Posts by Mary L. G. Theroux
Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute.
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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SF Government Officials Continue Clueless Homeless Practices During CoronaCrisis


Although I stand by my assertion in my previous post that “Death by coronavirus is not the solution to the homeless crisis anyone wants,” the City of San Francisco’s actions are certainly making it seem otherwise. The homeless, and especially the chronically homeless who comprise most of the people on the streets, are largely...
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“Let Them Stay at the W!” San Francisco’s Privileged Respond to the Coronavirus Threat


For forty years, San Francisco has chased homelessness with government spending: from then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein’s allocating 1,000 Single Room Occupancy units to what she thought a temporary problem, to the current “official” figure for Housing & Homeless Services Spending of $364,000,000 for 2019-20 (unofficial figures that count all government spending on homelessness are unimaginably...
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Fear: The Fuel of Government Power


Americans reacting in fear and panic fueled by non-stop media coverage are unfortunately once again calling out to the wrong source for answers. Not only will the answers they get likely exacerbate the dangers of the current crisis, but our society and economy will be collateral damage.

Chick-fil-A’s Awkward Adolescence


Chick-fil-A’s recent decision to cut off its Foundation’s support of the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other Christian organizations is evocative of nothing so much as the Middle Schooler, desperate to get in with the “In” crowd, disavowing her previous association with “uncool” friends. Will Chick-fil-A suffer the same rebuff that generally...
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