Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

Lethal Ignorance

If you really like apple pie, and you could have one-third of a 2 pound pie or half of a 1 pound pie, which would you choose? This grade school math problem is very similar to the problem politicians and economic policymakers face in deciding whether to distribute smaller pieces of a bigger pie, or vice versa. Their decisions tell Read More ›

The Next Big Scandal

As you read this commentary, a highly predictable scandal is developing that may embarrass leaders, including President Bush, British Prime Minister Blair, and other heads of government, severely damage the reputations, or worse, of many bureaucrats, and cost taxpayers billions. A summit meeting of the leaders of the “G8” nations (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, and Canada) was Read More ›

Global good news

Humans as a species have just enjoyed their best year yet, 2005, on our little planet. By almost any measure, more people lived better lives last year than ever before. Global lifespans, literacy and real incomes all reached record highs, and more people lived in free or at least partially free countries than at anytime in human history. The state Read More ›

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 ›