Entrepreneurial Communities

Is a mall a community? Yes, argues Spencer H. MacCullum, an American anthropologist, business consultant and author. “The first, what you might call entrepreneurial community, was the hotel,” said Spencer. He gave the example of the Tremont House in Boston in the 1830s as the first modern hotel. After this came the development of apartment buildings, office buildings, industrial parks, and the first shopping centers. Spencer estimated that some shopping centers, for example in Las Vegas, Nevada, have populations greater than the population of some cities. “They are communities,” said Spencer, “If you look at a hotel, it has its streets and alleys, its corridors. The lobby is the city square and perhaps park, and so on. You have a prevision of utilities and you have a security office there that works very nicely, very quietly. If you misbehave, you may find yourself very quietly outside the hotel.” “It has a transportation system,” Spencer added, “which happens to operate vertically instead of horizontally.” According to Spencer H. MacCullum, this model may be better in many ways, because the public services are provided by the entrepreneurial interest of the property owner, as opposed to when property is subdivided and sold off. When property is subdivided and sold off, the owners do not have the experience to provide their own public services, “so they tend to form a political organization of some kind to finance through taxes and regulations and to enforce rules,” said Spencer. Watch the full interview below: Produced by New Media | UFM 2013 http://www.newmedia.ufm.edu http://www.ufm.edu

Indonesian Democracy: Economic & Political Freedom

Rizal Mallarangeng gave a talk at the International Society for Individual Liberty World Conference and Market Liberalization in Bali on June 29, 2015. The purpose of the talk was to give a brief assessment of Indonesia as a starting point to discuss how best to help the country growing in the direction of a free and prosperous society. “Indonesia has been a democracy for more than a decade.  The third biggest in the world.  Democratic transitions are always difficult, even under the best of circumstances.  Especially for a large and plural society like Indonesia. But I think we have passed the most difficult task.  When the country was on the verge of breaking apart in the early years of the transition.  When the the 1998 financial crisis brought the country almost to it’s knees.  That was a period of growing pains.  When the challenges are at their greatest. Fortunately, perhaps because of our foundation as a nation was deep and strong, Indonesia held on and survived.  The trials of that period made us stronger. Among the biggest gains we have made so far is the growing consensus that we are not turning back.  Freedom, democracy, open society, protection of basic rights.  These are now part of Indonesia, which we are going to protect and transfer to the next generation and beyond. In retrospect, it was some kind of miracle.  Freed from authoritatiran rule in 1998, more than 100 million individuals exercised the right of free choice peacefully in about half a million voting stations electing leaders in three levels of government.  It was moving, it was beautiful, and we have done it in three cycles of election to date. Besides that, we have also managed to maintain our moderation, and our religious tolerance.  We know this has not been easy. …

Women for Liberty

Doing Our Bit for Liberty in Nepal By Riya Basnet South Asia Women For Liberty (SAWFL) conducted a workshop on “Women and Liberty” to connect women with an organization that can help them commercialize their ideas. We have successfully connected 15 women from Mahendranagar to organizations such as Seva Nepal and Krishi Club that now provide skills, training, and assistance in making a living. At a secret meeting place in called Jitpur, we held our first workshop on April 9, 2015 with 35 participants. The prime goal of our workshop was to inspire these young ladies to empower women and change society. The workshop began with an introduction to SAWFL and sharing success stories of our recent project development. The second session was followed as a discussion where some women came forward to share their experiences. One among them was 32-year old Shanti Mallaha who has been running a small liquor shop after the death of her husband. She sales are good, but most nights a few cops hang around and take liquor without paying. This caused her to lose $3, which she says is equal to half of the monthly cost of caring for her child. Shanti could neither complain nor could she speak a word against them. Thirty-six year old Munni Mallaha added by saying, “Rudeness and abuse of authority are the general traits of these officials. I have gone to the authorities to get my national identity card, but every time I go they ask me for $5. I earn $2 to $3 per day and if I give them $5, my family will starve the next two days.” There are so many women who are facing similar problems. These women have to wait for the right season to earn a living. Fisherwomen have to wait for …

Reverse Eminent Domain

Imagine you were going home, and you noticed a bulldozer on your property about to topple your house to the ground.  The man next to the bulldozer holding a clipboard might say, “Sorry, this property is ours now, because we can make a better use of it.  But don’t worry, we’ll pay you what we think it’s worth.”  Sad as it may sound, this scenario is common around the world, and it’s known as eminent domain. Eminent domain is the process by which government can take private land, if it’s in the “public interest”.  For example, if it’s in the public interest to build a railroad through your property, the government can bulldoze your house. The logic of eminent domain works like this: whoever has the most “interest” in a piece of property should be able to own it.  So if the public interest outweighs the private interest, then the public should own the property. But how about the reverse?  Can private individuals take public land, if the private interest is greater? After all, wouldn’t it be nice to take a failing public library, and turn it into a successful private bookstore?  Or a successful apartment complex?  Or a mall?  Or a grassy field for cows?  Private entrepreneurs could compete to show significant evidence that their project would use the public property better than the government. Imagine a government rail project that was failing.  Ridership was down, and the project was hemorrhaging taxpayer dollars.  By the logic of eminent domain, shouldn’t a private individual be able to jump in a bulldozer and demolish the failed rail project, if they had a plan to do something more productive with the property? Across America, there are 77,000 empty or underutilized government buildings, which cost taxpayers $1.7 billion a year.   That’s because the …

Free State farmers’ historic land reform plan to lift workers from generational poverty

An historic meeting took place at Weiveld Boerevereniging, Parys, on Friday 17 October 2014, when twenty four farmers agreed to pay R750,000 to a land reform project, that will assist their employees to become homeowners for the first time and see 406 houses converted to freehold. The ‘Khaya Lam’ land reform project has the backing of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the support of all political parties in Ngwathe. Driven by the Free Market Foundation (FMF) and initiated and led by Parys farmer and entrepreneur Perry Feldman, this project means that hundreds of poor and deprived families and individuals will get their first step towards true economic freedom and economic prosperity. Educating the new homeowners on how to manage their new asset is a vital part of the plan. Land reform is a highly emotive and increasingly political divisive issue, yet these Free State farmers, without political motive or public fanfare, are quietly helping local black citizens to get access to freehold title of the homes they currently occupy under Apartheid era regulations. This is a first in South Africa and stands as a prime example of what can be achieved if all parties involved are committed to the principle and ideal of full title for homeowners. Khaya Lam is a tangible and practical example of real ownership restoration in action. It is a blueprint which can be readily taken up and adopted throughout the country where poor families live in generational poverty, never having the means to access credit, finance and opportunities. A title deed is a profound game changer for millions of this country’s poorest citizens: it is a tangible asset against which they can borrow money, earn rental income and begin to change their family’s socioeconomic circumstances. It is a simple but profoundly effective plan. Feldman …

The Private Security Industry In Brazil

Walking down the street here in Brazil one can spot many signs on homes and businesses warning criminals that the property is protected by company X. For a free market proponent like myself this was a particularly interesting observation which prompted me to do some research. One problem many Brazilians complain about is corruption. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index has Brazil consistently hovering around 70th place in the world in recent years. Considering that any score below 50 indicates a serious corruption problem, Brazil’s public sector corruption level is given the thumbs down with a score of 42. It should be no surprise, therefore, that over 60 percent of Brazilians distrust the police. The problem is particularly serious in the state of Rio de Janeiro, where extortion by police is the most common. While a 2012 crackdown resulted in the arrests of 63 Rio police officers, the Mensalão (Big Monthly Payment) scandal exemplifies the pervasiveness of corruption in many if not all layers of government. In 2010 an industry trade association in the state of São Paolo estimated the average annual cost of corruption as roughly between $32 billion and $53 billion. While the Mensalão scandal had a big impact on then-president Lula’s administration, for most Brazilians corrupt police comes at a much greater cost. According to Human Rights Watch “police officers in Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo routinely resort to lethal force”, killing more than a thousand people every year in those two cities alone. Since 2003 more than 11,000 residents of Brazil’s two major cities have lost their lives at the hands of police. Though police reports often claim the victim(s) resisted arrest, Human Rights Watch reports that forensic evidence contradicted the official version of events in many cases. Such abuse of power is pervasive and in …

33,000 Cheers for Liberty in South Africa!

One hundred years after the 1913 Native Land Act was passed in South Africa, the first fully tradable title deeds were released to black home owners in the Ngwathe municipality in the Free State province. Initiated in 2010, the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam (my house) project serves to convert land currently held under a complex variety of restrictive tenures and titles to unambiguous, freely tradable ownership. Secure property rights represent one of the most important requirements for the protection of both economic freedom and civil liberties. The Ngwathe municipality prides itself on the extent to which it has implemented land transformation for black South Africans. Virtually all black-occupied land has been properly surveyed, included in town planning schemes, proclaimed, and registered in the deeds registry. The objective of the ambitious but achievable project is to have all lawfully held plots in South Africa upgraded to unambiguous, tradable and mortgageable ownership at no cost to the lawful residents In consultation with the FMF, the Ngwathe municipality has resolved to become the first urban area in South Africa where all land is privately held under full freehold title on the basis of complete equality between whites and blacks. The project is truly historic and has the potential to be the first ever large-scale substantive project to undo the land disempowerment of apartheid that is still endured by millions of South Africans. It will set a precedent for reform of its kind to continue in South Africa, in other developing countries, and perhaps even in developed countries. Most of all, it will unlock the economic potential of thousands of householders, opening the door for large-scale economic growth and liberating millions of individuals in the process. Hernando de Soto, said in his internationally best-selling book, The Mystery of Capital, that throughout the …

The Inverse Relationship Between Criminality and Freedom

“The subject is criminality and freedom, and I will try to argue that from a libertarian perspective, these two concepts are in a very simple relationship of inverse proportionality, so the more that crime pervades, the less liberty there is; and conversely so. There is a kind of mathematical formula, which says that liberty is equal to 1/criminality, so it is the inverse of criminality. Of course this formula should not be taken too seriously, I will not try to measure the variables, but it is quite suggestive I think as a kind of summary or visualisation of the subject of this lecture. The first point is that it is very unsatisfactory for the thinking mind to define crime as any violation of the legal system as it exists at this particular moment, or in this particular country. Criminality needs to be defined in the framework of a theory of justice and I will use the very good and very convincing theory of justice of Murray Rothbard, as he developed it in his famous book The Ethics of Liberty.” [alert style=”grey”]The full talk is exclusively for ISIL members. If you are a member, type the password you’ve been sent below to view the video and transcription. If you haven’t yet received the password, request it here. If you’re not a member and would like to join the ISIL family for access to extra talks and resources, sign up here today![/alert] [protect password=”LAUSANNE!@#$”] [button url=”http://isil.org/conferences/lausanne-2013/” style=”blue” size=”small”]See more videos from the Lausanne Conference[/button] [highlight type=”grey”]This is a transcription of the Renaud Fillieule’s talk at the ISIL 2013 World Conference.[/highlight] [highlight type=”grey”]Transcribed and edited by Kenli S.[/highlight] Many thanks to ISIL for this invitation, and especially to Christian Michel who invited me to speak at this conference. Introduction I am an Austrian Economist, I’ve been working …