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

I, Pencil: The Movie



In 1958, Leonard E. Read wrote “I, Pencil”—a short, brilliant essay about how markets coordinate the countless steps that go into making an ordinary pencil. In addition to its insightful substance, the essay is also noteworthy for Read’s clever literary device: the story is told from the perspective of a pencil. The piece ran...
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Crisis and Leviathan, 25th Anniversary Edition



The Independent Institute is delighted to announce the publication of the 25th Anniversary Edition of Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, by Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs. First published in 1987, this classic work introduced to the reading public the notion that national crises—the Great Depression, the two...
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Defense Cuts Would Encourage Needed Improvements



The U.S. Defense budget has not received nearly as much media scrutiny during this election cycle as it merits. Leaving such a vital topic almost exclusively in the hands of the usual cast of characters—defense secretaries, current and former; members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees; and retired chairmen of the Joint...
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Anti-Gouging Laws Prevent Prices from Sending the Right Signals



Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, have warned sellers against “price gouging” in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Their words and policies are supposed to help people during a catastrophe, but the opposite is true. As columnist Matthew Yglesias explains in Slate, stopping...
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Markets Promote Peace and Harmony



The market economy is a remarkable institution: It reduces poverty, decreases discrimination, and provides opportunities for constructive social and economic advancement far more reliably than do government programs. And yet despite all the good that markets do, many people are dubious about the moral case for markets. As economist Dwight R. Lee writes in...
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Promote Liberty by Reforming Higher Education?



Liberty-minded philanthropists have managed to foster a vibrant network of scholars and organizations engaged in advancing the ideals of a free society. Some donors who have underwritten the liberty movement have also attempted to make colleges and universities across the United States more conducive to the spread of these ideals, but their efforts have...
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Think You’re Smart? Try This Quiz from The Independent Review!



The fall 2012 issue of The Independent Review, our quarterly journal edited by Robert Higgs, is hot off the press! As always, The Independent Review deals with a wide variety of fascinating questions about economic policy, political and social theory, and intellectual history. To test your wits, try answering the questions addressed in the...
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Boom and Bust Banking—Causes and Cures



The twenty-first century opened with optimism, as first the technology sector and then the housing sector boomed. But then came the financial crisis and the Great Recession—the worst economic malaise since the 1930s. Why, after several decades of economic stability, did the business cycle return with such force? Most attempts to answer this question...
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A Brief History of the Case Against Obamacare



How does Randy Barnett—the law professor and former criminal prosecutor credited with providing the intellectual and legal framework of the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act—expect to feel in the moments before the U.S. Supreme Court announces its decision? I will never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach every time...
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How States Can Control Their Spending



State governments across the country have, over the years, adopted more than a dozen types of institutions to help limit spending, limit the growth of spending, or limit the volatility of spending. Examples include strict balanced-budget requirements, line-item vetoes, and tax and spending limits. Unfortunately, most reforms have yielded disappointing results. Which measures have...
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