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A European genocide

18 December 2008
Among the past century's horrors, the Great Famine in Ukraine manages to stand out. First, for the scale of the mass starvation inflicted by Stalin on millions of people in Europe's agricultural breadbasket, and second, for how little the world knows about this genocide. A now-free Ukraine wants to change…

Singapore a lesson in waiting

18 Dec 08   FMF Policy Bulletin
The United States spends about 16 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. That's a three-fold increase since 1960, says Byron Schlomach, director of economic policy with the Goldwater Institute. Many suggest that the United States should emulate Europe and Canada, which spend an estimated 7 per…

Tribute to the late Michael Magcaleka Jwambi

18 Dec 08   Temba A Nolutshungu
In 1997, the Free Market Foundation recognised the achievements of an exceptional entrepreneur. As the year comes to an end, it is fitting that we honour him and acknowledge his courage and clarity of vision. A tribute prepared by Cape Town director, Temba Nolutshungu, follows: Michael Jwambi was no ordinary mortal.…

Nuclear power still part of the mix

18 Dec 08  
The South African government has ended the bidding process for a second nuclear programme because of the price tag. However, the decision does not mean an abandonment of nuclear energy – the government has indicated that it will likely revisit the option in four to five years, when Eskom’s…

SA seeks ‘flexibility’ from Doha trade talks

18 Dec 08  
South Africa is resisting further trade liberalisation in the ongoing multilateral trade talks. Tariffs in South Africa are among the lowest for developing countries, and as SA’s chief trade negotiator, Xavier Carim points out, South Africa has taken deep cuts as a result of the 1994 Uruguay round. The…

Put health care costs under the knife

10 Dec 08   FMF Policy Bulletin
With health care costs steadily rising and family budgets contracting, financial and health care experts recommend that consumers take control over their medical costs. Most urge being relentless in asking questions, searching for alternatives and maintaining self-discipline. Consumers should shop for better prescription deals, says Devon Herrick, a health care economist…

A worrying prognosis: nationalised health care funding for America

10 Dec 08   FMF Policy Bulletin
After he assumes office, Barack Obama will likely introduce a reworked version of Hillary Clinton's 1990s health care plan, says Pete du Pont, chairman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. A more nationalised system was introduced two weeks ago by Senator Max Baucus (Democrat-Montana) to put government, as opposed…

The ‘rationing problem’ in Medicaid, Medicare

10 Dec 08   FMF Policy Bulletin
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy says he is "looking forward to working with Barack Obama on health care." Kennedy, is reportedly preparing to take the lead role in the health care debate on Capitol Hill, once Obama takes office. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has already introduced a universal…

Studying abroad

10 Dec 08  
In the media's version, America during the Bush years has been an unpopular and insular country. But one group would seem to differ: young people. The United States remains the top destination for students from around the world, while Americans are studying abroad in record numbers too, says the Wall…

Ultimate outsourcing

10 Dec 08  
Medical tourism is becoming an increasingly viable source of more basic health care for some of those sidelined by the insurance system in America, where 47 million people are uninsured and many millions are underinsured. Now, Americans who live along the Mexican border are driving and even walking south in…

Outsourcing prisoners

04 Dec 08  
The U.S. crackdown on illegal immigration, longer mandatory sentences for certain crimes and other factors have overcrowded many government facilities, thousands of inmates have been transferred to private prisons and detention centres, says the Wall Street Journal. As of the middle of 2007, private prisons housed 7.4 per cent of the…

Pakistan’s bailout

04 Dec 08  
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to approve an aid package for Pakistan making it the first country to succumb to the IMF in the current economic crunch. A lot is riding on whether the Fund's policy conditions help or hurt the economy – and early signs are mixed,…

Iceland abandoned

04 Dec 08  
Last year, Iceland was considered an economic success story; it was one of the world's 10 richest and freest countries enjoying a strong pension system, strong economic growth and one of the lowest poverty levels in Europe. However, all went wrong in October of 2008: the 3 main Icelandic banks…

Are you better off than you were 40 years ago?

04 Dec 08  
Are you better off than you were 40 years ago? That is a complicated question to measure. Wealth expands people's choices, and Americans are fabulously more prosperous than they were in 1968, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at George Mason University. According to the Census Bureau, income…

SADC malaria day commemorated in KZN

27 Nov 08  
The annual South African Development Community (SADC) malaria day was held on 14 November. Health ministers attending the commemorations descended on the small town of Jozini in northern KwaZulu-Natal to raise awareness of the risks of the disease before the start of the rainy season that typically runs from November…

Why government spending does not stimulate economic growth

25 Nov 08  
In a throwback to the 1930s and 1970s, Democratic lawmakers in the US are betting that the country’s economic ills can be cured by an extraordinary expansion of government, says Brian M. Riedl, the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic…

Regulation and distrust

25 Nov 08  
People living under the yoke of corrupt governments tend to want … more government regulation. It's a vicious cycle: in trusting societies, people act civilly and expect less government interference. In distrustful societies, people act selfishly and expect tighter regulation. But more government corruption leads to less-trusting societies, and citizens…

Putting Canadian patients first

25 Nov 08   FMF Policy Bulletin
Canada has a health care system where everything revolves around the system. When Medicare was introduced it was supposed to be a floor, meaning no one would suffer because they didn't have access to necessary healthcare. What it has evolved into is a ceiling where no one is allowed better…

Canada’s low-tech health care in a high tech world

25 Nov 08   FMF Policy Bulletin
According to a recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publication, Canada has about 60 per cent as many MRI machines and CT scanners – considered basic tools of healthcare today – per population as the average OECD nation, lags well behind some of the leaders and Medicare is…