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

P. J. O’Rourke on the Baby Boom Generation



In a career spanning four decades and counting, P. J. O’Rourke has written twenty books on subjects as diverse as the antics of Congress (Parliament of Whores), economic development (Eat the Rich), U.S. foreign policy (Peace Kills), and civil turmoil in the world’s hotspots (Holidays in Hell). On February 13, the humorist and Founding Member...
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The Coming U.S. Government Default?



Social Security, Medicare, and the federal component of Medicaid are easily the leading sources of the U.S. government’s worsening fiscal nightmare. By 2037, the ongoing growth in spending for these programs will have pushed up total federal spending to 35.7 percent of GDP, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This share is about 75...
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The Independent Review — Spring 2014 Issue Now Available



The Spring 2014 issue of The Independent Review, the Independent Institute’s quarterly journal, has just been printed and is en route to subscribers. Here’s a quick look at the contents: Is the near extermination of the North American bison a clear example of “the tragedy of the commons”? No, not if, like Peter J....
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America’s Spymasters and Cultural Propaganda



The U.S. intelligence community has come under fire for its mass electronic surveillance programs designed to discover what Americans talk about privately. But would it surprise anyone to learn that the nation’s spymasters have also tried to shape what Americans read? And not only disinformation they feed to credulous journalists—such skullduggery has been known...
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The Independent Review—Winter Issue Now Available



The winter 2014 issue of The Independent Review is hot off the press! This edition of the Independent Institute’s 160-page scholarly journal includes a stimulating mix of timely topics and enduring themes, including a symposium on Nobel laureate economist James M. Buchanan and classical liberalism. Read it and gain a deeper understanding of the...
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Stephen Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich



The gun control debate in the United States is often couched in somewhat parochial terms, with one side invoking, for example, the nation’s unique Second Amendment guarantees and the other citing America’s disturbing problems with gun violence. Yet for this issue (and many others), it’s often enlightening to look at the experiences of other...
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New Book Exposes the ‘Terrible 10′ Worst U.S. Economic Policy Mistakes



Despite enjoying impressive economic growth over the past century, Americans have also been the victims of scores of stupid government mistakes that have made them poorer. For many the blunders led only to temporary setbacks, but for others the errors created life-altering disasters from which they never recovered. In the new book The Terrible...
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Did Workers Get Trapped in the Federal ‘Safety Net’?



Did federal expansion of the social safety net worsen the U.S. recession? University of Chicago economics professor Casey B. Mulligan believes it did, and his rigorously argued book from Oxford University Press makes a plausible case. The book, The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy, draws on Mulligan’s own empirical research...
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A New Case for Freedom of Immigration: Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s Global Crossings



Immigration has long been a hot-button topic—and not only in the United States. “[I]n a number of opinion surveys, fewer than one in ten people in many countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development favor increased migration,” the noted development economist Lant Pritchett wrote in 2006. One reason may be a...
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Prison Eugenics in the Golden State



In 2003, California Governor Gray Davis issued a formal apology for the forced sterilization of inmates in the state’s prisons, a practice officially banned in 1979. “To the victims and their families of this past injustice, the people of California are deeply sorry for the suffering you endured over the years,” he said in...
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