Corrupt Morales Campaign Signals Dark Days for Bolivia

Their Way or the Highway: Socialists Seek Perpetual Grip on Power

Evo Morales

Evo Morales has used taxpayer funds to finance his bid for a third consecutive term. (@globovision)

EspañolLess than a month before presidential election in Bolivia, opposition parties find themselves scrambling to raise money through raffles. This is because the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the fourth power of the Bolivian state and completely aligned with the government, requires that every penny spent on the campaign have documentation.

This is how the government limits the ability of opposition parties to raise funds from the small number of business leaders and individuals who do not fear the political persecution of “citizens opposed to change” — as Evo Morales would say. The hunt for them has been five years in the making.
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Tax Choice Comes to Puerto Rico

The Mayor of San Juan Must Be Reading This Blog

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The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico has introduced “tax choice” to the island. (Flickr)

EspañolI wish I could take sole credit for this one, but it may not have been entirely my idea. The city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is allowing residents in some communities to vote on how to spend a portion of the city budget. This is great news, and something I proposed nearly a year ago here on the PanAm Post.

The November 2013 article I wrote questioned whether government would be more responsive if the general public had the right to vote on where to spend at least part of the budget. I wondered how many programs would survive this type of process. I have always believed that tax choice would be a powerful weapon against “pork” projects and pay offs to campaign contributors, since the general public would have little to no motivation to fund such items.

The town of Caimito, which falls under the City of San Juan, is the first community on the island to participate in the program, according to a report in El Nuevo Dia.

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How Long before Puerto Rico’s Price-Controlled Medicine Runs Out?

Interventionist Policies in the Island's Economy Could Have Deadly Consequences

EspañolGovernment just cannot seem to learn that price controls and interventions in the market always do more harm than good. In fact, suppressing the free market by regulating prices is often the exact opposite of what an ailing economy needs.

Few contemporary examples illustrate this more clearly than Venezuela, where price controls and other interventionist policies have led to bare store shelves, a shortage of basic commodities, purchasing restrictions, and the world’s highest inflation rate.

Not to be left out of the conversation, however, is Puerto Rico. The semi-autonomous island commonwealth is jumping on the bandwagon by enacting strict price controls on medications.  Some medicines can be prohibitively expensive on the island, but the list of regulated medications is all-inclusive, including everything from the truly expensive Advair inhaler and Lyrica pill, to the more ordinary stomach acid medication Nexium.

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Carleton University Silences Dissent in the Name of Tolerance

Free Speech Takes Backseat to "Safe Space" Policy

EspañolBy Michael Kennedy

On April 26, 1968, a young man named Paul Robert Cohen was arrested for wearing a jacket in the Los Angeles Courthouse, bearing the words “F–k the Draft.” The jacket, according to Cohen, expressed his sentiments about the Vietnam War and the use of conscription by the US Government.

Cohen was charged under California’s Penal Code for “maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person [by] offensive conduct,” and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The incident led to one of the most famous and important rulings in US jurisprudence regarding free expression.

Venezuela Withers before the World’s Indifferent Gaze

Patriots Must Unite against the Chavista Storm

EspañolThe Venezuelan government continues to create and enforce new systems of control. For example, the government’s new compulsory biometric system intends to track consumers and ban “purchases that cause shortages in supermarkets.” This new fingerprinting system is their way of “maintaining order in the food supply.” The government does not seem to understand that the solution to these problems is not more control.

El barrio José Félix Ribas en la zona de Petare, en Caracas, es uno de los más densos de América Latina (Wikimedia)

The Petare sector of Caracas is one of the most densely populated in Latin America. (Wikimedia)

Venezuela is the clearest example that the mere existence of natural resources does not better a country, or its economy. Instead of using these resources efficiently, the government distributes them demagogically. Oil in the hands of the Venezuelan government has served to finance corrupt populist programs, distributing oil money as if handing out treats to children.

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Puerto Rico Won’t Pay Her Bills, So the Last Air Ambulance Closes

Island's Economic Crisis Will Soon Have a Body Count

EspañolEighteen months. That is how long it has been since air-ambulance service Aeromed has been paid for its services by the Puerto Rico health program “Mi Salud” — for a debt of $US4.6 million dollars.

aeromed

(Aeromed Facebook)

As a result, Puerto Rico’s only air-ambulance service is shutting down. Those injured in a serious accident, who cannot be transported by ambulance fast enough to save their lives, will die.

They will not die because the technology doesn’t exist. They will not die because there is no will to save them. They will die because the commonwealth government, under the current administration of Alejandro García Padilla, has utterly failed in its attempt to lead the territory.

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International Consensus Builds: The War on Drugs Is a Fiasco

Heavyweights Present the Truth, a Scathing Criticism of Prohibition

EspañolThe struggle for drug-policy reform is moving toward a dramatic shift, thanks to the efforts of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP). This group of high-profile world leaders have thrust the debate onto front pages around the world.

In a new report titled, “Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work,” the GCDP presents an objective analysis of the current state of international drug enforcement and prevention measures. Divided into six sections, it reveals the consequences of the so-called war on drugs, which they describe as “a failure in its own terms” and “threatening public health and safety.”

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The Caribbean’s Asia Pivot: A Hedge against US Decline

Both Words and Actions Indicate Lack of Confidence in Dominant Neighbor

By Michael Edghill

EspañolThere has been quite a bit of attention paid to the Obama Administration’s so-called Asia Pivot in the last few years, as pundits and theorists try to decide what it means for the future of international relations. US foreign policy has been as invested in developing relations with the nations of the Asia/Pacific region as ever, in a thinly veiled attempt to balance the ever-expanding, and somewhat oppressive, influence of China. With more attention being focused on Asia, many were curious whether or not the United States would become more disengaged elsewhere.

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Federalism the Cure to US Transportation Ills

Laboratories of Creativity, Innovation Beckon

The US Congress may have passed a temporary revenue patch to the federal Highway Trust Fund this summer, but the debate over transportation revenues and spending is far from over. Short-term fixes do nothing to solve the long-term, structural problems facing the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

The core problem is that much of the transportation-policy debate is taking place in Washington, DC, and not statehouses nationwide. As Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has explained, transportation “is an area where the States have to make their own decisions.”

Decentralizing the federal government’s convoluted and centralized transportation funding system would result in improved management, local tailoring, and reduced waste.

When Sitcoms Are Sabotage, Emperor Chávez Has No Clothes

Chávez's Cult Followers Seek to Deify Him for Generations to Come

Chávez

Maduro, king of Venezuela by the grace of Chávez, faces the regime’s structural problems. (NicolásMaduro)

EspañolAn impeccably prepared scenario took place in 2012. With the flag behind and to his right and a bust of Simón Bolívar that seemed to stare at him from his left, Hugo Chavez “delegated” the leadership of the 21st-century-socialist revolution to Nicolás Maduro, in the event of his death.

It was a momentous event in the history of both Chavismo and Venezuela — although the regime’s sympathizers often confuse them as the same thing. The nationwide televised transmission bestowed dominance to the most doctrinaire Chavistas (Maduro’s) over allies in the military (led by Diosdado Cabello). Thus, Maduro became the chosen successor of Venezuela’s godlike character who turned out to be Chávez.

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