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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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Alcohol Prohibition and the Rise of KY Meth Labs »

Several months ago, I wrote on the decline in the number of meth labs in the United States. While many cheered at the news, I argued that economics, as it so often does, should lead us to be skeptical of the story. A decrease in the number of meth labs in the U.S. does...
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“El Chapo,” Cartels, and the Consequences of the War on Drugs »

The drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, more commonly known as “El Chapo,” (“Shorty”) was finally captured. That is, he was captured again. For more than six months, Mexican authorities have been tracking Guzmán after he escaped from Mexico’s most secure prison through a tunnel in his cell. Reports state that the tunnel was not...
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New Video on History of Police Militarization »

Several years ago, my coauthor Chris Coyne and I wrote a paper titled, “The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing.” Although we’ve since written on a variety of other topics, I frequently field questions on this paper and its themes. It’s hardly a mystery why. Over the past three decades, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)...
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The Government’s Tax on Peace of Mind »

In the USA, thousands of distinct actions that violate no one’s natural rights have been declared illegal. Often the law provides for draconian punishment of those who violate such unjust laws. Sometimes, especially in cases involving alleged violation of tax laws or drug laws, the government may seize an alleged violator’s assets, making it...
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Follow the Silk Road »

Stretching some 4,000 miles, the “Silk Road” was a trade network connecting the continent of Asia. From around 200 B.C., the route, running from China to India, to the Mediterranean Sea, the horn of Africa, and beyond, is largely credited for opening up trade in much of the world, leading to the development and exchange...
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The End of the American Meth Lab? Don’t Get Too Excited. »

When people think of meth labs, it usually conjures images of run down houses or trailers in “anywhere” America, chocked full of cooking equipment, cleaners, other chemicals, men in HAZMAT suits, and the “cooks” of the operation sitting in the back of a squad car. But this narrative of the “American meth lab” may...
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Has Colorado Gone to Pot? »

Last week I had the chance to spend a few days in Denver while giving a talk as part of the Exploring Economic Freedom Lecture Series at the Metropolitan State University of Denver (you can find a link to the video of my lecture on police militarization here). After landing at the airport I...
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The War on Drugs Is “The New Jim Crow” »

Here is some reading to celebrate Martin Luther King Day: Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I confess up front I have not read the book. I’ve just read some things about it. Here is a short write-up from the author’s interview on NPR. The book...
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Some Suggestions for Jerry Brown on the Prison Situation »

Conditions for California prisoners are so bad that the Supreme Court has ruled that the overcrowding amounts to unconstitutional “needless suffering and death” (it almost goes without saying that the conservative justices dissented). California is supposed to release 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Unfortunately, Matthew Cate, head of California Corrections, indicates that the Brown administration...
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