Tag Archive: Independent Institute

Don Kates: A Liberal Against Banning Guns




” Don Kates is professor emeritus of constitutional and criminal law specializing in gun ownership and gun control issues. He is also a research fellow at the Independent Institute, and is the editor of Firearms and Violence: Issues of Public Policy (1984).

  In this lecture at a San Francisco Libertarian Party event in 1989, Kates gives a history of gun ownership in America and speaks about the historical implications of the right to self-defense.”











Join With Us





Your Donation Dollars
at Work in 2012



” As an Independent Institute member, you will receive the latest Independent Institute publications, discounts to upcoming events, and the opportunity to exchange ideas with leading experts, while supporting the Institute’s program with a tax-deductible contribution.

We look forward to having you as a member! To receive more membership information, please contact our Associate Director of Development at (510) 632-1366 x152, or send an email. Our Taxpayer Identification Number is 94-3008370.

The Independent Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational foundation and subscribes to the Donor’s Bill of Rights. The Independent Institute does not support or oppose political candidates or proposed legislation. Contributions to the Independent Institute by individuals, corporations, foundations, partnerships, and other organizations are tax-deductible.”









The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing



” Can government simultaneously be empowered and constrained? This “paradox of government” is the central question of constitutional political economy (see Buchanan 1975; Brennan and Buchanan 1985; Weingast 1995; Gordon 2002). In order for a government to function, individuals must allow governing forces to control different aspects of their lives. The danger in granting such powers, however,is that the government may abuse this authority and plunder the citizens.

The common solution is to establish checks and balances on government to prevent such abuses. History has demonstrated, however, that effective checks on government power are elusive. Nazi Germany; Idi Amin’s regime in Uganda; the dictatorships of Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, and Pol Pot; and the present-day Syrian regime are but a few examples of the tragic consequences of unconstrained government power. Beyond these examples, the poorest countries in the world today suffer from the actions of rapacious states, most of which are largely unconstrained in their predation against citizens.

One reason governments can exploit their citizens effectively is that they maintain a monopoly or near monopoly of military force. The concentration of military power, with its weaponry, organizational structure, and tactics, serves as the ultimate tool of government abuse. The threat of violent force raises the cost of deviations from government decree and can be used to repress citizens.”




… Offer Up Your Own Deficit Reduction Plan And Save The Republic



Do It Yourself Budget Reduction






Don’t Despair

Election Night Silver Linings ?




 ” If ever a president had to go, it’s Barack Obama. His progressive fascism has prolonged the recovery for four solid years in a row. From Dodd-Frank and the auto bailouts to stimulus spending and Obamacare, he is easily the most economically interventionist president since the LBJ-Nixon years. In addition to this, he is one of the worst presidents on civil liberties in U.S. history, establishing some of the worst legal precedents imaginable concerning executive detention and even the power of the president to order summary executions of U.S. citizens. He tripled the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, escalated the nightmare of drone bombings in Pakistan, and started a war with Libya that his administration claimed even Congress had no power to stop. Despite his occasional lip service to free markets, peace, and the rule of law, Obama has pushed for the radical expansion of state power in virtually every area he could .


   This is the third time in a row I’ve seen a president who surely deserved to be fired become re-elected. In 1996, Bill Clinton, despite an atrocity in Waco, Texas, that took the lives of about 80 American civilians, and numerous other scandals, won in a landslide. In 2004, George W. Bush, despite lying the country into the worst war since Vietnam, a torture scandal, and an awful record at home, defeated John Kerry. And now, Obama, despite one of the worst economic realities ever faced by an incumbent at reelection time and a nearly uninterrupted string of broken promises, was rewarded with another four-year contract. “

How Much Do We Owe?

Too Damn Much  


  “Have you ever wondered how much we as taxpayers actually owe because of commitments politicians have made on our behalf? Turns out, the answer is not as simple as you might think.

The place to start is with a report put out annually by the U.S. Treasury. There I learned that the federal government officially recognizes an outstanding debt of $17.5 trillion. This amount consists of $10.2 trillion in government debt held by the public, plus pension and retirement benefits owed to federal employees.”


Even these numbers are deceptive …


   “So let’s see if I’ve got this right. I’ve been paying Social Security taxes for some 45 years or so and the federal government doesn’t officially admit that it owes me a dime. The same is true for 45 years of Medicare taxes. But it does admit that it owes pension benefits and post-retirement medical benefits to federal workers. As a taxpayer, I’m liable for all the promises the government has made to its own employees. But federal workers are not liable (necessarily) for all the promises the government has made to me”


Our Social Security and Medicare isn’t guaranteed but federal employee’s retirement benefits are …


 ” If today’s seniors get everything that’s been promised to them, they can expect to receive $12.8 trillion in Social Security and Medicare benefits beyond the estimated taxes and premiums that will be collected to fund those programs.”


Hold your nose and read the rest . It isn’t pretty