Puerto Rico’s One Path to Economic Independence

Broke Feds Cannot Save Us, but Free-Market Capitalism Can

The United States is $210 trillion in debt. This is part of what makes Puerto Rico’s bid for access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy a problem.

The Social Security Administration has announced the government will run out of money to pay disability benefits by the end of 2016. This will occur unless the US Congress takes action. To save the system, the federal government would have to cut monthly benefits by 19 percent, which amounts to about US$200 per month per $1,000 dollars in benefits.

I’ve long warned that this was coming.

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Knowledge That Will Make Venezuelans Serfs No More

Promises of Largesse Fall Flat on Free People

We must consider why the Venezuelan opposition have been protesting for years without garnering liberty. (<a href="http://notihoy.com/oposicion-venezolana-ve-con-agrado-llamado-capriles-movilizacion-de-calle/" target="_blank">NotiHoy.com</a>)

Consider why the Venezuelan opposition have been protesting for years without garnering liberty. (NotiHoy.com)

EspañolThese days the word liberty can be heard at any political speech. Politicos even use it to advance authoritarian goals, since so many individuals are seduced by it. It is everywhere, yet usually presented in a bastardized and trivial form.

Often we fail to perceive this stripping away of our liberties, because we don’t give them the importance they deserve. By our own apathy and unwillingness take on personal responsibility, we fall for demagogues who hand out benefits to dupe constituents.

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Cut the Government Workforce or Wither Puerto Rico

Piecemeal Labor Reforms Rearrange the Chairs on the Titanic

Español Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla is trying to put a Band-Aid over a gaping fiscal wound.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

García Padilla wants to review the island’s labor laws and reduce benefits. That is an outstanding idea. The governor has focused on paid leave as a big problem, costing the government millions of dollars each year.   However, it’s also costing thousands of jobs and millions each year in the private sector.

For example, the governor has pointed out that Puerto Ricans enjoy 30 days of paid vacation every year, 18 sick days, and 14 paid holidays. That amounts to more than two months of annual paid leave for every employee. That is great for employees, but bad for business, which in turn, is bad for jobs.

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Aerolíneas Argentinas Hides behind Nationalist Folly

Domestic Competition Would Deliver the Goods: Affordability, Reliability, Safety

EspañolBy Gonzalo Macera

Over the last few months, Argentina has celebrated some of its most important national holidays: May Revolution (May 25), Flag Day (June 20), and Independence Day (July 9). These days of remembrance strengthen what many call the national identity.

Beyond these celebrations, which politicians have aptly hijacked in recent times, for some years now the Kirchner administration has been trying to give a new meaning to ideas like “sovereignty,” “what is ours,” and “homeland.”

Desde que fue estatizada, Aerolíneas Argentinas solo le ha producido pérdidas al país. (Hispaviacion.es)

Since Argentina nationalized the airline, it has only incurred in losses for taxpayers. (Hispaviacion.es)

This was precisely the government’s rhetoric some years ago when it nationalized the country’s iconic airline, Aerolíneas Argentinas, with a de-facto monopoly on domestic flights. To date, it has set quite a few records in operational failures, and not a single accomplishment in efficiency.

The firm’s spokesmen keep blaming the crisis on the prior private administration, while lauding the government takeover, but they never mention the airline’s huge net losses nor its questionable productivity.

Historically, the Argentinean government has funded infrastructure works and utilities firms regardless of costs, under the guise of “national integration.”

But I wonder, is this the way to achieve the purported goals?

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Hondurans: Vandalism Is No Path to Change

Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right to Censor

EspañolSince investigators unearthed a corruption scheme within the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS), large protests have swept Honduras, with participants demanding the resignation of top officials. They also want the creation of an International Commission Against Impunity in Honduras (CICIH), an investigative entity backed by the United Nations similar to the one currently operating in Guatemala.

Sadly, the most radical groups have shown worrying signs of intolerance during the protests.

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Canada’s Energy High Road versus Environmentalist Dogma

Economic Growth Goes Hand in Hand with Conservation

Canada's Atlantic region can gain significantly from further energy development without sacrificing environmental standards. (ForWallpaper)

Canada’s Atlantic region can gain significantly from further energy development without sacrificing environmental standards. (ForWallpaper)

By Marco Navarro-Genie

Canada’s premiers have a critical role to play in keeping Canada’s economy moving forward, while abiding by our excellent environmental standards and ensuring that radical environmentalists do not impair Atlantic Canada’s chances for economic growth or the prosperity of Canadians.

A clean environment with jobs for Canadians are not mutually exclusive and should be at the forefront of provincial energy ministers meeting in Halifax this week, and for premiers and territorial leaders gathering in St. John’s.

Extreme environmentalist activists pushing for a total stoppage of energy projects, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan’s oil sands and Atlantic Canada’s offshore oil and gas production, wilfully ignore the giant strides that industry has made reducing emissions. They’re also turning their backs on the ingenuity of Canadian workers, who are at the cutting edge of innovation to preserve boreal forests, conserve water, protect fauna, reduce emissions, and save energy. Canada’s energy sector has maintained this country inside the lines of economic prosperity at a time when the rest of the world has suffered through a severe economic crisis.

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Chavistas, How about the Log in Your Own Eye?

Cowards Do Everything to Hijack the Election, but Look in the Mirror

EspañolFor a while now, the Venezuelan government has been openly disregarding even the most basic pretense of impartiality. While the intent is to intimidate, in reality what Chavistas are showing is fear. They’re scared of making the wrong move.

Those in power know that the real enemies aren’t the overt opponents, but rather those who cheerfully put you on stage so that you make a mistake and fall hard.

The Venezuelan regime has banned former congresswoman María Corina Machado and other opposition leaders. (<a href="http://www.menosrevolucion.org/2013_05_01_archive.html" target="_blank">Menos Revolución</a>)

The Venezuelan regime has banned former congresswoman María Corina Machado, along with other opposition leaders, from running in elections. (Menos Revolución)

The ban on María Corina Machado that prevents her from running in the upcoming legislative elections was and will be an entertaining topic for some time. That is, until Diosdado Cabello comes up with another idea to buy time, or until he finds another scapegoat.

That an incompetent entity, such as the Venezuelan comptroller general, banned Machado for failing to account for food vouchers is laughable. Especially because Chavismo has been surrounded by corruption during its 16 years in power and has become its own punchline.

They have no shame, and make a mockery of Venezuelans.

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Hey Puerto Rico: You Need Money for a Sovereign Wealth Fund

And the Nobel Prize in Economics Goes to … Minister Alberto Bacó

Puerto Rican Minister Alberto Bacó appears to be a wee bit confused about how one gets a sovereign wealth fund. (@RamCuFlo)

Puerto Rican Minister Alberto Bacó is a wee bit confused about how one gets a sovereign wealth fund. (@RamCuFlo)

EspañolLate last week, Reuters reported that Puerto Rico’s economic development minister, Alberto Bacó, is seeking to create a new “sovereign fund” to pay for incentives for companies to invest in the island. He claims that the fund would be created out of “concessions from creditors,” and would be used to spur development and job growth on the island.

Sovereign wealth funds are a well-explored and understood tool in public finance. Put simply, they act like an endowment fund for the nation, to prevent politicians from spending revenues from natural resources on current citizens, preserving the value of the nation’s assets for future generations.

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‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Hasn’t Aged a Day

Gabriel García Márquez's 1960s Novel Unearths Human Nature

By Nicole Phillips

One Hundred Years of Solitude, written by Nobel Prize winner and Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, has earned its place as one of the greatest novels of all time — with a string of awards and rankings to show for it. First published in 1967, this work of fiction mixes mysticism and reality, while offering lessons for life.

These lessons may be subtle, but they are many and spread throughout the chapters. For the cognizant reader, Solitude can be a guide for someone trying to change the status quo.

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Want More Bandwidth? Pay for It

Let Prices Work Their Magic in Rural Canada

By Marco Navarro-Génie

Premier Stephen McNeil recently chastised a local company about the pricing of bandwidth in rural Nova Scotia, claiming the company should not charge for services based on usage.

Notwithstanding the peculiarities involved, the situation presents an excellent opportunity to discuss the nature and goal of prices in an economy, and how proper pricing determined between provider and consumer contributes to conservation, increases availability, ensures sustainable services, and fosters innovation.

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