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  • Author: Nicholas Gossen
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite Ayatollah Khomeini's famous comment that the Iranian revolution was “not about the price of watermelons,” the Islamic Republic of Iran was in part founded on economic promises of redistribution, equality, and justice. The strength of this rhetoric has formed a core basis of political support for the regime, but it has also established public expectations that the Islamic Republic has been chronically unable to meet. Many analysts have cited Iran's poor economic performance since the revolution and resulting public dissatisfaction as a key weakness of the clerical regime and a potential source of its downfall. Indeed, this is a crucial element of the argument advanced by advocates of stronger multilateral economic sanctions against Iran in the dispute over its nuclear program. However, underlying this logic is an implicit assumption that regime legitimacy is tied to economic performance. While intuitively appealing, this assumption bears further scrutiny, particularly if it forms a basis for American policy decisions towards Iran. The primary goal of this paper is to examine the political and economic factors that have caused the gap between economic rhetoric and performance in Iran, and to assess the extent to which that gap has affected the political legitimacy of the Iranian regime.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East, Beijing
  • Author: Andrei Illarionov
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: One day I asked Milton Friedman a question. That question was in my mind every time we met: “Could he have achieved the same status he did in America if he had lived in Russia—not only in terms of his research, but in shaping his outlook on life and in his under-standing of freedom?” Having kept silent for a moment, he answered: “no.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: America's power is waning, at least temporarily. Under the next President, the country will have a diminished ability to shape a stable international order and maintain global prosperity. Will that trend create an opening for Europe to emerge with a larger global presence? Or is it liable to cause losses all around?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Michael C. Maibach
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: The world has modernized thanks to waves of Western inventions, and the next wave must be a regulatory revolution to ensure that discoveries spread horizontally as far and fast as possible. It is an agenda for the newly formed Transatlantic Economic Council.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: William J. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Through the second half of the 1990s and into the early years of the twenty-first century, public attention to the plight of poor black Americans seemed to wane. There was scant media attention to the problem of concentrated urban poverty (neighborhoods in which a high percentage of the residents fall beneath the federally designated poverty line), little or no discussion of inner-city challenges by mainstream political leaders, and even an apparent quiescence on the part of ghetto residents themselves. This was dramatically different from the 1960s, when the transition from legal segregation to a more racially open society was punctuated by social unrest that sometimes expressed itself in violent terms, as seen in the riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Eric Daniels
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: On June 23, 2005, the United States Supreme Court's acquiescence in a municipal government's use of eminent domain to advance "economic development" goals sent shockwaves across the country. When the Court announced its decision in Kelo v. City of New London, average homeowners realized that their houses could be condemned, seized, and handed over to other private parties. They wanted to know what had gone wrong, why the Constitution and Fifth Amendment had failed to protect their property rights. The crux of the decision, and the source of so much indignation, was the majority opinion of Justice John Paul Stevens, which contended that "economic development" was such a "traditional and long accepted function of government" that it fell under the rubric of "public use." If a municipality or state determined, through a "carefully considered" planning process, that taking land from one owner and giving it to another would lead to increased tax revenue, job growth, and the revitalization of depressed urban areas, the Court would allow it. If the government had to condemn private homes to meet "the diverse and always evolving needs of society," Stevens wrote, so be it. The reaction to the Kelo decision was swift and widespread. Surveys showed that 80 to 90 percent of Americans opposed the decision. Politicians from both parties spoke out against it. Such strange bedfellows as Rush Limbaugh and Ralph Nader were united in their opposition to the Court's ruling. Legislatures in more than forty states proposed and most then passed eminent domain "reforms." In the 2006 elections, nearly one dozen states considered anti-Kelo ballot initiatives, and ten such measures passed. On the one-year anniversary of the decision, President Bush issued an executive order that barred federal agencies from using eminent domain to take property for economic development purposes (even though the primary use of eminent domain is by state and local agencies). The "backlash" against the Court's Kelo decision continues today by way of reform efforts in California and other states. Public outcry notwithstanding, the Kelo decision did not represent a substantial worsening of the state of property rights in America. Rather, the Kelo decision reaffirmed decades of precedent-precedent unfortunately rooted in the origins of the American system. Nor is eminent domain the only threat to property rights in America. Even if the federal and state governments abolished eminent domain tomorrow, property rights would still be insecure, because the cause of the problem is more fundamental than law or politics. In order to identify the fundamental cause of the property rights crisis, we must observe how the American legal and political system has treated property rights over the course of the past two centuries and take note of the ideas offered in support of their rulings and regulations. In so doing, we will see that the assault on property rights in America is the result of a long chain of historical precedent moored in widespread acceptance of a particular moral philosophy.Property, Principle, and Precedent In the Revolutionary era, America's Founding Fathers argued that respect for property rights formed the very foundation of good government. For instance, Arthur Lee, a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, wrote that "the right of property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive a people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty." In a 1792 essay on property published in the National Gazette, James Madison expressed the importance of property to the founding generation. "Government is instituted to protect property of every sort," he explained, "this being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own." Despite this prevalent attitude-along with the strong protections for property contained in the United States Constitution's contracts clause, ex post facto clause, and the prohibition of state interference with currency-the founders accepted the idea that the power of eminent domain, the power to forcibly wrest property from private individuals, was a legitimate power of sovereignty resting in all governments. Although the founders held that the "despotic power" of eminent domain should be limited to taking property for "public use," and that the victims of such takings were due "just compensation," their acceptance of its legitimacy was the tip of a wedge. The principle that property rights are inalienable had been violated. If the government can properly take property for "public use," then property rights are not absolute, and the extent to which they can be violated depends on the meaning ascribed to "public use." From the earliest adjudication of eminent domain cases, it became clear that the term "public use" would cause problems. Although the founders intended eminent domain to be used only for public projects such as roads, 19th-century legislatures began using it to transfer property to private parties, such as mill and dam owners or canal and railroad companies, on the grounds that they were open to public use and provided wide public benefits. Add to this the fact that, during the New Deal, the Supreme Court explicitly endorsed the idea that property issues were to be determined not by reference to the principle of individual rights but by legislative majorities, and you have the foundation for all that followed. . . .
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, London
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Concretizes the selfishness-enabling nature of capitalism and shows why this feature makes it the only moral social system on earth.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Eric Daniels
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Seventy-five years have elapsed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the flurry of government programs he called the New Deal. In the years since, most historians have lavished FDR with praise, claiming that his bold leadership helped to pull America out of the Great Depression. Even those who acknowledge the failure of particular Roosevelt-era programs claim that FDR instilled hope and confidence in the American people, and that his economic failures were the result of his not going far enough in his policies and not spending enough money. Today, amidst calls for increasing government regulation of the financial industry and increasing government spending through stimulus packages, the New Deal is making a comeback. In light of the recent mortgage crisis and economic downturn, pundits are calling for a revival of 1930s-style policies. Daniel Gross claimed at Slate.com that New Deal reforms were "saving capitalism again." Newly minted Nobel economist Paul Krugman issued calls in the New York Times for President-elect Obama to mimic and expand FDR's response to the Great Depression. And a recent Time cover called for a "New New Deal"-and featured an iconic photo of FDR, with Obama's face and hands substituted. As the Obama administration begins to implement its economic plan, Americans would do well to reexamine the history of the original New Deal and its effects. Though most historians rank FDR as a great president, some, including Burton Folsom Jr., boldly dare to ask if "the New Deal, rather than helping to cure the Great Depression, actually help[ed to] prolong it" (p. 7). According to Folsom, a professor of history at Hillsdale College, the answer is clearly the latter. In New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America, he challenges the myth that FDR's New Deal represents a shining moment in American history. As long as the mythology surrounding the New Deal remains intact, he notes, "the principles of public policy derived from the New Deal will continue to dominate American politics" (p. 15), costing Americans billions of dollars and further damaging the economy. . . .
  • Topic: Economics, Government, History
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Raymond C. Niles
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Surveys the history and achievements of America's electricity entrepreneurs, shows how government interference in the transmission grid has hampered their enterprises from the outset to the present day, and indicates what America must do to liberate the grid and enable a new wave of entrepreneurs to supply this vital product commensurate with the country's demand.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: New York, America