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: Little Pink House Shows How Machinery of Government Undermines Civil Liberties



Little Pink House tells the sordid tale of how the city of New London, Connecticut, seized private homes through eminent domain to subsidize private corporate development.

Review: Ready Player One Entertains Using Fear of Tech Oligarchy



Ready Player One seems destined to become another Steven Spielberg classic, serving up a movie that appeals to a wide range of audiences with a solid story, well-crafted characters and engaging adventure from beginning to end. Along the way, viewers also get a good dose of ethics, with an emphasis on empowering the individual…
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Review: Black Panther’s Box Office Success Is Well Earned



Black Panther is sprinting toward the 1 billion dollar mark in revenues after just two weekends, and its box-office success is well-earned. As a film, Black Panther is excellent in most elements, from its casting, to the studio’s investment in a well-rounded story, to the progression of the movie’s characters, to the commitment to…
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Five Recent Movies that Explore Race in America



February is African-American History Month in the United States and Canada. This series of events celebrating African-American achievements and their experience has been controversial since it was founded by historian Carter G. Woodson on a smaller scale as Negro History Week in 1926. Nevertheless, regardless of where one falls on its importance, the month provides…
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Review: Darkest Hour Probes Depths of Political Courage



Darkest Hour probes the depths of political courage under overwhelming odds, focusing on the first few months of Winston Churchill‘s leadership as Prime Minister during World War II. The movie also presents a dilemma. On the one hand, Churchill experts have challenged the historical accuracy of several broad themes and characterizations (see here and here)….
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Review: Pro-Liberty Themes Thrive in Molly’s Game



Molly’s Game, the new film with a snappy, Oscar-nominated screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (of West Wing and The Social Network fame), practically bubbles over with pro-liberty themes, from the irreverent lead character striking out on her own in an ethically suspect underground economy to the prosecutorial abuse used to coerce “Hollywood poker princess” Molly Bloom into…
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Review: The Post Puts Freedom of the Press in Spotlight



The Washington Post is now a stalwart of the national press corps, but, as the movie The Post makes clear, its status was not assured. Neither was the future of the Freedom of the Press in the wake of Daniel Ellsberg’s leaking of The Pentagon Papers in 1971 in what may be the most…
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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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