Category Archives: Politics

Political Satire ostensibly in the vein of P. J. O’Rourke.

Desperate Mayors Compete for Amazon HQ2

You can almost see trails of drool spreading out from towns across America as local leaders feverishly hope to snag the second Amazon headquarters. In the latest Reason video I team up with comic geniuses Austin Bragg (opposite me) and Meredith Bragg (off camera) to highlight the absurdity of tax breaks through two sociopathic mayors. In my case, read more »

How Sugar Subsidies Ruin Halloween

  This Halloween while you’re getting pudgy from candy, crony capitalists are getting rich off of sugar subsidies. The system is rigged through price controls, subsidies, and tariffs, all designed to protect the sugar industry from competition–and basic math. In the latest “Mostly Weekly” Andrew Heaton tears into the Willy Wonkas gaming the system, and read more »

Why the Lights Are Still Off in Puerto Rico

  Regardless of how the president and FEMA have responded, Puerto Rico was set up for disaster well before Hurricane Maria hit. Yo-yo tax breaks, needlessly expensive imports, and crippling debt all lead to a shoddy infrastruture that’s still without power on much of the island. On the latest “Mostly Weekly,” Andrew Heaton explores: how read more »

Why We Should Privatize the Postal Service

  I don’t think Hell exists, but if it does, I’m pretty sure it involves standing in line for stamps at a post office. We explore why the Postal Service is so terrible, and how to fix it, in the latest Mostly Weekly. Did you know the Post Office once tried to deliver mail by read more »

Our Amazing Debt (Cosmos Parodoy)

  In preparation for Reason’s latest parody video I’ve spent a lot of time trying to grasp just how ginormous twenty trillion dollars actually is. Some of the (mathematically questionable) analogies I came up with, but scrapped are:  If you listened to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John twenty trillion times, it would last longer than the universe read more »

Minimum Wage: Bad for Humans, Good for Robots

  Some of America’s largest cities are ratcheting minimum wage up, while progressive luminaries are calling to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Only evil people would oppose this, right? Unless…That’s what the robots want us to think? When the government uses minimum wage laws to abolish cheap labor, it makes employees more expensive. read more »

Stop Subsidizing Sports!

  Let’s talk about “sports”—that thing where we gather around to watch a muscular stranger put a regulation-size ball in a specific location. Why are taxpayers forced to pony up cash for athletic ventures that don’t benefit them? Franchise owners routinely extort massive stadium subsidies through threats of relocation and fake promises of economic revitalization. read more »

What to do With Your Embarrassing Confederate Statue

So you’ve got an old Confederate statue you need to toss out. Don’t worry, many cities in America are going through the same spring cleaning you are. The relevant question is: what do you do with a marble effigy of an old bearded racist once you’ve knocked it off its pedestal? The main argument against read more »

How to Stop Patent Trolls

  It’s been a bad year for patent trolls, from a Supreme Court decision squelching their ability to funnel lawsuits to East Texas to this week’s ruling that Personal Audio LLC can’t claim it owns a patent on the entirety of podcasting. In the latest Mostly Weekly, Reason’s Andrew Heaton explores what patent trolls are, the damage they do, read more »

Science: Power Causes Brain Damage

A spate of recent articles corroborate what I already suspected, that holding elected office is the neurological equivalent of getting kicked in the head by a donkey. “Subjects under the influence of power,” Dacher Keltner, a professor at University of California, Berkeley found, “acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, read more »

Game of Thrones: The Libertarian Edition

As HBO’s blockbuster series Game of Thrones returns for its seventh season, Reason offers its own freedom-filled parody. A libertarian paradise north of the wall? What’s happened to Westeros’ social security trust fund? Should it take low-income Dothraki four years to get a hair-braiding license? Watch! Written and produced by Austin Bragg, Meredith Bragg, and read more »

The War on Interns

It’s intern season, but many aspiring students aren’t able to get internships—because a lot of them are illegal. Federal law restricts companies from hiring unpaid interns if they’re performing actual useful duties, which means it’s harder for workers to get a foot in the door. In the latest Mostly Weekly Andrew Heaton proposes that consenting adults should be read more »

Why Society Hates Entrepreneurs

We’re fickle about entrepreneurs, at least if they actually become successful. Whether or not they add value to society is beside the point. When they’re handsome and charismatic entrepreneurs are “innovators” and “game changers.” They get invited to sex parties in Davos. If they’re homely or awkward, they are merely wealthy drivers of inequality, and read more »

Trump’s Cuba Crackdown

  President Trump is rolling back some of his predecessor’s Cuban policy reforms, potentially setting back important American relations with cigars and rum. In 2014 President Obama restored diplomatic relations with communist Cuba, re-opening the U.S. embassy on the island nation and lifting some travel and financial restrictions. This month Trump announced he was “canceling the last administration’s read more »

The Government Hates Boobs

You’re going to be surprised by this, but there’s actually a decent amount of overlap between government bureaucrats and breasts. We cover that and more on the latest episode of Mostly Weekly. Frankly I’m a little astonished that I didn’t tackle the issue sooner, given the tremendous amount of thought I’ve independently put into either category. It’s read more »

The Federal Government Ruined Puerto Rico

This article was originally published at Reason.com Puerto Rico voted to become a U.S. state this week. Needless to say, we should all be deeply concerned about the island’s engorged debt, destructive fits of socialism, and terrifying chupacabras. But Puerto Rican statehood also represents a unique opportunity to reform American federalism. Accepting a new state with read more »

What the Government Can Learn from BDSM

Last week Washington, DC shut down as everyone and their dog fled to sports bars to watch James Comey’s congressional testimony. The uncomfortable spectacle raised more questions than merely Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. The former FBI Director’s retelling of his private dinner with the then-president elect had the timbre of an overbearing boss sexually harassing read more »

A Brief History of Politicians Body-Slamming Journalists

In the twilight hours of a special election to replace Montana’s lone congressman, Republican hopeful Greg Gianforte reportedly “body slammed” and punched a Guardian reporter after the journalist tried to ferret out an answer about GOP health care plans. In this video Reason TV imagines a world in which other, high profile politicians give into read more »

Net Neutrality Nixed

People are freaking out now that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is beginning the repeal of Net Neutrality regulations, which give the government the right to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The main arguments in favor of Net Neutrality are really arguments guarding against hypotheticals: that ISPs could otherwise block and censor content (they never have) read more »

Freaky Friday Politics: Republicans And Democrats Keep Switching Positions

Democrats and Republicans are pivoting on issues faster than a bipolar swing dancer on a merry-go-round. Republicans are now big government protectionists who can make, let alone read, a solvent budget. Democrats support free trade (see: Hillary Clinton), states’ rights (see: legal weed) and local control (see: sanctuary cities). It’s like the two parties switched read more »