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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

Extortion, Part II



I recently discussed Peter Schweizer’s book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. I want to mention one example from Schweizer’s book, to give a better idea of how this extortion occurs. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), passed in 1977, prohibits US companies from bribing foreign government...
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Extortion



I’ve just finished reading Peter Schweizer’s book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. It is solidly researched and loaded with facts to back up Schweizer’s claim that Washington politicians are extorting money from Americans for their own benefit. Political “contributions,” Schweizer notes, are often viewed as bribes...
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Entitlements



Here is a story about a recent court case in which a federal judge blocked the State of Georgia from charging $5 per month charge to low-income recipients for federally-subsidized cell phone service. One reason I find this interesting is that as recently as 1999 only 32% of Americans had cell phones, according to...
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Eliminate Long-Term Unemployment Compensation



Unless Congress decides to extend it, long-term unemployment compensation will expire on December 28. Unemployment compensation has typically been available for up to 26 weeks of unemployment, but has been extended during the past recession to up to 99 weeks. When you pay people to be unemployed, then not surprisingly, you get more unemployed...
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It’s Official: The Top 40% of Income Earners Pay More Than 100% of Federal Income Taxes



The Congressional Budget Office has just published a study, The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2010, which shows that the top 40% of income earners paid 106.2% of total federal income taxes, while the bottom 40% paid -9.1%. This isn’t the study’s headline, so you have to dig a bit to get...
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Markets versus Government: Real Alternatives versus Possibilities



One difference between choice in markets versus choice in government is that in markets, people choose among alternatives that already exist, whereas with government, people choose among alternatives that might exist in the future. When people cast their dollar votes, sellers in markets already have the products available, whereas when they vote at the...
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My Limited Experience with Obamacare



I confess I don’t know much about Obamacare. Like the legislators who passed it, I have not read the law, and I’ve had some discussions over lunch with my colleagues where we disagreed about how the insurance exchanges offered coverage and what options were available to people who wanted it. I get my health...
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They Should Change Their Motto From “To Serve and Protect” to “If You Misbehave, We’ll Beat You Up, and Maybe Kill You”



A few weeks ago I wrote about a case in my neighborhood where the police beat up a petite woman who had an accident and was suspected of DUI. The case got no publicity until a video of the incident surfaced. The case produced lots of letters to the editor of the local newspaper,...
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Retroactive Pay for Furloughed Government Workers?



I have mixed feelings about the Bill passed by the House of Representatives Friday to retroactively pay furloughed government workers after the current “shutdown” ends. On the one hand, I think it would be unfair to those workers for them to lose that pay over the farcical disputes that have created the “shutdown.” But,...
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Call Me Uncharitable, But...



... I have little sympathy for people who complain that they are suffering hardship because government isn’t giving them enough aid. I was reading this story about the possibility that the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program might run out of money due to the federal government shutdown. In it, Cierra Schoeneberger laments that...
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