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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

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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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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