COMMENTARY

Uniting Behind the Freedom Message

Those of us on the right-hand side of the political spectrum seem to be spending a lot of time arguing with ourselves before we negotiate with our adversaries. Arguing is OK, and even a good thing, if we do it in a way that moves ideas forward and identifies common paths in the right direction. […]

Rob Natelson: A Federal Lawsuit Threatens Constitutional Limits on the State Legislature

Most state constitutions limit the financial powers of the state legislature. They have to: In the 19th century several states nearly went bankrupt from bad fiscal practices. Now a federal lawsuit puts those protections in danger. The Montana constitution requires the state to run a balanced budget. And it requires that before the state can […]

Rob Natelson: Some Humor on the Corruption of Modern Universities

A high school senior who has just gone through the college admissions process humorously reflects on her experience in this Wall Street Journal op-ed. Her column is a good P.S. to my recent posting on what’s wrong at modern universities. Beneath the humor, the analysis by Suzy Lee Weiss of the skewed criteria many admissions […]

Rob Natelson: Protecting People Against “Gun Control”

    Like the Montana Constitution, the Colorado Constitution guarantees citizen gun rights. Nevertheless, Colorado recently became the first Rocky Mountain state to impose sweeping limits on gun and gun-magazine ownership in violation of its own basic law and of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The action is concerning for Montana, because Rocky Mountain […]

Legislature Watching

I’ve been a little out of sorts the past few days with whatever it is that’s making the rounds, but that’s given me a chance to sit and watch the legislature on my fancy computer gadget box in the basement. It’s like magic. The Legislative Services Division has really done a nice job of making […]

Rob Natelson: The Modern University: Giving Honors to the Dishonorable

If you want an illustration of what is wrong with higher education today, a good one is what I had to sit through when my daughter Deborah graduated a few months ago. Deborah is a native Montanan, born when my wife and I lived in Missoula. She recently received her masters degree from the University […]

Let Other States Experiment with Medicaid Expansion – Part II

Medicaid expansion is supposedly a no-brainer. It’ll provide insurance for a lot low income people. It’s free federal money. And it’ll create jobs and pump up local economies. So why are the 50 states almost evenly divided on whether to take this gift horse or send it out to pasture? It’s because a lot of […]

Rob Natelson: On the Medicaid Expansion—Yes, Montana Should Say No

When the Supreme Court’s Obamacare case was pending, I noticed that while there was a lot of attention given to the individual insurance mandate, there was little discussion of the Medicaid expansion. The Medicaid extension was the part of the law that sought to force states into signing up for an expensive new program by […]

What’s Fair About Equal Outcomes?

If you’ve been using the MPI website for any length of time you’ve probably come across the phrase “Equal people are not free and free people are not equal.” The point of that saying is that no society can guarantee equal outcomes for its members, and trying comes at the cost of freedom. The reason […]

Rob Natelson: The Montana Supreme Court Ballot Issue Jurisprudence: “Liberal, Sí — Conservative, No!”

Many Montanans have complained of the state’s supreme court’s leftward bias. But law is such a specialized area, that this bias can be hard to illustrate in ways non-lawyers can understand. But everyone can see it in how the Montana justices handle ballot issues. In Montana, the legislature and citizen petitioners enjoy the right to […]