Economics

Center on Wealth & Poverty

No More Excuses for Mexico

Why do Mexicans only have one-third the per capita income (on a purchasing power parity basis) of Canadians and only one-fourth that of Americans? The answer is that Mexicans are relatively poor because have been plagued by semidespotic regimes that have ignored the rule of law and often engaged in destructive economic policies. Mexicans have been free of their Spanish Read More ›

Cost-Effective Warfare?

Do you think too much or too little is spent on defense? The U.S. government now spends a half-trillion dollars a year on its military, or about $1,700 for every man, woman and child in America.  I asked the opening question in the way many members of the media and political class pose it. The correct question is: What does Read More ›

Is the Blogosphere the Death of the Mainstream Media?

The world that George Gilder envisioned in his provocative book Life After Television (Norton, 1990) has nearly arrived — more than a decade and a half behind schedule. Nowhere is that more evident than in the growth of the ‘blogosphere’ which threatens to overthrow the influence of the mass media by providing consumers with an endless supply of unfiltered news Read More ›

Dumb and Dangerous

It is no secret that politicians frequently put all of us at risk because of their real or willful ignorance. Most wars are a result of political miscalculations, but so are many recessions, depressions and other economic calamities. What follows are three examples where the political class is putting us in danger because of economic ignorance or worse. U.S. Sens. Read More ›

Testing Oscar Arias

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Oscar Arias, while serving his first term as president of Costa Rica, won the Nobel Peace prize in 1987 for helping to negotiate the peace that ended the civil wars in Central America. Last month, after a long absence, he was elected to a second term as president by the narrowest of margins. This time Read More ›

Making a Real Difference

If you were a very wealthy person and you really wanted to improve the lot of your fellow man by donating a large sum of money in the most cost-effective way possible, what would you do? According to the new Forbes list of the richest people, there are almost 800 billionaires in the world. Many of them are engaged in Read More ›

A Tale of Two Cities

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands. — Like New Orleans, this city has had periods of past glory — evident in its many well preserved buildings from centuries back. But it has also been subject to major floods and other calamities over the last 900 years. That Amsterdam has managed to overcome similar adversity enables it to provide a role model for New Read More ›

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 ›

Venture Capitalists Offer ‘Sliver’ of Opportunities

This article, published by Rocky Mountain News, quotes Discovery Institute Senior Fellow George Gilder: Futurist George Gilder, expected to deliver the keynote speech, could not keep a lid on his enthusiasm in a statement announcing the conference, which gets started in earnest this morning. “Colorado has become Silicon Mountain, snowcapped with software,” he was quoted as saying. The rest of 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 ›