New Book Review in the Washington Times by Roger Lott: Miron's "LIBERTARIANISM FROM A TO Z"

Roger's review can be found here.

In "Libertarianism From A to Z," Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron wastes no time. In roughly 200 short pages, he explains and advocates libertarian points of view on more than 100 issues, from agricultural subsidies to organ sales and government funding of zoos. The encyclopedic organization combined with Mr. Miron's concise and straightforward writing style make for a condensed yet highly accessible read.

Mr. Miron calls himself a "consequentialist libertarian," distinguishing himself from "philosophical libertarians." He considers the costs and benefits of individual government policies rather than simply making broad arguments against them on the basis of natural rights. However, the inclusion of some statistics would help give precision to his assertions.

Each topic is begun with a layout of the major arguments for government involvement, which are, for the most part, not watered down. Mr. Miron's fair presentation of reasons for opposing viewpoints ultimately makes his case for libertarianism more convincing.

According to Mr. Miron, many of these arguments are based on the belief that government should subsidize activities that generate positive externalities (indirect benefits) for society, such as education, and tax those that create negative ones, such as pollution. Government subsidizes recycling, for instance, on the basis that it decreases water contamination, reduces pollution, prevents exhaustion of natural resources and preserves space for landfills. . . .

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