Posts by Randall G. Holcombe
Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University, and author of the Independent Institute book Liberty in Peril: Democracy and Power in American History.
I Am Not a Mascot


I’ve been following the debate on the possible renaming of the Washington Redskins football team with some interest for a few reasons. One is that I am a faculty member at Florida State University, whose sports teams are named the Seminoles. If the Redskins change their name, how long can Florida State athletes continue…
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President Trump Will Be Reelected in November


President Trump faces many challenges, including civil unrest, massive unemployment, and questions about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do Incumbent Presidents Always Win?


In a recent post on The Beacon, I predicted that President Trump would be reelected in November, because he is the incumbent, and incumbents almost always win. Here are incumbent reelection rates for the Senate and House of Representatives, but how about the presidency? Let’s consider presidential reelection rates back to the beginning of…
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After the Government-Engineered Recession, How Soon Will the Economy Return to Normal?


The arrival of COVID-19 has brought with it an unprecedented and uncertain situation in many ways. One uncertainty is that because the disease is novel, we don’t know its future trajectory. Another uncertainty is how rapidly governments will move to lift restrictions on economic activity. That is something government officials can choose. Yet another…
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COVID-19 Policy: Yet Another Intergenerational Transfer


There is still a lot we don’t know about the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing we do know is that those most at risk of death are the elderly and people with other underlying health problems. While there is a small risk of death for people who are healthy and young, most healthy young…
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Government Restrictions Have Gone Too Far


The question about whether governments have been too restrictive, or not restrictive enough, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will likely never have a definitive answer. We can see what governments actually did and what actually happened, but we can only conjecture about what would have happened if governments had done things differently. In…
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Health, Wealth, and Liberty in the COVID-19 Era


Americans in many states are protesting the government mandates that require people to “shelter in place,” prohibit traveling, and shut down businesses. The issue is being framed as a trade-off between health concerns related to a very contagious virus and the economic costs resulting from the government-mandated shut-down of much of the economy –…
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Yields to Political Pressure on COVID-19 Policy


Florida’s previous policy of giving discretion to local governments was more sensible.

Why Is Unemployment Rising?


The obvious answer to the question in my title–that unemployment is rising because of the COVID-19 pandemic–is not quite correct. The virus is not causing unemployment to rise. The government’s response to the virus is causing unemployment to rise. I won’t offer an opinion on whether the government response, overall, goes too far or…
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COVID-19 and Your Constitutional Rights


As federal, state, and local governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens are being quarantined, governments are banning large gatherings of people, and international travel is being restricted. So far, domestic travel has not been restricted (except for those quarantined), but things are moving rapidly. One consequence of New York State’s ban on gatherings…
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