was adopted was the promise that it would not act imperialistically at home or abroad.
We Must Not Be the World’s Policeman, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Sep 2013
Considers whether United States government actions. such as bombing, against the goverment of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are justified from moral or constitutional perspectives
No one appointed the United States the world's policeman ... [T]he Constitution, does not and could not do so ... As it interferes in other people's conflicts, a self-appointed world policemen will breed resentment ... No one likes a bully, especially when it's a presumptuous superpower armed with nuclear warheads and monstrous conventional weapons ... The U.S. government is neither an honest broker nor an avenger of the victims of injustice. It is the world's ham-handed hegemon, with overriding geopolitical and economic interests that determine what it does in any circumstance.
Related Topics: Middle East, Barack Obama, Syria, War
We Were Warned about the Rise of Empire, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 13 Jun 2014
In light of calls for U.S. re-intervention in Iraq, revisits Garet Garrett's 1952 essay "The Rise of Empire" discussing Garrett's five traits that are "the true marks of Empire" and their applicability to the United States in 2014
It's easy to see how closely this fits the United States today. For a long time, the executive branch has been the dominant branch of government. For example, as Garrett noted, the war power has moved entirely into the hands of the president, despite the Constitution's language and Congress's half-hearted attempt to hold on to some power with the War Powers Resolution. Since the Korean War, it's the president who decides when the country goes to war. (Even when Barack Obama tossed the question of bombing Syria to Congress last year, he and others maintained that he had the unilateral power to act if he wanted to.)
What About Immigration?, by Julian Simon, The Freeman, Jan 1986
Examines the economic impact of immigration to the United States, including actual levels of legal and illegal immigration, effect on unemployment, wages, services used, taxes paid and productivity
Many people assume ... that "immigration to the United States is at record levels." ... The immigrants who arrived between 1901 and 1910 constituted 9.6 per cent of the population, whereas between 1971 and 1980 immigrants constituted only two per cent of the population. So the recent flow is less than a sixth as heavy a burden for the native population to absorb ... We tend to think of ourselves as a "nation of immigrants," but the U.S. has a smaller share of foreign-born persons than do many countries that we tend to think of as closed homogeneous populations ...
Related Topics: Taxation, Unemployment, Wages
What People Believe, by Charley Reese, 20 May 2006
Explains how people are influenced by their upbringing and by political leaders to leave their families and jobs and "go to a foreign country and fight in a war"
So, we learn we are Americans, and just what are Americans? Well, we are told about that largely through history, through stories told by our own family and stories we read or see in the movies ... The trick is to remember to make the distinction between America in the abstract and America in reality. The America in the abstract is made up of all our experiences, memories, stories, legends and myths. The America in reality consists of what exists right at this moment. And what exists right at this moment is a corrupt federal government with a foolish man in the White House.
Related Topic: War
What's Become of Americans?, by Paul Craig Roberts, 22 Mar 2006
Ponders the lack of reaction by Americans to events related to the Iraq War and the Bush administration, such as the missing WMDs, Abu Ghraib, mass surveillance, "free speech" zones, the death toll and the Haditha massacre
Imagine knocking on America's door and being told, 'Americans don't live here any longer ...' ... Alan Shore told us so ... on March 14: 'When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out not to be true, I expected the American people to rise up. They didn't. ... now it's been discovered the executive branch has been conducting massive, illegal, domestic surveillance on its own citizens. You and me. And I at least consoled myself that finally, finally the American people will have had enough. Evidentially, we haven't. ... if the people ... have spoken, the message is we're okay with it all. ... This! In the United States of America.'
Why They Hate Us, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Feb 2008
Examines the myth that the United States is hated because Americans "are free and represent democracy", suggesting Americans ought to "get curious" about what their government has done to foreigners over the last century
We often hear American politicians and commentators reciting a list of "terrorist" acts committed against the "United States." It typically includes the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, ... and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen ... Since [the Spanish-American War in 1899-1902] American presidents have intervened, directly or by proxy, in countless places, including Cuba, Haiti, Colombia (Panama), Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq, Guatemala, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
Will American Ground Troops Be Sent to Fight ISIS?, by Sheldon Richman, 25 Sep 2014
Analyzes Barack Obama's statements, made on 17 Sep 2014, regarding his anti-Islamic State strategy of (a) not sending American ground forces and (b) being merely a part of "a broad coalition"
Obama tips his hand about who will bear the burden when he rhapsodizes about American exceptionalism. At MacDill he said,
[I]t is America that has the unique capability to mobilize against an organization like [ISIS]...
[W]hen the world is threatened, when the world needs help, it calls on America...
[T]here just aren't a lot of other folks who can perform in the same ways—in fact, there are none. And there are some things only we can do. There are some capabilities only we have.
In declaring war against the ISIS insurgency ..., Obama has set the country on a course of intervention in two Muslim civil wars.
Related Topics: Middle East, Barack Obama
With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Friends?, by Kevin Carson, 23 Aug 2013
Reflects on the actions taken by the U.S. government in response to threats, such as from bad actors like Al Qaeda, or disclosures from whistleblowers such as Snowden and Manning
Entirely through its own responses to 9/11, the U.S. government has run up $1.5 trillion dollars in war debt and turned its civil aviation system into a comically totalitarian nightmare straight out of the movie "Brazil" ... On top of that, the U.S. government's draconian prosecutions of Manning and Aaron Schwartz have turned them into martyrs and created sympathy among millions of people around the world. In its obsessive pursuit of Snowden, the U.S. alienated public opinion and national governments in most of Latin America by forcing down the Bolivian president's plane.
Yahoo! We Have Free Speech, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 1 Mar 2001
Discusses a French court's order to Yahoo to stop selling Nazi memorabilia and contrasts attitudes regarding freedom of speech, recalling the story of "The White Rose" resistance group in 1940s Nazi Germany
No one would dispute that some U.S. officials would love to assume and exercise the same power over speech that Hitler exercised 60 years ago ... And it's true that U.S. officials have made significant inroads in the area of pornography and "commercial" speech. But by and large, people in the United States are free to publish anything they want, including pro-Nazi material ... Under the First Amendment, the members of Congress, albeit democratically elected, are absolutely prohibited from abridging freedom of speech, even if 99 percent of the citizenry consider some of it vile, despicable, and contemptible.
Related Topics: France, Germany, Freedom of Speech

Reviews

Book Review: J.-B. Say: An Economist in Troubled Times, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, May 1998
Review of J.-B. Say: An Economist in Troubled Times (1997), writings selected and translated by R. R. Palmer
Say greatly appreciated America as a beacon for freedom, and he even contemplated immigrating to the United States during the tyrannical reign of Napoleon. For example, he wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1803: "You will show us the true means to our liberation ... It is for you [the Americans] to show the friends of liberty in Europe how personal freedom is compatible with maintenance of the social body." Its unfortunate that if Say were alive today, he could not be as praising of America as an example for the world as he could be 195 years ago.
UpdLiberty Against Power: Essays by Roy A. Childs, Jr., by Doug Bandow, The Freeman, Jun 1995
Review of Liberty Against Power (1994), a collection of Roy Childs' "best writings and speeches", edited by Joan Kennedy Taylor
Roy wrote "Crime in the Cities: The Drug Connection." ... [T]he article [shows] how it is drug prohibition ... that fuels the crime wave enveloping cities across America. Similarly impressive are his analyses of foreign policy ..., as well as America's expansive alliance network around the globe. He wants the United States to "abandon the foreign policy which has brought us to the state where Americans are vilified and damned and held hostage" abroad, and instead return to a noninterventionist stance, when we "once again become a beacon of hope and liberty for all the people of the world."
UpdThe Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 1, by George Leef, Freedom Daily, 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"
As an aside, one can't help wondering what the United States would be like today if, instead of turning to coercive, statist "remedies" for the Depression, Americans had drawn the correct conclusions and turned away from the bad policies they already had, especially high tariffs and central banking. America would be a much freer and more prosperous country today but for the intellectual blunders of the 1930s. Although Shlaes doesn't indulge in any libertarian daydreaming, she does a good job of exposing those intellectual blunders.

Interviews

Faculty Spotlight Interview: Thomas DiLorenzo, by Thomas DiLorenzo, 16 Aug 2010
Asks DiLorenzo about an alternate career path, hobbies, biggest inspiration, the Mises Institute and Austrian tradition, his class at Mises academy, future works and words of wisdom for young scholars
I'm writing a book tentatively titled "False Virtue: The Myths That Transformed America From a Republic to an Empire." After the War to Prevent Southern Independence, the U.S. government is said to have possessed a "treasury of virtue." ... I'm ... writing about what ... [it] did with all that "virtue," beginning with its war of extermination against the Plains Indians, so-called Reconstruction, all of the scandals associated with ... subsidies to railroad corporations, ... protectionism, the killing of 200,000 Filipinos who resisted becoming part of the American empire, and so forth.
UpdHistorian Paul Johnson on American Liberty, by Paul Johnson, The Freeman, Jun 1996
Topics discussed include religious freedom, abolishing slavery, the impact of immigration, the Founding Fathers, the U.S. Constitution, individualism, reining in government and the prospects for liberty in America
Johnson: The majority of people who came to America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were from the British Isles. They shared a common language, ... political tradition, and ... law. America benefited from a debate about liberty, which had gone on in England for some 150 years ...
The ethical basis of the United States was a broad-based Protestantism. This was the case even though not all the colonies were Protestant. Maryland was Catholic for a long time. Rhode Island was a non-denominational state, formed by people who broke away from the restrictive Protestantism of New England.
Interview with James Buchanan, by James M. Buchanan, The Region, Sep 1995
Topics include The Calculus of Consent, public choice theory, monetary policy and the Federal Reserve
Buchanan: ... The idea [of the Conference of States] was to have a meeting in Philadelphia of the governors of all states plus a bipartisan group of leading legislators from each state. They were to come to Philadelphia and meet for the first time since 1790. The states would meet quite separately from the federal government. The idea behind this—I know because I was invited to be on the academic advisory committee—was to have these governors meet and have a discussion about ways and means through which we could genuinely get some power evolved from the central government back to the states.
Interview with Karl Hess, by Karl Hess, A. Lin Neumann, Reason, May 1982
Topics discussed include the Republican Party, National Review, AEI, Goldwater, Rothbard, anarchism, the Vietnam War, Carter and Reagan, fascism, urban enterprise zones, the environment, and authoritarianism vs. freedom
HESS: ... Just looking around the world, there's no place like [this country]. Comparatively, it's the most free country on the face of the earth. I don't think there's any doubt about it. And I think that applies to blacks living in the ghetto and to people living in Beverly Hills, and it applies to people living in Hamtramck, Michigan. There would be no advantage to being a poor person anyplace else in the world compared to here. I don't think there is any particular advantage to being poor, most of all because of the state of mind involved, but where else?

Books

America: A Minority Viewpoint
    by Walter E. Williams, 1983
A collection of 84 essays; contents: Race - Unions - Government Failure - Freedom and Coercion - Crime and the Law - Inflation, Taxes, and Government Spending
Conceived in Liberty
    by Murray N. Rothbard, 1975
Volume I: A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century - II: "Salutary Neglect": The American Colonies in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century - III: Advance to Revolution, 1760-1775 - IV: The Revolutionary War, 1775-1784
The Decline of the American Republic and How to Rebuild It
    by John T. Flynn, 1955
Partial contents: The Tragic Retreat - Government and Freedom - Republics in History - The American Republic - The Great Depression - A New Name for Socialism - The Dark Alliance - The Assault on the Constitution - From Depression to War Room
A History of the American People
    by Paul Johnson, 1997
Contents: Colonial America, 1580-1750 - Revolutionary America, 1750-1815 - Democratic, 1815-1850 - Civil War, 1850-1870 - Industrial, 1870-1912 - Melting-Pot, 1912-1929 - Superpower America, 1929-1960 - Problem-Solving, Problem-Creating America, 1960-1997
A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960
    by Milton Friedman, 1963
Partial contents: The Greenback Period - Silver Politics and the Secular Decline in Prices, 1879-97 - Gold Inflation and Banking Reform, 1897-1914 - Early Years of the Federal Reserve System, 1914-21 - The High Tide of the Reserve System, 1921-29
Related Topics: Federal Reserve System, Money
Reinventing America: The Common Sense Domestic Agenda for the 90's
    by Michael Foudy, 1992
Partial contents: Money Makes the World Go Round! - The Value of Money - What Went Wrong? - The Worst Case - Why Bother? - Politics: A Complex of Social Relations - Power is the Reality - Prospects for America - Where Do We Go From Here?

Videos

The Empire Strikes Out: Debt, inflation and the end of the state, by Stefan Molyneux, 23 Sep 2008
Analyzes the U.S. economic crisis in the fall of 2008
Free Trade vs. Protectionism, by Don Boudreaux, 31 Aug 2011
Defines free trade and protectionism, the use of tariffs to implement the latter, and gives Hong Kong and the United States as examples of the benefits of free trade
One of the intended consequences of the 1787 Constitution was to turn the United States into a free-trade zone ... [W]e have this huge transcontinental country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf Coast up to Canada, Americans are free to buy from any other American that they want ... And so people in Maine buy pineapples from people in Hawaii, people in Hawaii buy maple syrup from people in Maine. One of the reasons for the United States' enormous economic growth over the past 2 centuries and high standard of living is that we have total free trade within America.

Is America # One?, by John Stossel, 19 Sep 1999
ABC News special; starts by comparing the U.S., India and Hong Kong and then posits reasons for prosperity in the U.S.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "United States" as of 29 May 2024, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.