THIS WEEK’S MUST READ NEWS FROM CAPX | NEW DIRECTION
18 March 2016
New Direction | The Foundation for European Reform is an international partner of CapX, a new digital service which commissions and aggregates the best news on popular capitalism from around the world.
Europeans have been watching the rise of Trump with a mix of horror, sadness and macabre fascination. But there is a warning to us on this side of the Atlantic from the Trump phenomenon and the ugly way it’s developing. If we allow our politics to become ever more personal and demonise politicians who do still try to find common ground, then we have set the scene for Britain’s Donald Trump.
The sugar industry in Pakistan has a bitter history of powerful sugar mill owners and government restrictions on domestic and external trade. Putting imports in the hands of the market would not only bring costs down, but allow farmers to collect the yield immediately, preserving the sucrose content and so increasing its value. The government needs to exit the entire value chain to ensure the welfare of growers, consumers and producers.
Low interest rates are just a way of temporarily postponing problems. People who save less and spend more now are just consuming money they planned to spend in the future today. We're living on credit, which is not spending more - just spending sooner. We would be better off chipping away at public and private debts, and choosing structural reforms that make our labour and manufacturing markets more flexible.
Venezuela is suffering a healthcare crisis: 80% of medicines in the country are in short supply. Misguided socialist policies, including import tariffs and price controls, have caused crippling shortages. But President Maduro has rejected emergency aid. To accept would be to acknowledge that the state has systematically impoverished its citizens, by clinging to a broken ideology which denies them bread and paracetamol.
Belarus is the last non-market economy in Europe, with the private sector contributing only 30% to national GDP. With declining competitiveness, growing structural distortions, and ever more dependence on Russia, is the Belarussian miracle over? The country needs to open up its economy, develop a competitive financial sector, and promote legal reforms. But so far, fundamental change has been seen as challenge to the political regime.
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