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Free Market Foundation Quarterly Review October – December 2009

29 December 2009
FMF
Free Market Foundation Quarterly Review October – December 2009…

Unemployment and the labour laws

22 December 2009
COSATU is challenging government for the wrong reasons. It should demand that government adopt policies that will increase the demand for labour, thus driving wages and benefits up and unemployment down. Both employed and unemployed South Africans will benefit if the labour market is changed from a strong buyers market…

Excessive legislation and the culture of crime

22 Dec 09  
Central to any free and open society is the concept of law. Proper laws acknowledge the boundaries between people that we all recognise. And respect for such law is vital. But for laws to be respected they must be worthy of respect. While most people are happy to honour the…

“Burgernomics” for South Africans

22 Dec 09   Jasson Urbach
In 1986, journalists writing for the Economist devised a novel guide to help determine whether currencies are at their “correct” level. They based this guide on a standardised product available in over 100 countries – the McDonalds Big Mac burger. They chose the Big Mac because it is a highly…

High compliance costs are a deterrent to hiring labour

22 Dec 09   Eustace Davie
An IMF study carried out in 2000 found that SA’s labour laws were not more inflexible than those of the OECD countries. However, that does not mean that they are appropriate for our circumstances. SA has an appreciably higher number of unskilled and semi-skilled people than the OECD member states. Furthermore,…

Globalisation is most popular in poor countries

22 Dec 09   Jim Peron
Every so often some international conference dealing with world trade and issues revolving around globalisation takes place. Without fail the organised forces of the anti-globalisation movement appear outside the gates. They whine, they protest, they frequently riot and attack. If you ask them they’ll tell you that what they do…

Give back to the jobless the right to choose

22 Dec 09  
Winnie Serobe, a leading member of Soweto’s Ikageng Women’s Group, is an imposing woman; both physically and in her moral courage. During Apartheid she courageously resisted the inhuman laws that subjugated her people and with her women’s group she defended the rights of countless helpless families. Now, 10 years…

Price controls and VAT reduce access to medicines

17 Dec 09   Jasson Urbach
The beginning of this year marked the introduction of the new amended medicine pricing regulations, which have been a bone of contention for a number of years. The initial regulations were proposed in 2004 and were immediately challenged by the retail pharmacies. The matter was heard in the Cape High…

SA’s unemployment battle continues

17 Dec 09   Jasson Urbach
During his inaugural State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma promised an additional 500,000 ‘job opportunities’ by the end of this year. Although we have not quite reached the year-end, it has been clear for a while now that the ambitious target will not be met. Instead, what has…

Depopulation and longevity are causing headaches for welfare states

17 Dec 09  
Some 400 million plus people disappeared the other day and it wasn¹t from a spate of alien abductions. The United Nations Population Division has revised its projected world population figures down by 403 million people. This is from its projection of just two years ago. For the first time they…

Feeding the Food Crisis, Securing Insecurity

17 Dec 09  
Help the poor by destroying the rich; create food security by increasing farm insecurity; increase supplies by reducing incentives; help farmers get better prices by banning their right to use “middlemen”; improve crops by banning crop-improving science; help consumers by reducing their right to vote with their rands; and stabilise…

Population alarmists

17 Dec 09  
The great British broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has become the latest in a long line of illustrious people to say we need to cut population growth sharply or face a grim future. Is he right? Attenborough, in supporting Britain's Optimum Population Trust – a group that advocates reducing human numbers –…

Genetically modified crops boost yields more in developing countries

11 Dec 09  
Critics of genetically modified (GM) crops claim they are not useful in the developing world because they only reduce pesticide use rather than improve yields. Yet Matin Qaim, of the University of Bonn, led a new study involving field trials in India. His results suggest GM crops have far greater…

An African's advice for fighting AIDS

11 Dec 09   Franklin Cudjoe
World leaders gathered in Gleneagles, Scotland, to discuss the great issues of the day and had their deliberations cruelly interrupted. However, Make Poverty History (MPH) campaigners had already cashed in on their much publicised emotional tirade against what they believe perpetuates poverty in Africa: debts, free trade and insufficient aid.…

Who are Africa’s saviours?

11 Dec 09   Eustace Davie
Africa’s saviours are not on the benches of parliaments. They’re working in the fields, factories, shops and every other place where goods and services are produced, processed and sold. They labour on their own or in teams working together from top management down to those individuals carrying out the most…

Developing nations benefit more from biotechnology than from handouts

11 Dec 09  
Genetically modified (GM) crops have the potential to alleviate malnutrition in developing countries, but the European Union, which mostly opposes GM products, is using its political and economic clout to intimidate poorer countries from growing them. Participants in a conference on biotechnology sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute said the potential…

Keep South Africa’s e-commerce simple, effective, and lightly regulated

11 Dec 09  
There is nothing new, in law, about e-commerce. The legal concepts of offer, acceptance, and contract are all very clearly defined and cover all types of communication media, including telephone, fax, phone, paper-based and oral agreements. Why then do we require special laws for electronic transacting? Is the bill really…

Is Over-Population the Cause of Hunger in Africa?

11 Dec 09  
Agriculture forms the backbone of many African economies. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 70-80% of employment and 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) are derived from agriculture. Whereas many other countries of the world are showing substantial increases in yields, African countries suffer from decreasing agricultural yields. In spite of foreign aid, or…

A message of hope for South Africa

04 Dec 09  
South Africans are engulfed in a state of gloom. They need a message of hope – a signal that will lift their spirits and restore their faith in the future of their country. Post-1994 there was a state of general euphoria. Everyone was proud that the country’s politicians had at last…

Bigots, boycotts and business

04 Dec 09  
It is a common myth that bigotry, while endemic in the private sphere, is only eradicated when government's step in and take action. Yet the history of bigotry shows something else altogether. During the era of segregation in the American South the Civil Rights movement got a major boost from the…

Free Farmers to Fix Famine

04 Dec 09  
Last year, rising food prices and severe shortages caused riots and protests in several countries and contributed to civil unrest in others. The poorest region of the world, sub-Saharan Africa, was hit particularly hard. At the time, World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned, “[The] doubling of food prices could…

Beware of the precautionary principle

04 Dec 09   Temba A Nolutshungu
Biotechnology activists are currently attempting to persuade South Africa’s parliamentarians to adopt a super cautious approach towards the utilisation of biotechnology in agricultural development. They suggested in the run-up to parliamentary hearings on the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Bill that the ‘precautionary principle’ should be applied to the production of…