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The Lighthouse is the weekly email newsletter of the Independent Institute.
Subscribe now, or browse Back Issues.

Volume 8, Issue 10: March 6, 2006

  1. U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement
  2. Mexico's "Dirty War": Bloody Hypocrisy Exposed
  3. The OECD Drift
  4. UN Advises Higher Taxes for Guatemalans

1) U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement

The Bush administration's new nuclear pact with India -- which both lifts a moratorium on nuclear fuel and technology sales to India and allows that country to expand its nuclear weapons program, subject to international inspections only of its civilian nuclear activities -- is bad policy predicated on a false theory, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland.

The new pact, intended to strengthen "a democratic India as an Asian counterweight to a rising autocratic China" may be "a risky gamble that blows up in the U.S. government's face," writes Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty, in his latest op-ed.

"Twenty years down the road, India may be more of a threat to U.S. interests than China. The future is hard to predict and the United States has not always been good at identifying who the next enemy will be."

Eland also argues that strengthening relations with China's neighbors, including an increasingly autocratic Russia, could help create a threatened, hostile China. In addition, Eland argues that Bush administration foreign policy is wedded to a false theory, the so-called democratic peace theory, which overemphasizes the allegedly inherent peacefulness of democracies.

See "Nuclear Assistance to India: Building a Future Menace?" by Ivan Eland (3/6/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1685
SPANISH TRANSLATION:
"La asistencia nuclear a India: ¿creando una futura amenaza?"
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1685

To purchase THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=54

To purchase PUTTING "DEFENSE" BACK IN U.S. DEFENSE POLICY, by Ivan Eland, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=19

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)
http://www.independent.org/research/copal/

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2) Mexico's "Dirty War": Bloody Hypocrisy Exposed

MEXICO'S "DIRTY WAR": Bloody Hypocrisy Exposed

In 2002 Mexican president Vicente Fox appointed a committee to examine past administrations' human-rights abuses against suspected subversives during the so-called "dirty war" waged by the military under direction of the then-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). According to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Center on Global Prosperity, that committee's draft report -- leaked recently to the press -- exposes the hypocrisy of the PRI, which supported Latin American revolutionaries so long as they did not harshly criticize the party.

"What we did not know until this report came out, was that the revolutionary fervor [of the PRI] actually masked what -- by the PRI's own standards -- can only be called a fascist or extreme right-wing policy of genocide, obliterating entire villages and killing scores of innocent victims," writes Vargas Llosa in his latest op-ed. "So long as it maintained a corrupt aid to revolutionaries inside and outside Mexico and an inflamed anti-imperialist rhetoric, it had carte blanche from all sorts of intellectuals, civil society movements and human-rights groups to practice a systematic negation of everything the PRI, a supposed progressive animal, stood for.

"It is difficult to remember this nowadays, of course, because the left broke with the PRI in the 1990s, when, in one of its many opportunistic turns, that party espoused globalization and began to (somewhat) open up the economy. But the story of the PRI up to that point is the story of ideological and political fraud on a colossal scale in the interest of power."

See "Mexico -- The Fraud of the Century," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (3/1/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1681
SPANISH TRANSLATION:
"México: El fraude del siglo"
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1681

THE CHE GUEVARA MYTH AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERTY, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=61

LIBERTY FOR LATIN AMERICA: How to Undo Five-Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=55

Center on Global Prosperity (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director)
http://www.independent.org/research/cogp/

Spanish-language Blog:
El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute
http://independent.typepad.com

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3) The OECD Drift

For about half of its life, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) attempted to defend and promote economic liberty in the West. As Independent Institute Research Fellow Pierre Lemieux explains, however, in the past two decades the OECD has drifted toward government intervention.

Beginning in the 1980s, the OECD began advocating "fair competition" and a "global playing field," rather than free trade. Since the 1990s, it has also pushed both "socially responsible" corporate governance, which puts the alleged claims of so-called community "stake holders" on par with the claims of stockholders, and "sustainable development," which asserts presumptuously that long-run development requires the government to prevent private developers from acting against their own rational self-interest.

Although the OECD still does some good work (Lemieux lauds its country surveys and research on comparative health-care systems), the recent selection of Angel Gurria of Mexico to head the OECD in June, rather than the market-oriented classical liberal candidate Alain Madelin of France, bodes poorly for the organization -- and for the future of economic liberty.

Writes Lemieux: "Alain Madelin believes that the OECD will be more and more carried into the world governance movement, which, he explains, is where the enemies of liberty have refocused their fight. He adds, pessimistically, 'It is the end of the OECD.'"

See "The OECD Drift," by Pierre Lemieux (2/21/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1684
SPANISH TRANSLATION:
"El rumbo de la OECD"
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1684

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4) UN Advises Higher Taxes for Guatemalans

Economic advisors from the United Nations recently told Guatemalans that raising their taxes to 16 percent of their country's GDP to help fund education, health, and social development would spur economic progress. According to Independent Institute Adjunct Fellow Carlos Sabino, however, following that recommendation would divert too much capital away from private enterprises better able to contribute to Guatemala's economic progress.

"What does not seem logical is for Guatemala to reduce further the small private investment that exists, by frightening investors away in order to fund social programs that, in practice, are not effective in the war against poverty," writes Sabino in a new op-ed.

Sabino also argues that the establishment of "security and a system of efficient justice" is essential to enable people to improve their condition, especially when faced with a corrupt or wasteful government bureaucracy.

Concludes Sabino: "The dilemma posed here is, in reality, much clearer and less difficult to solve. Either Guatemala encumbers its already very poor and long-suffering population with more taxes, thus increasing the public bureaucracy, or it stimulates private investment, the free flow of capital, and an environment of security and order so that everyone has an opportunity to prosper."

See "Guatemala: More Taxes or More Investment?" by Carlos Sabino (3/3/06)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1683
SPANISH TRANSLATION:
"Más impuestos o más inversión... ése es el dilema"
http://www.elindependent.org/articulos/article.asp?id=1683

Spanish-language Blog:
El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute
http://independent.typepad.com

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