Indian Protests Fueled By Gas Price Hike

A government decision to stop subsidizing gasoline prices in India fueled protests last week. The subsidy cost the indian government 2.5% of its budget ($5.5 billion). Now, with prices responding to the market, the record high deficit can drop. However, a…

The Age of Women?

Told you are about to meet the CEO of a major corporation, do you imagine someone in a skirt? According to a recent Washington Post article, the answer from most people is “No”. To individuals saying we have entered “the…

Common Markets

Kenyan coffee exporters have a problem at the Tanzanian border. “On the Kenyan side they operate 24 hours a day, but on the Tanzanian side it’s 12 …We have had drivers standing at the border for 4 days. These things…

Environmental Emissions

A letter in “The Mail” section of a recent New Yorker tells us about a funny error on the cover of the May 17, 2010 issue. Mainly portraying emissions from vehicles, factories, and cows, the cover focuses on our environmental…

Fiscal Insight

Picture this political cartoon: In some unknown ocean, a Chinese submarine confronts a U.S. navy vessel with the Chinese submarine captain saying, “Turn around or we sell all your T-bills.” The caption says, “Chinese sub threatens U.S. Navy.” As expressed…

More Than a Mango

This story is about a canal and a plastic milk crate. It takes place on a mango farm in Haiti. The farmer has 2 mango trees. The trees produce her entire crop and her income of approximately $2 a day.…

Grading North Korea

Just like teachers, the writers of the Index of Economic Freedom give grades. Instead of students, though, countries receive their grades after being “tested” on such economic issues as starting a business, tax policy, and private property. The highest grades are…

The GDP and Happiness

Yesterday’s post about the impact of individual wealth on happiness started me wondering about flush toilets, washing machines, and cars. As our nation became wealthier and produced more goods and services, how did that affect our happiness? To get some…

BP and the Financial Crisis

I suspect that there is an inverse relationship between government’s ability to get regulation right and the length of the legislation. Glass-Steagall was 34 pages long. Recently proposed financial legislation is 3000 pages long. The need for appropriate regulation is…

A Sweet Free Trade Zone

Economically speaking, Tootsie Rolls are special. In 2009, U.S. sugar beet prices (at 27.2 cents/lb.) were more than double the world price of cane sugar (13.8 cents/lb.)  Consequently, almost anything with sugar in it is more expensive. According to the…