Posts by Abigail R. Hall Blanco
Abigail R. Hall Blanco is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and an Associate Professor of Economics at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy in the War on Terror


“Do you want their deaths to mean nothing?!” I’ve heard this argument a lot when discussing ending the perpetual war on terror. In fact, I was asked this precise question while on a recent panel discussing the merits of waging war on “radical Islam.” The idea behind this argument is easy enough to understand....
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Ending of a Needle Exchange Program Shows How Government is Addicted to Failure


In 2015 Scott County, Indiana made headlines for all the wrong reasons. With a population of fewer than 10,000 people, the county was the center of an HIV outbreak of more than 230 cases. Most of those infected were individuals who engaged in intravenous drug use. Recognizing the public health emergency, officials acted and...
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Chauvin Outcome Is the Exception, Not the Rule


Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Floyd, who died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, became a rallying point for protestors around the country. Floyd’s death sparked conversations about systemic racism in policing and in the...
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Socialism Kills Your Sex Life


A few years ago the New York Times published an article claiming that women who lived under communism in East Germany reported more sexual satisfaction than their capitalist counterparts in West Germany. The study, which found that women behind the Iron Curtain reported more orgasms, was used to suggest that communism benefits women in...
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Manufacturing Militarism: US Government Propaganda in the War on Terror


The stands at Super Bowl LV were filled with cardboard cutouts. The half-time show by the Canadian singer known as “The Weeknd” had some of us wondering where he spent that extra $7 million. A man streaking in a skimpy pink leotard ran for more yards than the Kansas City Chiefs. If Tampa Bay...
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Remember When the CIA Set Back Polio Eradication?


Recently I wrote about the origins of vaccine hesitancy among the African American population. While working on the piece, a friend and former colleague reminded me of another instance of the U.S. government thwarting vaccination efforts. This time it was polio. That may seem strange, given that the U.S. government desperately wanted a vaccine...
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Black Americans’ COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy? Blame Uncle Sam.


Chatting with a friend the other day we came upon the topic of vaccines. We discussed states’ differing approaches to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, when we thought our elderly relatives might receive it, and our hopes for getting the vaccine ourselves. During our conversation, my friend mentioned that he heard Black Americans are less...
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Venezuela Goes Digital–It Won’t Fix the Problem


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently announced that the country will be moving toward a “fully digital” economy. The South American nation has struggled in recent years with rampant shortages of staple goods, civil unrest, and hyperinflation. According to the opposition-controlled National Assembly, consumer prices rose more than 65 percent in November, placing the interannual...
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Voice, Loyalty, Exit, and BLM


Like many Americans, I watched the events at the U.S. Capitol last week in disbelief. My husband, an immigrant, commented that what we witnessed was “why [my family] left Venezuela. This doesn’t happen in the United States.” He and others have also remarked at the stark difference between the police response to the mostly...
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France’s New Organ Registry and the New Paternalism


Social media never fails to create drama. Several months ago, an acquaintance on Facebook posted a video discussing France’s new law regarding organ donation. Specifically, the French government revised its policies on organ donation such that everyone is considered an organ donor upon their death unless they officially opt out of the program. As of...
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