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Good Governance

04 November 2011
Governments face difficult decisions in formulating economic policies. Not only do they receive conflicting advice from economists and policy analysts putting forward very different, even totally opposite solutions to economic problems, they also have to contend with sometimes ill-considered or partisan pressure from their political supporters. Politicians are subject to perverse…

Can We Determine the Optimal Size of Government?

30 September 2011
The massive spending programs and new regulations adopted by many countries around the world in response to the economic crisis of 2008 have drawn renewed attention to the role of government in the economy. Studies of the relationship between government size and economic growth have come up with a wide…

Most US Lawmakers Lack Education in Economics

30 Sep 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
The vast majority of U.S. lawmakers lack an academic background in business or economics, according to a study by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), reports Politico.   Only 13.7 per cent majored in business or accounting and 8.4 per cent have an economics degree.   On the Senate budget committee, five out of 23…

Are US Taxpayers Getting Their Money's Worth?

24 Aug 11  
Citizens across the country are struggling to make ends meet. They are frustrated with the failure of their elected representatives in Congress to address pressing national problems to make things better for all Americans. Compounding their frustration is the fact that members of Congress receive pay and benefits far in…

How Spending Cuts – Not Higher Taxes – Saved Canada

12 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
When Jean Chretien became prime minister in 1993, Canada faced a fiscal and economic breakdown. The government's share of the economy had climbed to 53 per cent in 1992, from 28 per cent in 1960. The new administration slashed spending. Unemployment benefits were cut by nearly 40 per cent. The…

The Myth of the Benevolent Dictator

12 Aug 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
There is a real danger that the search for a benevolent dictator may become a development mantra in many countries. Proponents of democracy should take notice and show that democracy is the path for sustainable development, and that there are no substitutes for institutional reforms in seeking growth and development,…

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…

Government Spending Affects Gross Domestic Product

23 Jun 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
In February, the Goldman Sachs economist Alec Phillips predicted that a Republican proposal in the House of Representatives to cut $61 billion from the federal budget in fiscal year 2011 would, if enacted, shave two full percentage points off America's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second and third quarters…

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…

Buckle up – it’s budget time

23 Feb 11   Jasson Urbach
It’s time for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to again walk a tightrope as he tries to balance the country’s books. On the one hand, he will be under pressure from those on the left to substantially increase government spending on social welfare. On the other, there will be those hoping…

Regulatory Uncertainty

17 Feb 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
When a radical idea is thrown into the political arena, a short-term consequence is massive uncertainty. Loose talk by a junior politician can cause much uncertainty if the government fails to quash the notion he is putting forward and reassure the nation. When such radical ideas go forward for serious…

Stealing Pensions

27 Jan 11   FMF Policy Bulletin
In Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Ireland and France, big government, a demographic death spiral and weak tax revenues have left fiscal coffers in trouble. Unwilling to stand up to voters – or rioters – most governments have little taste for doing the right thing: cutting their budgets. So, they're going after…