Saturday, June 25, 2005


Debt relief is largely bank relief: "Make no mistake. This not a bailout of Africa's poor or Latin American peasants. This is a bailout of the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. They will get the money to replace their lost loans. As in a Monopoly game where the rules are thrown out, they will be handed new money to play with. Bush and Blair are bailing out failed global institutions run by the highest-paid bureaucrats on earth."

The 250th anniversary of the discovery of economics: "There are those who have claimed Ludwig von Mises to be the greatest economist of the 20th century, particularly the first half of the century. Others have claimed that Murray Rothbard is the greatest economist or social scientist of the second half of the 20th century. I agree with both of these claims. These men were great in many different respects. However, the title of the best economist in history, I would give to Richard Cantillon.... But first, who was Richard Cantillon? Cantillon was a man of mystery. His biographer Antoin Murphy can only date his birth sometime between 1680 and 1690. He was born into an Irish Catholic family that had been dispossessed of its lands by Cromwell's forces. Ironically, his first job was as a clerk for the British Paymaster General during the War of Spanish Succession (1701-13).... Rothbard loves Cantillon stating that he "was the first theorist to demarcate an independent area of investigation -- economics -- and to write a general treatise on all its aspects."

Poverty that defies aid : "Tony Blair arrived recently in Washington to ask President George Bush to increase substantially U.S. aid to Africa. His visit came a few months after Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs unveiled his own plan to end extreme poverty around the world by 2025. 'In The End of Poverty,' Mr. Sachs argues rich countries should commit themselves to transferring some $1.5 trillion over the next decade to the poorest nations -- primarily in Africa. But, in truth, foreign aid is unlikely to succeed, because most of Africa's problems are internal."

This could be a description of government buses almost anywhere: "Metrobus, which carries 500,000 passengers a day across the region, is a dilapidated system that suffers from weak supervision, old equipment and buses that travel in bunches, wrecking schedules and service, a panel of bus experts told Metro directors yesterday.... Some mechanical breakdowns could be avoided if drivers properly inspected the buses before they begin their routes, as required by federal law, Scanlon said. "It will help you before you get a piece of equipment out on the road that then becomes a road call," he told Metro officials. "Your own audits and our observations show your operators are not doing it." Metro managers said they have begun to require operators to perform the inspections and about 70 percent are complying. The panel also found that bus service could run more smoothly with better supervision. Metrobus routes are plagued by "bunching," in which several buses on a route travel in a pack, Scanlon said. Bunching often occurs if traffic or some other problem causes the first bus to slow down and the following buses to catch up"


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