Bolivia: A liberty hell

By José Manuel Ormachea For the last few years, most of the regional analysis as to the status of civil, political and economic liberties has focused on the Venezuelan crisis. Nonetheless, there is another country where a crisis is taking place and basic freedoms are at stake. That country is Bolivia. Bolivia has always been poor regarding protection of individual rights and liberties, but since President Evo Morales took office back in 2006, most threats to civil rights not only stayed untouched, but actually multiplied at a scale not seen since the days of the military dictatorships. A study named “Doing Business 2016” made by the World Bank places Bolivia between the 32 worst countries in the world to have a business. This particular phenomenon has to do mostly with the legal uncertainties the country presents for local and international investors. It is normal to identify Bolivia as an “unfriendly” environment for businesses, and to see neighbors like Brazil, Chile and Peru as potential partners. This tends to happen in economic sectors that Bolivia has in common with other South American countries; like the wool industry, nuts, quinoa, soy, and, most recently, the lithium industry. The general perception of uncertainty is due to a risk of social unrest the country continuously shows, as a vicious cycle not even the Morales´ administration (the longest and most “stable” the landlocked country has ever had) could change in the last decade. According to CERES foundation, for the last four decades the Andean nation suffered at least 1 roadblock, strike or protest every day of every week and more than 50 social conflicts per month. This non-stop social unrest, which naturally led to the existence of a very small, weak, private and formal sector, is the most important reason why 70% of the Bolivian economy …

Mu Aye Pu – City of tomorrow

This will be the founding of a city of tomorrow in the jungle, and there will be nothing quite like it in the world. We are turning a former war zone into an amazing oasis of peace and prosperity that will be home to 100,000 or more people.

Killing Indonesia’s future with kindness

Let low-income communities like the ones in Koja have the freedom to build their own schools, and let poor parents decide what education they want for their children. Then step back and watch children flourish.

Urgent Help Needed for Libertarian Flood Victims in Sierra Leone

  by Mustapha Cole and the Sierra Leone Liberty Group “A massive flood and mudslides hit our desperately poor West African country of Sierra Leone on August 14 that claimed more than 1000 lives. The secretary of our Sierra Leone Liberty Group, Mohamed, lost all of his property and one member of his family. I, too, lost my home. We are calling for urgent help for Mohamed and myself in the amount of $2500 to fix up our own homes. Any extra funds will be used to help other homeless in our community. The sooner the better, as we also face the possibility of a cholera outbreak, as happened after floods in 2012. The more money we can raise, the more people we can help.” Liberty International’s Executive Director Jim Elwood reports that LI is collecting money to assist Mustapha, Mohamed, and if possible, their neighbors. The funds will be transferred to Mustapha Cole, President of the Sierra Leone Liberty Group (SLLG) in Freetown. Mr. Cole will distribute funds and will document how these are processed. The situation in Sierra Leone from this flooding is dire and urgent. Please help!   [Ed. Note: Mustapha Cole lost members of his own family in the Ebola epidemic a few years ago, yet was active in private efforts to combat the disease, with government health aid virtually non-existent. Last year he organized a student liberty seminar. We have previously sent him funds for his liberty work and can vouch for him].

Congress Should Let Puerto Rico Offer Immigrant Work Visas

Arnaldo Cruz and Marc Joffe Most observers trace Puerto Rico’s financial crisis to a long economic recession on the island, a downturn that is often blamed on Congress’ decision to phase out the tax exemption on Puerto Rican corporate earnings between 1996 and 2006. A deeper look at the numbers suggests that something else is happening — and that an out-of-the-box policy change could turn around the island’s economy. Rather than ask the federal government for statehood, Puerto Rico’s government should instead request the option to issue territorial work visas. Government statistics show that Puerto Rico’s GDP has fallen about 5 percent over the last 10 years.  But per capita GDP has remained flat. So the mega-recession is attributable to population loss. After peaking at 3.83 million in 2004, the island’s population fell to 3.41 million last year. The loss is concentrated among young people and families. The proportion of Puerto Ricans over 65 has risen from 12 percent in 2004 to 14.5 percent last year. Puerto Rico’s insolvency is not the first municipal bond default triggered by population issues. Detroit went bankrupt after a catastrophic fall in population over a period of decades. Long forgotten is the wave of Florida municipal bond defaults that occurred in the late 1920s and 1930s. In the early 1920s, civic leaders borrowed in anticipation of mass migration to the state. But after a hurricane and fruit fly epidemic, people stopped coming and cities couldn’t shoulder the debts they had taken on. Puerto Rico’s population decline is attributable to falling birth rates and out-migration. Some people have left the island due to corporate downsizing, but many more are leaving to pursue better opportunities on the mainland. Census figures show that Puerto Rico has suffered net out-migration of 360,000 since 2010. Since Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, there is no restriction on them …

Corruption and Liberty in Peru

Transcript from Jorge Luis Hérnandez Chanduví speech at the Liberty International World Conference in Puerto Rico. I was gladly surprised when I received an invitation from my friend Ken Scholland to participate in this important event. I was surprised because I hadn’t heard from him in a while and I was happy because I am very interested in freedom related topics and I defend freedom and I promote it in every opportunity that life offers me. As a personal confession, my father was a businessman who despites the government in all its forms, even though sometimes he didn’t clearly understand what exactly he hated. I grow up hearing him say that the government didn’t let him work. In other words, the government didn’t let him generate wealth as a consequence of keeping benefiting others with his work. I also heard him say many times that commerce is the one activity that will more likely take us out of poverty. This speech and everything that I will say today is no more that the development of my father’s ideas. Well, let’s get right to the topic that we are supposed to discuss today. What is corruption? Why does it exist? What is the relation between corruption and any given government system? What is the first thing that comes to your mind, my friends, when you hear the word Peru? Is it Machu Picchu? Is it MVLL? If this were the case, I would be very happy. Although, for those who follow Latin America news, Peru can also means Alberto Fujimori, one of the few south american former presidents incarcerated for crimes that go all the way from embezzlement to kidnapping and homicide. In fact, he was convicted for the murder of nine students and one professor from La Cantuta University in …

MA program at CEVRO Institute

Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) – 3-trimester international master’s program in Prague, Modeled on University of Oxford. Integrates political philosophy, politics and political economy, Renowned lecturers from Czech, US and European universities

Get a FREE Digital Copy of Healing Our World When You Help Its Romanian Translator

When the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, and the Soviet Union crumbled, books about liberty in Eastern European languages were non-existent. A few passionate liberty-lovers rectified this by spending their free time translating pivotal freedom-oriented books into their native languages. Valentina Nicolaie was one of those intrepid individuals. She translated Healing Our World and several other important books into her native language (Anthem, by Ayn Rand; The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible by Ken Schoolland; La liberte – deux ou trois choses que je connais d elle by Christian Michel, and Defending the Undefendable, by Walter Block). Finally, Romanians could learn about freedom’s benefits in their own language! Valentina received little or no compensation for this monumental work. Now Valentina needs our help. She has metastatic breast cancer and wasn’t able to withstand the recommended chemotherapy. Valentina has turned instead to alternative methods, such as high dose Vitamin C infusions, but, as in the U.S., she’ll need to pay out of her own pocket. Liberty International, formerly International Society for Individual Liberty, is raising funds to help Valentina. We awarded her the Bruce Evoy Memorial Award in 2001 for her dedicated service to liberty under trying conditions in her country. Your contribution towards her medical fund is tax-deductible. Best of all, EVERY contributor will receive a PDF of Valentina’s Romanian translation of the 1992 edition of Healing Our World to share with any Romanians that you might know. Donors who contribute $25 or more will also get a Kindle, ePub, and PDF of the 2015 English edition of Healing, which sells on www.ruwart.com for $9.99. Please note: You will receive the complimentary copies via e-mail August 20. Please contribute now and help Valentina live to translate another day! We use Stripe.com, one of the most secure and reputable payment processors …