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NEWS + ANALYSIS

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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INEQUALITY, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF MOBILITY

December 6, 2016 | by Gonzalo Schwarz

For Christmas, our five-year-old son Sebastian wants a Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage. Our two-year-old daughter Arianna will also play with those cars, although we will continue to try to get her to like dolls. Despite these presents and all the presents in the years to come, however, my wife and I think the best present we ever could have given our two kids was to be born in the United States. This is one of the few countries in which you can tell your kids, “You can be anything you want,” where that assurance can actually come true. We believe that this country provides the greatest opportunities in the world, although both left and right agree that economic mobility here has stagnated. As we have taken a closer look at U.S. policies, it has become clear that some of the same structural limits to mobility that afflict Latin America could also be holding back the United States.

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THE WORLD NEEDS MORE TAX HAVENS, NOT FEWER

October 31, 2016 | by Yamila Feccia

The size of a country’s tax burden plays a significant role in its economic development. This year, the release of the Panama Papers resulted in a widespread challenge of tax shelters, or tax havens, along with the practices of tax evasion and tax avoidance. In the midst of the turmoil, however, people forgot to consider the voracious fiscal climate that continues to escalate in Latin America. A case in point is Argentina, whose leaders still have not closed the fiscal gap they inherited from the previous government, despite having the highest tax rates in the world. In this context, in the absence of a plan to reduce regulations and with the presence of a “tax cartel,” what role does the market play in alleviating tax burdens?

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INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE RETURNS TO CONNECTICUT TO DEFEAT EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE

October 28, 2016 | by Renée Flaherty

More than a decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation when it upheld the condemnation of an entire neighborhood in New London, Conn., for “economic development.” This infamous instance of eminent domain abuse sparked a nationwide backlash: 44 states reformed their laws to provide greater protection for property owners, and nine state supreme courts made it more difficult for the government to abuse eminent domain. A decade after Kelo v. New London, however, cities and development agencies are trying to regain some of the power that they lost.

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THE PROSPERITY STATES INITIATIVE: A POLICY LESSON FROM ‘WHEN HARRY MET SALLY’

October 25, 2016 | by Nick Dranias

According to various reports recently published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada, the Legatum Institute in London, the Liberal Institute in Switzerland, and the Heritage Foundation, the United States clearly no longer ranks among the top 10 freest countries in the world. At best, we are among the top 20, although some rankings show us slipping even lower. Hidden behind this bad news is the fact that the decline in the U.S. freedom ranking has not been stopped by the increasing numbers of center-right think tanks working diligently on incremental reforms. Instead, the trend of decline appears to have accelerated since the 1980s.

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON FEAR AND FREEDOM

September 15, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

People raised in different circumstances often show different attitudes toward potential dangers. If you’ve never been near the water or learned how to swim, lakes, rivers, and oceans probably seem quite terrifying. Those who can swim generally see rivers, lakes, and oceans differently. Such different experiences may lead to different policies regarding access to water. We can forbid people to go near the water, or we can help people to acquire the habits of self-control that reduce the very real dangers posed by bodies of water — and swimming is all about self-control, rather than merely thrashing about.

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THEY CANNOT MAKE US HATE THEM

September 8, 2016 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

When I think of examples of successful self control and dignity under the most difficult circumstances, one living person comes to mind before all others: 刘晓波, Liu Xiabo, the Chinese writer and human rights activist who was sentenced on Dec. 25, 2009, to 11 years of imprisonment in China on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.” Liu’s body is in prison and he is being made to suffer deprivation of liberty, health, companionship, and more by state authorities, but he will not allow himself to be consumed by the hatred that would destroy a person with less self-control. Before being subjected to years of imprisonment and abuse, he had tried to lead a life of freedom and responsibility.

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