Executive vice president of the Cato Institute, author of Libertarianism: A Primer


David Boaz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"David Boaz (born August 29, 1953, Mayfield, Kentucky) is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, published in 1997 by the Free Press and described by the Los Angeles Times as 'a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas.' He is also the editor of The Libertarian Reader and co-editor of the Cato Handbook for Congress (2003) and the Cato Handbook on Policy (2005). He frequently discusses such topics as education choice, the growth of government, the ownership society, his support of drug legalization, and the rise of libertarianism on national television and radio shows. ..."


TheAdvocates.org - David Boaz
200x291 JPEG, color


29 Aug 1953, David Boaz, in Mayfield, Kentucky


Cato Institute
"David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism."
Laissez Faire Books
"He has principal responsibility for Cato's phenomenal output of books, policy analyses and other informative materials on every imaginable national policy. This gives him exceptional perspective about developments affecting liberty today. ... In 1987, he had two complementary books published Libertarianism: A Primer and The Libertarian Reader: Classic & Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman."


Executive Vice President, Cato Institute
Eris Society
Board of Advisors, Students for Liberty

Web Pages

David Boaz - Libertarian: Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education
Biography (from Laissez Faire Books) and photograph


David Boaz - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Biographical essay
"... Boaz has helped erect a vast infrastructure of research and analysis that is propelling libertarian ideas and proposals into the mainstream of American political debate. ... Boaz was a veteran of Libertarian Ed Clark's presidential campaign when Ed Crane tapped him to join Cato in 1980. ... He suggests that many advocates of liberty tend to give short shrift to the practical policy end of promoting liberty."


'Anarchist' Idiocy, 14 May 2011
Discusses a Washington Post story about Greek so-called "anarchists" who were protesting the "rolling back of social safety nets"
"The Washington Post splashes a story about 'anarchists' in Greece across the front page today. ... So these 'anarchists' object that the state might cut back on its income transfers and payrolls. That is, they object to the state reducing its size, scope, and power. ... Real anarchists, of either the anarcho-capitalist or mutualist variety, might have something useful to say to Greeks in their current predicament. But disgruntled young people, lashing out at the end of an unsustainable welfare state, are not anarchists in any serious sense. They're just angry children not ready to deal with reality."
Related Topic: Anarchism
Ayn Rand at 100, 2 Feb 2005
Discusses the influence of Ayn Rand, after the publication of her two main novels, during the 1960s through the 1980s and to this day, with sales of about half a million of her books per year
"Few writers are more popular - or more controversial - than Ayn Rand. Despite the enormous commercial success of her books, and the major influence she’s had on American culture, reviewers and other intellectuals have generally been hostile. They've dismissed her support for individualism and capitalism, ridiculed her 'purple prose,' and mocked her black-and-white morality. None of which seems to have dissuaded her millions of readers. Although she did not like to acknowledge debts to other thinkers, Rand's work rests squarely within the libertarian tradition, with roots going back to Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Jefferson, Paine, Bastiat, Spencer, Mill, and Mises."
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Clark, Ed (1930-), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Related Topic: Ed Clark
Harmony: Lao-tzu, The Libertarian Reader, 1997
First section of part four, "Spontaneous Order"; includes a brief introduction and short excerpts of five chapters from the Tao Te Ching
"... elements of libertarian ideas in society can certainly be found in Eastern philosophy as well. One of the classic sources is the Tao Te Ching, thought to have been written in the sixth century B.C. by a scribe named Lao-tzu (or Lao Tse). Tao is sometimes translated 'the Way,' though another possible translation is 'natural law.' ... Lao-tzu urges the ruler ('the sage') to refrain from acting, to accept the good with the bad, to let people pursue their own actions."
Related Topic: Laozi
Hospers, John (1918-2011), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Related Topic: John Hospers
Libertarian Voters and the Libertarian Party, 23 May 2008
Discusses the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate nominees, the views of libertarian-leaning voters and the prospects for the LP
"So what's the relationship between libertarian voters and the Libertarian Party? First, of course, members of the Libertarian Party are much more committed to the libertarian philosophy than are the libertarian-leaning voters David Kirby and I have identified in recent research. Our research indicates that 15 to 20 percent of American voters hold broadly libertarian views, yet the Libertarian Party has only once broken 1 percent in a presidential race. ... So libertarian-leaning voters seem open to voting for third-party candidates, and thus they should be fertile ground for the Libertarian Party."
Related Topics: Libertarian Party, Ron Paul
Liberty at the Movies, 20 Jun 2005
Short reviews of "some all-time favorite libertarian movies"
"Today's topic is libertarian movies from Hollywood -- and there have been more than you might think. Shenandoah, a 1965 film ... Amistad (1997) ... The Castle was produced in Australia in 1997... in 1999 I also enjoyed The Winslow Boy ... So Big (1953) ... The Palermo Connection (1990) ... Pacific Heights (1990) ... My Beautiful Laundrette, made for British television in 1985."
Related Topic: Films
MacBride, Roger Lea (1929-1995), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Related Topic: Roger MacBride
Nathan, Tonie (1923-2014), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Related Topic: Tonie Nathan
Paul, Ron (1935-), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Related Topic: Ron Paul
The Drug War Hits Home, Future of Freedom, Jan 1992
Reviews several cases of non-users caught in "the tentacles of the War on Drugs" and explains why civil forfeiture is attractive to law enforcers
"The war on drugs increasingly demonstrates the futility of efforts to prohibit people from engaging in peaceful, voluntary activities. ... We will never stop drug use by stepping up the drug war. We are already arresting far more people and spending ten times as much as we did to enforce alcohol prohibition. "
Related Topic: War on Drugs
The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder, One of America’s First Libertarians, Time, 9 May 2015
Focuses on Rose Wilder Lane's life and relates the influence of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as Wilder Lane's influence on Roger MacBride
"Laura's only child was Rose Wilder Lane. Lane was born in DeSmet, South Dakota, and grew up on her parents' Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri. ... Lane wrote two novels of her own about her family's homestead ... But her interests turned more to politics, and she became a vociferous adversary of President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, which she saw as 'creeping socialism.' In the dark year of 1943, during World War II, Lane and two other remarkable women published books that could be said to have given birth to the modern Libertarian movement. Lane published a passionate historical book called The Discovery of Freedom."
Time to Rethink the War on Drugs, Future of Freedom, Oct 1999
Lists several effects of drug prohibition and suggests using some common sense regarding drug legalization
"... drug prohibition creates high levels of crime ... [and] channels more than $40 billion a year into the criminal underworld ... the drug laws are responsible for widespread social upheaval ... the drug laws break up families ... drug prohibition leads to civil liberties abuses ..."
Related Topic: War on Drugs

Books Authored

Libertarianism: A Primer, 1997
Partial contents: The Coming Libertarian Age - The Roots of Libertarianism - What Rights Do We Have? - The Dignity of the Individual - Pluralism and Toleration - Law and the Constitution - Civil Society - The Market Process - The Libertarian Future
Related Topic: Libertarianism
The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman, 1997
Includes essays by Bastiat, Cobden, Milton Friedman, Hayek, Jefferson, Locke, Mencken, Nozick, Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand, Rothbard, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Lysander Spooner, Alexis de Tocqueville, Laozi, Ludwig von Mises and Mary Wollstonecraft
Related Topic: Libertarianism
Toward Liberty: The Idea That Is Changing the World
    by David Boaz (Editor), Cato Institute, Apr 2002
Partial contents: Ideas and Consequences - Economic Growth - The Welfare State - The Regulatory State - A World in Transition - Foreign Affairs - Trade and International Finance - Law and Liberty - Democracy and Culture
Related Topic: Liberty


Ben Franklin: Conservative, Libertarian, or Radical Democrat?, by David Boaz (moderator), Mark Skousen (speaker), 19 Jan 2006
Book Forum hosted by Boaz, with presentation by Skousen discussing Franklin's Autobiography, Skousen's The Compleated Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and under what political viewpoint would one categorize Franklin
Related Topic: Benjamin Franklin