Collection of Past Essays
All of the essays here are by the prize winners of the John Locke Institute essay competition from 2019 and 2020. We wish you a pleasant and enlightening reading.
American citizens give away more than $300 billion each year in charitable donations. Only a tiny fraction of this (less than 0.001%) is donated to federal, state, and local governments. Politicians claim that they spend taxpayers' money efficiently, to accomplish the most good with the budgets at their disposal. But if this were true wouldn't governments be able to compete more successfully with private charities? What are the implications of your answer?
Governments do a lot of things, such as collecting taxes and drafting people into the military, that we would object to individuals doing. Can this be justified?
How much should we care about social cohesion?
What is the socially efficient level of crime?
What are the most important economic effects - good and bad - of forced redistribution? How should this inform government policy?
What does economics tell us about the benefits and costs of immigration? What policy should we adopt?
How is the modern world different from previous periods of history and why did it come into existence when and where it did?
Is a strong state a prerequisite or an obstacle to economic growth?