Thursday, February 03, 2005


Economic freedom greatest in middle America: "If you want to start a business but are not sure where to set up shop, should you head for a vibrant megalopolis like New York City? A nucleus of brainpower and venture capital like Silicon Valley? Or a city of flamboyant creativity like Miami? Actually, whether you're writing software or whipping up candy bars, chances are you would be better off in Kansas, according to The U.S. Economic Freedom Index: 2004 Report, published by the Pacific Research Institute and Forbes magazine. The report says Kansas is the state with the greatest level of economic freedom in the country, as measured by tax rates, business regulation, the behavior of the courts, and how the government spends its money."

America is not facing an unavoidable energy shortage: "The year 2004 will be remembered as a year of high prices for gasoline and natural gas, and Americans are understandably worried about the cost of energy for 2005 and beyond. But the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a preliminary version of its Annual Energy Outlook 2005, and it paints a surprisingly optimistic picture for the decades ahead. With regard to petroleum, EIA acknowledges that global demand will remain strong, especially with China's growing need for motor fuels unlikely to subside. Nonetheless, the report does not predict runaway prices."

There is a very well-researched article here which shows that countries with British legal traditions do a lot better economically than countries which use French-based law.

In-sourcing to America. The Chinese invest in America too: "many local officials in the US are jockeying for position to win Chinese investments. Massachusetts officials, besides trying to secure investments in the fishing business, think the area is ripe for investments in medical products and pharmaceuticals. "Ultimately as they bring their products over here and need the full licensing and permitting that is required on the high-tech end of things, Massachusetts is the logical landing spot [because of the presence of legal personnel who can take care of it]," says Julian Muennich, treasurer of the Massachusetts International Trade Council. Last week, Philadelphia officials met with a Chinese delegation in New York for the Chinabrand 2005 expo. They talked about the city's educational facilities and an upcoming extravaganza called the Splendor of China, which will attract 400 Chinese companies to the city"

Federalism beats Oregon: "The McDonald's restaurant in Hermiston, Oregon is outsourcing customers drive-thru meals to North Dakota. The restaurant on Highway 395 has outsourced one of the most important jobs at the drive-through window -- order taking. When a customer drives through, they'll be patched through to Grand Forks, North Dakota to place the order. Why? Because the minimum wage in North Dakota is five-dollars and 15 cents, compared to Oregon's seven-dollars and 25 cents".

Rafe Champion has up some interesting histories of economists who deserved to have more notice taken of them.

Canadian farmers are taking action over the way their livelihood and lifestyle is being destroyed by ever-multiplying government regulations.

Government hurts family businesses: "Conservatives who believe in both tradition and the free market sometimes have struggles within their heart when they see Mom and Pop shutter their hardware store on Main Street in the massive shadow of a Goliath Home Depot. Family business is good for the family and the community, but can we really overturn the 'election' results when consumers vote with their dollars for Megacorp? On top of that, providing a greater selection of goods for lower prices frees up more capital in a community, providing an opportunity for new stores or businesses to come in and compete for that leftover cash."


No comments: