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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Anthony de Jasay: Political Philosopher Par Excellence »

Anthony de Jasay isn’t a household name, but he should be. The former Parisian banker is one of the most original thinkers in political philosophy today, and his insights on the nature of liberty, justice, and the state have major implications for how we might improve our governments, communities, and culture. The Summer 2015...
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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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Tap and Track: Not Just for the NSA »

The National Security Agency has come under intense scrutiny over the past several years for its warrantless wiretapping and other surveillance tactics. Members of the public have been the subjects of surveillance, as well as a over 120 world leaders, including close U.S. allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Knowing this, the backlash against...
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Is Humanitarian Aid Strengthening ISIS? »

Recent reports on U.S. efforts to confront the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq revealed something disturbing. As U.S. forces launch attacks against ISIS, a vast array of U.S. and other western aid has been flowing into the region...and directly to the jihadist fighters. Reports state that in order for aid to travel through...
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Coercive Foreign Policies and the Boomerang Effect »

More than a century ago, Mark Twain noted that if a “Great Republic” goes about “trampling on the helpless abroad,” then that government stands a good chance of turning against its own citizens. But why does a nation’s repression of other countries raise the risk of repression at home? The short answer, according to...
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Perfecting Tyranny »

When discussing the costs of foreign intervention, it’s typical for scholars, elected officials, and the general public to focus on the international consequences. As the U.S. prepares for new offenses in Iraq and Syria, for example, many have called into question issues of civilian casualties, the impact on these countries’ political and economic systems,...
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The Independent Review—Summer 2014 Issue Now Available »

Summer is here—and so is the summer issue of the Independent Institute’s quarterly journal. Here are some of the topics that subscribers of The Independent Review can look forward to reading about: What’s wrong with recent economic studies calling for new regulations meant to reduce so-called “systemic risks” to the financial system? According to...
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Markets Promote Peace and Harmony »

The market economy is a remarkable institution: It reduces poverty, decreases discrimination, and provides opportunities for constructive social and economic advancement far more reliably than do government programs. And yet despite all the good that markets do, many people are dubious about the moral case for markets. As economist Dwight R. Lee writes in...
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Cowboy Revisionist History »

I was pleased to learn that today is the Eighth National Day of the Cowboy. As such, it’s especially appropriate that we take advantage of the opportunity to set the record straight on many things Cowboy and Western. First of all, the Old West was far more peaceful than is commonly portrayed in movies...
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