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Carl Close Archive

Carl Close is Research Fellow and Senior Editor for The Independent Institute and Assistant Editor of The Independent Review and editor of The Lighthouse, The Independent Institute’s weekly e-mail newsletter.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

New Book Reveals the Timely Wisdom of America’s First Constitution



Is the U.S. Constitution the best possible charter a nation could ever conceive? Many people seem to think so, but some of the greatest patriots of the Founding Era would have disagreed—vehemently. Indeed, men like Patrick Henry, George Mason, and Richard Henry Lee (among others) thought the Constitution’s flaws would become the republic’s undoing....
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Future: Economic Peril or Prosperity? Offers Message of “Cautious Optimism”



Fifty years from now innovations in technology and commerce will have brought tremendous progress in the material well-being of people from all income levels, but a world of widespread prosperity is not a sure thing: Although unlikely, taxation, regulation, cronyism, and/or public hostility to wealth creation could greatly undermine or even eviscerate the ability...
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Understanding the Climate Science Boom



Like an economy, a scientific discipline can undergo periods of boom and bust. Is climate science experiencing an unsustainable boom? Certainly its growth has been astounding. Over the past 20 years, the number of scientific papers related to “anthropogenic climate change” has increased twelve-fold, according to a search using Google Scholar. But whether or...
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Anthony de Jasay: Political Philosopher Par Excellence



Anthony de Jasay isn’t a household name, but he should be. The former Parisian banker is one of the most original thinkers in political philosophy today, and his insights on the nature of liberty, justice, and the state have major implications for how we might improve our governments, communities, and culture. The Summer 2015...
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In Memoriam: Robert A. Conquest (1917–2015)



One of the great ironies of modern history is that the person most responsible for bringing to light the magnitude of Stalin’s terror is a man whose last name is synonymous with occupation and subjugation: Robert Conquest. In word and in deed, the world-renowned historian, who passed away on August 3 at the age...
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Harvard Professor’s Latest ‘Heresy’ Throws Water on Obama EPA’s Climate Policy



Is Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe trying to become the liberal who is most despised by other liberals? It might sound odd to hear such a question asked about an academic who once mentored a young Barack Obama about the nuances of constitutional scholarship, who liberals once embraced as a potential nominee to...
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A Case for Patent Reform



For many decades most economists believed patents were key to the innovation and material progress enjoyed by the West. In recent years, however, many have looked at patents with growing skepticism, with some even suggesting that the patent system be scrapped. In contrast, economist Arthur M. Diamond Jr. (Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha) believes...
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The Case for Victim Justice



For elected officials eager to find a real problem to fix, here’s a big one that’s seldom mentioned during campaign season: American courts and prisons are plagued with injustices and inefficiencies. One of the main culprits, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Bruce L. Benson, is their guiding principle: an emphasis on offenses against...
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Debunking Democracy with James M. Buchanan



Among the first questions young people ask upon their political awakening is one that should concern Americans of all ages: Why don’t democratic governments operate the way our civic classes taught us? Perhaps no one of his generation thought more deeply about this question than the economist James M. Buchanan (1919–2013). The late Nobel...
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Coercive Foreign Policies and the Boomerang Effect



More than a century ago, Mark Twain noted that if a “Great Republic” goes about “trampling on the helpless abroad,” then that government stands a good chance of turning against its own citizens. But why does a nation’s repression of other countries raise the risk of repression at home? The short answer, according to...
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