"The Curse of Aid"
Yum . . . financial statistics . . . color-coded . . .

The Beacon

The Independent Institute is producing a fine blog, The Beacon. Some of the leading figures in the conservative/libertarian community are posting there. Just to mention a few whose work I'm a little familiar with: David Theroux, Peter Klein, Robert Higgs, and William Shughart.

Here are four recent posts that I think are worth your time:

Robert Higgs, "Notes on the Fannie Mae/Freddic Mac Bailout".

Yes, what is a government for, if not to save us from the impending disaster that its own policies have produced? Thank heavens for the government!

Jonathan Bean, "Affordable Health Insurance is ILLEGAL".

In the late 1980s, I sold health insurance in New England to people who did not have it. Many  were self-employed. A young healthy person could buy top-rated major medical for $30/month. That was low enough to encourage my clients to buy. Then, the “progressives” tacked sugar plum mandates onto health insurance and eventually required all companies to take on any one who applied. The result? Costs soared and most private insurance companies withdrew from the state. That made it necessary for the state to create an indemnity pool to cover those without insurance. Guess what? The cost was sky high.

[This is so right. One of the absolutely least defensible parts of our current health care system is government inhibition of "no frills" policies, policies that would be especially attractive to the young and healthy individuals who comprise a substantial part of the uninsured.]

Art Carden, "Limiting Access to the Political Order in North Carolina".

This is actually happening right now. But where? Is it in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe? The People’s Republic of China? Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela?

None of the three. It’s happening in North Carolina. The candidate, Duke University Political Science Professor Michael Munger, was nominated by the North Carolina Libertarian Party to run for governor, and he has been excluded from the debates in spite of the fact that he and the Party have done everything election officials have requested to run a sanctioned campaign.

[But there's good news: since this was posted, Mike has at least been invited to the last debate on October 15.]

David Theroux, "Sir John Templeton: The Passing of a Visionary".

Yet, while recognizing and valuing the contribution of religious and scientific leaders, Sir John knew first-hand from deep experience the enormous value and contribution to humanity’s well-being of for-profit, free, private enterprise, which, in his words, “enriches the poor more than any other system humanity ever has had.” As he told Insight magazine. “Competitive business has reduced costs, has increased variety, has improved quality.” And if a business is not ethical, he added, “it will fail, perhaps not right away, but eventually.”

Finally, a "coming attraction": tomorrow I'll have a brief post about eminent domain that will include a link to Carl Close's interesting post on how eminent domain played a key role in the downfall of San Francisco's Fillmore District.