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Free Market Foundation Quarterly Review October – December 2010

29 December 2010
FMF
Free Market Foundation Quarterly Review October – December 2010…

Social Engineering and its Consequences

25 December 2010
The 18th Century Scottish poet, Robert Burns, could well have had modern attempts at social engineering in mind when he wrote: The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often askew, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy! The “best laid schemes”…

More FDA Authority Won't Improve Food Safety

22 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
With as many as 5,000 Americans dying every year from food-borne illnesses, consumers would obviously benefit from a safer food supply. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act won't help us reach that goal, says Gregory Conko, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The real…

Unemployment Insurance in the US Kills Small Business

22 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
While politicians in Washington negotiate a deal to provide welcome temporary payroll, income and estate tax relief to America's workers, struggling employers wonder how long they'll have to pay for the compassion of others – and whether they can survive, says Michelle Malkin. The Beltway deal hinges on extending federal unemployment…

Bullying Ireland

22 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Irish bailout recently approved by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund is serving as a pretext for governments (France, Germany), multilateral institutions (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and others to bully Dublin into raising its corporate tax rate, currently set at 12.5 per cent. Ireland…

Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada 2010 Report

22 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Fraser Institute's 20th annual waiting list survey finds that province-wide wait times for surgical and other therapeutic treatments in Canada have increased in 2010:   Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 special ties and 10 Canadian provinces report a total waiting time of 18.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and…

How to Get Good Grades

22 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) PISA study details and ranks the reading, mathematics and science skills of 15 year olds in each member country every three years. But even more important than ranking school systems is knowing how to make them better, says the Economist. That is the…

Not a Government Policy

22 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
Income inequality is the wrong focus for government policy. After all, if we doubled the income of every American tomorrow, inequality would actually increase – but we would also lift a lot of Americans out of poverty, says Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. In the context…

Do Americans Still Believe Freedom Leads to Prosperity?

17 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The modern ideals of private property, free markets and low taxes found unprecedented success in America over the last two hundred years. Beginning with free trade between the states, low taxes and a nearly hereditary aversion to government meddling – America prospered. The United States, with less than 5 per…

Obama's Trade Contortions

17 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Obama administration has been letting the free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia, signed in 2008, languish in a drawer, and its explanations for doing so grow more convoluted every day, says Mary Anastasia O'Grady, an editor at the Wall Street Journal. There's a reason for that. Under Obamanomics, exports are…

Ireland's Reality Is Every Country’s Reality

17 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
As the government of Ireland undergoes scrutiny and criticism for its mismanaged fiscal house, the media risks missing the primary lesson, says Emily Skarbek, a research fellow and director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute. Poor public sector incentives drive politicians to enact policies that defy the…

How the US Government Is Creating another Housing Bubble

17 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
It looks like the government will soon use the taxpayers' check book again to create a vast market for mortgages with low or no down payments and for overstretched borrowers with blemished credit, say Peter J. Wallison, a senior fellow, and Edward J. Pinto, a resident fellow, at the American…

Why the Spending Stimulus Failed

17 Dec 10  
In the US the intellectual and political left argues that the failed $814 billion stimulus in 2009 wasn't big enough, and that spending control any time soon will derail the economy. But economic theory, history and statistical studies reveal that more taxes and spending are more likely to harm than…

Delays in drug registration hamper access

17 Dec 10   Jasson Urbach
In the SA market, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection lasts for a maximum of 20 years but the registration process consumes a significant portion of the time period allowed to recoup costs due to the lengthy period of time (sometimes up to 5 years) taken by the Medicines Control Council…

Price controls reduce access to medicines

10 Dec 10   Jasson Urbach
Dispensing fees, which stipulate the maximum price that pharmacists are allowed to charge for medicines, have been a bone of contention since the regulations were first proposed in January 2004, when the maximum price was set at an arbitrarily defined level of R24. Pharmacists, arguing that these prices were unreasonable,…

The U.S. Generalised System of Preferences: Helping the Poor, But at What Price?

08 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. government has maintained programs to benefit certain developing countries and aid their development through preferential access to the U.S. market. American companies can import products from beneficiary countries (i.e., those eligible for the special treatment afforded by the programs) at a lower or zero rate…

Stimulus: Still Not Working!

08 Dec 10  
When the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed on February 13, 2009, it became the biggest spending bill in the history of the country, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The stimulus was divided into three main pieces: $288…

Make Taxes Visible

08 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
Here is an idea that should receive support from just about everyone: the taxpayer savings account (TSA). Instead of the current withholding system, amounts withheld from your pay check would go into a segregated account that you own. Interest that accumulates would be yours to keep, instead of accruing to…

The Negative Consequences of Government Expenditure

08 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The U.S. national debt currently stands at 62 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) – its highest level since WWII. Under plausible assumptions, this ratio will rise to at least 80 per cent and possibly 185 per cent of GDP by 2035 and continue increasing thereafter. As the debt…

What's Good for New GM Is Bad for the Rest of America

08 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
The measure of success of the General Motors (GM) bailout should not be how fast GM emerged from bankruptcy, but the degree to which contracts are honoured in an impartial process. By this measure, the bailout/takeover is a complete failure, says John Berlau, director of the Center for Investors and…

Fixing Transit: The Case for Privatisation

03 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
America's experiment with government ownership of urban transit systems has proven to be a disaster, says Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute. Since Congress began giving states and cities incentives to take over private transit systems in 1964, worker productivity – the number of transit riders carried…

Patients Should Pay Their Own Bills

03 Dec 10   FMF Policy Bulletin
Blame for increases in health care costs should be placed on the system the government has promoted, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).   The US tax code encourages employers to buy health care insurance plans with pre tax dollars.   Nearly 60 per cent of American adults are covered by an employer-based plan. This arrangement…