Comments written by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein himself provide an informed viewpoint on crucial geopolitical issues. Sometimes challenging and always thought-provoking, these brief commentaries take a stance that stimulate debate.
The value of data
If information is the raw material that will fuel 21st-century business, then it must have some value. Yet people give away their personal data to companies for free. And though governments have created complicated regulations to protect users, they themselves forcibly extract an increasingly large amount of information from their citizens. A market solution could be the answer: treat personal information like property, and put a price on it.
Challenges for Kiev
Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s defeat of Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine’s presidential election had more to do with the economics than relations with Russia. While resolving the conflicts in Crimea and the Donbas region will help boost economic growth, streamlining and cleaning up Ukraine’s bloated and partially corrupt bureaucracy will be the president-elect’s most important challenge.
Theresa May and the continental side of Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking the blame for a debacle that is not of her making. But even now, in the shadow of a hard Brexit, the damage can be contained if cooler heads prevail on the other side of the Channel.
Foreign meddling in elections: a form of ‘alternative truth’
Apparently, the president of the United States is not going to be charged with cooperating with the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. An in-depth investigation has found no proof that any collusion occured. The talk in Europe that the Kremlin is hell-bent on corrupting the electoral process here as well also seems intended to conceal the real problem of the ruling establishments: they have governed poorly and are losing popular support.
A choice for economies: Freedom or socialism
Some say the global economy is slowing down due to Brexit and the U.S.-China trade dispute – but these developments are not the real dangers. Far more insidious is the trend toward increased government influence in economies and large public debts. Yet, even many economists have adopted the notion that government intervention and high debt can be a good thing. These policies have been tried before and failed. Worse, they can end up limiting freedom.
Changing scenarios in the Middle East maze
As Iran becomes stronger and more assertive in the Middle East, two blocs – pro- and anti-Iran – are beginning to take shape. This was exemplified by two high-profile summits in mid-February: one led by the U.S. in Warsaw, and the other in Sochi between Russia, Turkey and Iran. Although Iran’s rise is cause for concern, the question is what options a U.S.-Arab-Israeli alliance might have.
Planning the economy
Politicianal interventions rather than markets are causing economic crises in the world. Misguided attempts to centrally plan and manage the complex transactions of millions of different players are bound to produce unexpected results. In 2007-2008, politically inspired intervention in the housing market in the United States caused an international financial crisis of epic proportions. These days, policies of abundant money supply and unrestricted debt promise trouble for the developed countries.
Fake problems, real dangers
The hysteria over inequality continues to grow, with calls for higher taxes and more regulation. None of that will achieve what should be the real goal, however: reducing poverty. To do that, entrepreneurs and innovators need to be freed from burdensome red tape and interventionist governments reined in.