Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

Liberty vs. Democracy

Would you prefer to live in a country that has: The rule of law with an honest civil service, strong protection of private property and minority rights, free trade, free markets, very low taxes, and full freedom of the speech, press and religion, but not a democracy? Democracy and a corrupt court and civil service, many restrictions on economic freedom, Read More ›

Practical Tax Reform

Would you be willing to give up all of your tax deductions — state and local taxes, mortgage interest, church and charitable contributions, etc. — in exchange for sharply lower tax rates? With the return of Congress, the debate is about to begin again. One major obstacle to tax reform is the confusion in the minds of most Americans (and Read More ›

Not Rocket Science

Suppose you were appointed global economic czar, and your task was to bring the world’s per capita income up to the level of Ireland’s (almost that of the U.S.). Would you: Insist the world’s rich nations transfer substantial wealth though massive foreign aid to the poor nations? Insist all nations adopt policies that would make them as economically free as Read More ›

IMF: The Bad Cop

Helping to cover-up a crime and/or willfully ignoring it is in itself a criminal offense, yet it appears that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has done just that. Two decisions just handed down by the High Court of Justice in London about one of Africa’s most corrupt and entrenched regimes — The Republic of Congo — raise important and disturbing Read More ›

Economic Literacy Test…and Advice

Before members of Congress leave for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, they are to take a test in economic literacy: their vote on extending the tax cuts President Bush proposed and Congress voted for in 2003, including the current maximum 15 percent long-term capital gains tax rate. The tax cuts worked very well in revitalizing the economy, which has Read More ›

Out of the Slough of Happiness

Slough (meaning muddy field), England, is not a lovely place. It is east of London, a bit beyond Heathrow Airport — a glum commuter town. The BBC, in a made-for-television social experiment, “Making Slough Happy,” is trying to make Slough a happier place by giving the town group therapy, bizarre as that may seem. I am all for happiness (mine Read More ›