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Abigail R. Hall Archive

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

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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Cubs Fans Swing and Miss on Understanding Basic Economics



Cubs fans, rejoice! This may be the year you can finally stop blaming a goat for all your problems and win a World Series. Without a doubt, sports are a goldmine of economic topics. With the popularity of books and movies like Moneyball: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game, many people have been exposed...
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Easterly, Buchanan, Hayek, and Economic Development



When I was an undergraduate student, the vast majority of my readings came from textbooks. For several years I looked at supply and demand graphs, calculated unemployment rates and elasticities, and answered questions about how changes in particular variables would impact inflation and economic growth according to various models. During my senior year, however, our economic...
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When Government Fails, Papa John’s Delivers



Parts of the southern United States were hit particular hard by hurricane Matthew last week. Between the wind and the rain, flooding and power outages took place from Florida up through the Carolinas. For many of us, things like losing power are minor inconveniences. For others, however, this is not the case. Losing power...
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What Trump’s Taxes Really Tell Us about Politicians



A few days ago, it was revealed that in 1995 Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss on his tax returns. According to The New York Times, Trump’s losses under the U.S. tax code would have allowed him to write off or avoid paying any federal income tax for a period of 18 years....
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Both Presidential Candidates Fail Econ 101



This week we saw the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Despite knowing better, I watched the whole thing. For over 90 minutes I watched as the two candidates went back and forth, offering generic, unclear policy prescriptions, took jabs at one another, and offered unnecessary personal...
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Your Friendly Neighborhood Drone?



As the saying goes, “life imitates art.” Sometimes my research interests pop up in places I don’t expect. Recently it happened close to home. Really, really close to home. I’ve written extensively on the use of drones as a tool of U.S. foreign policy. I’ve explored whether or not drones are more cost effective...
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