Tag: Economic Development

Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore’s Transformation from Poor to Prosperous »

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s legendary statesman, who died last month at the age of 91, posed a challenge to those of us who believe in political and economic freedom (and all other freedoms). His combination of authoritarianism and economic freedom, of social engineering and self-reliance, worked. The result was a society that is more…
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The “Miracle” of Kirznerian Entrepreneurship »

I learned a lot about miracles recently thanks to a penetrating sermon by pastor Mark McNees of Element3 Church, a “progressive” non-denominational church in Tallahassee. And it prompted a lot of thinking about markets and entrepreneurship, particularly entrepreneurship as conceived by Austrian economists, most notably Israel Kirzner. (Kirzner is required reading in my social…
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What Makes a Miserable Country? »

Venezuela is the world’s most miserable country, according to a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University who have calculated a World Misery Index. “Misery” is measured as the sum of a country’s inflation rate, unemployment rate, and interest rate, minus the annual percentage change in real GDP per capita. The higher the total…
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It’s Called Recovery, but Where’s the Beef? »

Many economists and other analysts have recognized that the recovery from the U.S. economy’s most recent contraction has been unusually weak—weaker, for example, than any other since World War II. But analysts have disagreed in characterizing the current recovery, which according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the semi-official arbiter of business-cycle chronology,…
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Apocalypse Not: The Legacy of Julian Simon »

“The ultimate resource is people—especially skilled, spirited, and hopeful young people endowed with liberty—who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit and inevitably benefit the rest of us as well.” —Julian Simon February 12 marks the birthday of the late economist Julian Simon (1932–1998). On this special occasion, I wish to…
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How Much Longer Can the U.S. Economy Bear the Burdens? »

Ordinary people, and sometimes experts as well, tend to overreact to short-term economic changes. The current economic malaise in the United States and Europe has brought forth a bevy of commentators convinced that this time the economy has taken a permanent turn for the worse. Never again, they declare, will we enjoy growing prosperity…
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Death Valley? Peter Thiel and Steve Jobs on What Could Kill Silicon Valley »

On January 27, legendary entrepreneur Peter Thiel told a packed house at an Independent Institute luncheon, at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, that to blaze new trails ask: “What important truth do very few people agree with me on?” One of mine is that California will not be the epicenter of the tech…
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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life »

“The twenty-first century will be a magnificent time to be alive. Dare be an optimist.” —Matt Ridley On November 12, 2014, the world watched with excitement as another historic human achievement unfolded: After a decade-long journey that covered 4 billion miles in space, the first human spacecraft landed on a comet. This remarkable event…
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The Malvinas versus Argentina »

I hope someone has the cheek to send Argentine President Cristina Kirchner a copy of the Statistical Yearbook 2014 published by the Falkland Islands Government—preferably without giving too many hints of their identity, if they want to avoid serious trouble. Regardless of what one thinks about the sovereignty issue, few documents in recent memory…
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Amazon’s “Dark Side” Is a Bright Spot for Workers and Consumers »

Jim Hightower is an old-fashioned Texas progressive, who, if memory serves, once ran unsuccessfully for the governorship of that state. He may be a great polemicist – see “The Dark Side of Amazon” – but he does not know the first thing about how markets work and how Amazon.com, like Wal-Mart, is a benefactor…
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