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Randall Holcombe Archive

Randall G. Holcombe is Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University, past President of the Public Choice Society, and past President of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

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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Wall Street Enabled Detroit’s Collapse?



USA Today published a book review of Nathan Bomey’s book, Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back. I haven’t read the book (which just came out today), so my gripe isn’t with the book but with the spin USA Today is putting on it, starting with the title of the review: “How Wall Street enabled...
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Should People Be Allowed to Reveal What Their Government Is Doing to Them?



If the government does something to you, should they also have the power to require you not to tell anyone? That’s the issue in a lawsuit Microsoft is bringing against the federal government. Microsoft claims that over the past 18 months it has had 2,576 orders from the federal government to turn over customer...
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Apple Shrugs?



Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, tells a story about what happens when the men of the mind go on strike. [Spoiler Alert: Plot details revealed ahead.] The book’s protagonist, John Galt, is an engineer who decides he is no longer willing to live in a society where others assert a claim over the...
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Apple vs. the FBI: Three Reasons to Side with Apple



When the story about the FBI wanting Apple to provide it with software to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino killers came out, I considered blogging about it but decided against it. The case was too clearly in Apple’s favor, I thought. Nobody would side with the government. But now I see that...
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Obama’s Supreme Court Appointment



Republicans have already said they will try to block any attempt by President Obama to have his nominee replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. The president has less than a year left in office, so blocking his nominee may be easy. But the Republicans may be playing right into the president’s hands. Who...
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Big Government Creates Political Polarization



We’ve heard it said that politics is more polarized today than in the past. If that’s true (and I’m not sure it is), big government is likely to blame. I recently noted that politics creates conflict. Bigger government creates more conflict. Smaller government tends to focus on activities that meet with widespread agreement. Most...
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Politics Creates Conflict



One interesting thing to note about the political statements coming from candidates as the primaries approach is the adversarial nature of their rhetoric. They don’t hesitate to attack their primary opponents despite the fact that they broadly agree on most things. Yes, Republicans will take an occasional jab at Hillary, but mostly they are...
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Government Investment in Self-Driving Cars: Leading from Behind



The Obama administration announced that they were going to invest $4 billion in self-driving cars. Why? Private firms have already developed self-driving cars, and although none are available for purchase now, they are on their way with or without government involvement. Is this really a good use of our tax dollars? What investments can...
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US Drug Laws Destabilize Other Nations



This article in USA Today is headlined, “El Salvador: World’s New Murder Capital.” El Salvador’s murder rate is 104 per 100,000 population, and as the article notes, this is a national average. “If you start looking at where the pockets of violence are, it’s shocking.” Why are things so bad in El Salvador? The...
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