Latest Posts

Disaster Relief Updates

On my drive to work this morning, I began wondering about all those relief efforts that were launched after the December 2004 Tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia. So I started the day at the office by looking for reports/numbers online, trying to find some indication of how money was being spent and what progress was being made. Continue Reading...

‘Addio, Dolce Vita’

That’s the title of this week’s survey of Italy in The Economist. The news for Italy is quite depressing. Its economic growth is the slowest in Europe, behind even France and Germany, its productivity is down while its wages are up, and a massive demographic crisis looms. Continue Reading...

Instant Classics

This made me think of this. If the British phone company were really smart, they’d just negotiate a price to use the Book-A-Minute Classics. The versions are a bit different, though. Continue Reading...

The Digital Divide in the Developing World

A key barrier to economic growth in the developing world is reliable access to the global information network: the Internet. A UN-sponsored study, “Information Economy Report 2005” by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, (PDF) shows that one of the features of the digital divide between the developing and the developed world has to do with the cost of high-bandwidth Internet access. Continue Reading...

Politics 101

The first lesson of Politics 101: When in trouble, look to your base. That’s what House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert is apparently doing, in his recent push to make sure the lighted tree put up in December on the U.S. Continue Reading...

Maimonides: Healing is a Basic Religious Duty

A good story on Moses Maimonides in this weekend’s Washington Post, “The Doctor Is Still In: Medieval Rabbi-Healer Maimonides Linked Body, Soul.” A key contention is that Jewish doctors like Maimonides “associated healing with basic religious duty.” The main source for the article is author Sherwin Nuland, whose most recent book is on Maimonides. Continue Reading...

The True Cost of Everyday Low Prices

A consensus has developed among activists on the left that Wal-Mart is bad for America, and particularly bad for the poor, not only in America (where wages are supposedly driven down) but also abroad (where suppliers allegedly abuse and exploit their workers). Continue Reading...

Chafuen on Latin America’s Problem

What, exactly, was the point of the recent Summit of the Americas in Argentina? President Bush’s participation there seemed to accomplish little more than to excite street mobs and vandals. And then there was Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, doing his best Fidel impersonation as he led opposition to a U.S.-backed free trade agreement. Continue Reading...

Free Trade is Simple

Hans Mahncke, an International Law and Trade scholar at Hong Kong’s Lion Rock Institute, takes to task recalcitrant NGOs in a recent TCS article. The essential sticking point is the inability to reform the WTO: The WTO is plagued by two major faults. Continue Reading...