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Public Choice Analysis a Scheme for Imposing Racist Oligarchy on the USA? Preposterous! »

Public choice analysis shows, among many other things, that organized political interests will tend to dominate the political process at the expense of the unorganized members of society. This is not a claim that “the rich” will necessarily dominate “the poor” in the political process, although the rich obviously have an advantage in influencing...
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Introduction to Public Choice »

Public choice uses economic methods to analyze political decision-making. Too often, both “policy experts” and the general public perceive problems and conclude that the government should do something about them, without evaluating whether government intervention could actually make things better. Public choice examines how the political process actually works rather than relying on a...
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Remembering Arthur Seldon, Champion of Capitalism »

May 29 marks the centennial of Arthur Seldon’s 1916 birth. Called “one of the most influential economists of the late twentieth century,” for over three decades he was editorial director of the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs, which The Economist said, “brought to the lay reader the ideas of all the leading free-market economists...
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The Constitutional Economics of the “Divergent” Films »

The third installment in the Divergent movie franchise, Allegiant, inserted itself into cinematic pop culture with a whimper on its opening weekend, but the movie seems to be completing a unexpectedly weighty arc on the nature of politics. While almost certainly unintentional, the thematic arc is intriguing because it brings to life the warnings...
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Why the Worst Get on Top: Comparative Advantage »

For anyone familiar with F. A. Hayek’s famous 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, the present electoral campaigning to gain the Democratic and Republican nominations as the party’s presidential candidate cannot help but call to mind Hayek’s chapter, “Why the Worst Get on Top.” As matters now stand, the most likely candidates will be,...
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Venezuela’s “New” Government: Don’t Get Too Excited »

In their most recent elections, the people of Venezuela voted to oust many of their elected officials. Just hours after the polls closed, the National Electoral Council reported that the opposition party had won 99 seats in the Venezuelan government. These results generated much excitement, not just in Venezuela, but internationally. Many pointed to...
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Trading Votes in Congress to Get Everything Politicians Want »

Any causal observer of the U.S. Congress and of state legislatures knows the definition of logrolling or vote trading: members of the House (and Senate) exchange votes with one another to secure passage of a spending program that benefits one of them, but not the other. So, for example, Senator H agrees to support...
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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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Still Won’t Stand with Rand »

Last week I published a piece on Rand Paul. In particular, I argued that Paul or any other “libertarian” political figure would not generate the changes desired by those who value liberty. The responses to this post have been numerous. Many people agree with me. For others, it’s as though I backhanded their mothers...
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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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