Cassie Whalen

Cassie Whalen

Writer & Email Coordinator
Institute for Humane Studies

Cassie Whalen is a Writer and Email Coordinator for the Institute for Humane Studies. An alumna of IHS Summer Seminars, the Koch Internship Program, and the Koch Fellowship Program, she graduated with a BA in economics from George Mason University in August of 2014. She enjoys writing both for business and pleasure. Though as a military brat she’s moved 7 times between 5 states, her favorite place to live is northern Virginia, where she can always find good Indian food.

Blog Posts

Cut your writing down to size: 4 bad writing habits you need to quit for your career

The main culprit behind bad writing habits? Page requirements.

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6 women who should be on the $20 bill

We reached out to Learn Liberty professors for suggestions on great women whose achievements should earn them a place on US currency.

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The most important part of networking

So you went to a networking event. You met a lot of new people, delivered your elevator speech a few dozen times, and came home with fistfuls of business cards. Networking accomplished, right?

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The introvert’s guide to ISFLC

A little planning and preparation go a long way to turn what could be an overwhelming experience into an extremely rewarding weekend.

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7 wardrobe mistakes to avoid at ISFLC

Dress for the job you want.

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How ISFLC helped me land a Cato internship

In addition to being perhaps the most well-known libertarian think tank in the U.S., the Cato Institute also runs an extremely rigorous internship program. It’s also extremely competitive. The summer term is more difficult to get into than Harvard, to give you an idea.

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Visit Cuba? The pros and cons of American tourism

Soon to be legalized Cuban tourism could help lift Cuba out of crushing poverty after of decades of socialism.

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Protect Pangolins: Promote Trade, Don’t Ban It

If conservationists truly want to protect the pangolin, they’ll need to acknowledge the incentives of the humans that threaten them, and create policies which address them.

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Kristen Bell Criticizes Wage Gap, Unintentionally Debunks It

If women really do only earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, wouldn’t employers hire women exclusively to save on labor costs?

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The Police Know Where You Live

An Associated Press investigation has revealed that, across the United States, police officers abuse their access to confidential databases to look up information on neighbors, love interests, politicians, and others…

Should Paid Surrogacy Be Illegal?

NPR’s Goats and Soda recently covered a debate in India over surrogacy. In India, there is a thriving industry of women who are paid to be surrogate mothers, carrying another couple’s…

5 Myths About School Choice

Last month, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver covered charter schools, calling for more government oversight. While Oliver explicitly declined to discuss “whether or not charter school are a good idea in principle,” his focus on failed and mismanaged charter schools has upset many charter school supporters and re-ignited debates about the value of school choice.

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Are Novels Cultural Appropriation?

Author Lionel Shriver’s keynote address at the recent Brisbane Writer’s Festival has sparked heavy criticism. Shriver, best known for her book “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, spoke out against…

You Might Be Fined for Selling Your Car

After putting a “For Sale” sign in the window of his car, which was parked on the street outside his home, Michael Cefali was surprised to receive a $50 ticket…

Are Giant Rats Free Speech?

Are giant rats free speech? This is the question at the heart of an ongoing suit in against the town of Grand Chute, Wisconsin. As a form of protest, unions will place…

Colin Kaepernick and the Freedom Not to Speak

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has sparked controversy by choosing not to stand for the national anthem. Despite shock and outrage, Kaepernick has defended this decision, telling NFL media: “I…

Dear France, Stop Encouraging Terrorism and Oppressing Women

A woman who chooses to wear a burqa, burkini, or headscarf is exercising her right to dress herself how she wishes—the same right enjoyed by women who wear bikinis or even nothing at all on French beaches. French authorities aren’t liberating Muslim women by forcing them to change their clothes. They’re oppressing them.

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How Free Speech Protects Property

Does a ban on signs on the beach infringe on property rights? Edward and DeLanie Goodwin, in partnership with the Pacific Legal Foundation, argue that it does, and have filed a…

Why I’m Thrilled That There Are More Startups Than Ever and Most of Them Fail

The beauty of the market is that it rewards people for creating value for others. Discover new means of creating value means trying new things, being entrepreneurial, and, yes: failing.

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Will This News Stop You From Protesting?

Earlier this month, the FBI released footage of the protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray filmed from the Bureau’s surveillance aircraft. While the FBI spy planes were called…

How Far Does $100 Get You In Your State?

The relative worth of a dollar is dependent on a range of factors that vary from state to state.

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Suspended Licenses Are The New Debtor’s Prison

Suspending driver’s licenses in the face of unpaid court costs is an ineffective way to force people to pay up.

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What You Need to Know About the Justice Department Prison Announcement

The DOJ’s announcement to discontinue the use of private prisons only affects about 16% of federal prisoners.

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Rio’s Olympic Hangover

The opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics, hosted in Rio de Janeiro will take place this Friday. The celebrations, however, are clouded by the problems that have pervaded Rio all summer,…

A Rule Meant to Reduce Neurosurgeon’s Fatigue Went Terribly Wrong

Because each physician works fewer hours, they have to hand off patients to other doctors, which can lead to mistakes even more serious than those caused by fatigue.

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It’s Time to Stop Banning Child Labor, and This Is Why

What activists don’t see is that, by trying to eliminate child labor, they are taking away one of the few tools that children in impoverished countries have to escape bad situations.

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How Government Helps White Criminals

In an attempt to help black people and ex-convicts land jobs, policymakers have increased the employment prospects of white ex-convicts. Professor Alex Tabarrok explains this case of public policy’s unintended…

Supreme Court Opens Door for More ‘Stop-and-Frisk’

This week, in a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained in unlawful stops can be admitted in court if the person being searched has a warrant…

Your “Right to Vote” Includes a Right That Most People Don’t Think About

There are many reasons to vote—or to decide not to vote. As we inch closer to November’s election, you might hear some of the common arguments in favor of voting: It’s your…

Government Neglects Public Parks, Raises Taxes, to Subsidize Private Stadium

A county in Georgia is raising taxes in order to pay for public parks, even as it spends $400 million to fund a new stadium for the Atlanta Braves. Further,…

These 1970s Court Cases Give Police Your Location Data With No Warrant

An appeals court ruled recently that police don’t need a warrant to access your cell phone’s location data. Several cases challenging law enforcement’s warrantless access to location data have come up…

The FBI Still Wants to Read Your Email

Despite recent setbacks, the FBI is still trying to expand its power to access citizens’ communications. This time, it wants to read your emails. Not long ago, the FBI dropped its…

You Keep Using the Word Capitalism…

We do not think it means what you think it means. There are a lot of polls about what millennials think about capitalism and socialism. According to these polls, millennials like…

The Hidden Costs of Mandatory Maternity Leave

A new bill has been proposed recently in the District of Columbia which would entitle employees to 12 weeks of paid leave when they have a child. Diana Furchgott-Roth, a…

There’s One Really Obvious Problem with Universal Basic Income

Social Security is incredibly difficult for politicians to cut or reform—any changes in the program would deprive a large portion of their voting base of benefits, which could cause politicians to lose the next election. The problem would only be worse with a universal basic income,

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Debate Over Whether FISA Lets The Government Spy on Americans Set to Escalate

The tension between government surveillance, citizens’ privacy, and national security has been an ongoing issue for years. From concerns over the Patriot Act, Edward Snowden’s leaks and the controversy over NSA surveillance, and more recently the FBI’s case against Apple over encryption, evolving technology is constantly raising new questions about surveillance and privacy.

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WhatsApp, Encryption, and Your Right to Privacy

The messaging service WhatsApp has run into problems with the Brazilian government for failing to turn over data relating to a criminal investigation. With over one billion users, the wildly…

IDK, Not Trump Tho: Donald Trump and Democracy

What’s the difference between a plurality and a majority in a democratic system? Professor Donald Boudreaux explains the huge difference in a recent post at Cafe Hayek by comparing the different…

The Danger of Safe Spaces

In a recent commencement address at the University of Michigan, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was booed after criticizing campus safe spaces. As Yahoo News reported: The whole purpose of…

Minecraft and Spontaneous Order

A recent piece in The New York Times Magazine explores the world of Minecraft and how children interact with the game. Minecraft is a game which allows players to build complex…

The Minimum Wage Experiment

In a recent post at Cafe Hayek, Professor Donald Boudreaux answers the question, “Why not regard minimum wages as social experiments? If they succeed, great. If not, they can be…

The Supreme Court Will Rule on Your Fourth Amendment Rights

It all comes down to one question: where do we draw the line between citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights and the rights of the government to conduct warrantless searches?

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Summer Jobs and Internships: How to Succeed in Interviews

Summer’s just around the corner, which means the job search is on for all of you looking for summer jobs or internships, or entering the workforce for the first time…

School Choice: How to Improve U.S. Public Education

The U.S. public school system has faced criticism for decades. Whether it’s school funding, curriculum controversies, debates over teacher compensation and tenure, or American students under performing when compared to…

Ethanol: Why is there corn in your car?

In 2012, we released a video answering the question, “Why is there corn in your Coke?” Now, Jared Meyer sat down with Robert Bryce, an energy policy expert at the…

What Causes Police Brutality?

Last month, we noted that a police officer in San Antonio was fired after he body slammed a 12-year-old girl. In addition to his excessive use of force, the officer…

Freedom of Speech on Campus: “All Lives Matter” vs. “Black Lives Matter”

A recent incident at American University’s School of Law highlights just how divisive the issue of campus speech has become. As the Washington Post reported, it began with a note: Earlier…

Tax Season is Here: Don’t forget your oyster-related tax breaks

It’s March, which means the deadline to pay your taxes is just around the corner. That makes it a great time to reflect on the complexity, and sometimes the absurdity,…

President Obama Visits Cuba, Promotes Freedom

This month, President Obama visited Cuba, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so since 1959. The President has been criticized for normalizing the U.S. relationship with Cuba, in light…

Free Speech and Censorship: No Swastikas for The Producers

Reason reported last week that a high school production of The Producers has been forbidden from using swastikas: The New York school district that oversees Tappan Zee High School considers the…

The 2016 Election and the Folly of a Brilliant President

Professor Barry Brownstein has written an excellent piece for the Foundation for Economic Education, titled “The Last Thing We Need Is a Brilliant President.” He writes that in the midst of…

Repealing the Law of Supply and Demand?

With all the excitement of the 2016 presidential election ramping up, it’s even more important to think critically about proposed government policy. Not only are voters biased, they’re often swayed…

Apple, the FBI, and the San Bernardino Phone Controversy: Explained

You might have heard some news stories about how the FBI wants Apple’s help to get into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. But what’s the big…

North Korea: What can the US do?

On Thursday, just hours after the UN passed tough sanctions on North Korea in response to the country’s recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch, North Korea further escalated tensions…

Donald Trump, NASCAR Driver: Success in Business vs Economic Knowledge

Professor Donald Boudreaux has an excellent piece over at Cafe Hayek, where he rebuts a common argument he’s been hearing lately in support of Donald Trump: Trump has proven time and…

Don’t Draft Women. Don’t Draft Anybody.

The draft has been unpopular for quite a while. Most people don’t like the idea of being forced to fight in a war, and now US citizens have even more…

Are you an authoritarian?

In a recent Politico story, Matthew MacWilliams identified the one trait which predicts if you’re a Trump supporter. It wasn’t gender, race, age, income, or religion. It’s authoritarianism. Max Borders has broken…

The Gun Control Debate, Explained With Dogs

Gun control is a topic which never fails to inspire heated debate. In addition to the vehement passion of groups which support or oppose gun control, conversations about restrictions on…

What’s Not Being Said About the Wage Gap

The gap in wages between men and women has been a topic of debate for years. With candidate Hillary Clinton shining light on the issue with promises for a Paycheck…

Why We Don’t Invade Canada

Over at Cafe Hayek, Professor Don Boudreaux has outlined an objection (or addition, really) to our recent Learn Liberty video with Peter Jaworski: War Sucks, What Is It Good For? He…

Biases and Americans’ support for bombing the city from Aladdin

A recent survey showed that 30% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats said they would support bombing Agrabah. For those of you who haven’t watched Disney’s Aladdin recently, Agrabah is the…

The Loopiest Ideas of 2015

Every year has its own weird economic ideas which crop up. Back in 2012, there was the talk of the economic “silver lining” to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy…

The Death Star: Building It, Not Destroying It, Was the Catastrophe

You might have come across this recent article which argues that destroying the Death Star in Star Wars would have economically crippled the galaxy. There are a number of problems with…

Minimum Wage and Employment: Debunking the Oft-Cited 1994 Study

Preston Cooper over at Economics 21 has written an excellent piece about minimum wage’s effects on employment. Economics teaches us that when you raise the price of a good, the amount…

The Hunger Games as a Political Allegory

Over at the Foundation for Economic Education, Jeffrey Tucker has broken down the political allegories of the Hunger Games. With the long-awaited finale of the Hunger Games series just recently…

Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and the Economy: The Economics of Black Friday Sales

As the holiday season begins, you might be getting a lot of emails about Black Friday sales. Over time, the store openings for many retailers on Black Friday has been…

Republican Debate: More of the Same?

Last night’s Republican debate was two hours of 10 candidates doing their best to distinguish themselves from the many people hoping to win the 2016 presidential election. While there were…