Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 131: Conservative Magazines and the Presumption of Liberty: A Content Analysis on Sex, Gambling, and Drugs

Daniel Klein () and Jason Briggeman ()
Additional contact information
Daniel Klein: George Mason University and The Ratio Institute, Postal: The Ratio Institute, PO BOX 3203, SE-103 64 Stockholm, Sweden
Jason Briggeman: George Mason University

Abstract: Conservatives say they are for small government and individual liberty, but a content analysis of leading conservative magazines shows that most have preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling, and drugs. Besides many anti-liberty commissions, the magazines may be criticized for anti-liberty omission—that is, failing to oppose anti-liberty policies. Magazines investigated include National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Enterprise, and The American Spectator. We find that National Review has had the strongest record on liberty on the issues treated, while the others have preponderantly failed to be pro-liberty or have even been anti-liberty.

Keywords: Conservative; liberty; sex; drugs; gambling

JEL-codes: A13

13 pages, February 24, 2009

Note: To appear in The Independent Review

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