The Independent Institute

 
        

State Governments Are Becoming the Biggest Drug Lords of All »

The so-called war on drugs—actually a war on certain people associated in various ways with certain drugs—has served since the Nixon administration as a major profit center for governments at every level. Owing to the ostensible efforts to suppress the possession, use, and commerce in these drugs, governments have been able to justify great...
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The Three Basic Means by Which Ruling Elites Maintain Their Control »

Ruling elites have three basic ways to keep the subject population under their thumb: threaten, bribe, and bamboozle. Everything they do is a variant of one of these basic actions. So, if the lush, misleading overgrowth were cut away, all government activities could be undertaken by only three departments: the Department of Cops and...
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What Really Creates a Peaceful, Orderly, and Prosperous Society? »

The idea that genuine self-government—the system in which individuals contract for the type of governance they prefer—must fail because under such a system no one can make others obey the rules is stunningly misconceived. On any given day, even in a world pervaded by states and their dictates, nearly everything that people do or...
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Dealing with Mistakes: Government Action versus Private Action »

Government can hardly ever do just one thing. Its action has repercussions, and these repercussions have repercussions, and so forth. Even when the government’s initial action may seem compassionate or productive, it is highly unlike that the repercussions will prove likewise. Of course, private action also has repercussions, some of which may be unpleasant...
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First, Do No Harm »

Primum non nocere, or, in English, “first, do no harm,” is a venerable maxim often traced to the Hippocratic Oath. It has long served as an important admonition in the ethics of physicians and other healthcare providers. It seems an eminently sensible rule. In a way it resembles the provision in Catholic moral teaching...
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Venezuela’s Problem Isn’t Oil—It’s Government »

On Sunday night, my husband and I sat down to watch comedian John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight.” The news satire program is a guilty pleasure for the both of us. As the host, Oliver often brings humor to many otherwise (rightfully) dreadful topics. Although I usually enjoy the show, that’s not always the...
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Privatize the Marriage Market »

December is one of the most popular months to get engaged. It seems that every time I get on social media, one of my girlfriends is posting a photo of her left hand and new engagement ring. After getting engaged, and even before, many couples have already combined their lives. They share bills, checking...
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Standing with Rand? Maybe Take a Seat. »

On April 7, Senator Rand Paul declared he is officially running for President in 2016. Since this time, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding his candidacy. In particular, many are pointing to Rand as a champion of liberty. I recently heard a talk in which the speaker was encouraged by Paul and several...
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Private-Sector Socialism: What the Right and Left Don’t Understand about Healthcare in Other Countries »

There is no topic in healthcare that is more misunderstood than what other countries are doing. At both ends of the political spectrum, the mistake is the same: the belief that other healthcare systems are radically different from our own. They aren’t. Take the United States and Canada. I would say that the healthcare...
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C.S. Lewis on the Welfare State: Dangers of Obamacare »

With the enormous expansion of the welfare state with the passage of Obamacare, C.S. Lewis’s insightful essay on the dangers, dehumanization, and immorality of welfare/therapeutic statism, “Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State” (from his book, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics) is especially timely and noteworthy. Here are...
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