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Three Cheers for Civilisation and Free Markets this Festive Season

21 December 2011
As you open your gifts this festive season, or tuck into your dinner, take a moment to think about the extent to which free markets have made this possible. Probably, people from all over the globe have been involved in helping you enjoy your day; people you don’t know and…

Michael O’Dowd on the SA economy – August 2000

16 December 2011
In considering the general state of the South African economy, it is essential that we should recognise that South Africa is a middle level performer. While it is not one of the high flyers, what used, absurdly, to be called miracles, it is even further from the basket cases, and…

Property rights now to ensure a better future for all

07 Dec 11   Jasson Urbach
For most of human history, life was nasty, brutish and short. If you wanted something from your ‘neighbour’ you simply took it – with force if necessary. With no laws to guard the fruits of your labour or any property that you may have acquired, you lived in constant fear…

Lies, damned lies, and “the evils of capitalism”

30 Nov 11   Eustace Davie
Capitalism, free markets and economic freedom, if these terms are treated as being synonymous, mean that all property and the means of production of goods and services are owned and controlled by individuals. It also means voluntary exchange between individuals free of third party intervention, in other words, individual self-ownership. It…

Labour: Time for government to start listening

17 Nov 11   Temba A Nolutshungu
The FMF published an article more than a year ago saying that it was crisis time in South Africa. The country’s greatest crisis lies in the large-scale unemployment that is causing havoc in the lives of millions of people. The situation has not improved. In fact, it is being made…

Economic Freedom Defined

04 Nov 11   Leon Louw
George Orwell could not have predicted when he wrote 1984 that his fictional concept of words being mangled by “newspeak” to mean their opposites would ever become a reality. Well, it has, right here in South Africa. Just as he imagined that “freedom” became to mean slavery in his fiction,…

SA can achieve a 7 per cent growth rate

27 Oct 11   Jasson Urbach
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan recently said that, “South Africa needed to set itself a target of growing by around 7 per cent over a 20-year period in order to deal with unemployment and poverty in the country”. The fact that Mr Gordhan recognises economic growth as an important factor in…

Green Paper does not propose real Land Reform

14 Oct 11  
The Green Paper on Land Reform does not reveal a complete grasp of land-use realities. It fails to address current problems properly. The green paper (issued by the Minister of rural development and land reform in late August) proposes more bureaucracy, administrative invalidations of land titles, and various restrictions on…

Ten-Point Plan to Create US Jobs

30 Sep 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a 10-point plan to create US jobs in response to President Obama's jobs speech last week. Suggestions include: Repeal financial "reform" laws, such as Dodd-Frank and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, that are causing economic uncertainty and dissuading businesses from expanding, investing and hiring for new projects.…

SA’s 50 Year Tradition of Heavy-handed State Intervention Continues

22 Sep 11   Neil Emerick
As the cry goes out for “Economic freedom in our lifetime”, it is crucially important we share a common understanding of the idea. This is not an easy task. Commentators across the ideological spectrum claim the term as their own, or attribute different meanings to the words. Isaiah Berlin, for example,…

Improve Schooling: Let in the Entrepreneurs!

02 Sep 11   Eustace Davie
The education industry has the potential to become the largest investment sector on the world’s stock markets. However, for this to occur, governments would have to relinquish their existing dominance over and control of education. Compulsory schooling laws have the effect of stifling innovation. These laws and their ancillary regulations, although…

Private School Chains in Chile

01 Sep 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
There is a persistent debate over the role of scale of operations in education. Some argue that school franchises offer educational services more effectively than do small independent schools. Sceptics counter that large, centralised operations create hard-to-manage bureaucracies and foster diseconomies of scale and that small schools are more effective…

US Regulations Make Street Vending Difficult

24 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Thanks to low start-up costs, street vending has offered countless US entrepreneurs – particularly immigrants and others with little income or capital – opportunities for self-sufficiency and upward mobility. With the booming popularity of food trucks selling creative, cutting edge cuisines, as well as a sagging economy, interest in street…

Economic freedom and happiness

18 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
That liberty is necessary for greater happiness and a better life is a notion deeply rooted in the American sensibility. But is there a link between greater freedom and greater happiness across countries? Daniel M. Gropper, the David and Meredith Luck Professor in the College of Business at Auburn University, Robert…

ANCYL Misconceives Economic Freedom

18 Aug 11   Eustace Davie
According to US economist Walter Williams, a simple definition of “economic freedom” (more generally known as “a free market”), is “voluntary exchange between individuals free of third party intervention”. This is certainly not what the ANC Youth League (the ANCYL) mean in their declaration that “7 cardinal pillars of economic…

The Virtues of Free Markets

18 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Free markets have many virtues. Arguably, the most recognised is the expansion of individual choice and thus freedom – through mutually beneficial exchange. Still, free markets promote other important virtues that have heretofore received scant attention. Specifically, through fostering an indefinitely-lived series of exchanges, free markets create a future promoting…

Twenty Years of Economic Reform in India

12 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
A foreign exchange crisis in 1991 induced India to abandon decades of inward-looking socialism and adopt economic reforms that have converted the once-lumbering elephant into the latest Asian tiger, says Swaminathan Aiyar, a research fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. India's gross domestic product (GDP)…

The Free Market and its Enemies

12 Aug 11   Temba A Nolutshungu
Human beings are driven to improve their socio-economic circumstances. They utilise whatever resources of material and intellectual capital they have to address their condition of unlimited wants. They engage in economic transactions with fellow humans. Those who produce goods and services sell them to those who need them. A spontaneous…

Will South Africa Choose Entitlement or Enlightenment – Amandla or Inkululeko?

04 Aug 11   Jasson Urbach
The theme of July’s FreedomFest held in the United States, Las Vegas was: “Are we headed for another American Revolution… or a French Revolution”. Although this theme was specifically formulated to answer questions about the direction of policy change in the US, it asks a number of fundamental questions, which…

What Does It Mean to Be Poor in America?

04 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
Each year for the past two decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in "poverty." In recent years, the Census has reported that one in seven Americans are poor. But what does it mean to be "poor" in America, ask Robert Rector, a…

Convert all RDP housing to full and unrestricted freehold title

29 Jul 11   Leon Louw
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if black South Africans had equal rights, if they enjoyed the same home ownership rights as whites, if they were emancipated, empowered and trusted, if they were presumed to be the equals of whites and no longer patronised? Wouldn’t we rejoice if racism were ended, not…