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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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A Case for Patent Reform »

For many decades most economists believed patents were key to the innovation and material progress enjoyed by the West. In recent years, however, many have looked at patents with growing skepticism, with some even suggesting that the patent system be scrapped. In contrast, economist Arthur M. Diamond Jr. (Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha) believes...
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What Makes a Miserable Country? »

Venezuela is the world’s most miserable country, according to a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University who have calculated a World Misery Index. “Misery” is measured as the sum of a country’s inflation rate, unemployment rate, and interest rate, minus the annual percentage change in real GDP per capita. The higher the total...
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LAPD Targets Citizens’ Free Speech Rights »

As tech CEOs gather with President Obama and other government officials at today’s White House Cyber Summit at Stanford University, it is important for entrepreneurs to keep in mind who they are breaking bread with. A case in point: Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), wrote a letter recently to...
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