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Randall Holcombe Archive

Randall G. Holcombe is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America .
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Hillary Clinton’s Exit Tax



In the Cold War era, Eastern bloc countries prevented their citizens from leaving. The Berlin Wall was the most iconic symbol of the Eastern bloc’s no exit policy. Hillary Clinton’s proposed exit tax “on the untaxed overseas earnings of multinational companies that leave the U.S.” falls short of being a Berlin Wall for U.S....
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Gary Johnson Finally Gets Some Media Attention



I am amazed at the lack of media attention Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party candidate for president, has received. He’s polling at about 10%, and despite the huge negative perception many voters have of Clinton and Trump, the media rarely notes that Johnson is a relatively popular alternative. With much discussion throughout the political spectrum...
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When Should We Have to Present a Photo ID?



This article explains that a Federal Appeals Court recently struck down a requirement that voters in North Carolina must show a photo ID to vote. I realize that this is a partisan issue and I’m not trying to make a partisan argument. I’m just wondering when it is reasonable to be required to show...
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Trump’s Talk: Aspirations, Not Policies



Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention was a list of aspirations, without any explanation of the policies he had in mind to meet those goals. That’s not surprising, because that is the nature of political campaign rhetoric. Politicians rarely say what they plan to do. Rather, they talk about perceived problems...
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Black Lives Matter



My initial reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, like many old white guys, was that All Lives Matter. But recent events have changed my thinking on this. My old thinking: Racial discrimination is a reality, but race is just one of many personal characteristics on which people discriminate. Good-looking people tend to be...
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Brexit, Sexit, Texit



Brexit In the short time since the Brits voted to exit the EU, much of the commentary I’ve read views the vote as a move toward isolationism. Regardless of the motivations of the voters, a more accurate way to look at it is that the British voted for self-government rather than government from afar....
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The Uneasy Relationship Between Progressivism and Freedom



The United States was founded on an ideology that viewed the role of government as the protection of individual rights. That view of government was pushed aside by the ideology of Progressivism toward the end of the 1800s. The Progressive ideology envisions a government that not only protects individual rights but also looks out...
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Gary Johnson’s Road to the White House



Yes, he’s a long shot, but Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for president, has the best chance to make it to the White House of any Libertarian candidate so far. To have a chance, he only has to pick up enough electoral votes to keep Clinton or Trump from getting an electoral majority. The Constitution...
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You’re Stupid, So We Are Going to Take Away Your Freedom



In a country based on the principle of liberty, should we really contemplate depriving people of freedom because they sometimes don’t make choices experts think are best for them? My title really understates the liberty-depriving philosophy of the nanny state. More accurately, it is: Some people make what we think are bad choices, so...
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Warren Buffet’s Non Sequitur on Taxes



Here’s an article about Warren Buffet’s well-known view that the rich should pay more in taxes. His bottom-line argument is, “If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” I don’t disagree. My disagreement with Buffet is the implication that being...
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