Politicos Demand Equality as They Lord over Chile

Chilean Elites Begin to Distance Themselves from Proles They "Represent"

EspañolBy Jorge Gómez Arismendi

In response to criticism for a salary increase for members of the Chilean Congress, the president of the Chamber of Deputies Aldo Cornejo indicated that “some advisors in the current administration earn more money than members of Congress, and that this goes completely unnoticed.”

A recent teacher strike demonstrated the hypocrisy of "egalitarian" politicians in Chile.

A recent teacher strike demonstrated the hypocrisy of “egalitarian” politicians in Chile. (Crónica Digital)

According to El Líbero, the executive secretary of the National Council for Children, María Estela Ortiz, tops the list of the highest-paid government officials. She takes in around US$13,000 per month. She is closely followed by the macroeconomic coordinator of the National Budget Office of the Finance Ministry, Claudio Soto Gamboa, who makes around US$12,000 in monthly wages.

What procedures and criteria were used to hire these officials? How is their pay determined or readjusted? What control and evaluation mechanisms are they subject to? How are their powers and responsibilities defined?

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Peña Nieto’s Own Federal Police Culpable in Ayotzinapa Massacre

Truth Even More Damning than Official Story of Mexico’s Missing 43

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On November 27, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto professed an understatement that was almost insulting, to a country rocked by protests over the disappearance of 43 students. Peña Nieto proposed police reform on account of “institutional weakness,” which characterizes Mexico’s 1,800 municipal police forces, many of them infiltrated by organized crime.

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto's credibility is falling apart, as even his own federal police were witnessed at the scene of the crime. (@ActualidadRT)

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s credibility is falling apart, as even his own federal police were witnessed at the scene of the crime. (@ActualidadRT)

The announcement, in which Peña Nieto reaffirmed his commitment to a “secure” Mexico, might go down as one of the biggest examples of hypocrisy in the nation’s history. His administration’s official version of the September 26 events in Iguala is beginning to collapse in the face of the reality.

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Fewer Victimless Crimes, Fewer Eric Garners

Liberate the Economy to Strike the Root of Police Brutality

By Ruben Pacheco

The murder of Eric Garner demonstrates that economic freedom is inseparable from civil liberties. If we want laws that are applied equally and without prejudice, we need police reform and regulatory reform. The United States has immense overcriminalization, and illegal commerce is one of the many ways the state criminalizes peaceful people.

Regulation, in practice, means brutalizing those who don’t obey.

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Millions have marched throughout the United States, decrying police brutality against victims such as Eric Garner. (@historicalpics)

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The New Republic Knew Not What It Was Doing

Hit Piece on ZEDEs Fails to Grasp Economics, Promise for Struggling Nation

EspañolThe New Republic has published a hit piece on the Zones for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs). The gist of the critique is that Hondurans are selling their sovereignty to multinational corporations with the hopes of economic development, but that this will in fact lead to more poverty and greater wealth inequality.

I previously wrote a response in a snarky tone, but I have decided that would be unhelpful. So first, there are two factual errors in the piece. Danielle Marie Mackey, the author, names the Committee for the Application of Best Practices, though it is actually the Committee for the Adoption of Best Practices (CAMP being the Spanish acronym). Second, Grover Norquist is listed as a vice president of Polaroid, a position held by his father.

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Venezuela’s Brain Drain and the Specter of Barriers to Exit

Educated Professionals to Be Tuition Hostages of Socialist Revolution?

(Twitter)

For the Maduro regime, professionals who receive subsidized education and then emigrate are “robbing” the state.  (Twitter)

EspañolIs free or subsidized education a tool for progress, or a burden on young people? In Venezuela, the government has begun a scheme of bureaucratic persecution against those who use public education, and it appears that soon they’ll dictate where the next generation of Venezuelan professionals can use their training.

Al vicepresidente Jorge Arreaza le molesta que, después de vivir en el exterior, muchos venezolanos no quieran regresar a su país. (Wikimedia)

Vice President Jorge Arreaza is annoyed that many Venezuelans don’t want to return to their home country after living abroad. (Wikimedia)

According to recent statements made by Vice President Jorge Arreaza during the 24th Ibero-American Summit, education is a favor granted by the state to the citizen, which the latter is obliged to return.

“We want to raise the alarm on mobility, because we’re suffering from it,” he said, in reference to the massive migration of Venezuelans abroad in recent months. “In Venezuela, we’re not only suffering a brain drain … we’re suffering the theft of brains.”

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An Austere Quebec? If Only

Out-of-Control Finances Compel Cuts, Not Feeble Fauxsterity

Español FrançaisDepending on whom you listen to, the people of Quebec are living in dark days. Huffington Post bloggers are unanimous: “unbridled” austerity imposed by the Liberal government is destroying hard-won “entitlements” acquired in the past 55 years.

There’s just one problem: Quebec isn’t facing austerity, but fauxsterity. As I’ve previously demonstrated, there have been no spending cuts in Quebec. In fact, the latest official economic update confirms it: spending is set to increase by 1 to 2 percent annually for the next five years. [Read more…]

Québec : La faustérité et l’austérité

Aider les contribuables ou les syndicats?

EnglishDécidément, ça va mal au Québec. Les blogueurs du Huffington Post Québec sont presque unanimes : l’austérité « sauvage » imposée par le gouvernement Couillard est en train de détruire les « acquis » sociaux des 55 dernières années.

L’ennui, c’est que le Québec n’est pas sous l’emprise de l’austérité mais de la faustérité. Tel que montré précédemment, il n’y a pas eu de coupures de dépense au Québec. D’ailleurs, la mise à jour économique le confirme : les dépenses continuent d’augmenter entre un et deux pour cent au cours des cinq prochaines années.

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If Black Lives Matter, Not Only Police Need to Be Accountable

Replace the Blame Game with a Culture of Pride

EspañolThe deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, coupled with the absence of punishment for the policemen involved, have sparked many protests and debates across the country. Aside from police brutality, accusations of racism immediately rose to the forefront. Some commentators have even predicted a nationwide race war.

These two incidents are far from the first of their kind; such regrettable and fatal confrontations have been occurring in the United States for decades. No one is flat out denying that police brutality happens, or that at least a decent portion of cops racially profile when it comes to minorities (as numerous of reports attest). However, there is more to the story that ought to be considered.

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Marriage Slipping Away in Great White North

The Canadian Retreat to Informal Relationships Marches On

This week I published a review of Broken Bonds, which examines the decline of familial relationships in the United States. While my focus was on dismissing the book as junk, the problem of broken families remains, and that goes for Canada as well.

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, led by Andrea Mrozek, does valuable work monitoring and standing up for the family unit, and they have just released this concise infographic on the topic. In particular, it reveals that the trend continues to this day, and was not isolated to a shock in the 1960s and 1970s.

(Institute for Marriage and Family Canada)

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Space-Age Vending Machine Says No Nachos for You!

The Technology of Soft Paternalism Has Arrived

A few years back there was a joke making the rounds on the internet about buying pizza in a nanny-state world. Although there were variations, the joke went something like this: a guy calls a pizza place and asks for a large pepperoni. The operator stops him and says he has already had his fill of pepperoni for this month, and he is way over his cheese quota. He also mentions that his cholesterol is high and he is a borderline diabetic, so he can have a tofu pizza.

“Where did you get all of that information,” the caller demands?

“Well, from your public records … from the government.”

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