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

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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Fascinating Questions from The Independent Review



The Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review—the Independent Institute’s flagship scholarly journal, edited by Robert Higgs—is hot off the press. Below you’ll find links to articles and book reviews that address a host of intriguing questions: Why have domestic police agencies across the United States resorted increasingly to “no-knock” raids and other military-type...
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Are You a Victim of Environmental Cancer Hype?



When is a cancer cluster the result of environmental contamination—and when is it a misleading statistical artifact? Science journalist George Johnson deals with this question in his latest article for Slate, “Cancer Cluster or Chance?” Johnson’s skill in explaining why we often misinterpret epidemiological data can be seen in his opening paragraphs: Lay a...
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Fire Safety Lessons from Nigeria



No one would mistake Lagos, Nigeria, for paradise. Litter blankets the streets, blackouts occur daily, and traffic moves at a snail’s pace. Yet, in one realm chaotic Lagos performs well above average: fire safety. Despite a dearth of fire-fighting equipment, building fires seem to be relatively uncommon. Why? Lagos’s success in fire prevention isn’t...
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