Environmental quality has been a major public concern since the first Earth Day in 1970, yet the maze of environmental regulations enacted since has fostered huge government bureaucracies better known for waste and failure than for innovation and success.
For millennia, farmers all over the world have bred crops for their resistance to disease, productivity, and nutritional value. Today, few topics have the power to inspire as much international furor and misinformation as the development and distribution of genetically altered foods.
Robert Higgs speaks at a Future of Freedom Foundation conference in 1995 on the ratchet effect- the idea that governments tend to grab power during emergencies but do not cede it completely after each crisis abates- and gives his own analysis of what it might take to slow the growth of government in the 21st century.
In this lecture from 1987, Robert Higgs speaks about governments' tendency to bend or suspend individual rights during emergency situations. He reviews the history of this in the United States and questions whether the U.S. Constitution is strong enough to protect private rights in the face of an unending string of national crises.