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.

Altruism Can’t End Homelessness

One of the chief weapons used by the advocates of altruism is guilt.

“Crony Capitalism” is Fascism

“Crony Capitalism” is Fascism

Imagine that you start a business, and after years of hard work, you achieve the success that you had long thought possible. How would you react if, after achieving success, the government told you that you must pay a portion of your revenues to your competitors? The...

“Market Failure” and Taxis

Claims of “market failure” are founded on an arbitrary assertion of how the market should operate. And when the market fails to meet this arbitrary standard, it has “failed.”

The “Limits” of Economic Progress

The “Limits” of Economic Progress

A few weeks ago I caught a portion of a radio program in which a commentator argued that economic progress has limits.  He used a hamster as an example: For the first few weeks of his life, a hamster doubles in size each week. If he did this for a year, he would...

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,...

A Solution to the Postal Crisis

A Solution to the Postal Crisis

Congress continues to fiddle while the United States Postal Service (USPS) burns. The union for postal employees is upset that the postmaster general wants to cut 35,000 jobs. Many Americans are upset that the USPS wants to close 3,700 post offices. The postmaster...

“Defenders” of Capitalism

One of the primary defenders of capitalism during the latter nineteenth century was the English philosopher John Stuart Mill. Ethically, Mill was a Utilitarian, which holds that the moral is that which benefits the greatest number. Seeing the practical benefits of...

Free the Employers

Free the Employers

Recent budget crises in Wisconsin, Indiana, and other states have unleashed a renewed debate over the power of unions and “right to work” laws. Unfortunately, both sides of the debate are guilty of numerous equivocations, misrepresentations, and errors. And, at the...

Individual Rights and Government Wrongs: Property

An excerpt from Chapter 2 of Individual Rights and Government Wrongs.   Like many Americans, Chantell and Michael Sackett wanted to build their dream house. They bought a small parcel of land on Priest Lake in Idaho. Shortly after excavation began, the...

Individual Rights and Government Wrongs: Liberty

An excerpt from Chapter 2 of Individual Rights and Government Wrongs. Imagine, for a moment, the response if government announced that it would prohibit manufacturers from making more than one type of toothpaste. Such a prohibition, government officials might argue,...

Individual Rights and Government Wrongs: Life

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of Individual Rights and Government Wrongs. Once upon a time, there existed a nation that respected and protected individual rights. In that nation, individuals were free to live their lives as they judged best. Nearly half of the mail was...

Individual Rights and Government Wrongs

An excerpt from the Introduction to Individual Rights and Government Wrongs.   This book was written for those who love the United States of America and the principles upon which it was founded. America was founded on an ideology—the right of each...

Ending the Commons

What do government schools, the post office, waterways, and roads have in common? Besides being in sorry condition, each is an example of the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy of the commons, according to Wikipedia, occurs when multiple individuals, acting...

Unions vs. “Right-to-work”

Unions vs. “Right-to-work”

A number of conservatives, such as  Senator Rand Paul, have been promoting “right-to-work” legislation in response to the growing power of labor unions. On the surface, such legislation might appear to be consistent with free market principles. But is it? Wikipedia...

The Critics of the Tea Party

The Tea Party has certainly attracted its share of criticism. Many of those criticisms do not merit a response. However, an organization called the Constitutional Accountability Center issued a brief titled Setting the Record Straight: The Tea Party and the...

Occupy Wall Street: Biting The Hand That Feeds You

Occupy Wall Street: Biting The Hand That Feeds You

The Occupy movement, which claims to represent 99 percent of Americans, has been denouncing all things even remotely related to capitalism, including property rights. And this leads the movement’s supporters to the contradiction of denying rights to others while whining that their own rights are being violated.

A Truly Fair “Tax”

A Truly Fair “Tax”

The proposals by Herman Cain and Rick Perry to streamline the tax system are certainly a step in the right direction. But neither candidate has addressed one crucial point: taxation is theft. If your neighbor broke into your home and took your money, would the purpose...

“We Hate Crapitalism”

The latest gimmick of the Occupy Movement is “Stop Black Friday.” Apparently, the plan is to “occupy” the stores of major retailers and disrupt the busiest shopping day of the year. The website for this “occupation” suggests signs that state, “We don’t hate...

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