Posts by Mary L. G. Theroux
Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute.
Free Speech Is Hard. Its Alternative Is Worse.


It’s hard to hear ideologues spouting ideas you know are fully wrong, even harder when you know that the implementation of such ideas would hurt people, including you. Hardest is listening to a message full of hate, vitriol, and name-calling, especially when it’s directed against you personally. It’s therefore natural to declare that there...
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2024: California Provides a Peek at What’s Ahead for U.S. Under One-Party Rule


Americans who may be curious about what life under Democratic party control will bring don’t need a crystal ball. Having lived under 1-party progressive rule for years, California can provide them a full picture—but they may not like what they see: The End of the Middle Class California is home mostly to the very...
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Fearmongering v.2021


It feels like we’re in the abyss right now, sinking toward the bottom,” said Dr. John Swartzberg of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. “We’re not going to sort of get some balance in our lives again until probably sometime in February. Sound familiar? Is it true?
Leviathan’s Covid Concentration Camps


New York wants to give its governor absolute discretionary power to lock people up. Expect other states to pick up on the idea quickly. New York is considering passage of Assembly Bill A416, “REMOVAL AND DETENTION OF CASES, CONTACTS AND CARRIERS WHO ARE OR MAY BE A DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH [emphasis added]”
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics


Ronald Coase (from whose essay,”The Lighthouse in Economics” our logo is derived) is rightly renowned for questioning widely-held theories—such as the Lighthouse as the quintessential public good. In the case of the firm, Coase came down from the Ivory Tower and (gasp) visited firms to see first-hand how they actually operated. His findings, starkly...
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Argentine Priest and Goya’s CEO Have a Lesson for Pope Francis: Capitalism Saves the Poor


What do a Jesuit Priest working in the poorest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, and Goya’s controversial CEO have in common? Both are utilizing the benefits reaped from free enterprise to provide badly-needed food aid to South America’s poor. Rodrigo Zarazaga, “an enterprising Jesuit priest inspired by the work of Pope Francis,” has partnered with...
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Media Up In Arms Over Twitter, Remains Silent on EARN IT Act’s Threat


The media is up in arms over Trump’s threat to sign an executive order removing the legal immunity that social media platforms currently enjoy. Yet they have for months been completely silent on Congress’s greater threat that utilizes the exact same legal provision: the proposed EARN IT Act that would weaken Americans’ online privacy...
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CoronaCrisis and Leviathan: Big Brother Comes to Your Town (and iPhone)


Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois is proposing the Orwellian (and improperly capitalized) COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act, offering states and locales $100 billion with which to become total police states.
Newsom to California Taxpayers: Enslave Yourselves or Die


********Author’s note: Given the rapid deterioration of common sense in California, I feel obligated to declare The Emperor Has No Clothes: the following is satire.********* Gavin Newsom recently called on California’s taxpayers to voluntarily enter indentured servitude to the state or face death by unchecked crime and fire. “Look,” said Governor Newsom. “California already...
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USA PATRIOT Act: Leviathan in Search of a Crisis


Nearly 20 years after its hurried passage, key components of the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001), are currently up for renewal. Yet despite no evidence that its sweeping surveillance powers have prevented any acts of terrorism, Section 215 of...
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