Grassroot Perspective: When Pickpocketing Is Called Investment and The Economics of Stupid

This article was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” – John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money President Obama calls for more “investment” into education during debate(10/3) During the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama stated that his priorities were to use taxpayer money to continue and increase “investment” into education, energy and other important things that America needs but has been neglected by leaders over the years. Obama commented that children using textbooks that are “ten years old, if not older” was unacceptable and education must be prioritized for investment. ANALYSIS: “Investment” in the purest definition can be explained as the transfer of resources to the formation of capital goods.  The purpose of investment in a market is to produce future profits for the investor. Politicians like to claim that they are “investing” the public’s money into worthy causes, but the problem with this is all individuals value some things more than others and public goods are not always privately tangible.  Said another way, if I invest in funding a company that wishes to sell an improved light bulb, once those new bulbs go on sale, I will get a return...

Economic Freedom of the World

The Fraser Institute a Canadian “think tank” publishes an annual report concerning the economic freedom of each country. The annual Economic Freedom of the World report is the premier measurement of economic freedom, using 42 distinct variables to create an index ranking of countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property. Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government, (2) legal structure and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labor, and business. The complete 2012 report is at this link: http://www.freetheworld.com/2012/EFW2012-complete.pdf An executive summery of the 2012 report can be viewed at this link: http://www.freetheworld.com/2012/EFW2012-exsum.pdf Here are the rankings from the current report: In this year’s index, Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.90 out of 10. The other top 10 nations are: Singapore, 8.69; New Zealand, 8.36; Switzerland, 8.24; Australia, 7.97; Canada, 7.97; Bahrain, 7.94; Mauritius, 7.90; Finland, 7.88; and Chile, 7.84. The rankings (and scores) of other large economies in this year’s index are the United Kingdom, 12th (7.75); the United States, 18th (7.69); Japan, 20th (7.64); Germany, 31st (7.52); France, 47th (7.32); Italy, 83rd (6.77); Mexico, 91st, (6.66); Russia, 95th (6.56); Brazil, 105th (6.37); China, 107th (6.35); and India, 111th (6.26). The researchers who wrote this study felt compelled to include the following section: The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a remarkable plunge in economic freedom  during the past decade....