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

Volume 9, Issue 42: October 15, 2007

  1. “Is foreign aid the solution to global poverty?”—The 2007 Garvey Fellowship Winners
  2. Is Iraq Arabic for Korea or for Vietnam?
  3. Politicians vs. the Rule of Law in Paraguay and Peru
  4. New Directions for Peace and Security (Oakland, CA, 11/6/07)

1) “Is foreign aid the solution to global poverty?”—The 2007 Garvey Fellowship Winners

The Independent Institute is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship. This year's contestants were asked to submit an essay addressing the question, “Is foreign aid the solution to global poverty?”

Junior Faculty Member Winners:

• First Prize ($10,000): Peter Leeson, BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, George Mason University
• Second Prize ($5,000): Jason Sorens, Lecturer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University at Buffalo, SUNY
• Third Prize ($1,500): Art Carden, Assistant Professor of Economics, Rhodes College

Student Winners:

• First Prize ($2,500): John Parker, University of Alabama
• Second Prize ($1,500): James Estes, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
• Third Prize ($1,000): Juan Ramón Rallo, Universidad de Valencia

In addition to the cash prizes, winners from both divisions will receive assistance in getting their articles published and a two-year subscription (8 issues) to the Independent Institute's quarterly, The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy.

This year's contest drew more than 600 applicants from 46 U.S. states, 37 countries, and 5 continents. The applicants' countries included Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Slovakia, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States, and Zimbabwe.

The Independent Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance of this year's judges: Alberto Benegas Lynch, Jr. (Economics Division Head, National Academy of Sciences in Argentina; ESEADE, Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration in Buenos Aires), Gerald Gunderson (Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Economics, Trinity College), and Yuri Maltsev (Professor of Economics, Carthage College). Founded in 1974, the Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition rewards college and university students and junior faculty for their scholarship on economic and personal freedom. Stay tuned for announcements of next year’s contest!

Winning essays for the 2007 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship

Winning essays of past years

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2) Is Iraq Arabic for Korea or for Vietnam?

White House officials—including President George W. Bush—have linked their hopes for a long-term U.S. occupation in Iraq to the 54-year (and counting) presence of U.S. troops in South Korea. Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs explains why the administration has chosen this tack—and why it should be rejected—in his latest op-ed, “Is Iraq Arabic for Korea or for Vietnam?”

“The president and his spokesmen in effect are telling us: you got used to bearing the costs of keeping a permanent U.S. force in Korea; you can just as well get used to bearing the costs of keeping a permanent U.S. force in Iraq,” writes Higgs. “Even if this political strategem succeeded on this side of the water, however, events in Iraq itself would almost certainly reveal its bankruptcy as a working model for a permanent U.S. occupation.”

Iraq’s ongoing insurgency and sectarian violence make comparisons between Iraq and South Korea problematic. Thus, unlike South Korea after the war, Iraq cannot reasonably be considered a potential liberal democratic country that the United States can watch take root, Higgs argues. “If it does not break apart, in all likelihood it can remain a viable political entity only under the sort of authoritarian regimes it endured throughout its history as an independent state prior to the U.S. invasion,” Higgs continues, “Even this unfortunate outcome, however, would constitute an improvement over the bloody Hobbesian chaos that has prevailed during the U.S. occupation.”

“Is Iraq Arabic for Korea or for Vietnam?,” by Robert Higgs (10/1/07)

Order Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism, edited by Robert Higgs and Carl P. Close

Order Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology and the Growth of Government, by Robert Higgs.

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3) Politicians vs. the Rule of Law in Paraguay and Peru

The modern political history of Latin America has far too often been the story of corrupt leaders exploiting public fear of political extremism, foreign threats and economic instability all for their own corrupt benefit. Recent events in Paraguay and Peru highlight the danger posed to liberty when the rule of law is discarded in the name of political expediency, whether by the political left or right.

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor about the Paraguayan presidential election, Independent Institute adjunct fellow Carlos Sabino warns against candidate Fernando Lugo. Lugo’s campaign has become increasingly associated with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Bolivia’s Ego Morales – two ostensibly leftwing strongmen who take advantage of populist sentiment to advance policies that jeopardize national freedoms and economic well-being. “The Lugo campaign advertises the slogan, ‘Change or death,’” writes Sabino, “and brags that their candidate doesn’t consider himself ‘a slave of the law.’” This explicit rejection of the rule of law combined with Lugo’s “populist rhetoric about the evil rich and the need to redistribute wealth to those less fortunate” is quite unsettling, especially given how receptive many poor people are to the “politics of envy” in a country with high unemployment rates, a corrupt government and a weak economy.

Yet the rule of law has also suffered in Latin America thanks to political exploitation of the fear of leftwing agitation. In a new op-ed on Peruvian politics, Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Director of the Independent Institute’s Center on Global Prosperity, discusses “the recent extradition of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to face charges of human rights violations and corruption,” an event Llosa consideres both “a welcome development” and “a monumental challenge to the institutions of a country that has not been able to establish the rule of law” as well as it has established economic growth. Fujimori faces serious accusations, such as concerning his relationship to “two civilian massacres at the hands of a military death squad.” In Peru’s case, many of the people have tolerated such abuses because “the country was at war with the Maoist terrorist organization known as Shining Path” and also due to “economic recovery of the last decade.” But rather than trusting despotic state powers with either the forces of revolution or the forces of reaction, what is needed in Peru, Paraguay and every nation is a “society that embraces the principle that the law is an impersonal set of rules over and above personal preference, political convenience or sheer passion” and that abandons “the idea that strongmen are the solution to a nation’s problems.”

Latin America Doesn’t Need Another Radical Like Chávez: Paraguay Must Not Elect a Populist Who Belittles the Rule of Law,” by Carlos Sabino (10/10/07) Spanish Translation.

Fujimori’s Shadow,” by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (10/10/07) Spanish Translation.

Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

The Che Guevara Myth, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Center on Global Prosperity (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Director)

Visit our Spanish-language website.

Visit our Spanish-language blog.

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4) New Directions for Peace and Security (Oakland, CA, 11/6/07)

For more than a century U.S. foreign policy—whether conducted by Democrats or Republicans—has been based on the assumption that Americans’ interests are served best by intervening abroad to secure markets, fight potential enemies far from American shores, or engage in “democratic nation building.” But, what is the record of such policies, including now in Iraq? What lessons can America’s earlier foreign policy tradition of noninterventionism—which largely prevailed before the 20th century—offer for today? Would a peace strategy based on free trade and property rights instead promote both security and international harmony? Based on the new book, Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism, Carl P. Close, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, James L. Payne, and Edward P. Stringham will discuss these critical issues.

SPEAKERS:

Carl P. Close is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and co-editor of Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism.

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is Associate Professor of Economics, San Jose State University.

James L. Payne is author of “Does Nation Building Work?” in Opposing the Crusader State. His most recent book is A History of Force.

Edward P. Stringham is Associate Professor of Economics, San Jose State University, and author of “Commerce, Markets, and Peace: Richard Cobden’s Enduring Lessons,” in Opposing the Crusader State.

WHEN:
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Reception and book signing: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:
The Independent Institute Conference Center
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
Map and directions

TICKETS:

Admission: $15 per person ($10 for Institute Members). Special offer: $27 includes admission and one copy of Opposing the Crusader State ($22 for members). Reserve tickets by calling (510) 632-1366 or ordering online.

More information and ticket reservations

Praise for Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism, edited by Robert Higgs and Carl P. Close:

“If you want to know why making the world safe for democracy is both foolhardy and impossible, read Opposing the Crusader State. Here in a nutshell is the best scholarship available on how our warrior governments went wrong and why their non-defensive wars have diminished, rather than enhanced, our freedoms.”
—Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel; author, The Constitution in Exile

Opposing the Crusader State deserves to be widely read and discussed. The issues are vital, critical; the timing perfect; the editors knowledgeable and selective; the writers expert, thoughtful and articulate.”
—Ambassador Edward L. Peck, former Chief of Mission in Iraq

More about Opposing the Crusader State

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