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Thought To Ponder

The true test of civilization is, not the census, not the size of cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country produces.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Nassau Institute is an independent, a-political, non-profit institute that promotes economic growth in a free market economy with limited government, in a society that embraces the rule of law and the right to private property.


To see The Bahamas become the first small, developed, sovereign country in the region, recognized as a model for the world.

Weekly Focus
• The Folly and Presumption of Big Government Social Engineering
Richard Ebeling Ph.,D.
Executive Summary The worst disaster to fall upon humanity over the last hundred years has been the "social engineering" mentality, with its presumption that governments have the knowledge, wisdom, and ability to plan the direction and future of society better than and superior to leaving mankind's development to the free interactions and associations of people in the marketplace. This has been not only in its "extreme" forms such as in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, but in our own times in the form of what the French have called "indicative planning," that is, the use of regulations and taxes to "nudge" people in the paths wanted by those in political power. Two questions arise in the face of the political planners and regulators of our lives: On what moral right to those in government claim the authority to dictate and direct our lives, and on what basis do they assert the capacity to do such social engineering without bringing about outcomes far worse than if the "wisdom of the free market" was given full rein instead? Neither question, I argue, has been successfully answered by our modern political paternalists and planners. The Folly and Presumption of Big Government Social Engineering by Richard Ebeling Ph.,D. One of the social mythologies of our time is that it is in the power and ability of governments to remake society in any image or shape that those with political authority consider “good,” “right,” and “just” for mankind. [read more]
Hot Topics
• What is an “unfair” competitive advantage?
Jaana Woiceshyn Ph.,D.
Having not read newspapers for the duration of a two-week vacation (the reason for no posts), I eased myself back with the Wall Street Journal’s Europe edition on the weekend at the airport lounge on the way back home. In the front page there was an article about how “big data” gives Internet companies such as Google and Facebook “an unfair edge,” according to antitrust lawyers who deal with violations of Europe’s competition rules. [read more]
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