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 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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Jim Crow and the Progressives



Historians often speak glowingly about the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Typically they write off the racist statements made by many of its leaders—Herbert Croly, John Dewey, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and others—as minor “blind spots” unrelated to Progressivism. But perhaps the apologist historians also have trouble seeing clearly....
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Guardian Against Tyranny: The Writ of Habeas Corpus



To live under tyranny is to live in fear—especially the fear of being arrested and jailed at the whims of the rulers. This is why America’s Founders regarded the right not to be detained arbitrarily as a cornerstone of liberty, and why they cherished the legal device they believed had secured that right: the...
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Why Has Congress Militarized the Bureaucrats?



The war on drugs and the war on terrorism, I noted in a recent Beacon post, have fostered a crisis mentality that has eroded traditional constraints on domestic law enforcement. The new zeitgeist has resulted in police departments increasingly using “no knock” raids and other military-type tactics formerly considered off-limits to them. But other...
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Toward a Better Balanced Budget Amendment



On Wednesday morning President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget and urged the nation to reduce the federal deficit “in a balanced and responsible way.” Predictably, his opponents in Congress are offering a vastly different interpretation of what this sensible-sounding proviso should entail. Some may even reach across the aisle and succeed in recruiting members...
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What Gives Rise to “Crony Capitalism”?



The term crony capitalism has appeared frequently in the popular press of late, but rarely has it been used—let alone defined—in the academic literature. Independent Institute Research Fellow Randall G. Holcombe, a frequent contributor to The Beacon, helps remedy this deficiency in an article published in the Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review. “Crony capitalism,”...
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Why Are Cops Acting Like Soldiers?



From the early days of the United States to the post-Reconstruction era and beyond, Americans viewed the separation of the military from law enforcement as essential for the health of the republic. In recent years, however, the line between the police and the military has become increasingly blurred, with police departments across the United...
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