Monday, February 23, 2004

The latest Cato Journal includes several papers that continue the exploration of the statistical links between economic freedom and prosperity. Some are careful to distinguish between economic and political freedom and find that the former is the most potent. These results augment what has been showcasing for some years. As the international data and the statistical methods improve, the evidence accumulates. This literature is perhaps Adam Smith's most interesting legacy -- moreso than welfare theorems from general equilibrium economics.

Sunday throw-away Parade magazine yesterday updated their Ten-Worst-Dictators list. Curiosity got me to open it. Yes, the ten-worst differs from last year's because Saddam is off, as is Charles Taylor; Qaddafi no longer makes the cut. Interestingly no mention of trampled property rights. (Mugabe's land grab is simple referred to as playing the race card.) Yes, no elections, torture, lack of due process are horrid but property rights are a key human right. The international agencies that the Parade reporter sourced apparently do not think so.