The Independent Institute

 
        

Hillary Clinton’s Exit Tax »

In the Cold War era, Eastern bloc countries prevented their citizens from leaving. The Berlin Wall was the most iconic symbol of the Eastern bloc’s no exit policy. Hillary Clinton’s proposed exit tax “on the untaxed overseas earnings of multinational companies that leave the U.S.” falls short of being a Berlin Wall for U.S....
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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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Free Kim Davis... And Fire Her! »

Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, has made the news by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She’s now in jail for contempt of court, because she has refused to uphold the recent court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry. I have some sympathy for Davis, because when she...
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Atlas Shrugs »

Three months ago, the CEO of Gravity Payments, a Seattle credit card processing firm, announced that all of the firm’s employees would be paid a minimum of $70,000 a year, according to this story. Now, the firm has fallen on hard times, and some of the firm’s “higher valued” employees have quit. One employee...
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Racehorses and Circus Animals—Stifle Your Outrage »

Flipping channels the other day, I came across an ad for SeaWorld. Instead of showing images of flipping dolphins, laughing children, and Shamu the killer whale, the commercial was more of a PSA. Instead of its typical advertising, the spot consisted of discussions about how the organization cares for its animals and their lifespans....
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Health Spending Unscathed in Shrinking Economy »

Last Friday’s terrible revision to first quarter GDP—from an initial estimate of 0.2 percent real growth to a real loss of 0.7 percent—confirms that health spending stands over our weak economy like a colossus. In the initial estimate, personal consumption spending on health services increased by $23 billion (chained 2009 dollars). Today’s second estimate...
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What Abercrombie and Fitch Can Teach Us about the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy »

When I was a young teenager, Abercrombie & Fitch was one of the “it” brands. Everyone in school wanted to wear it, and it was absolutely used to signal that one was up-to-date on recent trends. As the child of two schoolteachers, I learned very early in my life that paying $50 for a t-shirt I’d grow...
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Patent Trolls Still Alive and Kicking »

Over at Techdirt, there is a good story up on how a patent troll attacked a startup and the litigation costs so distressed the startup that it was forced to sell out to another patent troll. Peter Braxton created Jump Rope Inc., and developed an app that allows users to pay a fee to...
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Shifting from Quantity to Quality in Patent Applications »

VentureBeat has published a good piece on how “innovators are now moving away from creating untargeted, mass-produced innovations that aim only to secure as many patents as possible, and they’re moving toward precise innovation centered around specific product and market needs.” The American patent system has long been suffering the consequences of the issuance of...
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