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.
The Presidential Election: Biden Didn’t Win; Trump Lost


In national elections, the U.S. president’s party normally picks up seats in the House of Representatives as they ride the president’s coattails to victory, and the president’s party typically loses House seats in mid-term elections, when the president is not on the ballot. Election results in the House can be seen as an indicator...
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Court Packing: The Left’s Orwellian Redefinition


Dictionary.com defines court packing as “an unsuccessful attempt by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 to appoint up to six additional justices to the Supreme Court, which had invalidated a number of his New Deal laws.” In recent article in Harper’s Bazaar, Chelsey Sanchez writes, “Simply put, court packing refers to the process of...
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Democracy: Ideology and Reality


A romantic view of democracy is that it gives citizens control over their governments. Citizens decide who holds power, and if those who are elected do not carry out the will of the voters, democratic elections provide the mechanism to replace them. Elections provide the discipline that pushes elected representatives to represent the interests...
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Scientific Policy in Response to COVID-19


We have all heard, from politicians and from scientists, that the public-policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic should be based on science. For example, Joe Biden’s website recommends we “Ensure that public health decisions are made by public health professionals and not politicians, and officials engaged in the response do not fear retribution or...
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Replacing RBG: A Lesson in Politics


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on September 18, less than two months before the upcoming presidential election, set off a major political controversy. Democrats argued that the appointment of her successor should wait until after the election and be made by the winner of the election. Most (but not all) Republicans argued...
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Identity Issues: Probing Woke Culture


We are all different and all unique, and I try to treat everybody as an individual rather than stereotyping them as belonging to some group. I do my best to treat everyone with the same respect I’d like them to extend to me. But I confess to being un-woke and not understanding the logic...
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Pelosi: It Was a Setup


By now, most readers will be familiar with Representative Nancy Pelosi’s visit to a hair salon last week, in violation of San Francisco’s pandemic-generated rules prohibiting the operation of indoor salons. Lloyd Billingsley has discussed the situation in a post on The Beacon. Representative Pelosi says it was a setup, and believes she is...
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Play Ball!


I’ll admit to being a fan of college football, and have followed with interest the debates on whether to hold games this fall. Some conferences, such as the Big Ten and the Pac-12, have already canceled their seasons, while others appear to be ready to play. There are many issues to consider, but a...
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Coordination, Cooperation, and Control: The Evolution of Economic and Political Power


My latest book is titled Coordination, Cooperation, and Control: The Evolution of Economic and Political Power. The book’s ultimate conclusion is that when the same people hold both economic and political power, the result is stagnation. When the people who hold economic power are not the same people who hold political power, the result...
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Advanced Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics


The second edition of my book Advanced Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics has just been published. The book’s intended audience is people who have some familiarity with economics and are interested in how the ideas of the Austrian school differ from mainstream economic thought. The Austrian school of economics focuses on the...
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