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NEWS + ANALYSIS

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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THE DIMINISHING ROLE OF THE WORLD BANK: HOW LOCAL THINK TANKS ARE LEADING THE POVERTY FIGHT

February 7, 2019 | by Matt Warner

News that the World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, is calling it quits to join the private sector has heightened the debate over what to do about foreign aid inefficacy. Kim made clear in an email to staff that, in his view, the “massive development finance gap” in low-income countries is best addressed by private investment. Kim’s likely successor, David Malpass, shares this view and has gone on record describing the World Bank’s financing approach as outdated due to increases in private capital available to developing countries.

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CAN THINK TANKS SUCCEED WHERE FOREIGN AID HAS FAILED?

January 25, 2019 | by Matt Warner

In Ruhiira, Uganda, an international aid project once offered villagers $300,000 to grow maize instead of matoke, a banana-like starch. Maize, the aid experts reasoned, was better to farm because it is nutritious, drought-resistant, and produces high yields. The experts were right. At harvest time, the villagers found themselves with a bumper crop of 3,840 tons of maize.

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OVERCOMING A LEGACY OF SOCIALISM IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, ONE CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION AT A TIME

November 29, 2018 | by Edo Omercevic

Consumer rights represent the basic ground for functional market institutions and without the right to terminate contracts with service suppliers, non-egalitarian laws are introduced and the market suffers intense violation of freedom of contract and contract equalities are deteriorated. History cannot be eradicated and our institutions are some kind of depositors of our collective memory. As a result, many institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (“B&H”) are still based on a socialist institutional legacy, a legacy that we started to leave behind since the early 90’s of the last century. One example of such transformational resistance is the institution of a central heating service that is very common in the country.

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THE JOY OF FREEDOM

October 26, 2018 | by Dr. Tom G. Palmer

It is a joy to take part in a festival of liberty, a truly liberal event. “Festival” is really the right word, because liberty is truly something to be celebrated, its realization a cause for joy and an occasion for happiness. And the occasion for happiness is not merely our own freedom, but the freedom of other people as well. Contrary to the mischaracterizations of Marxist and fascist ideologues, who willfully misstate classical liberal ideas, liberty is not a solitary condition, but a condition of equal freedom that we enjoy with others under the rule of law.

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REMEMBERING BASIL FISHER

October 8, 2018 | by Madeline Grant

Today (October 8th) would have been the birthday of Basil Fisher, the younger brother of the IEA’s founder, Sir Antony Fisher. Though few remember Basil Fisher today, his life (and death) have made a lasting impact.

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