sad broken matryoshka

Russia: from Rags to Riches and Back

It was only three years ago that the prevailing expectations of the Russian economy and where it was headed over the next years was favorable (or even very favorable). The evolution of Russia from the ashes of the USSR to a seemingly fairly solid direction towards a market economy and its increasing role in the international community had only a little over two decades. Granted, nothing is perfect. Nonetheless, that expectation was indeed widespread and had some reasonable foundations behind it. Moreover, Russia was not alone at that. The then popular acronym of BRICs was widely used, to refer to a very evident accelerated development of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The expectation was … [Read More...]

quote-the-great-virtue-of-free-enterprise-is-that-it-forces-existing-businesses-to-meet-the-test-of-the-milton-friedman-342888

Competitiveness Among Nations: Conclusions (Part Three)

“The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments” —— Ludwig von Mises   (...Continued from Part Two) All over the world, the current political system has made most governments fall into complacency and allow a great deal of free-riding from probably the majority of elected officers. That’s why gridlock has resulted as a virtually inevitable outcome. Within that environment, serious, profound, virtuous structural change is almost impossible to implement. Given that the bureaucracy and the establishment at large are experts in blocking change, the required strategy demands leadership, guts and plenty of skill. History unmistakably shows … [Read More...]

spending-cuts

Competitiveness Among Nations: Government Downsizing (Part Two)

...Continued from Part One of the series. The challenge, and the great opportunity that the redomiciliation of corporations for tax purposes offers resides in responding to the market mechanism in an open, sincere and straightforward manner. Ignoring the strong signals the market mechanism sends does not do any lasting good to anyone. Quite the opposite! The table in this link provides provides a very powerful content. As it can be seen, in the World Bank’s general ranking of Doing Business 2013, the US is placed in a very high overall position, 4th, only behind Singapore (1st), Hong Kong (2nd), and New Zealand (3rd). That is a laudable accomplishment. Likewise, the US’ overall standing … [Read More...]

Global-Systems-Integration

Integration Vs. Separation

Much was written in recent weeks and months about Scotland’s separationist movement. Most fortunately, the outcome of last week’s referendum on the subject is that Scotland will remain part of the UK, not becoming an independent nation. In no way do I intend to be disrespectful to the large minority of Scots that voted for independence. Not at all. My position in this type of issue is based on what works better for the majority in the long run. I am a profoundly political person, in the Aristotelian way: looking for the common good. I am not a partisan person. I have never belonged to any particular affiliation and I try to be, as much as I can, a pragmatist. Thus, at the end of the day, … [Read More...]