Category: The Beacon
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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Kamala Harris and the Bridge to No Accountability

As the world knows, former vice president Joe Biden has selected California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate for 2020. To gain insight on her possible contributions as vice president, dial back to 2010 when the former San Francisco district attorney ran for state attorney general. The Sacramento Bee endorsed Republican Steve Cooley over Harris. She…
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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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Leaked George Floyd Video: Shedding Light on the Arrest

After weeks of riots, calls to defund the police, and national acceptance of the systematic racism narrative spun buy radicals, the public can finally see the full story of George Floyd’s encounter with law enforcement. The leaked body-cam footage obtained by the Daily Mail shows a legitimate law enforcement investigation, a non-compliant suspect, and…
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As the Pandemic Demonstrates, Leviathan Feeds on National Crises

Crisis and Leviathan is Robert Higgs’ great work of history exploring how politicians exploit crisis situations to grow their power. As their power grows, so too does the size of government. Leviathan, of course, refers to the old bible stories of a multi-headed sea serpent with an insatiable appetite — much like today’s U.S….
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California Supreme Court Curtails Pension Abuse by Law Enforcement Officers, Others

How do you rake in more money after retirement than when you worked? One way is to become a California police officer, sheriff, or sheriff’s deputy. As I reported in my book on government-employee pension systems, California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis, former San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong…
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When Reimagining the Police, Remember These Cases

As we noted, Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor has been sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison for shooting to death Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who was unarmed and had called 911 to report a crime. Those calling for defunding or “reimagining” the police might also consider cases when officers faced heavily armed…
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Trump Signs More Executive Orders as a Last-Ditch Effort to Lower Drug Prices

It has been over three years since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. During his first run for the Oval Office, he vowed to take on drug companies and lower the cost of prescription drugs. With less than one-hundred days until the 2020 presidential election, he has yet…
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What Bezos, Cook, Pinchai and Zuckerberg Should Have Told Congress about Antitrust Hysteria

Wednesday, July 29, witnessed the virtual browbeating (via video conference) of the CEOs of four of America’s top companies, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, by members of the House Judiciary Committee, most of whom never have produced anything other than intrusive statutes and convoluted regulations from which Congress often exempts itself.

Lessons from Wilford Brimley’s Best Performance

Actor Wilford Brimley passed away last week at the age of 85. Obituaries hailed the “mustachioed” actor’s roles in Cocoon, The Natural and The Thing but passed over what may have been his most convincing performance.  In the 1981 film Absence of Malice, Miami union boss Joey Diaz has been murdered but the authorities…
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