Brian Phillips

Brian Phillips is the founder of the Texas Institute for Property Rights. Brian has been defending property rights for nearly thirty years. He played a key role in defeating zoning in Houston, Texas, and in Hobbs, New Mexico. He is the author of three books: Individual Rights and Government Wrongs, The Innovator Versus the Collective, and Principles and Property Rights. Visit his website at texasipr.com.

Regulations are Making Housing Unaffordable

Fox News reports that the International Code Council, an organization that develops model building code policies, is finalizing its codes for 2024. Critics correctly argue that the new codes are a “backdoor climate initiative” and will add to the cost of new housing....
No Vaccine, No Service

No Vaccine, No Service

A private vaccine requirement does not prevent unvaccinated individuals from dining out elsewhere. A government vaccine mandate prohibits unvaccinated individuals from dining out anywhere.

Racial Equity Studies: Tribalism on the Warpath

Racial Equity Studies: Tribalism on the Warpath

If a racial equity study finds that a particular project will result in the displacement of “people of color,” it will be used as a club to beat developers into submission. Developers will be forced to abandon their project or concede to whatever demands activists and politicians can concoct.

What About the Poor?

A common question, when discussing capitalism, is: What about the poor? In other words, won’t the poor be helpless and hopeless in a capitalist society? The premise underlying such questions is altruism. According to altruism, we have a moral duty to serve others....

Lobbying and Political Power

Lobbyists are not a creation of the free market, but of a mixed economy–an economy with a mixture of freedoms and controls. When government has the power to arbitrarily dictate the actions of individuals, individuals will seek legislation that is favorable to them.

Who Owns Your Life?

Who Owns Your Life?

One of the most important and far reaching questions in moral philosophy is: Who is the proper beneficiary of an individual’s actions? There are only two possible answers to the question: The individual taking the action, or others. “Others” may mean the community,...

Capitalism is Good in Theory and in Practice

Capitalism is Good in Theory and in Practice

Upon hearing an argument for capitalism, many respond, “That is good in theory, but it would never work in real life.” Such a statement is wrong in both theory and in practice. (And it is actually an example of a fundamental philosophical error–the mind/body...

The Pacific Railway Act and the Interstate Commerce Act

The Pacific Railway Act and the Interstate Commerce Act

In 1887, Congress created the first federal regulatory agency by enacting the Interstate Commerce Act. As has often been the case since that time, the act was a response to the problems created by previous government interventions. Under the Pacific Railway Act,...

Myths, Fallacies, and the History of Capitalism

I know that I should not be surprised that most people have little knowledge regarding the history of capitalism. Our schools certainly don’t teach it, and everybody “knows” that capitalism leads to all sorts of evils, such as abuse of employees by employers,...

Supply and Demand in Education

Supply and Demand in Education

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to argue that government should be operated more like a business. As an example, a manifesto written by sixteen public school executives explains how to fix public schools: Let’s stop ignoring basic economic...

Omniscience and Defending Capitalism

If you have ever attempted to explain capitalism, you have likely been confronted with a demand that you be omniscient. The demand is seldom, if ever, expressed that explicitly. Instead, it often takes the form of a question: how would some service, such as roads, be...

The Founders and the “General Welfare”

The Founders and the “General Welfare”

The Constitution limits the powers of the Federal government. However, even a perfect document cannot stand up to philosophical evasion and corruption. Without the proper moral base, the principles of the Constitution could not be defended, much less kept alive. To...

Jim Crow, Racism, and the Free Market

It is often claimed that capitalism leads to all sorts of ills, such as racism and cartels (or monopolies). As with most attacks on capitalism, these claims attempt to blame capitalism for the consequences of government intervention into the economy. The Jim Crow laws...

Interventions Beget Interventions

Interventions Beget Interventions

It has long been noted that government intervention seldom, if ever, accomplishes the stated purpose. When the failure of some regulation, subsidy, or program becomes clear, legislators respond with further interventions. As an example, consider the solar panel...

To Braid or Not to Braid

Benta Diaw immigrated to the United States from Senegal. She decided to open a business braiding hair as she was taught by her grandmother in Africa. However, the state of Washington declared her business illegal. Was Diaw misleading her clients and using dangerous...

Big Oil: Please, Please Let Us Drill

Big Oil: Please, Please Let Us Drill

The headline on CNN.com said it all: “Big Oil’s promise: Let us drill, we’ll hire 1.4 million workers.” The article goes on to say: With job creation taking center stage in American politics, the oil industry Wednesday made a pitch for drilling more widely. With...

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