Want a Happier, Healthier, and More Prosperous Society? Try Freedom, Innovation and Incentives »

“I will promote freedom at all costs,” is the first line of the Draper University pledge. Draper University of Heroes is a school I created to encourage people with ideas and energy to pursue their visions through entrepreneurship and risktaking. For an entrepreneur, freedom matters most. The ability to try new things without government...
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Pope Francis’s Failure to See Entrepreneurs as Good Samaritans Undercuts the Poor »

On April 25, a videotaped talk by Pope Francis was released at the international TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. The 18-minute talk, titled “Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone,” can be viewed here. Francis highlighted three themes, beginning with the observation that community is central to human existence: [L]ife flows through our...
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The Dignity and Value of Work in La La Land and Moonlight »

The award-winning films La La Land and Moonlight did more than share a chaotic stage in the closing moments of the 89th Academy Awards. They also share an intriguing underlying economic theme through rare insight into the substance and dignity of work, albeit in radically different ways. Work is front and center in La...
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Rock Music, Censorship, and Zimbabwe’s War of Independence »

Independence Day in the United States is a good time to reflect on independence movements elsewhere. Before there was Zimbabwe, there was Rhodesia, where a white minority government oppressed blacks and “colored” (mixed race) people using force and apartheid-style policies. In the 1970’s, the last decade of the country’s War of Independence, rock music...
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The “Joy” of Entrepreneurship »

Jennifer Lawrence is up for Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Joy, a film loosely based on the entrepreneurial rise of inventor Joy Mangano. Lawrence may have a shot at the award after her Golden Globe win for Best Actress, and this would strike an important popular culture blow in favor of entrepreneurship....
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Douglass C. North (November 5, 1920 – November 23, 2015) »

I met Douglass C. North exactly forty-eight years ago, during the final week of 1967, when the American Economic Association was holding its annual meetings in Washington, D.C., and I went to Doug’s room at the Shoreham Hotel to be interviewed for a faculty opening at the University of Washington, where he was chairman...
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Game Developers Face Final Boss: The FDA »

[This piece was later published by Newsweek and the Foundation for Economic Education.] “Absent the FDA, Americans would be healthier and happier.” —Robert Higgs As I drove to work the other day, I heard a very interesting segment on NPR that featured a startup designing video games to improve cognitive skills and relieve symptoms...
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FreedomFest Recap: Why Obamacare Stifles Healthcare Innovation »

I had the pleasure of speaking recently on a healthcare panel at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Here’s a recap of my remarks on innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare. In the 2012 book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis by Dr. John C. Goodman, my colleague at the Independent Institute, John wrote: “The ACA [Obamacare] approach...
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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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The “Miracle” of Kirznerian Entrepreneurship »

I learned a lot about miracles recently thanks to a penetrating sermon by pastor Mark McNees of Element3 Church, a “progressive” non-denominational church in Tallahassee. And it prompted a lot of thinking about markets and entrepreneurship, particularly entrepreneurship as conceived by Austrian economists, most notably Israel Kirzner. (Kirzner is required reading in my social...
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