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  • Author: Geoffrey Black, D. Allan Dalton, Samia Islam, Aaron Batteen
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Over 50 years ago, in "The Problem of Social Cost," Ronald Coase (1960) attempted to reorient the economics profession's treatment of externalities. He wanted to draw economists' attention away from the world of pure competition as a policy standard and investigate the consequences of transaction costs and property rights for the operation of markets. In 1991, he was awarded the Nobel prize in economics "for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy" (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 1991). The Academy cited both his 1960 article and his 1937 article "The Nature of the Firm."
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Edward Skidelsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Money has always inspired obsession, both in those who amass it and in those who think about it. “Man will never be able to know what money is any more than he will be able to know what God is,” wrote the French financier Marcel Labordère to his friend John Maynard Keynes. The analogy is apt. Money, like God, injects infinity into human desires. To love it is to embark on a journey without end. Three new books testify to money's enduring power to fascinate and horrify. The most scholarly of them, The Invention of Market Freedom by political theorist Eric MacGilvray, traces the emergence of the distinctively modern or “market” conception of freedom out of its “republican” predecessor. The general story is somewhat familiar, but MacGilvray complicates it by showing that market freedom did not vanquish its republican competitor in open combat but subverted it from within, like a parasite devouring its host.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Business Innovator: Felipe Arango, Colombia The Chocó region in western Colombia is one of the most mineral-rich places in the hemisphere. It is also ecologically rich, boasting species of flora thought to be unique to Chocó. But due to years of commercial gold and platinum mining that have leached mercury and cyanide into local rivers, the Chocó region has also become one of the most threatened natural areas in the world. Felipe Arango has been working to change that. Arango, 34, is CEO of Oro Verde—an NGO based in Medellín, Colombia, that empowers local miners to use more ecologically friendly artisanal mining techniques. Founded in 2003, the organization purchases gold produced by certified artisanal miners, many of them Afro-Colombian, and sells it to socially conscious jewelers around the world. Oro Verde takes a 2 percent cut to fund its operations and administration, and contributes its profits and reinvested premiums to the protection of 11,120 acres (4,500 hectares) of tropical rainforest. Oro Verde's gold certification process, meanwhile, has influenced the development of a global “fair-trade, fair-mined” gold certification process.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: New York, Colombia
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Prost, Brazil! Grab a stein-full of caipirinha and stroll down to Ipanema beach in your lederhosen—it's Germany-Brazil Year in Brazil. The yearlong festival, aimed at deepening German-Brazilian relations, kicked off in May with the opening of the German-Brazilian Economic Forum in São Paulo. “Brazil is one of the most successful new centers of power in the world,” says Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister. “We want to intensify cooperation with Brazil, not only economically but also culturally.” It's no surprise that Brazil, the sixth-largest economy in the world, has caught the attention of Europe's financial powerhouse. Brazil is Germany's most important trading partner in Latin America, accounting for $14.2 billion in imports in 2012. With some 1,600 German companies in Brazil providing 250,000 jobs and 17 percent of industrial GDP, it's an economic relationship that clearly has mutual benefits.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Europe, Brazil, Germany, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Arts Innovator: Luis Antonio Vilchez, Peru Watch a video of Luis Antonio Vilchez dancing in Times Square below. Passing through New York's Times Square one winter day in 2010, Lima native Luis Antonio Vilchez noticed a group of street percussionists playing a familiar Afro-Peruvian rhythm—and immediately decided to join them. Soon, a large crowd gathered as Vilchez, wearing a button-down shirt and a winter coat, burst into a dance performance that was so impressive even the drummers watched in awe. The same kind of impromptu creativity dominates Adú Proyecto Universal (Adú Universal Project), a nonprofit arts organization Vilchez founded four years ago to re-imagine Peruvian identity through dance, theater and percussion. Financed by money the group earns from its performances, Adú (which means “friend” in limeña slang) encourages its 20 members—all dancers—to combine different dance and music genres, crossing back and forth between tradition and modernity.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Author: Leo Melamed
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The story is fairly well known. In 1971, as chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, I had an idea: a futures market in foreign currency. It may sound so obvious today, but at the time the idea was revolutionary. I was acutely aware that futures markets until then were primarily the province of agriculture and—as many claimed—might not be applicable to instruments of finance. Not being an economist, the idea was in need of validation. There was only one person in the world that could satisfy this requisite for me. We went to Milton Friedman. We met for breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. By then he was already a living legend and I was quite nervous. I asked the great man not to laugh and to tell me whether the idea was “off the wall.” Upon hearing him emphatically respond that the idea was “wonderful,” I had the temerity to ask that he put his answer in writing. He agreed to write a feasibility paper on “The Need for Futures Markets in Currencies,” for the modest stipend of $7,500. It turned out to be a helluva trade.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: New York, Chicago
  • Author: Donald P. Gregg
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The good news out of the Koreas is that President Barack Obama, as no other president before him, has recognized that South Korea is America's most reliable and active ally in Asia. The President mentioned South Korea in his January 25 State of the Union speech far more than any other country, praising its teachers, its technical prowess, its growing economic status, and urging quick ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. If any further proof of Seoul's current status was needed, David Sanger in The New York Times of February 20, 2011, said flatly, “South Korea…is now Washington's favorite ally in Asia.”
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington, Asia, South Korea, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Chris Madsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: If the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on New York City and Washington D.C. were a rude wake-up call for potential security threats to continental North America, the reaction on part of Canada has been measured and typically cautious. The acts were of course immediately condemned and temporary refuge given to thousands of travellers stranded by closure of airspace over the United States until declared safe. The federal government and most Canadians extended sympathy and offers of assistance to their closest neighbour and main trading partner. Close cultural and economic ties between the two countries ensured as much. Unease, however, set in about the tough talk and next progression characterized by President George Bush's now famous “You're either with us or against us” speech. Canada's then Liberal prime minister decided not to send the Canadian military wholeheartedly into the invasion of Iraq, though deployment of Canadian troops in Afghanistan duly became a major commitment. Reassuring the United States of Canada's reliability and loyalty as a partner was imperative. To this end, the federal government tightened up financial restrictions on potential fund-raising by identified terrorist groups, introduced new legislation and bureaucratic structures focused on security issues, and better coordinated intelligence gathering and information sharing activities across government agencies and with principal allies. Canadians convinced themselves that any possibility of a 9/11 scale terrorist attack on Canada was unlikely, and even if one was planned or happened, the effect would be minimized by the pro-active measures of authorities. Selected use of security certificates and arrest of home grown Islamic terrorists, the so-called Toronto 18, apparently showed that the police and intelligence agents were up to the task. The threat of terrorism, if not eliminated, could at least be managed and thwarted when required to provide a reasonable level of safety to the Canadian state and society. Ten years on, the course of events has shown the chosen policy decisions to have been mostly sound. Though the highest leadership of Al Qaeda remain at large and defiant as ever in their stated resolve to attack the West, Canada has not yet experienced a major terrorist incident since 9/11.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, New York, Washington, Canada, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Loribeth Kowalski
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Cato Institute, 2010. 376 pp. $25.95 (hardcover). Reviewed by Loribeth Kowalski Parents in America typically tell their children that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, and children tend to believe it and explore the countless possibilities. I recall my own childhood aspirations: imagining myself as an archaeologist, wearing a khaki hat and digging in the desert sun; as a veterinarian, talking to the animals like Dr. Doolittle; as a writer, alone at my desk, fingers poised over a typewriter keyboard. Recently I found an old note in a drawer. It said, “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. I want to save people. When I grow up, I WILL be a doctor.” Underneath my signature I had written “age 10.” Unfortunately, in today's America, a child cannot be whatever he wants to be. Leave aside for the time being the difficulties involved in entering a profession such as medicine. Consider the more man-on-the-street jobs through which millions of Americans seek to earn a living, support their families, and better themselves. Suppose a person wants to drive a taxi in New York City. To do so, he will first have to come up with a million dollars to buy a “medallion.” If he wants to create and sell flower arrangements, and lives in Louisiana, he'll have to pass a “highly subjective, State-mandated licensing exam.” If he wants to sell tacos or the like from a “food truck,” and lives in Chicago, he had better keep his business away from competing restaurants, or else face a ticket and fine. And a child doesn't have to wait until he's an adult to directly experience such limitations on his freedom. Last summer, authorities in various states shut down children's lemonade stands because they didn't have vending permits or meet other local regulations. In today's America, it is increasingly difficult to enter various professions, near impossible to enter some, and, whatever one's profession, it is likely saddled with regulations that severely limit the ways in which one can produce and trade. Timothy Sandefur explores and explains these developments in The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law. Sandefur addresses this subject in the most comprehensive manner I've seen, surveying the history of economic liberty from 17th-century England through the Progressive era in America and up to the present day. He shows how the freedom to earn a living has been eroded in multiple ways throughout the legal system, from unreasonable rules, to licensing schemes, to limitations on advertising, to restrictions on contracts. In The Right to Earn a Living, we see how these and other factors combine to create a system in which it is more and more difficult to support oneself and one's family in the manner one chooses.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: New York, America