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 …

Positive Changes for Nepal

The month of May brought some very positive changes for Nepal. With the first round of local elections successfully held after almost 20 years, there is fresh hope and jubilation in people. Political parties have also generally accepted the results. Upholding people’s choices in this way is indeed a mature gesture from our political leaders. New challenges now lie ahead. Representative local governments shall be a novelty in the country, and flexing responsibility by those newly elected will come with its own set of learning curves. Similarly, growth rebounded to a two-decade high of 7.5%, albeit with many exogenous factors. Sustaining this growth is also another challenge for us. Our researcher has identified a number of fundamental pillars to create a conducive environment for sustaining this economic growth. A recent World Bank report also stresses that Nepal needs to seriously reform its policies and create more room for competition in order to sustain growth. Our commentaries on the need to remodel public education system, and malpractices committed by the petroleum sector monopoly further highlight this need to ensure competition. We are happy to see that idea of strategic partnership between Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Lufthansa, which our study also advocates as a necessary reform for making the NAC more competitive in the market, is gaining ground. Along this line, instatement of local governments within the new federal constitutional provisions lays down genuine reasons to be optimistic about inter-local government competition. The recently-unveiled fiscal budget (unlike past years) does not specify any new programs; however, it does give considerable financial responsibilities to local governments. Now that human capital is going to one of the greatest resources for any local jurisdiction, it will be particularly interesting to see what kinds of economic policies these local governments will adopt to retain and …

The ambush of African philosophy: an exhumation of classical liberal principles in the evolution of Africa societies

Author: Ibraham B. Anoba Full paper available at the author’s webpage, here. Abstract The persistent resentment towards classical liberal principles especially individualism and free market in contemporary Africa, represents an outcome of decades of ambush against the ideology despite its clear connections with traditional African philosophy and relevance to the prosperity of modern African states. This work attempts to draw comparisons between social and economic organisation in traditional Africa and classical liberal principles. Contrary to literatures that portray the community as the real and only end in traditional African societies, elements like free trade; market economy; consensus; anarchy and limited governance negates this position. While tracing the cause of Africa’s cling to socialism and communism, this paper presents an ideological transition from pre-colonialism to nationalist and post-independent Africa. It concludes by demystifying the arguments of individualism as antithetical to African morality. It also justified the inevitability of classical liberal principles in modern Africa. Key words: Classical Liberalism; African Humanism; Ubuntu; Individualism; African Morality; Free Market INTRODUCTION There is rarely a fiercely contested ideology in Africa as classical liberalism – often relegated to capitalism. The annihilation of the African academia by radical-socialists and Marxian philosophers since the 20th century greatly influenced the presentation of the origins of African life as purely socialist. Whereas, later inquiries revealed philosophical patterns that correlates with classical liberalism and other ideas. They also debunked the universality of communalism and social welfarism in traditional Africa. Although, the social and economic structures in some traditional African communities were communally designed, only because communalism was seen as the formal and best means for societal organization based on factors like population, kinship, and tribal solidarity. On a broader spectrum, qualities like respect for individual happiness, personal interest and dignity were equally permitted. And in numerous communities as would be later revealed, …

Trump should end the Federal Reserve to save American jobs

President Donald Trump has blamed countries overseas for, “Stealing our jobs,” but in reality, it’s inflation caused by the Federal Reserve that has been causing the loss of American jobs. Ever since the Federal Reserve began printing money on a massive scale in the 1970s, the American economy has suffered the effects of inflation. This caused American wages to rise, which led to companies moving their jobs overseas to find cheaper labor. Americans upset about losing their jobs will probably find no relief from President Trump, who recently said he would increase spending on a massive scale for infrastructure and the military. Presumably, these increases would be paid for by printing even more money, which would lead to more inflation, and perhaps even more outsourcing. Although Donald Trump gave lip service to auditing the Federal Reserve during the campaign, he has made little mention of the FED since taking office. But the ability to print money will likely be too tempting for President Trump to pass up, as it has been for almost all American presidents. Instead, President Trump has embarked on clueless protectionist policies like tariffs, trade wars and publicly singling out companies to keep American jobs in the country. These “solutions” will only make the pain worse for American families, who will pay the higher prices. America is not the only nation to inflate it’s money supply, but the effect of the higher prices for wages has led to a mass migration of jobs out of the country, to countries where wages and costs of doing business are lower. Of course, the Federal Reserve is not the sole reason that jobs are leaving America, but it is one of many. In addition to monetary inflation, there are the costs of state and federal taxes and regulations that cause employers to flee the US. If President Trump really wanted to bring …

Can economists predict the future?

I can make a prediction that will almost definitely come true: On July 28th, 2061, a bright comet will appear in the night sky. Of course, this is not my prediction, but Edmond Halley’s — which is where the name Halley’s comet comes from. Unfortunately, Halley died before he could view Halley’s comet for himself, but he is proven correct every 76 years. In a similar way, the economist Ludwig von Mises predicted the collapse of socialism. He also died before he could view the collapse of the socialist economies of his time, but he has been proven correct again and again. How did Mises and Halley know such bold things about the future? And how can we use their insight to make our own predictions about the future? The answer has less to do with mathematics, and more to do with simple logic. For Halley, he deduced that a comet going around the sun would be seen again in the future, and he was correct. But for Mises, the problem was a bit more complex, because there was no bright object in the sky for him to look at. Mises understood the many problems with socialism, and the inevitable collapse of such a system. He wrote about his findings in, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth“. In this landmark essay, Mises proved that socialism could not work because the price system was broken. In a purely socialist system, prices are made up by bureaucrats, and this causes all kinds of chaos. Without real prices, no one has any clue how much anything really costs. When this happens, the entire system collapses. Mises and Halley predicted the future, but in reality, they were explaining a phenomenon, like a law of nature. Just like Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes, …

Liberals embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President

Liberals in the US are beginning to embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President. BBC News reported that liberal gun purchases may be rising, and liberal gun clubs are seeing a big boost in membership. Some liberals say they are buying guns to defend themselves against potential tyranny from the Trump administration. Gwendolyn Patton, a member of Pink Pistols, a club for gay, lesbian and transgender gun owners, told the BBC, “There are people who have professed to carrying a gun now because Trump made them feel unsafe . . . I think their fears are groundless but I can’t make them not be afraid, so whatever they need to do to feel safer, I don’t have a problem as long as they do it responsibly.” The change in attitude is a stark contrast to liberal views about gun ownership during the Obama years, when CNN host Piers Morgan scored high ratings calling for a ban on assault rifles. In 2013, Piers Morgan asked Ben Shapiro, “Why do they need those weapons?” Ben answered, “They need them for the prospective possibility of resistance to tyranny.” Piers asked, “Where do you expect the tyranny to come from?” Ben answered, “The tyranny would come from the government.” Piers asked, “Barack Obama’s government?” Yes, back then, it was almost impossible for liberals to imagine why anyone would be afraid of Barack Obama’s government. But now that Donald Trump will be president, many people see him and his administration as tyrannical. So will liberals become more pro 2nd amendment? For some people, the tyranny may not be so far fetched, as Trump said that he would deport 3 million undocumented immigrants after his inauguration. Some liberals may wish to defend against this — perhaps even with a gun, or an AR-15 rifle. For some people, …