Opinion: The primacy of politics is a dangerous dogma
Even after the fall of Communism, the vision of a planned and controlled society is alive and well. By putting politics first, however, the idea that human affairs must be managed centrally and bureaucratically necessarily limits individual rights and freedom of choice. In the end, it simply substitutes tyranny for liberty.
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.
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.
Opinion: How Brazil’s new man got there
Jair Bolsonaro, a retired Army captain and outspoken conservative, clinched the top job in Latin America’s biggest nation by targeting the electorate’s justifiable fears, his opponents’ weaknesses and Brazil’s real need for economic reforms. The new cabinet puts academics, political luminaries and former military officers in key positions. President Bolsonaro is facing formidable challenges, but his program has more merit than his many critics are willing to admit.
2018 European perspectives
Today’s ruling elites of Europe have renounced its new political movements as “nationalist” and “populist,” and accuse some member states of no longer following democratic principles. In reality, though, it is Brussels’ overreaching ambitions that bring up the specter of autocratic rule in Europe.
Palm oil, Russian fighters and the European Parliament
Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, has been clearing significant areas of its tropical forests to make room for palm plantations. The EU is alarmed and wants to discourage the policy by reducing palm oil imports. This counterproductive approach to preventing tropical deforestation already has backfired.
South Korea: good, bad and better
South Koreans are critical of their country, but this is good. Critical self-evaluation is a virtue. The country is an example of how continuous improvement works. Nothing is taken for granted; flexibility is the norm. Through this continuous process, difficult challenges can be met and overcome.
Imagining the EU without the UK
With eyes fixed on Greece, Europe’s politicians and media are ignoring a weighter economic and geopolitical threat - ‘Brexit’. The United Kingdom is the European Union’s second-largest economy and a military and political heavyweight; it is also the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy and an ardent promoter of free markets and decentralisation. What would the EU...