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

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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....
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »