You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

6,800 drug-war related deaths in Mexico since January 2007 – What is happening? Why is it happening? And how can it ever be stopped?

Watch or listen to a Cato Policy Forum on Mexico’s Drug War: The Growing Crisis on Our Southern Border

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Mr. Cardoso is a former president of Brazil. Mr. Gaviria is a former president of Colombia. Mr. Zedillo is a former president of Mexico.
They don’t take drugs. But they all agree that we should stop waging a war against them and the people who use or sell them.

In the Wall Street Journal they explain why: The War on Drugs Is a FailureWe should focus instead on reducing harm to users and on tackling organized crime

Mass urbanisation has transformed the world in the last two centuries and it will continue to do so…

Watch Jon Kamen explain, what the 19.20.21 Project is all about:

Mass Urbanization and the 19.20.21 Project

Watch Shikha Dalmia explain why the new rags-to-riches-movie Slumdog Millionaire is a brilliant metaphor for recent Indian history at Reason TV:

Slumdog Thousandaire

“In important ways, Slumdog tells the story of India itself—a poverty-stricken underdog with its own rags-to-riches tales.

Since the early 1990s, India has cut its poverty rate in half. About 300 million Indians—equivalent to the population of the entire United States—escaped the hunger and deprivation of extreme poverty thanks to pro-market reforms that increased economic activity.

Watch Nina Federoff, Professor of Life Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, explain the facts and defend her strong opinion on the issue at the Santa Fe Institute:

Genetically Modified Foods: Monsters or Miracles? – with Nina Fedoroff

“We’re bombarded with conflicting claims about genetically modified (GM) foods. Some claim that they will provide the food to sustain humanity on an increasingly crowded planet. Others claim they’re toxic to people and the environment. What are we to believe?”

Watch Daoud Sultanzoy, Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Afghan Parliament, talk about “the current economic and business conditions in Afghanistan and the links between sustained economic growth and democratic institutions” at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE):

Building Democracy and a Market Economy in Afghanistan Part 1 /2

Also watch this short, but very interesting documentary about Tashabos (the Dari and Pashto word for “entrepreneur”), a CIPE program  “to teach high school students the basics of economics and finance. Tashabos tells the story of a married couple that capitalize on the weaving and design skills of the wife to establish a knitwear business that – by the course’s completion – expands into a full-scale manufacturing enterprise”:

Tashabos – Entrepreneurship Education in Afghanistan

Watch or listen to Michael Shermer, director of the Skeptics Society and author of Why Darwin Matters, explain why at a Cato Book Forum:

Cato – Why Darwin Matters: The Case against Intelligent Design

John Lott simply calls them Freedomnomics and has written a book on why and how they work. Watch him speak about the book at the Eagle Forum:

John Lott on Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t

Watch this great ABC 20-20 documentary on over- and underestimated dangers:

Scaring Ourselves To Death: Fear of Risk / Part 2 / Part 3

Salman Rushdie is an atheist, Irshad Manji a muslim. But they have a lot in common. They both have tons of courage, are open minded and freedom loving. And they both haven’t lost their sense of humour…

Enjoy watching them debate the importance of free speech and the power of fear over people’s minds:

Salman Rushdie and Irshad Manji at the 92nd Street Y

…and why we shouldn’t, Michael Shermer explains in his wonderful book “The Mind of the Market – How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives”, which you can watch him debate at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA:

Authors@Google: Michael Shermer

Watch or listen to Susette Kelo, who struggled to save her home from a private developer and greedy politicians and went all the way to the Supreme Court, speak at the Cato Institute:

Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage

“No U.S. Supreme Court decision in the modern era has been so quickly and widely reviled as the infamous Kelo decision, in which the Court ruled that Susette Kelo’s little pink house in New London, Connecticut, and the homes of her neighbors could be taken by the government and given over to a private developer based on the mere prospect that the new use for her property could generate more taxes or jobs.”

Watch Gary Becker, Nobel Prize winner in economics, talk to African Liberty:

Interview with Professor Gary Becker