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Abigail R. Hall Blanco Archive

Abigail R. Hall Blanco is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Tampa.

More Money, More Problems: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Won’t Help Inflation



It seems like Venezuela always provides great classroom examples for all the wrong reasons. I’ve written on this blog multiple times about the government of Venezuela and the polices it has enacted. I’ve argued that falling oil prices aren’t to blame for the country’s troubles and that the once-high oil prices only masked the underlying...
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Sexism and Zombie Economics



A few weeks ago, a friend of mine linked to an article on Facebook titled, “Sexism in Hollywood is Rampant, and Emma Watson Says her Career Proves It.” The article was published in late 2015, but similar pieces pop up from time to time with similar themes. Despite my better judgment, I clicked on...
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William Easterly and the Pitfalls of Foreign Intervention



In one of my recent blog posts, I discussed the work of NYU economist William Easterly. In particular, I noted how his work on the pitfalls of modern economic development planning bear a striking resemblance to the work and ideas of F. A. Hayek and James M. Buchanan. Easterly makes a distinction between “planners”...
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Colombia Joins Argentina and Venezuela in Adopting Backward Economic Policies



The Colombian government recently “persuaded” food producers to agree to have the prices of some of their goods “frozen.” Soon the prices of products like red meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, and processed foods will be set by the Colombian government. Once imposed, producers of these goods will be unable to raise their prices. According...
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Russia’s Election Hacks Are Child’s Play



The FBI and CIA are in agreement that Russia in some way interfered in the U.S. election. What is known so far is that Russian hackers were able to access the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Hackers also breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC). According to sources, the Russian government sought...
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Sorry, Vegan Eatery—Good Intentions Don’t Absolve Your Economic Sins



I frequently teach economics principles courses, offering many college students their first exposure to the subject. While we cover all the basics—supply and demand, elasticity (consumer and producer sensitivity to price changes), taxation, trade, and externalities—I’m under no illusion that most of them will remember a lot of the material come a year from...
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Free to Burn the Flag



My grandfather retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force. As such, he was given a full military funeral upon his death. I remember that day better than most. It was bitterly cold and had rained non-stop for several days. I remember thinking that the men shooting during the “21 gun...
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Make No Mistake: Fidel Castro Was a Horrible Person



Cuba’s former dictator, Fidel Castro, has died at the age of 90. When I woke up on Saturday morning to see the news, I was surprised by the reaction of many friends on social media, as well as the national media. The New York Times headline read, “Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at...
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Perspectives on the President Elect



Like many Americans, I was surprised with the results of our recent presidential election. I had assumed, like so many others, that a Clinton presidency was inevitable. Obviously, I was wrong. Since the election, friends, students, and others have asked what I think of President-elect Trump. While I tend to shy away (especially with...
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The U.S. Military: The Cost of the Sacred Cow



Criticizing the U.S. Armed Forces is largely taboo. For many, U.S. military programs are a sacred cows, something to be shielded from criticism and any sort of objection. Even those who are usually critical of other forms of government spending and growth balk at the idea of cutting military spending or reducing the U.S....
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