Tag: Latin America

Brazil—Back to Normality »

Brazil’s presidential election has confirmed that, after a few weeks in which environmentalist candidate Marina Silva and her “new kind of politics” turned things upside down, everything is back to normal: the governing Workers Party (PT) is a hegemonic force, the Social Democratic Party (PSDB) is a convenient opposition and, despite the increasing impatience...
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Obama: The Unbearable Lightness of Being on Immigration »

President Obama’s decision to postpone executive action on immigration is probably the nail in the coffin for comprehensive reform under the current government—regardless of whether the president has the constitutional authority to bypass Congress or not, which is not the topic of this post. Whatever reform comes after the midterm elections, if any, will...
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Piketty and Emerging Markets »

Much has been said to refute Thomas Piketty’s important book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, from the perspective of developed countries, but not from the standpoint of emerging markets. His contention that the rate of return of capital, roughly twice the rate of growth of the economy, leads to increasing inequality is not consistent with...
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Leopoldo Lopez: Venezuela’s “Dangerous Man” »

After several days in hiding, Leopoldo López, one of the leaders of Venezuela’s resistance movement, turned himself in at a massive protest rally and proclaimed: “If my imprisonment serves to wake up people...it will have been worth it.” The Chavista dictatorship headed by Nicolás Maduro has charged him with acts of violence related to...
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Venezuela: The End of Newspapers? »

I recently got a call from the owner and editor of “El Nacional,” the longstanding Venezuelan daily, in which Miguel Henrique Otero told me that things are even worse than what has been reported in relation to his country’s newspaper industry. Since the end of last year, the government has refused to allow the...
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U.S. War on Poverty Failed While Global Poverty Declined 80%: Economic Liberalization Begets Prosperity and Equality »

50 years after LBJ declared a “War on Poverty,” the U.S. would do well to take a page from the global playbook—whereby economic liberalization and more open trade has resulted in an 80% decline in abject poverty since 1976. The graphs below, taken from the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, “Parametric Estimations...
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Venezuela’s Price Police »

The Venezuelan government’s war on price inflation is not a metaphorical one—last weekend President Maduro, who owes his title to April’s rigged election, ordered the military takeover of Daka, a chain of electronic stores, and the arrest of several managers from that and other retail companies. The rhetoric employed by Maduro was inevitably interpreted...
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Donald S. Barnhart (July 18, 1925—September 8, 2009) »

In the fall of 1963, I transferred from Fresno State College, where I had recently completed my sophomore year, and enrolled in San Francisco State College, where I studied for two years and then was graduated in 1965. By the beginning of my senior year, I had already completed all of the requirements for...
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Latin America and the Fed Factor »

We recently got a glimpse of what will happen to Latin America once the Federal Reserve stops printing money like crazy. Ben Bernanke’s mere suggestion, back in May, that he might begin to slow the purchase of securities (“tapering,” in financial parlance) was enough to cause $1.5 trillion to evaporate in emerging markets as...
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Coming Soon: The Strange Case of the Chong Chon Gang »

This is a bizarre story that challenges any logical explanation. Any? Well, not exactly. We are inclined to believe that our personal sense of risk and rewards is shared by everyone. We are wrong. Totalitarian and fascist leaders have their own logic for approaching reality. Friends and foes of the Cuban government were recently puzzled...
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