Jorge Luis Borges: Argentina’s Misunderstood Anarchist

Giant of Literature Stood for Agorism to End the State

Jorge Luis Borges en 1951.

Jorge Luis Borges in 1951. (Ministry of Eucation of Argentina)

I think that in time we will deserve to not have government.
~ J.L. Borges

EspañolAugust 24 was the 115th anniversary of the birth of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Let me take the opportunity to explore his political thought, so distinct in his native Argentina.

Borges was a true citizen of the world, a cosmopolitan, and a unique figure in the world of literature.

Capable with the pen, he created alternative realities and memorable characters. His unique political philosophy, however, set him apart from other artists of his era.

Borges defined himself as a Spencerian anarchist, one who does not believe in the state but in the individual. Both in his work, and in the interviews he gave, his thinking became apparent — a fact that sparked a reaction of those in power. There is now widespread belief that these views deprived him of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

[Read more...]

Education Reform We Can Download

E-Books, Online Resources to Revolutionize Puerto Rico Education

A short time ago, I published an article on the real cost of education in Puerto Rico. Based on hard numbers, Puerto Rico currently spends between US$9,000 and $11,000 per year per student, with less than stellar results.

Criticism is easy, especially when it is deserved. However, it is much harder to come up with alternatives that are both reasonable and politically feasible.

[Read more...]

Life in the HOT Lane: Good Public Policy Means Better Travel

Denver's I-25 Express Lanes Show Toll Roads Work

Last week, I found myself in Denver, Colorado with hopes of spending a weekend as far away from politics as possible. Yet, I found myself unable to avoid realizing some of the awesome things that happen when good public policy is allowed to work. No, I’m not talking about the state’s 2012 cannabis legalization, which has failed to bring the city to its knees. No, what struck me was something much more mundane.

En route to a day of hiking, a friend and I hopped on the highway for the quick trip from the central part of the city to its northern suburbs before continuing on to Boulder. It would have been simple enough, except for the fact that traffic was especially heavy on Interstate 25 on this Saturday morning. On any other highway, this would have meant an hour lost while stuck on a congested road. However, on this day, we happened to be approaching the entrance to the I-25 Express Lanes.

[Read more...]

Felipe Cuevas: Arrested for a Crime That Does Not Exist

The Tip of the Iceberg of Chavismo's Disregard for the Rule of Law

Earlier this month, the Venezuelan regime welcomed Chilean activist Felipe Cuevas in a proudly totalitarian and repressive fashion: an arbitrary detention in violation of the Constitution and our nation’s laws. While that episode may have generated headlines, such acts from the Chavistas occur on a widespread basis.

Let us consider why.

Puerto Rico Needs the Death Penalty, Not Superficial Moralism

To Do Nothing Is to Let the Reign of Organized Crime Continue

Time and time again I hear the same response to my proposals for Puerto Rico: “you have many good ideas, but the death penalty is unacceptable.”

I understand the natural fear and rational distrust of government abuse. I seek limited government and maximum personal freedom, while maintaining a working society.

I cannot accept, however — in the face of more than 5,000 murders in the last six years in Puerto Rico — that somehow the government should be unable to put to death those who deserve to die. It is the moral thing to go with those who murder others or who commit insurrection against the independent country, once it is established.

[Read more...]

Venezuelans Are Fleeing, but to Where?

Tired of 21st-Century Socialism: Educated, Entrepreneurs, Young Seek Future Abroad

EspañolVenezuela used to be an ideal place to escape civil wars, economic crises, and dictatorships. In the 1950s, thousands of immigrants from Europe and Latin America found a home in this tropical country. But now the oil-rich nation is witnessing an unprecedented scene: its own citizens fleeing in droves.

People departing Venezuela's crisis zone now snap a pictures of their shoes on the floor of Maiquetia Airport floor, just outside of Caracas.

People departing Venezuela now snap pictures of their shoes on the floor of Maiquetia Airport, just outside of Caracas. The floor design is by Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz Diez. (Facebook)

There are no official records, but independent researchers estimate that about 1 million Venezuelans have fled their home country during the Chavista era (1999-2014).

According to a World Bank statistic, 521,500 citizens had left by 2010, and the worsening situation suggests that movement has only accentuated in the past four years. The top destinations are the United States (260,000), Panama (240,000), Spain (200,000), Italy (150,000), and Portugal (100,000).

[Read more...]

Produit brute : J.M. Keynes contre J-B Say

L'investissement et non la consommation mènent l'économie

Par Steve Hanke

À la fin d’avril dernier, le Bureau d’analyse économique (BEA) et le Département de commerce ont annoncé qu’ils commenceraient à calculer de nouvelles statistiques sur les comptes nationaux aux États-Unis. Après le produit intérieur brut (PIB), le BEA calculera aussi le produit brut (gross output ou GO). Cette annonce s’est faite sans tambour ni trompette et a été largement ignorée. C’est dommage, mais un tel oubli est commun dans la presse financière du pays. Surtout quand on comprend que le GO représente une avancée significative.

[Read more...]

Quebec’s Boorish Unions Cling to Generous Pensions

Economic Reality Hits, Spoiled Children Throw Their Toys

When union members believe their “entitlements” are “under attack,” they fight tooth and nail to keep them. We saw how ugly it got in Michigan, in the midst of the right-to-work debate.

Quebec government employees protest over pension reform. (@ChrisAylwardVP)

Unions protest in Quebec. (@ChrisAylwardVP)

However, that’s likely to pale in comparison to what’s brewing right now in the Canadian province of Quebec. The Liberal Party government has put forward Bill III (PDF), which would reform municipal-employee pension plans. Among other changes, it would increase the employee contributions to their retirement to 50 percent — very few pay that at the moment — and give municipalities the freedom to stop indexing annuities.

[Read more...]

“Socialism is Wealth,” Only for Chávez’s Cronies

Chavista Elitists Shamelessly Rake In Millions while Nation Suffers

EspañolVenezuelan newspaper El Universal reported on Thursday, August 14, that the Venezuelan central government has obtained US$10.68 million in credit from the National Assembly to import basic personal-hygiene products that have remained scarce since last year.

Unfortunately, news of the loan is unlikely to inspire relief among Venezuelans who must wait in long lines to buy bare necessities such as toilet paper. Scarcity of everything from milk to toothpaste has become endemic throughout Venezuela, and store shelves are often stocked with only one brand option — if at all — forcing Venezuelans to overpay for ill-suited products before the available supply runs out.

Solo una opción debido a las dificultades de importar (Wilfredor/ Wikimedia)

In Venezuelan supermarkets only one option exists for many basic consumer products. (Wikimedia)

The intention of this article is not to deride Venezuela, nor imply that the people of impoverished countries deserve the hardships of scarcity. Rather, I want to point out the irony of the Venezuelan economic crisis: a country with such infrastructural and resource potential for domestic production, yet forced to import consumer goods with capital that should have been invested in the promise that once was Venezuela.

[Read more...]