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Ben Carson and the Future of Cities »

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While pundits are focused on their primary feuds, a more important question is whether HUD’s mission will change under Carson’s tenure. On the surface, Carson’s appointment might seem to be a simple patronage job, a reward...
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Remembering Alexis de Tocqueville—and Civil Society in Early America »

Today marks the 210th birthday of Alexis de Tocqueville, and so it’s appropriate that we reflect on his experiences and observations through the lens of modern American society. Alexis de Tocqueville brought a unique perspective to his observations of nineteenth-century America. The French aristocrat and historian staunchly opposed the authoritarian French government and advocated for...
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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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Milton Friedman on “Free” College »

Sixty years ago Milton Friedman made the case in “The Role of Government in Education” that since individuals reap the benefits of college degrees, whether personally, professionally, or both, they should pay for them. By 1979 Friedman noted that higher education subsidies had become such an Ivory Tower boondoggle, higher education should be taxed to...
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Reauthorized Child Care Block Grant: Another Brick in the Wall for Big Government »

Access to high-quality child care is an important consideration for many American families and parents—especially those struggling to make ends meet. Last month the Senate passed the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG), approved by the House back in September. President Obama signed the bill on November 19. The bill...
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The Case for Victim Justice »

For elected officials eager to find a real problem to fix, here’s a big one that’s seldom mentioned during campaign season: American courts and prisons are plagued with injustices and inefficiencies. One of the main culprits, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Bruce L. Benson, is their guiding principle: an emphasis on offenses against...
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Australia to Raise $5 Billion by Privatizing Its Biggest Health Insurer »

Australia’s federal government is aiming to raise almost $5 billion by privatizing the country’s largest health insurer: Australia hopes to raise up to Aus$5.51 billion (US$4.82 billion) through the sale of the country’s largest health insurer in an initial public offering, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Monday. Cormann said the sale would remove the...
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Public Schools and Government Schools »

Earlier this year, I was saddened by the passing of Stanley Marshall, founder of the James Madison Institute, an organization that promotes individual freedom in Florida. Stan was president of Florida State University from 1969-1976, and went into private business before founding the James Madison Institute in 1987. I have worked with the Institute...
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Gaming Gainful Employment »

It looks like the U.S. Department of Education is fudging the numbers...again. The Obama administration is taking another run at imposing onerous gainful-employment regulations on private, for-profit career colleges. Under the new proposed regulations unveiled earlier this year, for students to qualify for federal aid for-profit career colleges must prove the estimated annual loan...
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Obama’s Latest Hostile Takeover Target: Private Career Colleges »

The Obama administration’s latest college crusade claims it will help students. In reality, it’s a hostile takeover attempt by government of the private for-profit career college sector that will hurt students, taxpayers, and the economy. Education Secretary Arne Duncan acknowledges that the “majority of career colleges play a vital role in training our workforce...
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