The Socialism of the 21st Century is on its Way out!?

by Andrea L. Tapia-Hoffmann*

Rafael Correa was inaugurated as President of Ecuador in 2007. He joined forces with Chavez to promote the idea of a so-called “Socialism of the 21st Century” in Latin America. After Chavez’s death in 2013, Correa became the self-proclaimed leader of the movement. Because the new socialism has led to severe problems, it has recently lost support. Latin America is moving to the right. If a majority of Ecuadorians vote against Correa’s ruling socialists on April 2 this year, the entire project should be on its way out. The odds are good. The governments’ authoritarian behavior and the slowdown of the economy have eroded the popularity of Correa’s political party.

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Peace and Free Enterprise

by Jerry O’Driscoll  

Initially, the headlines about the Iowa straw poll said Bachmann won. That was literally true, but hardly interesting. Libertarian Ron Paul basically tied her. The two candidates blew out the rest of the field with 57% of the vote. Under pressure from rapid blog postings, the established media have caught up with the facts.

All candidates spoke of the need for smaller government. Reasonable voters might have suspected, however, that not all candidates were as seriously committed to that as Bachmann and Paul. Both have unassailable Tea party credentials. The Tea Party in part grew out of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. Bachmann jumped on the bandwagon early, before it was popular.

Paul finished fifth in Iowa in 2007. He surged this year on two other issues: end the wars and end the Fed. His call to bring home the troops and end the wars resonated with Iowa Republican voters. We’ll see how it plays out in other contests.

(Ending the Fed was actually his most popular issue in 2008. I thinking ending the wars mattered more this time.)

The linkage between peace and free markets was central to classical liberalism in 19th century Britain, right up through the Gladstone Liberal victory in 1906. Nineteenth-century economist James Mill summed it up when he said that war was the worst calamity that can befall a country. Randolph Bourne summed it up in 20th century when he described war as the health of the state. That is a favorite Ron Paul quote.

What won in Iowa is liberty.

Wider Message of Corruption Plague

By Chidem Kurdas

 

Illinois governor Blagojevich hogged the news headlines, but he has plenty of company across the country. Yesterday the New York Times had at least two other stories of new political corruption. Then there were press items digging up similar historical incidents.

 

Recent investigations in Massachusetts have resulted in charges against a number of office holders, including a state senator who was videotaped stuffing bribe money into her bra. Click for NYT  Another corruption tale of the day was the indictment of a judge-elect in New York. She and an associate were indicted for filing false documents and falsifying business records related to a donation to her campaign for judge in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court.

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