The Power of Independent Thinking



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Simple Rules for Open Markets
Posted: Mon. February 2, 2015

May 6, 1996

While the White House and Congress tinker with the rate of growth of government spending and whether the welfare stste is better administered at the federal or state level, eminent legal scholar and author Richard Epstein now challenges the very roots of runaway liability and the regulatory-welfare state.

In his widely acclaimed new book, Simple Rules for a Complex World, Epstein presents a new legal framework to restore a Jeffersonian society based on individual rights, freedom to choose and the Rule of Law. In so doing, Epstein articulates six principles rooted in common law to guide law and public policy in complex times:

(1) "Individual Self-Ownership"– all individuals rightfully own themselves. (2) "First Possession"– individuals have a right to own property and almost everything should be privately owned.

(3) "Voluntary Exchange"– individuals are free to contract with others for peaceful purposes.

(4) "Protecting the Things that Are Yours"– tort law provides the most effective way to protect individuals from theft, fraud, rape, and murder. (5) "Necessity"– private property rights may be violated only in extreme cases of emergency.

(6) "Takings"– in any case of government abridgment of private property rights, through regulation or seizure, the government must justly compensate the owner financially.

At this Independent Policy Forum, Richard Epstein will employ these principles to critique the thousands of burdensome and counterproductive regulations, taxes and other government policies. He will address taxes and income redistribution, labor laws, and employment discrimination, environmental regulations, product liability laws, rent controls, zoning, and much more.

Since publication of this highly acclaimed 1985 book, Takings, Richard Epstein has become widely regarded as the preeminent legal contrarian of our time, challenging the philosophies of liberals and conservatives alike. His path-breaking scholarship and penetrating analyses have launched a quiet revolution, earning him the respect of even his staunchest critics. With the escalating anti-political sentiment of the public and the growing demand to de-bureaucratize and and de-politicize American life, Epstein's powerful and learned call for devolution, tort reform, economic liberalization and privatization could not be more timely.

Richard A. Epstein

Professor of Law, University of Chicago

Author, Simple Rules for a Complex World

Recorded: Mon. May 6, 1996
Experts: Richard A. Epstein
Type: Institute Events

Issues: Free Market Economics

Stopping Violent Crime
New Directions for Reduction and Prevention

Posted: Mon. February 2, 2015

Tuesday, December 3, 1996

Co-sponsored by the Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission
University Theater, Garvey Fine Arts Center
Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Arthur R. Miller, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Bruce L. Benson, Professor of Economics, Florida State University; Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute
Erika Holzer, bestselling author of book and major motion picture, Eye for an Eye
Wendy Kaminer, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
William I. Koch, Chairman, Koch Crime Commission
Alan J. Lizotte, Director, Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, University at Albany
David B. Sentelle, Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
David J. Theroux, Founder and President, The Independent Institute
Richard L. Thornburgh, former U.S. Attorney General
Hubert Williams, President, Police Foundation
Marvin E. Wolfgang, Director, Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
James R. Wyrsch, President, Wyrsch Hobbs Mirakian & Lee, P.C.

Violent crime continues to be a major social and economic problem in the United States and around the world. This important debate, held before an audience of 1,000 at Washburn University, features a panel of experts from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including criminal justice officials, business and civic leaders, scholars, and best-selling authors.

In a lively and challenging exchange of ideas, the program addresses why the criminal justice system has become increasingly bureaucratized and politicized, ever less responsive and ever more costly. Topics include victim’s rights, crime and incarceration rates, restitution, civil liberties, illicit drugs, guns, racism, policing, privatization, and sentencing.

Co-sponsored by The Independent Institute and Koch Crime Commission, this program was distributed by Central Educational Network and appeared on the Public Broadcasting System.

Recorded: Tue. December 3, 1996
Experts: Bruce L. Benson, Erika Holzer, Wendy Kaminer, William I. Koch, Alan J. Lizotte, Arthur R. Miller, David B. Sentelle, David J. Theroux, Richard L. Thornburgh, Hubert Williams, Marvin E. Wolfgang, James R. Wyrsch
Type: Institute Events

Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Crime, Criminal Justice/ Prisons, Culture/ Society, Drugs (Illicit), Family, Gun Control, Labor and Employment, Law Enforcement, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Public Health/ Consumer Protection, Race Issues, Urban Issues, Welfare, Women’s Issues

What It Means to Be a Libertarian
Posted: Mon. February 2, 2015

January 28, 1997

Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA

Although America's founders attempted to build a Republic on the twin pillars of strict limits on the power of central government and strict protections of individual rights, these pillars have been eroded away. Now, at the close of the twentieth century, bestselling author, scholar and social commentator, Charles Murray, wants to restore them for all Americans. In his new book, What It Means to Be a Libertarian, he offers a radical blueprint for overhauling our dysfunctional government and replacing it with a system that safeguards human freedom and fosters human happiness.

In this special Independent Policy Forum, Charles Murray will invoke a more consistent version of the Founders' ideals and craft a clear, workable alternative to our current government. He will explain that the sprawling, costly and intrusive government that Americans have come to accept as an inevitable part of modern life is not inevitable. He will encourage Americans to liberate themselves from ingrained misconceptions of what government is and urge us to consider instead what it ought to be.

In this insightful yet very personal talk, Charles Murray will paint a vivid portrait of life in a genuinely free society. Imagine, for example, a federal government that is not just smaller, but small – with an executive branch trimmed down to the White House, and radically smaller departments of state, defense, justice and environmental protection. Imagine a Congress so limited in power it spends only a few months of each year in session. Imagine a society in which the government's role is once again to prevent people from initiating the use of force, leaving them otherwise free, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "to regulate their own pursuit of industry and improvement."

Charles Murray will craft a workable alternative to our current government that would lead to greater individual fulfillment, stronger families, more vital communities, more wealth and less poverty, a richer culture and better care for the less fortunate.

Charles A. Murray

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Author, What It Means to Be a Libertarian

Recorded: Tue. January 28, 1997
Experts: Charles A. Murray
Type: Institute Events

Issues: Bureaucracy and Government, Culture/ Society, Free Market Economics, Freedom, Political Ideology and Philosophy

Ivan Eland: DEA's New Database
Posted: Wed. January 28, 2015

Sr. Fellow Ivan Eland appears on Doug Stephan's Good Day radio show to talk about the DEA and their tactics of accessing data from civilians' phone calls. According to Eland, this is an example of one agency borrowing tactics from another in violation of the Constitution.

Recorded: Wed. January 21, 2015
Experts: Ivan Eland
Type: Radio

Issues: Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Culture/ Society, Democracy, Law Enforcement, Terrorism and National Crises

John C. Goodman: Obamacare Individual Mandate Penalty
Posted: Wed. January 28, 2015

Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, author of "Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis" was interviewed on World News Radio to comment on the average person's penalty for not having health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Recorded: Tue. January 20, 2015
Experts: John C. Goodman
Type: Radio

Issues: Culture/ Society, Economic Policy, Health Care, Labor and Employment, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Politics, Public Health/ Consumer Protection

Civil Rights Are Too Important to Leave to Special-Interest Advocates
Posted: Wed. January 28, 2015

Research Fellow Jonathan Bean, author of Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader appeared on WORD radio to discuss Bean's recent Op-Ed about his experience on the Illinois State Advisory Committee on Civil Rights. On Martin Luther King Day, Bean says King's dream of a more just society is poorly served by ignoring viewpoints that disagree with our own.

Recorded: Wed. January 28, 2015
Experts: Jonathan J. Bean
Type: Radio

Issues: Civil Liberties/ Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Culture/ Society, Freedom, Political Ideology and Philosophy, Politics, Race Issues

Is Walmart Good or Bad for America? A Debate
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

Richard K. Vedder and Ken Jacobs debate whether the rise of Walmart and similar big box retailers have been beneficial or harmful to the US economy.

Richard K. Vedder is Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute and Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate, Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University. Professor Vedder is co-author (with Lowell Gallaway) of The Independent Institute book, "Out of Work," the recipient of both the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award and Mencken Award Finalist for Best Book, and the Institute monograph, Can Teachers Own Their Own Schools?

Ken Jacobs is Chair of the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center, and a former member of the Mayor’s Universal Health Care Council in San Francisco. He is the Co-author od “Declining Job-Based Health Coverage for Working Families in California and the United States,” and “Hidden Costs of Wal-Mart Jobs”.

David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute and Publisher of The Independent Review.

Recorded: Tue. May 8, 2007
Type: Institute Events

Issues: Antitrust, Competition, and Monopoly, Business, Culture/ Society, Economic History and Development (U.S.), Economists, Free Market Economics, History (U.S), Labor and Employment, Politics, Public Health/ Consumer Protection

The 2006 Thomas S. Szasz Awards and An Evening With Robert Higgs
Posted: Fri. January 23, 2015

The gala reception and presentation of the Thomas S. Szasz Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties to Robert Higgs and Robert Spillane, followed by a special forum featuring Dr. Higgs on “Liberty and Leviathan,” based on his acclaimed book, Depression, War, and Cold War (Oxford University Press).

Thomas S. Szasz The Thomas S. Szasz Award is a tribute conferred annually by the Center for Independent Thought for the avocation of civil liberties and to encourage others to work to protect personal autonomy from state encroachment.

Robert Higgs Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute. Winner, 2006 Thomas S. Szasz Award, General Award. Author, Depression, War, and Cold War, Against Leviathan, and Crisis and Leviathan.

Robert Spillane Professor of Management Macquarie University Australia. Winner, 2006 Thomas S. Szasz Award, Professional Award.

Andrea Millen Rich President, Center for Independent Thought

David J. Theroux Founder and President, The Independent Institute

Recorded: Wed. December 6, 2006
Experts: Robert Higgs, Robert Spillane, Thomas S. Szasz
Type: Institute Events

Issues: Political Ideology and Philosophy