The Dead Hand of Socialism: State Ownership in the Arab World

Extensive government ownership in the economy is a source of inefficiency and a barrier to economic development. Although precise measures of government ownership across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are hard to come by, the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen all operate sizeable segments of their economies—in some cases accounting for more than two-thirds of the GDP. In a new paper, Cato scholar Dalibor Rohac argues that MENA countries need to implement privatization in order to sustain their transitions toward more representative political systems and inclusive economic institutions.

Police Paramilitarization, in Ferguson and Beyond

As the events in Ferguson, MO demonstrate, America’s domestic police forces can come to resemble the standing armies the Founders feared. “Shock and awe” tactics are fast becoming the new normal as federal policy has fed an unhealthy warrior mentality among what used to be called “peace officers”—with federal subsidies and Pentagon giveaways of military ordnance.  The clampdown in Ferguson highlights the dangers of our drift toward paramilitary policing, as well as the broader trend of law-enforcement lawlessness documented by Cato’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.

Clicking on Heaven’s Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime

According to an annual survey conducted in North American and European countries, approximately two-thirds of the people interviewed are concerned that illegal immigrants increase crime, whereas fewer have the same concern about legal immigrants.  New research by Paolo Pinotti indicates that legal status does significantly reduce the number of serious crimes committed by immigrants, and that the impact is highest for economically motivated crimes.

America: Stay out of Iraq

President Obama has authorized targeted airstrikes and emergency assistance missions in northern Iraq. In recent commentary, Cato scholar Benjamin H. Friedman outlines several reasons why the U.S. should stay out of Iraq’s turmoil. “Surge mythology notwithstanding, our efforts to reorder Iraq have always been misguided. The goal - a multiethnic, democratic, stable Iraq - was a nice idea but never vital to U.S. national security or worth thousands of U.S. lives and vast stores of our wealth.”

Recent Commentary


September 10

Lessons from Ferguson

Featuring Alice Goffman, Author, On the Run (University of Chicago Press, 2014); Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Officers Against Prohibition (LEAP); Ethan Brown, Author, Snitch (Public Affairs, 2007); and Lauren Victoria Burke, Creator, Crewof42 Blog; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

4:00pm Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

Cato Home Study Course

Cato Home Study Course

Spend time with some of the world’s greatest minds and truest friends of freedom.

• Professionally prepared audio programs on the historical, philosophical, economic, legal, and moral foundations of individual liberty and limited government – including the thoughts and views of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Adam Smith, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Henry David Thoreau, Ayn Rand, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and others.

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Constitution Day

Constitution Day 2014

To celebrate Constitution Day and the publication of the thirteenth annual Cato Supreme Court Review, the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies Presents a Symposium:

The Supreme Court: Past and Prologue
A Look at the October 2013 and 2014 Terms

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This annual event features leading legal scholars analyzing the most important decisions of the Supreme Court’s recent term, and a look ahead at what to expect during the Court’s next term.

Details and registration