Post of the week. Paul Monk on The Challenge of an Islamic Reformation and the need to revive the spirit of the Congress for Cultural Freedom that kept the idea of freedom alive through the Cold War and mount a fresh defence of civilization in the battle of ideas against Islamism and its fellow travellers in the western democracies.
There is a lot to feel gloomy about. But there is also a great deal to defend and extend. That is a cultural task and a matter of ideas and articulate debate. Neither complacency nor cynicism will serve us. We need, once more, to find the energy and imagination to champion the open society and the scientific enlightenment. We should do so unapologetically and vigorously. If we do not engage in the struggle of ideas of our time in this manner, we could lose—catastrophically. That’s why we need a new Congress for Cultural Freedom, under any other name and however it is funded.
Economics. Planning to create unemployment.
There comes a point where the continual mandating of benefits and restrictions on hiring has big consequences. We can see the handwriting on the wall in Europe as well as in the US. In Europe the young are more and more being left out of the traditional forms of hiring .
A recent article in the Financial Times (August 5, 2015) has a very interesting analysis of the issue. “In a continent known for strong employee protections, more than half of the eurozone’s young workers are in temporary jobs, churning from one short-lived contract to the next.” And this is in countries with high unemployment rates among the young. And in Italy, France, and Spain…fewer than 30 per cent of temporary employees have moved on to permanent jobs three years later.
In contrast, how the Philippines can learn from Singapore.
Dubbed the most famous Singaporean abroad after Lee, Mahbubani now leads the institution built to give away the secrets of Singapore’s success. The dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and his colleagues said leaders in the Philippines and developing nations can take Singapore’s best practices, particularly from the old days of its late founding father. Now synonymous with efficiency, Singapore has a so-called machine model of governance that unapologetically prioritizes economic growth over civil and political liberties. Yet even its toughest critics admit that delivering basic services, infrastructure and engineering is effective governance.
Here are 5 lessons on leadership and governance that Asia’s sick man-turned-rising tiger can adopt from the vaunted miracle Singapore celebrates on its golden jubilee.
The Mercatus Centre, based in the George Mason University. Critical commentary on Austrian economics with the suggestion that the situation in China gives some heart to Austrian diagnosis. As he says, quantitative easing in the US has not produced inflation or increased the price of gold but it has not produced much in the way of growth or employment either.
Comments by Pete Boettke on some important recent work on price theory.
I don’t hunt and have no particular emotional attachment to lions, so I find the outrage level bewildering. However, I think this can be a teachable moment. Specifically, there are lessons here about trophy hunting and endangered species. Not surprisingly to anyone who has studied property-rights economics, there is evidence that allowing trophy hunting is a good means of protecting endangered species. This is a version of the general argument that defining and enforcing property rights in scarce resources, including wildlife, provides incentives for individuals to protect and maintain those resources. (You’ve probably heard the quip that the world isn’t running out of chickens and dairy cattle.) Groups like PERC have produce dozens of studies on endangered species and private conservation more generally and there are plenty of nerdier papers too. If Cecil’s unfortunate end helps stimulate thoughtful discussion on how to avoid the tragedy of the commons, then he will not have died in vain.