England's deep magic

England is an ancient land, burdened and liberated by tradition, and pervaded with a sense of stewardship.

Do you recall the majestic scene in The Lord of the Rings in which the beacons are lit? Large piles of wood and hay are stacked atop the tallest mountains. When Gondor needs military assistance, it lights its beacon, and miles away another beacon is lit in response, and then another, and then another. For hundreds of miles the beacons are lit, spreading news of Gondor's need across Middle Earth.

When I encountered this, I was again struck by Tolkien's genius. How could one man's imagination create such an elaborate and detailed world? But standing atop the Ditchling Beacon in the south of England last month, I was confronted with the fact that Tolkien didn't create the beacons. They existed in England, like so much other magic, for centuries before Tolkien's pen ever touched paper.

Read the full article at The American.

Michael R. Strain is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

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About the Author

 

Michael R.
Strain
  • Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies labor economics, public finance, and applied microeconomics. His research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and in the policy journals Tax Notes and National Affairs. Dr. Strain also writes frequently for popular audiences on topics including labor market policy, jobs, minimum wages, federal tax and budget policy, and the Affordable Care Act, among others.  His essays and op-eds have been published by National Review, The New York Times, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Forbes, Bloomberg View, and a variety of other outlets. He is frequently interviewed by major media outlets, and speaks often on college campuses. Before joining AEI he worked on the research team of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program and was the manager of the New York Census Research Data Center, both at the U.S. Census Bureau.  Dr. Strain began his career in the macroeconomics research group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  He is a graduate of Marquette University, and holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. from Cornell.


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