Archive for January, 2015
The Fall of Liberty and Human Dignity in American Sniper

Given the buzz from conservatives touting the film American Sniper‘s homage to Christopher Kyle as a war hero, libertarians may be tempted to sit this movie out. I think they should resist that temptation. This is not a typical “war movie.” In fact, I would argue it’s not a war movie at all: it’s...
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Controlling the Regulatory State

People tend to think about big government in terms of taxes and government spending. Big governments are the ones that have high taxes and big expenditure programs. Government regulations are a major component of big government, and the regulatory state often leads to more oppressive and more corrupt government than big spending. Consider, for...
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How Much Longer Can the U.S. Economy Bear the Burdens?

Ordinary people, and sometimes experts as well, tend to overreact to short-term economic changes. The current economic malaise in the United States and Europe has brought forth a bevy of commentators convinced that this time the economy has taken a permanent turn for the worse. Never again, they declare, will we enjoy growing prosperity...
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Death Valley? Peter Thiel and Steve Jobs on What Could Kill Silicon Valley

On January 27, legendary entrepreneur Peter Thiel told a packed house at an Independent Institute luncheon, at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, that to blaze new trails ask: “What important truth do very few people agree with me on?” One of mine is that California will not be the epicenter of the tech...
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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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About That CBO Report Claiming Obamacare’s Costs Are Down 20 Percent...

In the January 2015 Budget and Economic Outlook, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) pronounced that Obamacare’s future costs will be one-fifth lower than had been originally estimated: In March 2010, CBO and JCT projected that the provisions of the ACA related to health insurance coverage would cost the federal government $710 billion during fiscal...
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Humala’s Hatchet Man May Be Key Figure in Peruvian Spy Scandal

The Peruvian government is spying on its critics, real or imagined. The first revelations came out a year and a half ago but were summarily dismissed by President Ollanta Humala. Now a profusion of videos, documents, and other evidence has been leaked out by insiders at the National Intelligence Directorate (DINI), an organization headed...
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Arkansas: Caving In or Standing Up to Obamacare?

The new governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, appears to have confused a lot of people in a recent speech about Medicaid, the joint state-federal welfare program for poor people’s health coverage. According to the Washington Post’s Jason Millman, “Republicans are finally learning they can’t undo Obamacare,” because the governor wants to do something different...
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National School Choice Week Starts Today!

This week more than 11,000 events will be held nationwide in celebration of school choice. Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing January 25-30, 2015, as National School Choice Week to help improve awareness of the benefits of greater opportunities in education. More than 100 governors, mayors,...
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Peter Thiel’s Contrarian Manifesto

[Editor’s Note: The Independent Institute hosted a sold-out event, “Developing the Developed World: Entrepreneurship, Liberty, and the Future,” with Peter Thiel on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.] “Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search...
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