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NEWS + ANALYSIS

A TEST OF OUR CREED

March 24, 2020 | by Elena Leontjeva

The COVID-19 crisis has turned upside down healthcare systems, businesses, and governments. It has also hit our industry, non-profit free-market think tanks. We take heart in our unique credo, and now it is manifesting full force its crucial role not only for our movement, but for entire nations.

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OPEN MARKETS ARE THE BEST ANTIDOTE AGAINST THE COVID-19 CRISIS

March 23, 2020 | by Rainer Heufers

Earlier this month, I was invited by the Jakarta city government to speak about Indonesia’s food trade issues. When I asked what made garlic so expensive, the answer came quick and easy: COVID-19. Ninety percent of Indonesia’s garlic comes from China and since China was in lockdown, supplies dried up. Most Indonesians would have given the same answer, but that does not make it correct.

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LEBANON'S LONG GAME

January 9, 2020 | by Erik Eppig

With no simple solution in sight, Lebanese freedom fighters believe the time to act is now—for the future of their country.

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ALTERNATIVES TO THE NEW SCIENTISM IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS

December 9, 2019 | by Matt Warner

When Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo were announced as two of this year’s Nobel Prize winners, it prompted a fresh flurry of public critiques of their work in development economics. From voices as diverse as Oxfam’s Duncan Green and Marginal Revolution’s Alex Tabarrok, many economists and aid experts have cautioned against pinning all our poverty reduction hopes on their findings.

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WHY EGYPT IS NOT ON A PATH TO END ITS LONG STRUGGLE WITH POVERTY

December 9, 2019 | by Mahmoud Farouk

In 1979, Fouad Ajami wrote that Egypt finds herself between her “pride and place, between her limited material resources and her unbounded psychological esteem for herself, between her old glory and her current poverty." Forty years later, Egyptians are still immersed in the same contrast, and their struggle to leave poverty is still evident. The economic figures such as GDP coming from Egypt in the last three years raise three questions: 1) Is the Egyptian government on the right track to end its long-standing struggle with poverty, or are the figures nothing but recurrence of the previous wave of economic improvement before 2011? 2) Why are Egyptians unhappy with the recent reforms? and 3) What are the missing policies to make Egyptian society benefit from economic reforms?

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FREE MARKET HUMANITARIANISM: A PRIMER

October 2, 2019 | by Bryan Cheang

Young people around the world today are gravitating to socialist ideas. This isn’t a big secret, and is widely reported by numerous publications and channels. Of course, what they are attracted to isn’t Maoist-Stalinist state socialism (at least that’s what they say); rather, they embrace a constellation of ideas that focus on environmentalism, eradicating inequality, and greater recognition for marginalized identity groups.

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WHAT TRUMP’S FOREIGN AID FIGHT CAN TEACH US

August 27, 2019 | by Matt Warner

Last week Trump backed down from his controversial threat to cut billions in unused foreign aid funding. The news, no doubt, came as a huge relief to the more than 90 aid organizations that had joined together to urge him to reconsider. Sam Worthington, president, and CEO of InterAction, an alliance of more than 180 international NGOs, had even considered suing the White House but worried the move would ignite political divisions and renew calls to defund the “aid industrial complex.”

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THE OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS TO FREE TRADE IN EUROPE

August 15, 2019 | by Glen Hodgson

As the new European Parliament has been elected—and the new European Commission are set to take their seats in November—it is an ideal time to look at where the free trade opportunities exist in Europe and where more needs to be done. The European Union (EU) represents the largest economy in the world at USD 20 trillion, and its rules and regulations set precedents internationally. In this vein, the European Single Market has been one of the EU’s greatest achievements. Over the past two and a half decades, tariffs and quotas have been reduced between the EU Member States while trade and economic growth have flourished. Since the economic crisis - and in response to an increase in populist forces - however, we have seen a rise in non-tariff barriers, and a reluctance to truly complete the European Single Market through widening and deepening.

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BREXIT AND THE FREEDOM MOVEMENT

July 25, 2019 | by Michael Mastrianna

On June 23, 2016, Britons from all over the United Kingdom flocked to the polls to vote on leaving the European Community—what Peter Wilding, the chairman of think tank British Influence, jokingly dubbed“Brexit.” Over 33.5 million Brits cast their ballots, equal to around 72 percent of the eligible voting electorate. In the three years since two Prime Ministers have left 10 Downing Street while the EU continues to be a 28-nation bloc despite the referendum.

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MERGING FREE MARKET THINK TANKS: THE CASE OF LIBERTAD Y PROGRESO

June 13, 2019 | by Iván Cachanosky and Michel Kelly-Gagnon

In the world of for-profit corporations, organizations can grow organically but they can also do so through mergers and acquisitions. Conversely, non-profit organizations typically do not have access to this latter path in order to fuel their growth. But this does not mean that the fundamental justifications for or potential benefits of mergers or acquisitions processes that are found in the business world are absent from the not-for-profit world. For instance, a fragmented market could very well be better served following a round of consolidations. Synergies could be found and efficiency gains could be made. And, in the case of hostile takeovers, less competent management teams could be purged and replaced by better ones.

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HONOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP, NOT THE CORPORATE STATE THAT PRODUCES MISERY, HUNGER, AND SCARCITY

May 14, 2019 | by Antonella Marty

Throughout Latin America, it is clear that the support base for home-grown populism lies in the state sector—state-owned companies created and maintained by successive governments. As a general rule, they have proved to be deficient and unproductive, and their final product is invariably a string of failures and poor economic results. By the same token, these companies are run by state bureaucrats who essentially fear competition and strongly reject anything related to innovation and progress. The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurs is fundamental to the growth of any country, provided an atmosphere of absolute labor freedom is assured. Those men who make a career out of overcoming state regulation are generators of competition and the engines of growth. They improve the lives of ordinary people. They are the real heroes, and plenty of them can be found all over the world.

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CAN THINK TANKS CREATE THE INEVITABLE?

April 30, 2019 | by Dr. Lyall Swim

Milton Friedman once noted that the role of think tanks is to “primarily keep options open, to have available alternatives, so when the brute force of events makes a change inevitable, there is an alternative available to change it.” Friedman’s sentiment is often cited as a kind of value proposition for think tanks around the globe.

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HOW THE RETAILER TAX IN SLOVAKIA WAS ABOLISHED

April 25, 2019 | by Martin Vlachynsky

Several Eastern European countries have been flirting with various forms of a “retailer tax.” This tax is similar (but not equal) to the value added tax (VAT) and the sales tax. The proclaimed aim of the tax is to “punish” international retail chains, who have been repeatedly blamed for problems of local farmers and the local food and beverages industry. In reality, it primarily hits consumers.

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