The Independent Institute

 
        

Robert Higgs Archive

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Editor at Large of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.

Full Biography and Recent Publications

Is a Trump Revolution in the Offing?



I have now demonstrated to my complete satisfaction that as a political prognosticator I am a total bust. Not that I put much effort into trying, to be sure, but I certainly developed firm ideas as the politicking proceeded over the past year or more. When Donald Trump first appeared on the horizon as...
Read More »

Political and Governmental Corruption Is a Feature, Not a Bug



People do not oppose corruption in politics and government. They oppose only the corruption that does not steer loot and social domination to them. After all, the entire process of so-called democratic government is nothing but corruption writ large and backed by the threat of violent force. Political partisans in particular are utterly unprincipled...
Read More »

The Never-Ending Contest in Politico-Economic Life



A contest is under way in the world between the forces of creation, improvement, and progress and the forces of destruction, spoliation, and retrogression. This contest has been going on for thousands of years, and except during brief interludes the negative forces always kept the positive forces firmly in check. Roughly 200 to 300...
Read More »

Whether You Know It or Not, You Are a Tax Slave



In the antebellum South, it was not uncommon for slaves to rent themselves from their masters. As a young man, Frederick Douglass did so, for example. His owner gave him leave to go out on his own, to find employment where he could, and to pocket the pay he received for such work, except...
Read More »

Bureaucratic Insolence at the Border: Five Haiku



Syrian Christians Must not enter US church Might be terrorists – Computer whizzes From India and China H-1B required – Parents in Thailand Sorry Charlie, no quota State before mother – Good friends in Iran Stay away you mad bombers US picks my friends – Who chooses for me? Bureaucrats in Washington Arrogant “experts”

Obstructions of Trade and Migration: Who Is Hurt?



The natural answer, the one most people would give, is that trade restrictions hurt foreigners who want to sell their goods and services to Americans. After all, politicians, including the two major-party candidates now seeking election to the presidency, tell us every day that they will demand various sorts of concessions from or impose...
Read More »

A Sandy Beach and Constitutional Political Economy



I normally walk my dogs twice each day along the beach, which gives me an opportunity to ponder, among other things, issues in constitutional political economy. My late friend James Buchanan, one of the deepest thinkers in political economy during the past century, led the development of this field of study in his time....
Read More »

Specialization and Free Trade Enhance Our Productivity—It’s Just That Simple



In most cases people recognize that increasing productivity is a good thing. If we develop new technologies or make organizational changes that allow us to produce more output with the same inputs, we celebrate. If people acquire education or experience that allows them to produce more with their human capital, we regard this payoff...
Read More »

Glorious Democracy



Election campaigns Painful but worse is to come Someone’s gonna win – Winner won’t be us Political class will win Rest of us, tough luck – Whole thing is great farce Diverts and entertains us Thieves make off with loot

A Cantaloupe Illustrates the Key to Prosperity



My family eats a lot of cantaloupes. We buy them from Lucio, a Mexican man who heroically hauls produce and other goods in his rickety pickup truck three times each week a hundred miles from Bacalar to our house on a wretched road at the extreme limit of the semi-civilized world in southeast Quintana...
Read More »

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