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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…

Economic Freedom Defined

04 November 2011
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,…

Individual Liberty at No Cost to Anyone Else

07 Oct 11   Eustace Davie
Everyone says they believe in freedom. The kind of freedom that endures is individual liberty that comes at no cost to anyone else. Increasing such liberty is the best way to solve many of S A and the world’s problems. Friedrich Hayek, the eminent 20th century economist, wrote The Road to…

Fast Food Suggested Target for Stealth Tax

30 Sep 11   Jasson Urbach
There has been a lot of talk about taxes in the media recently mainly centred on two proposals – a “wealth tax” and “junk food tax”. The wealth tax has been covered extensively but the debate about a fast food tax has yet to be adequately digested. Before we analyse…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Bigger Government: A threat to personal liberty in South Africa

22 Jul 11   Vivian Atud
Since 1994 the South African government has set some admirable goals to grow the economy and extend benefits to the majority of the people. Yet, for many South Africans, this ideal of a better society is still a dream. Many people, even those in government, are worried about the increasing ineffectiveness…

Freedom for all in South Africa

28 Jun 11   Jasson Urbach
Despite a plethora of evidence that economically free societies are better off by virtually every measure of wellbeing than societies that are directed and controlled by a central authority, there continues to be significant opposition to ideas of political and economic freedom. Indeed, in the South African context much of…

Liberty is indivisible

20 May 11   Temba A Nolutshungu
It is not possible to have liberty for some and not for others in the same country. Whilst blacks were being oppressed by apartheid in South Africa, the liberty of whites was being compromised by the measures necessary to suppress the aspirations of their fellow citizens (actually non citizens). In…

Let liberty reign

19 May 11   Eustace Davie
The world has never known true liberty; those conditions under which individual freedom prevails, described by Friedrich Hayek as “a state in which each can use his knowledge for his purposes”. Hayek’s definition of freedom may appear simple but it has profound implications. Where, on earth, can individuals use their knowledge…

Erosion of individual liberty

31 Mar 11   Eustace Davie
Politicians and government appointed officials everywhere are, to a greater or lesser extent, gradually transferring control over people’s lives to themselves. They want all of the power to rule all of the people. Institutions, such as democracy, the law, money and education, intended to protect and enhance liberty, are being…

The role of government: provider or protector?

24 Mar 11   Temba A Nolutshungu
Mankind, in the state of nature, is essentially and necessarily characterised by the powerful logic of freedom (John Locke, 17th century philosopher, in “Two Treatises on Government”). To preserve and protect this free state of being against threat, social entities or supra-societal institutions, such as government, developed. For human society…

Honduras Will Create Model Cities Based on Free Market

02 Mar 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The Honduran Congress is expected to soon pass an amendment to the constitution that would clear the way to put "model cities" based on free market principles into action, says the Wall Street Journal. The idea is simple:   A sizable piece of unpopulated government land is designated for use as a model…

School Choice Could Improve SA’s Results

13 Jan 11   Eustace Davie
Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, announced last week that 67.8 per cent of matric students had passed the 2010 examinations, compared to the 60.7 per cent in 2009. Some people applauded the improvement; others were appalled by the 32.2 per cent failure rate. Many suggestions for improving the pass rate have…