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

Hackers Stole Data from Whom? An Example of Media Bias



This story’s headline reports, “Hackers Stole Data From More Than 100,000 Taxpayers, IRS Says.” The headline is wrong. Hackers stole data from the IRS, not from taxpayers. This is an example of the subtle kind of media bias that minimizes government shortcomings, in this case by pointing the finger at taxpayers. This particular headline…
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Progressivism: Rhetoric versus Reality



Contemporary supporters of an expanded role for government are increasingly moving away from calling themselves liberals and toward referring to themselves Progressives, so it is worth considering what the ideology of Progressivism entails. Progressivism began in the late 1800s as a political movement that advocated expanding the role of government. Before the Progressive era,…
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The Individual Mandate



As most people know by now, the Individual Mandate is one of the key elements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the Individual Mandate is constitutional. Prior to that ruling, both proponents and opponents of the ACA agreed that it is essential enough that the ACA would…
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Florida’s Financial Health Care Follies, and a Problem with a Part-Time Legislature



The one constitutional responsibility of Florida’s legislature is to pass a budget — something Florida’s solidly Republican House and Senate could not do by the end of their regular legislative session. The big issue that divided them was how to deal with the Affordable Care Act’s mandates. Here’s the issue. Florida has been receiving…
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Competition and Cooperation



Competition is often used to describe market activity, and cooperation is often used to describe political activity, but competition more accurately describes politics and cooperation more accurately describes markets. Market activity is based on voluntary exchange, and transactions take place only if all parties agree. Parties engage in voluntary exchange for their mutual benefit,…
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Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?



Presidential candidate Marco Rubio says, “I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with,” but goes on to say, “I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.” Let’s consider both of these ideas from a political perspective. First, whether people choose their sexual orientation or are born with it is…
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The Costs and Benefits of Ethanol



Here’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation on how much the mandate to require ethanol in motor fuel costs consumers, and benefits farmers. This article notes that in 2000 about 5% of the corn crop went to the production of ethanol, and by 2013, 40% of the corn crop was devoted to ethanol production. The increased demand…
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University Responsibility for Sexual Assault



“The Hunting Ground,” a movie about sexual assault at major universities, supports the argument that universities are not doing enough to respond to accusations about sexual assault by their students. The article hits close to home for me because, as a faculty member at Florida State University, my university is one of the ones…
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Florida’s Fiscal Policy: Responsible State Budgeting



I’ve written a study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University on Florida’s state government fiscal policy, which can be accessed here. The bottom line is that in an era of growing government and fiscal irresponsibility, Florida’s state government has a record of fiscal responsibility dating back two decades. Both state government expenditures…
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Controlling the Regulatory State



People tend to think about big government in terms of taxes and government spending. Big governments are the ones that have high taxes and big expenditure programs. Government regulations are a major component of big government, and the regulatory state often leads to more oppressive and more corrupt government than big spending. Consider, for…
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  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org