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NEWS + ANALYSIS

CANADA SHOULD LEARN FROM AUSTRALIA’S FAILED CARBON TAX EXPERIMENT

January 17, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in October that the nation’s provinces must implement a carbon tax by 2018 or the federal government would do it instead. In the three months since then, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, an Atlas Network partner based in Saskatchewan, has led the policy debate by arguing that a carbon tax would result in draconian energy prices — “up to $2,569 per year for the average Canadian family by 2022” — all without making a substantive impact on global climate change.

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ELIMINATING TAXES AND TARIFFS ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN PAKISTAN

January 15, 2017

Pakistan has one of the highest tax rates for mobile phones in the world, and an Internet penetration rate of only 14 percent — less than half of India’s rate, and much less still than other countries in the region. Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME), an Atlas Network partner based in Islamabad, has been running an informational campaign since 2015 to convince the government to sign onto the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) developed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) more than 20 years ago, and a recent PRIME article reports that its efforts have persuaded key officials in Pakistan’s government to sign on to the ITA’s slashing of information technology taxes and tariffs.

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CREATING STATE BUDGET SOLUTIONS FOR PENNSYLVANIA

January 11, 2017

Rather than raise taxes to cover budget shortfalls, the Pennsylvania state government has indicated that it plans to streamline government programs and cut wasteful spending. The Commonwealth Foundation, an Atlas Network partner based in Harrisburg, is stepping up to the challenge of presenting the government with prudent and practical budget solutions with its December policy brief, “Embracing Innovation in State Government,” and a series of individual proposals that the organization is posting to its blog throughout January.

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PUTTING KIDS FIRST WITH NATIONAL SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK 2017

January 9, 2017

In seven years, National School Choice Week has grown to 142 times its initial size. National School Choice Week aims to celebrate school choice and talk about it in “a broad and inclusive way,” and this year’s event, held Jan. 22–28, promises to impart the inspiration and ideas necessary to broaden the country’s educational options for children.

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INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT SUBJECTS UK TO DYSTOPIAN SURVEILLANCE AUTHORITY

January 9, 2017 | by Renate Samson

Intelligence agencies and police in the United Kingdom have been secretly using unauthorized techniques to eradicate what they defined as online “safe spaces,” where criminals, terrorists, and paedophiles are believed to hide. In 2015, the U.K. government proposed legislation to make these techniques lawful, and ultimately passed the Investigatory Powers Act in December. Beginning on Jan. 1, all U.K. citizens are now subject to monitoring by the state in ways usually considered the preserve of dystopian science fiction or undemocratic totalitarian regimes.

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LEGISLATIVE VICTORIES IN OHIO FOR CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE REFORM, CHARITY HEALTH CARE

January 9, 2017

The presumption of innocence is a fundamental legal principle, but civil asset forfeiture laws allow government officials to seize the property of people who haven’t been convicted, or even charged, with a crime. That’s beginning to change in Ohio, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. John Kasich that implements sweeping reforms to the state’s forfeiture process. The Buckeye Institute, an Atlas Network partner based in Ohio, produced rigorous and convincing policy analysis that has been cited by the state legislature as a catalyst for the reforms.

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ECONOMIC FREEDOM AUDITS HELD IN GREECE, URUGUAY, VENEZUELA, SERBIA

January 6, 2017

The Economic Freedom Audit is a series of events held in different countries around the world, aiming to bring together leading figures from the policy, political, media, business and academic world in order to identify positive reforms that would lead each country to a higher degree of economic freedom as measured by the Fraser Institute’s “Economic Freedom of the World” index. Economic Freedom Audits have been held recently in Greece, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Serbia, each applying sound economic analysis to long-troubled economies.

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REVITALIZING A CLIMATE OF LIBERTY 6 YEARS AFTER THE ‘ARAB SPRING’

January 5, 2017

Six years after the “Arab Spring” began waves of both conflict and reform throughout the Arab world, results have ranged from significant economic and political reforms to brutally violent civil war. In the intervening years, even the successes of the Arab Spring have waned. Atlas Network partner MinbaralHurriyya.org, an Arabic-language website based in Morocco, regularly publishes new content that explains how the future prosperity of the Arab world depends on building a consensus of peace, tolerance, individual liberty, stable institutions, and a consistent rule of law.

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