As Russian control of Crimea consolidates and the fear of a potential invasion of continental Ukraine increases, Russian activities closer to home in the Western Hemisphere have been largely overlooked or perhaps just disregarded.
City officials in the town of Westbury, New York, are creating a new police task force with the authority to conduct home inspections without notice. The surprise visits aim to bust what the city considers “illegal rentals” — the practice of renting space in a home to a person not listed on the property’s mortgage or lease agreement.
In other words, it is “illegal” for a homeowner to enter into a private contract with another individual seeking living space within a given property, and the strong arm of the law will now make sure this doesn’t happen. Because property rights.
EspañolIn recent weeks, we have witnessed what is perhaps one of the lowest moments in the history of the Organization of American States (OAS) as the guarantor “of peace between its Members and safety for the mainland United” — and for its stated mission of “being a bastion of human freedom and independence of nations.”
In the words of Alberto Lleras Camargo, the first secretary general, “the OAS will be neither more nor less than its member states want it to be.” This idea was recently echoed by its current secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, who in an interview with CNN placed the responsibility on the governments of OAS member countries: “They are filled with the will to act in one way or another.”
Español While Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla continues to insist that the economy has turned the corner in Puerto Rico, the hard numbers do not back him up. The administration has instituted a series of austerity measures that, according to the Government Development Bank, have increased revenues and lowered the cost of government. Those actions, however, have not eliminated the budget deficit last estimated at roughly US$800 million.
EspañolEsLibertad — the Latin-American division of Students for Liberty — held a webinar this past week, entitled “Are Central Banks Necessary?” Directed by José Joaquín Fernández, president and CEO of the Liberty Institute in Costa Rica and a board member of the National Association for Economic Development (ANFE), the event attracted 59 attendees from all over Latin America.
Based on the direct relationship between monetary policy and inflation, Fernández explained how these dynamics affect prices and demand. He asserted that “excess monetary emission” is the only cause of inflation. His logic was that without an increase in the money supply, there can be no excess demand beyond aggregate supply, and without that, inflation is impossible.
Español “Did you ever feel that you were in a machine, that had its own purposes and goals, and had no relation to what you wanted to do or achieve?” Professor Steven Davies begins the LearnLiberty video, “Education is NOT the Same as Schooling,” with this question to his mostly college-aged audience about their educational experience so far.
Yes, Professor Davies, I absolutely did feel that I was in a machine, and sometimes, I still do.
The Ed and Ethan show is a popular podcast based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — one of the few libertarian shows coming out of Canada. This weekend, from the prairies, the hosts weighed in on the many-decades-long and divisive independence movement in Francophone Quebec.
As both a Quebec native and liberty-conscious commentator, Yaël Ossowski was the expert they called on, as they digested his latest column, “The Parti Québécois Electoral Ploy of ‘Secularism’ Will Weaken Quebec.”
EspañolThis past week, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV America offered an account of Cuba’s policy developments over the past few decades, in which they described a “more liberalized approach” that “welcomed investment.” The news anchor, Phillip Yin, even went so far as to say that “economic reforms and a push to reduce corruption [don't laugh] have helped ease some concerns from foreign investors.”
By Joel D. Hirst
EspañolThrough the author bio on an article I read somewhere I came to learn about the book The Triumph of Liberty by Jim Powell. I immediately went online, as I often do when something intrigues me, and purchased a previously owned copy from Amazon and waited expectantly. A few days later, the book arrived; a plain blue hardback cover with the word “WITHDRAWN” stamped in bold red across the binding like an ugly indictment. The book had been checked into a university library in the Midwest a decade before, and never checked out — not once.
Unfazed, I began to read.
EspañolPuerto Rico Senate President Eduardo Bhatia is calling for reform of the electricity system of Puerto Rico. Bhatia favors at least partial privatization of the power utility that has been plagued with outages, high costs, and billions in debt for years. While I applaud Senator Bhatia’s efforts, I think there may be another way to help improve things on the island.