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

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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Regime Uncertainty and Firearm Purchases



In a post entitled “Regime Uncertainty on Display—Gun Version,” George Johns at Sleepless in Midland argues that the White House’s rhetoric on gun control has been good (so far) for the firearms industry: Gun and ammo manufacturers and sellers are thriving like never before. And the reason is fear of Barack Obama’s ambitious drive...
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Should Insurance Regulation Be Used as a Political Pawn?



New Book Examines the ‘Risky Business’ of Insurance Regulation “Insurance is too important to society and to commerce to be left as a political pawn,” writes Lawrence S. Powell, the editor of the newest Independent Institute book, Risky Business: Insurance Markets and Regulation. Powell’s words are timely because, as with so many natural disasters,...
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World War II Didn’t End the Great Depression



The notion that the Second World War is responsible for ending the Great Depression has met growing skepticism among economic historians, thanks in no small part to the work of Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs. Beginning with an article that first appeared in the Journal of Economic History in 1992, Higgs has argued...
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Nixon and Buchanan: Power versus Principle



James M. Buchanan toiled in the academic trenches for more than half a century, plowing vital new ground that advanced our understanding of the untamed beast that is government (and, by extension, the rascals who grasp at its reins). His passing yesterday should be a solemn occasion for all who value a free and...
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