James R. Rogers is associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University. He also blogs at Law & Liberty.

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Debt, Gift, and Sacrifice in the Hunger Games

From Web Exclusives

The book, The Hunger Games, is of course better than the movie. The book’s story moves with the internal dialogue of the teen protagonist, Katniss. In contrast, the film’s story moves along through events external to Katniss. As a result of this shift, the film throws away our window into Katniss’s mind and, significantly, into her moral psychology, both of which are by far the most engaging part of the book (and the entire trilogy of books for that matter)… . Continue Reading »

The Newest Sin Tax

From Web Exclusives

Former US Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Altman writes in the Financial Times that increasing income inequality in the US has three causes: the increasing role that information technology plays in work; a supply shortage of workers with the requisite IT skills to take full advantage of this shift; and weak rates of graduation from high schools and universities… . Continue Reading »

Satan’s Only Target?

From First Thoughts

My beef with Rick Santorum’s 2008 speech before Ave Maria University is not that it was too Christian, but that it was not Christian enough. I love my country, served happily in the military for eight years (full disclosure: in the National Guard), and the hair on my neck still stands up . . . . Continue Reading »

Mitt Romney’s Constitutional Theology

From Web Exclusives

Speaking at a campaign event on Monday, February 13 in Mesa, Arizona, Mitt Romney made a bold suggestion about the Constitution and Declaration of Independence: “They’re either inspired by God or written by brilliant people or perhaps a combination of both.” Inspired by God? It sounds like just another sop tossed to Tea-Party constitutionalism, but Romney was in fact invoking a longstanding Mormon doctrine which views the U.S. Constitution as not only great, but literally divine… . Continue Reading »

Votes for Felons

From Web Exclusives

While reading of the exchange between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on voting rights for felons last week, it occurred to me that in the 20-plus years since I started going into prisons as a volunteer, none of the men on the inside has told me what he misses about the free world is voting. The men”I’ve only worked with men”tell me that they miss their mothers (although, poignantly, very few mention missing their fathers), they miss their wives, children and jobs. Several have even mentioned missing Dr. Pepper. But none has mentioned to me that he misses the voting booth… . Continue Reading »

Legislators in Robes

From First Thoughts

George Washington Law Professors David Fontana and Donald Braman ran a survey experiment on what happens to public support for the Supreme Court when it makes a controversial decision. They will publish the full results of their study later this spring in the Columbia Law Review , but they . . . . Continue Reading »

Babies and Economics

From First Thoughts

At least since Gary Becker won the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics almost twenty years ago, I don’t think that we really have the option of treating “social policy” and “economic policy” as hermetically separate categories. Since I assume that the Wall Street Journal . . . . Continue Reading »