Tag: Liberty
Political Preferences and Public Policy
Social scientists who study elections tend to assume that voters have public policy preferences and that parties and candidates design their platforms to conform with those preferences. In fact, the direction of causation (mostly) goes the other way. Members of the political elite draw up their platforms, and voters adopt the policy preferences of...
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The Pilgrims’ Real Thanksgiving Lesson
With Thanksgiving upon us once again, we offer a reminder of the economic lesson that made our first Thanksgiving possible: The Pilgrims’ Real Thanksgiving Lesson by Benjamin Powell Feast and football. That’s what many of us think about at Thanksgiving. Most people identify the origin of the holiday with the Pilgrims’ first bountiful harvest....
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Anti-Authoritarian Authoritarians
Many readers of The Beacon will know that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order prohibiting governments in Florida from mandating that people wear masks. Meanwhile, many local government officials, including my local school board and superintendent, have defied that order and issued mask mandates. In response, the governor and state commissioner...
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9/11, Independent Institute and 20 Years of the “War on Terror”
Literally on 9/11/01 and throughout the 20 culture-destroying years since, the Independent Institute has stood hard and fast for the difficult but essential principles that undergird liberty, human dignity, and the rule of law. While many whom we had thought shared our devotion to liberty were doing things like removing the word “Peace” from...
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To Mask, Or Not? A State of Resistance
The state of resistance, in this case, is Florida. Many readers will be aware that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has prohibited mask mandates in the state, and faced some resistance from local school boards that have imposed mask mandates in defiance of the governor’s prohibition. Meanwhile, where I teach, at Florida State University, the...
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To Mask, Or Not? Should I Yield to Authoritarians Who Resist Authority?
I am a faculty member at Florida State University, and for several months we have been told that the fall semester would be a return to normal campus operation. Last year, I taught in-person classes all year, wearing a mask, and was looking forward to teaching without one. The university’s announced policy was that...
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Tax Havens, or Intergovernmental Competition
President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have convinced the other G-7 countries to implement a 15% minimum global corporate tax rate. The argument in favor is that some countries (the linked article names Ireland) are establishing themselves as tax havens–lowering their tax rates to attract businesses from higher-tax countries. Another way to view...
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The Name Says It All: Gun Control Isn’t About Reducing Firearm Violence; It’s About Control
The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a hot topic these days. President Biden recently announced plans to place additional limits on current Second Amendment rights with the argument that those restrictions can “address the gun violence public health epidemic.” Second Amendment defenders (here’s an example) argue that further restrictions on...
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Rush Limbaugh on Air
After failing at numerous radio jobs in the 1970s, in which he tried out various styles, including his first broadcast gig at KUDL in Kansas City, the famed talk-radio giant Rush H. Limbaugh III (1951–2021) began his real radio-broadcast career when he hosted a daytime talk show that innovatively mixed conservative politics and humorous...
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“Leave Us Alone So We Can Be Together”
At the Independent Institute, we believe that individual liberty—in the context of constitutionally limited government and free markets—produces great results. Our defense of individual liberty does not arise out of a philosophy that says to the world, “Leave me alone.” Rather, we defend liberty from a philosophy that says specifically to the government, “Leave...
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