Want a cheap dentist? Go to Mexico, read about it here in Slate.
Newspaper circulation in the U.S. continues to decline, but in India daily newspapers are booming. Read about it here in The Economist’s article “Indian newspapers: Let 1,000 titles bloom.”
“India has some 300 big newspapers, with a combined circulation of 157m last year—a rise of 12.9% on 2005.”
History shows us that freedom works. During 1,000 years of absolute monarchy, feudalism, and slavery, mankind’s average income increased by about 50%. In the 180 years since 1820, mankind’s average income has increased by almost 1,000%. During the last 100 years, we have created more wealth, reduced poverty more, and increased life expectancy more than in the previous 100,000 years. And that happened because of the entrepreneurs, thinkers, creators, innovator who had new ideas, who traveled geographical distances and, more important, mental distances to create new things and who saw to it that old traditions, which would have stopped new creations, would not stop them for long.
Entrepreneurs are the heroes of our world. Despite the risks, the hard work, the hostility from society, the envy from neighbors, and state regulations, they keep on creating, they keep on producing and trading. Without them, nothing would be there.
~Johan Norberg, “Entrepreneurs Are the Heroes of the World,” from Cato’s Letter.
Here’s the ranking of the largest 100 metro areas in the U.S. for “best cities for jobs,” from Forbes Magazine in its annual survey, and here is the full article. Forbes uses 5 variables: Unemployment rate, job growth, income growth, median household income, and cost of living. It measured the largest 100 metropolitan areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, and obtained the data from Moody’s economy.com.
Top 5 cities for jobs are:
5. Wash DC
At the bottom, New Orleans ranks #99 and Detroit ranks #100.
Thanks to Kristin Reardon.
The great allure of government programs in general for many people is that these programs allow decisions to be made without having to worry about the constraints of prices, which confront people at every turn in a free market.
They see prices as just obstacles or nuisances, instead of seeing them as messages conveying underlying realities that are there, whether or not prices are allowed to function. What prices are telling San Francisco is that municipal golf courses cost more than they are worth — not in my opinion, but in the actions of people who are spending their own hard-earned money. But what politician wants to hear that? Politics is priceless.
~Thomas Sowell, writing about San Francisco’s 6 municipal golf courses, which are all losing money, and the hand-wringing over what to do about it.
Mobile phones are becoming an increasingly popular way to make all sorts of payments. In America fans of the Atlanta Hawks have been testing specially adapted Nokia handsets linked to their Visa cards to enter their local stadium and to buy refreshments. Elsewhere schemes are more advanced. You can already pass the day in Austria without carrying cash, credit or debit cards by paying for everything, including consumer goods, with a mobile phone. Worldwide payments using mobile phones will climb from just $3.2 billion in 2003 to more than $37 billion by 2008.
Mobiles are used to buy lots of things in Asia. Earlier this month Visa and SK Telecom, South Korea’s leading mobile company, announced the commercial launch of a phone-payments system aimed initially at 30,000 subscribers. In Japan hundreds of thousands of transactions, from buying railway tickets to picking up groceries, already take place every day with customers passing their handsets across a device like that pictured above. Payments are confirmed with a sound like the bell of an old cash register.
Americans pay about double the world market price for sugar, a hidden tax that hurts everyone with a sweet tooth. Many beverage and food makers catering to that sweet tooth have long used corn syrup instead of sugar because it’s cheaper, but the price of corn syrup is beginning to rise. So now would be a good time for the U.S. government to revisit its destructive farm policies.
This is a classic case of a narrow, vocal lobby — sugar growers — benefiting at the expense of the larger economy. The latest victim of high-priced sweeteners is Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, which announced last week that it would cut 3,500 jobs because of a $1.1-billion loss in 2006. Other soft-drink makers, confectioners and food companies also pay a steep price for the complex system of price supports and import quotas aimed at protecting U.S. sugar growers by insulating them from global market realities.
From today’s LA Times, thanks to Club for Growth.
MP: The current world price of sugar is about 11 cents per pound, and the U.S. price is about 21 cents per pound, because of protectionist U.S. trade policy that protects inefficient domestic sugar beet farmers from more efficient sugar cane farmers in other countries.
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