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

Obama Appointee Supports Individual Rights



I’ve been critical of the Obama administration in the past, so it’s nice to find something positive to say. This article says that President Obama’s new acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, “supports decriminalizing cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, ecstasy and all dangerous drugs, including marijuana.” It’s nice to see...
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Florida’s Very Interesting Race for Governor



In November, Floridians will see three names on the ballot for Governor: incumbent Governor Rick Scott, the Republican; former Governor Charlie Crist, the Democrat; and Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. Incumbent Rick Scott is probably the least interesting of the candidates. A former hospital CEO, he won in 2010 spending mostly his own money ($70...
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Public Schools and Government Schools



Earlier this year, I was saddened by the passing of Stanley Marshall, founder of the James Madison Institute, an organization that promotes individual freedom in Florida. Stan was president of Florida State University from 1969-1976, and went into private business before founding the James Madison Institute in 1987. I have worked with the Institute...
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Jameis Winston . . . Again?



If you’re even a little bit of a sports fan, you probably know that Florida State University’s quarterback, Jameis Winston, has been suspended from the first half of the FSU-Clemson game for standing on a table in the student union and shouting out obscenities. As good as he’s been on the field, Jameis has...
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Long-Term Unemployment Benefits Expire; Long-Term Unemployment Falls



The unemployment rate has fallen from 6.7% at the end of 2013 to 6.1% in August 2014. That decline is primarily the result of the expiration of long-term unemployment benefits. Unemployment compensation usually expires at the end of 26 weeks of unemployment, but during the last recession Congress extended that period, and many states...
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Politics and Inequality



The Federal Reserve has just released a survey indicating that income and wealth inequality has been growing in the United States since 2007. Meanwhile, President Obama has called for government action to reduce inequality. So, it is worth a remark that the growth in inequality reported by the Fed pretty much coincides with the...
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Imposing Costs on Russia: How about a Food Embargo?



President Obama has threatened to impose costs on Russia for their intervention in Ukraine, but so far, his involvement has been high on rhetoric but low on action. Here’s a proposal that ought to hit Russia where it hurts: impose a food embargo on them. Americans and Europeans of a certain age can remember...
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Orwellian Language: Peace Abroad; War at Home



Governments often misuse language to build emotional and patriotic support for their policies. This Orwellian use of language is clearly evident in the way that US government policy uses the words “war” and “peace.” Everyone is well aware of the US military invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initiated during the Bush administration and continued...
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The War on Poverty and the War on Drugs



As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Despite the similarity in their names, there is an important difference...
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Gun Violence Is a Consequence of War



My hometown of Tallahassee, Florida, has recently shown an increased concern about gun violence. Not only are Tallahasseans shooting each other, so far in 2014 the Tallahassee Police have shot four people, killing two. A related concern is that people seem to have little trust in the police. The concern has been manifested in...
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