by Priscilla Guinovart (for the Austrian Economics Center)
Go into the London Stock Exchange – a more respectable place than many a court – and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith, and only apply the word infidel to people who go bankrupt. Here the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist and the Anglican accepts a promise from the Quaker. On leaving these peaceful and free assemblies some go to the Synagogue and others for a drink, this one goes to be baptized in a great bath in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that one has his son’s foreskin cut and has some Hebrew words he doesn’t understand mumbled over the child, others go to their church and await the inspiration of God with their hats on, and everybody is happy. – Voltaire, Letters on England, Letter 6by
On April 16 Cevro Institute hosted the Free Market Road Show in Prague. Two panels that focused on the economic growth, entrepreneurship, freedom and creativity engrossed more than 100 visitors. Among them a former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and also a recently elected president of the Free Republic of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka.
It was pretty funny when an Austrian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Ferdinand Trauttmansdorff, started his opening address by greeting the crowd and singling out “the presidents of the new states” and then the chief economist of Roklen started his speech by saying “Ladies and gentlemen, dear president Jedlicka”.
Some people maybe did not understand why they greeted an unknown president. But I am pretty sure, that in just a few days they understood.
But what is Liberland all about? And why should we even care?
Briefly – the new president is a Czech citizen and libertarian activist, who with the help of a bunch of his friends found out, that at the western bank of the Danube, there is 7km² of land on the Croatian-Serbian border, which has remained unclaimed by either.
Jedlicka believes that the land is therefore terra nullius – a no man’s land. So he came there and declared the founding of a new sovereign nation, the Free Republic of Liberland.
In the end it’s not important if the land is really terra nullius, as some lawyers argue against, and if there’s a chance for Jedlicka to be ignored by Croatian authorities to start the building of his utopia.
What is important, is Jedlicka’s message having a chance to be heard:
“The taxes will be voluntary.
Government debt will be constitutionally.
We think there should be just a minimum of offences the state will penalize: Police will be there only for securing order and security, not for punishing people for example for doing business, not for forcing thousands of regulations on citizens.
We are going to allow people to use any currency they want for their transactions on our territory.”
These are revolutionary ideas, which deserve to be heard.
And it looks like the ideas are really appealing to people, this can be seen by fact that there will be around 1 million citizenship applications by the end of this week.
And it’s really wonderful that the media are listening to this message of small government and freedom. Even if it’s just for a short time.by
Paneldiskussion in der Industriellenvereinigung
Free Market Road Show® am 15.4.2015 in Wien
10:30 bis 15:00, Industriellenvereinigung, Schwarzenbergplatz 4, 1030 Wien)
Bankenrettung, Landeshaftungen, Regulierungen und Staatsanleihen sind Belastungen, unter denen die europäische Wirtschaft schwer leidet und die die Europäische Union auf eine harte Probe stellen. Immer mehr Mitgliedsstaaten geraten unter dem Druck der Solidarleistungen in budgetäre Schwierigkeiten. Das Augenmerk der Regierenden liegt zunehmend auf kurzfristiger Finanzierung, statt auf mittel- und langfristiger Austerität.
In Österreich sollte die im März beschlossene Steuerreform das Problem lösen. Unternehmer und Investoren sehen aber in den Regierungsbeschlüssen nur zusätzliche Belastungen für Leistungsträger, ein weiteres Aufblähen des Verwaltungsapparats und neuen Anreiz, den Standort zu wechseln. Ist das Steuerreformpaket ein Schuss nach hinten?
Diese und weitere Fragen werden am Mittwoch, dem 15. April in einer prominent besetzten Konferenz im Rahmen der Free Market Road Show® (FMRS) gestellt. Die FMRS bringt jährlich hunderte internationale Experten mit lokalen Politikern, Unternehmern und Journalisten zusammen, die in 30 europäischen Hauptstädten und 6 weiteren Metropolen (Istanbul, Jerusalem,..) in Vorträgen und Paneldiskussionen aktuelle (wirtschafts-)politische Fragen erörtern.
Informationen und Programm sind unter http://freemarket-rs.com/ zu finden.by
15.4., 10:30, Industriellenvereinigung
Wirtschaftsstandort Österreich und unternehmerische Kreativität
In zwei prominent besetzten Panels werden am 15.April im Rahmen der Free Market Road Show folgende Fragen diskutiert:
Panel 1 (11:15 bis 12:30)
Was hält der Wirtschaftsstandort Österreich noch aus?
Bankenrettung, Landeshaftungen, Regulierungen, Staatsanleihen,.. werden von Wirtschaftssprechern der Parlamentsparteien und von Investmentexperten thematisiert.
Panel 2 (13:00 bis 14:30)
Unternehmertum und seine Beschränkungen.
Wie können wir unternehmerische Kreativität optimal nutzen? Dieser Frage widmet sich eine Runde von erfahrenen Unternehmern.
What does it mean to be an effective advocate of liberty? It means to love what you do and adopt sustainable patterns of thinking and living that contribute to making the world a freer place.
Sustainability is key. Most of today’s attacks on freedom lovers include a dismissal that libertarianism is an ideology for idealistic (or maybe deluded) kids, not one for adults. Sure, you can feel enraptured by the writings of Bastiat or Rand or Rothbard when you are in high school or college. But once you get into the real world, they say, you mature and give up the illusions of a freer world.by
by John Charalambakis
Around the globe fundamentals are being ignored. Unsustainable debt keeps rising, the equity markets of dysfunctional economic unions seem to “thrive”, unprecedented monetary measures are implemented and a Leviathan state is emerging where “white knights,” in the form of shadow government operations, await on standby in order to bail out and rescue bankrupt operations. Welcome to a virtual reality where the concept of regeneration through catharsis (creative destruction) has been forgotten, and prevents the global economy to grow at a rate close to its potential. What better examples could we use than Japan, the whole EU (and especially its southern front) and lately China.by
by Anthony de Jasay
Neo-classical, common sense economics teaches that the division of national income between capital and labour works like a pendulum swinging back and forth between a high and a low according to the marginal product of the factors of production, labour, and capital. Technological progress is assumed to be neutral inducing no substitution of capital for labour or labour for capital. The productivity of each factor is an increasing function of the supply of the other factors. The supply of labour is broadly fixed and that of capital grows with the re-investment of profits and other savings.by
The US Federal Reserve’s remarks in March 2015 on potential interest rate rises took money markets by surprise. Nothing will happen in the short term. But the strong dollar could spell danger for undeveloped economies and Europe may be called on to help. This could offer an opportunity to build long-term economic and political ties.by
by Barbara Kolm
The Hypo Alpe Adria scandal, which threatens to bankrupt the Austrian province of Carinthia, started about two decades ago. Back in 1992 the small provincial bank had a balance sheet total of ÖS 26 billion (Austrian schillings), equivalent to €1.89bn, but was about to become a major player in the Balkans thanks to the burning ambition of the local political elites and greedy, supposedly smart bankers. Prior to the financial crisis all almost went well.by
by Richard Ebeling
2014 was the 100th anniversary of the death of the economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1851-1914). In this Liberty Matters discussion we want to evaluate his contributions as one of the founders of the Austrian school of economic theory with his theoretical work at the University of Vienna, a leading critic of Marxism, and a the Minister of Finance in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
It is unusual for a scholar who was at the forefront of the development of high theory to also have direct experience of the day-to-day problems of managing the tax policies of an important political and economic power such as Austria-Hungary.by