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The Main Blog of Independent Institute

The Balance of International Payments Is Economic Nonsense
Sunday May 20, 2018 | Robert Higgs

The nation-based “balance of international payments” accounting system is misleading and nonsensical.

Sports Betting Decision and Federalism
Saturday May 19, 2018 | William Watkins

Last week the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) that prohibit state authorization and licensing of sports gambling schemes. SCOTUS held that this statute violates the Constitution’s anticommandeering rule. The New York Times sums up the import of the decision as follows: The decision seems certain to result in...
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Can History Survive Duke University’s Nancy MacLean?
Saturday May 19, 2018 | Sam Staley

If Democracy in Chains represents the state of art in the research and critical thinking in Nancy MacLean's field, History as an academic discipline is in serious intellectual trouble.

Another Latin American Tyrant: Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega
Friday May 18, 2018 | Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Given that Venezuela monopolizes whatever interest there is in Latin America these days, we pay insufficient attention to another tyranny—that of Daniel Ortega.

Washington, DC: Where Torture Is More Forgivable than Harassment
Wednesday May 16, 2018 | Mary Theroux

Less than a month ago, President Trump’s nominee for the VA head chose to withdraw his name from consideration as allegations mounted—which he vehemently denied—of his having created a “toxic” work environment and assorted other peccadillos. Meanwhile, most of us have lost count of how many members of Congress have resigned due to allegations...
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A Hidden Cost of Inflation
Monday May 14, 2018 | Randall Holcombe

One hidden cost of inflation is that it makes an increasingly large share of cash holdings and transactions subject to government surveillance.

Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Imperialism
Sunday May 13, 2018 | Randall Holcombe

Cultural appropriation and cultural imperialism, valid issues or the result of a "victim mentality"?

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A Project of Independent Institute

Where Do the U.S. Government’s Bureaucrats Work?
Monday May 21, 2018 | Craig Eyermann

As of the end of 2017, there were over 2 million bureaucrats who directly work for the U.S. government. That amazing number doesn’t include the 503,103 people who work for the U.S. Postal Service or any of the 1.3 million active duty members of the U.S. military services or the nation’s 800,000 reservists. Nor...
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Baby Steps Toward Healing Corrupt VA
Friday May 18, 2018 | Craig Eyermann

The scandal-plagued U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not currently have a congressionally approved leader. At the same time, the VA’s bureaucrats also appear to have little interest in providing timely health care to America’s veterans, nor do they appear to take the business of maintaining safe and clean medical facilities for their patients...
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Thirteen Plus Forty
Wednesday May 16, 2018 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

June 6 will mark 40 years since California voters passed the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, more commonly known as Proposition 13. As its primary backers recall, “property taxes were out of control. People were losing their homes because they could not pay their property taxes, yet government did nothing to help them.”...
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White House Attempts to Claw Back $15 Billion
Monday May 14, 2018 | Craig Eyermann

Two weeks ago, the White House was floating a trial balloon for using rescission to cut $25 billion worth of spending. Last week, the White House moved forward with what appears to be a down payment on that plan, where they are initially seeking to surgically claw back some $15 billion worth of spending...
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George Deukmejian and the Protection of Taxpayer Dollars
Friday May 11, 2018 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

Former governor George Deukmejian recently passed away at 89. Many Californians have little memory of the Golden State’s 35th governor, who served from 1983 to 1992. Millennials and such may be unaware that Deukmejian was the last California governor to return surplus funds directly to taxpayers in the form of a check. In 1987,...
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Record Budget Surplus for U.S. Government in April
Friday May 11, 2018 | Craig Eyermann

April is the one month in which the U.S. government can be expected to run a budget surplus, thanks largely to the annual filing of personal income taxes that are due during the month. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, April 2018 saw the biggest budget surplus ever recorded in the nation’s history of...
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The Sexual Abuse Inherent in the System
Wednesday May 9, 2018 | K. Lloyd Billingsley

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman is the latest target of the #Me Too movement, with four women charging that Schneiderman abused them, calling one his “brown slave” and making her say that she was “his property.” Schneiderman, a self-proclaimed advocate for woman, dismissed it as “role playing,” and says he never crossed the...
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