The Power of Independent Thinking

Stay Connected
Get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

The Main Blog of Independent Institute

Monday March 27, 2023 | Randall G. Holcombe

When Thomas Robert Malthus published his Essay on Population in 1798, explaining that population always tends to grow faster than the resources available to support that population, condemning most people to a level of income barely sufficient to survive, he was describing the history of humankind up to that point. (more…)

From Power Struggles to Unity: The Opposition’s Plan to Challenge Maduro in 2024
Friday March 24, 2023 | Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Venezuela’s opposition has been seriously weakened in the last few months. Part of the reason is that Nicolás Maduro’s brutal dictatorship has survived every attempt to topple it with support from Cuba, Russia, Iran, and to some extent China. But some responsibility lies with the leaders of the opposition themselves, who have devoted an inordinate amount of time to internecine power struggles and, in some cases, engaged in acts of corruption that have tarnished its image. (more…)

Ronald Coase’s Fitting Tribute to Adam Smith
Friday March 24, 2023 | Daniel B. Klein

The year 1776 is certainly a landmark year in history, and one of the reasons why is Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations,” which first appeared in print that year. In 1976, to commemorate the book’s bicentennial, University of Chicago economist and Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase wrote a pair of essays that discuss two of Smith’s great works—“The Theory of Moral Sentiments” and “The Wealth of Nations”—and their continued importance. This year marks the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith’s birth, and Coase’s essays once again make a fitting tribute. Here, I comment especially on Coase’s “Adam Smith’s View of Man,” which focuses on “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” (more…)

Following Their Leaders: How Political Anchors Shape Policy Preferences
Thursday March 23, 2023 | Randall G. Holcombe

A romantic notion of democracy depicts democratic governments as being accountable to their citizens and acting in their citizens’ best interests. Academic models of democratic government depict citizens and voters as having public policy preferences, and candidates and parties adjust their platforms to conform to these preferences. (more…)

True Spirit Lifted by Individual Courage, Tenacity, and Mental Toughness
Tuesday March 21, 2023 | Samuel R. Staley

Perhaps the best compliment to a movie is when viewers buy the book on which the story is based. That’s what happened after I watched True Spirit, a 2023 drama (Netflix) about the history-making sailing circumnavigation of the world by then 16-year old Jessica Watson (Teagan Croft, Titans, The Osiris Child). Watson’s story of individual courage, tenacity, and mental toughness allows this inspiring family drama to punch above its weight.  (more…)

New Bill Seeks to Recover COVID Funds Taken by Fraudsters
Monday March 20, 2023 | Craig Eyermann

What could he do if President Biden were to get serious about recovering pandemic relief stolen by fraudsters? (more…)

Has the Discount Window Mystery been Solved?
Thursday March 16, 2023 | Peter C. Earle

On January 25th, I wrote about the increasing borrowing activity taking place at the Fed’s discount window. I commented that, despite popular perceptions, not all the borrowing at the discount window is driven by emergencies. But I also added that with rapidly rising interest rates, and the money supply contracting for the first time in decades and possibly the quickest that it ever has, the beginning of a liquidity crisis was nevertheless a distinct possibility. (more…)

» More from The Beacon ...

  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless