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

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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Hypocrisy from the Ivory Tower: UK Edition



“We do not bully our teachers, and we will sue any who say that we do!” It sounds like a headline from the Onion, but these words of Orwellian doublespeak also could have come from Queen’s University Belfast. In response to an article in the summer 2012 issue of The Independent Review, the university...
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The Power and Vitality of Living Economics



Economics provides a powerful framework for understanding what goes on in the marketplace, the voting booth, the family, the community, and every other sphere of social activity. Its greatest teachers—from before Adam Smith on down to the present—have always impressed upon the public their discipline’s explanatory powers and importance for human well-being. In his...
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Krugman’s Mythology of U.S. Banking History



Do the banking panics of the late 19th century prove that a safe and sound financial system requires government oversight of banks? Paul Krugman (and most every pundit) seems to think so. In his New York Times column of May 13, he writes: “Current right-wing mythology has it that bad banking is always the...
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Water and Markets Flow Together in Aquanomics



Water shortages and poor water quality are looming threats in many developing countries. By contrast, water supplies and water quality have increased in much of the United States due to a specific policy innovation: water markets and market-like exchanges. The growing participation of wildlife agencies and conservationists in water markets and exchanges is especially...
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