Lebanon 2017 Winter Program

By Ken Schoolland On December 15, Patrick Mardini, President of the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies (LIMS) hosted activists from 5 major political parties: the Future Movement Party, the Lebanese Forces Party, the Lebanese Kataeb Party, the Azm Movement, and the National Liberal Party (December 15). I was invited to be the facilitator for this workshop, the final step of LIMS Leaders Academy in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Lebanon and Syria, a yearly intensive economic capacity building program, aiming to empower party representatives to draft market-oriented policy propositions for feasible solutions in Lebanon. My wife was invited to give the keynote address at the graduation banquet for the International Federation of Liberal Youth’s (IFLY) 42nd annual General Assembly. On December 16, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Lebanon and Syria hosted the Liberal Alphabet Series, E: EnterTraining Liberals with a presentation on the use of my book for economics training, now published in 50+ languages worldwide, including Arabic, French, and English for use in Lebanon.   My wife, Li, gave presentations about China and I gave presentations about migration and prosperity at roundtable events for young leaders of the Democratic Renewal Political Party (December 19), the Lebanese Political Forces Political Party (December 20), AZM University (December 21), and the Future Movement Political Party (December 21).        

LI plans for 2018

December, 2017 Dear Friends of LI, Thanks to the support by many of you, during 2017 Liberty International continued to spread the ideas of individual liberty and help the growth of a world liberty movement that is working for peace, freedom and prosperity. We held an excellent World Conference in Puerto Rico. We held a special Health Care conference in Austin, Texas. Liberty Camps were held in several countries. The 8th annual China Austrian Economics Summer School was held in Shenyang. Yet more book translations were completed. The revival of the LI educational outreach papers, and loading of a new YouTube video channel are underway. We plan to do even more this coming year – starring our Krakow 2018 World Conference!   Building Networks – Puerto Rico World Conference Liberty International held its 33rd World Conference August 8-12 at the Fajardo Inn, about 30 miles east of San Juan.  Nearly 80 participants came from 4 continents, including from as far away as Kazakhstan and Mongolia! Kudos to LI director Lobo Tiggre, who helped find the nice Fajardo Inn venue at a bargain price.  The staff was friendly and helpful, as we found among Puerto Ricans in general.  Our hearts go out to the people of Puerto Rico, who are only slowly recovering from the two devastating hurricanes just weeks after our conference. LI president Ken Schoolland assembled a large and talented international lineup of 34 speakers, who presented on a wide range of topics. Countries represented were Venezuela, Sweden, Peru, Poland, Guatemala, Netherlands, Brazil, Mongolia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Romania, Japan, Kazakhstan, and the USA – including 8 Puerto Rican speakers.  Nancy & Geoffrey Nealehelped with hotel liaison and post-conference excursions. We also want to give special thanks to Tere Nolla, director of the CentroCRECE think-tank in San Juan.  In addition to helping recruit local attendees, she arranged …

New book by Khalil Ahmad – Reconstructing the Social Contract: Principles for the Organization of Human Society

Reconstructing the Social Contract: Principles for the Organization of Human Society By Khalil Ahmad Society is quite a larger sphere wherein role of the state is limited; however, in Pakistan the state has taken over its society. That has distorted our society in innumerable ways. Since the theory of state is based on a theory of society, the author of the book, Imrani Muhaiday Ki Tashkeel- e-Nau (Reconstructing the Social Contract: Principles for the Organization of Human Society) set out to have a review of the theories of society and the theories of social contract, and eventually, after attempting a critique of them, came to formulate a new theory of social contract basing it on the original “social compact” which brings people together to live. And it is this social contract between the people that as a direct result of their living together brings a market into existence through which they fulfill their various and ever newer needs. And as life got complicated and busier, the need for the “commodity” of protection of life and property arose, some of the people took up the fulfillment of this need as a business, and thus there were various solutions available in the market, from hired guards to private armies to the state. But, with the advent of the institution of the state, the author emphasizes, the nature of the market does not change; the institution of the market essentially remains intact. What happens thus is only the addition of a player, the state, to the market, the basic function of which is still to provide protection of life and property, and individual rights and freedoms to all the players present in the market. This calls for a different role for the political parties: they as the players in the market of political ideas are sort of business-like entities proposing/selling …

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 …

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