The Independent Institute

 
        

Gary Galles Archive

Gary M. Galles is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University, and Adjunct Scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Economists Mustn’t Forget the Fallacy of Decomposition



Because of their field’s stress on logic, economics teachers commonly emphasize some fallacies for students to avoid in the early stages of principles courses. One widespread example is the fallacy of composition—the mistaken notion that what is true of an individual is necessarily true of a group. In reality, of course, what is true...
Read More »

Remembering Arthur Seldon, Champion of Capitalism



May 29 marks the centennial of Arthur Seldon’s 1916 birth. Called “one of the most influential economists of the late twentieth century,” for over three decades he was editorial director of the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs, which The Economist said, “brought to the lay reader the ideas of all the leading free-market economists...
Read More »

Litmus Test for Liberty: Is Exchange Willing or Unwilling?



A new Harvard survey reports that only 42 percent of those between 18 and 29 support capitalism, while 51 percent say they do not. It has been suggested that such views may be traced, at least in part, to the word capitalism. A plausible case could be made, particularly since many believe Karl Marx...
Read More »

Reconsidering “Must Vote” Arguments



As Americans move closer to November’s elections, the campaigns are gearing up to tell each of us how important it is to vote. One illustration is a recent Michael Barone article titled “A very few votes can make a big, big difference.” Barone makes his point by citing several close elections. Most prominent was...
Read More »

How Not to Make America Great Again



Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again.” Unfortunately, his “us versus them” view of economic exchanges, prominent in his “America doesn’t win anymore” rant, would fail introductory economics. And his protectionist promises cannot make us great again, only less great and poorer. Trump’s protectionism rehashes a bogus patriotism argument. Imports are pilloried as...
Read More »

Trumping Washington Won’t Make America Great Again



Americans have begun voting in the process to select the 44th person to succeed George Washington as President. Unfortunately, missing from the process have been the principles that animated Washington as America’s “indispensable man,” in historian Forrest MacDonald’s words. The character that made him “first in war, first in peace, and first in the...
Read More »

On Her 111th Birthday, Ayn Rand on Individual Rights, Liberty, and Government



Few people have been more controversial than Alisa Rosenbaum. But few have heard that name, because the apoplectic responses are reserved for the new name she gave herself after she left Russia for America—Ayn Rand. Some people are devotees of everything Rand. Others use her name as a pejorative. Still others find some of...
Read More »

Economics and Resolutions



John Maynard Keynes, perhaps the most influential 20th century economist, once wrote that economics “is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions.” In other words, economics offers principles to help us make fewer mistakes. Given that many make...
Read More »

“Free They Must Remain”: John Milton’s Enduring Wisdom



John Milton is one of history’s foremost English poets, and according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “the most significant English author after William Shakespeare.” He is most famous for Paradise Lost, considered the finest epic poem in the English language. That makes the date of his birth, December 9, 1608, worth commemorating. Milton also advanced...
Read More »

The Hobgoblin of Separation of Ownership and Control



The Great Recession heightened people’s search for scapegoats. One common target was corporate management, accused of harming shareholders and consumers, rather than advancing their interests, with more government regulation put forward as the necessary solution. We saw it when the self-styled 99% blamed the 1% for their frustrations, when Hillary Clinton blamed weak economic...
Read More »

  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org