Sam Staley Archive

Samuel R. Staley is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Managing Director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center in the College of Social Sciences at Florida State University. He is a contributing author to the Independent books, Property Rights: Eminent Domain and Regulatory Takings Re-Examined and Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis.
Full Biography

Review: The Florida Project Shines Light on Underbelly of American Labor Market



The Florida Project, a brilliant new film by director/screenwriter Sean Baker (Tangerine, Take Out) explores the precarious world of people living just a few dollars short of homelessness through the ears and eyes of six-year olds. Baker balances adult desperation and childlike optimism, an enigmatic blend that creates a gripping story centering on an...
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Review: Marshall Spotlights Neglected Part of Civil Rights History



Marshall, the biopic of the illustrious and path-breaking civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall, is an important reminder about just how deep-seated racism and prejudice were in American society (and some say still are). Well acted and evenly paced, the film is a worthy addition to a growing list of good films depicting layered aspects...
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Is Trump Destroying the GOP?



Of all the concerns raised about President Donald Trump and his behavior in the Oval Office, perhaps one of the more sobering one is the way he and his allies have elevated a minority position within the GOP to a dominant policy agenda at the national level. Throughout his primary campaign, Trump spoke to...
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Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard and the Ethics of Assassination



The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action/drama that would normally be considered standard fare for the summer season. Yet this movie does more than careen through dead bodies and extended vehicle chases. The story is driven by the relationship between the core characters and turns on a serious question of ethics and forgiveness. At the...
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Wonder Woman Schools James Cameron on Strength in Character



The dust up prompted by iconic filmmaker James Cameron’s critical comments of Wonder Woman, and by implication, director Patty Jenkins, may have triggered a long overdue discussion over the validity of gender stereotypes in Hollywood. Cameron called Wonder Woman, the summer blockbuster, “a step backwards” for strong female characters in an interview with The...
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Review: Detroit Shows How Violence Opens Door to Injustice



The opening lines in the chyron running with the black and white still photos did not bode well for Kathryn Bigelow’s new film Detroit. The overly simplistic, politically hyped, narrative ran, in effect, like this: During the Great Migration, African Americans moved north to jobs, whites moved out to better jobs in the suburbs,...
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Slavery and Justifications for Southern Secession in Their Own Words



With the national debate over removing monuments to confederate war heroes dominating headlines, perhaps we need a reminder of the principles and justifications for southern secession for which these men fought. The following excerpts are from the articles of secession adopted by five states, and the ordinances of secession adopted by the legislatures, conventions,...
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Review: Atomic Blonde‘s Stylish Action Bolstered by Duplicity of War



Current events have bolstered Atomic Blonde‘s, giving the film substance beyond its role as a conventional summer action movie better at scoring at the box office than provoking thought. Accusations of Russian influence in domestic elections, eyebrow-raising flights by private jet by millionaires advising presidential candidates, and historically low levels of trust in information from...
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Review: Baby Driver’s Wild Ride With Heart



Audiences will know they are in for a wild ride the second the black wheels and red fender of Baby’s car enters the movie. And they are in for a treat. One of the most anticipated movies of the year, Baby Driver delivers fast, slick action wrapped up in a heart wrenching story of...
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Review: Valerian Entertains with Focus on Visual Effects and Personal Dignity



Sometimes the box office is not a good indicator of a film’s quality, and such is the case with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The movie’s aesthetic is a satisfyingly conscious blend of space opera, fantasy, and action with a European flare. Throw in deep-seated government corruption that leads to planetary...
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