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

Volume 6, Issue 37: September 13, 2004

  1. 2005 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition
  2. Three Theories about the Iraq War
  3. Economist Benjamin Powell to Head Institute's New Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation
  4. Off-shoring Restrictions Would Harm U.S. Workers

1) 2005 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition

The Independent Institute is pleased to announce the 2005 Olive W. Garvey Fellowship Competition. Cash prizes will be awarded to outstanding college students -- and untenured "junior" faculty -- from around the world through a competitive essay contest. Held biennially, the Garvey Fellowship is intended to encourage and reward scholarship pertaining to the meaning and significance of economic and personal liberties. The specific essay topic changes with each contest.

This essay topic for 2004-2005 is taken from a quotation by Nobel-laureate economist and social philosopher Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992): "The great aim of the struggle for liberty has been equality before the law."

A panel of three judges will look for the best essays related to Hayek's quotation -- original essays distinguished by their clarity, rigor, and eloquence. The essays need not be technical or demonstrate hyper-specialized scholarship, although they should be serious in content, tone, and style.

Founded in 1974, the Garvey Fellowship has attracted thousands of young scholars, many of whom have subsequently become noted academicians, journalists, and business leaders. Beginning in 2003, the Garvey Fellowships also offers awards in a separate category for junior faculty members (untenured).

STUDENT DIVISION: College students up to the age of 35:
First Prize: $2,500
Second Prize: $1,500
Third prize: $1,000

FACULTY DIVISION: Junior faculty members up to the age of 35 and not yet tenured:
First Prize: $10,000
Second Prize: $5,000
Third Prize: $1,500

ELIGIBILITY: 1) Student Division: Any student 35 years or younger enrolled at a recognized college or university anywhere in the world. 2) Junior Faculty Division: Untenured college or university teachers, Assistant Professor or higher, 35 years or younger.

LENGTH (double-spaced typescript): Student essays must not exceed 3,000 words. Teacher essays must be 5,000 to 8,000 words long.

DEADLINE: May 1, 2005

For more information, including eligibility requirements, a suggested reading list and examples of past winning essays, see http://www.independent.org/students/garvey

For more on Friedrich A. Hayek, see:

"Hayek's Road Comes to an End," by Julian L. Simon (4/13/92)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?ID=311

"Friedrich Hayek and the Future of Liberty," an Independent Policy Forum transcript featuring Alan Ebenstein and Charles Baird (5/16/01)
http://www.independent.org/events/detail.asp?eventID=19

Norman Barry's review of HAYEK'S POLITICAL ECONOMY: The Socio-Economics of Order, by Steve Fleetwood (THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, Fall 1997)
http://www.independent.org/publications/TIR/article.asp?issueID=32&articleID=405

"Does Hayek Speak to Asia?" by Chandran Kukathas (THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, Winter 2000) http://www.independent.org/publications/TIR/article.asp?issueID=23&articleID=273

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2) Three Theories about the Iraq War

Before the Iraq War -- and for well after President Bush's announcement that major combat operations had ended -- the White House made much about a potential threat from Saddam Hussein's purported "weapons of mass destruction." When neither the WMDs nor evidence of an operational link between Saddam and Al Qaeda materialized, the administration found a new rationale -- to introduce democracy to the Middle East.

What exactly were the real reasons behind the Iraq War? Ivan Eland discusses three much-talked-about possible motives in his latest op-ed, "Have 1,000 U.S. Souls Died in Vain?"

One hypothesis often bandied about is that the U.S. deposed Saddam primarily to benefit Israel's security. Eland, however, argues that this is not very plausible because Iran was (and is) more of a WMD threat to Israel than Saddam's Iraq was, and Syria, sharing a border with Israel, represented a greater conventional threat.

A second oft-discussed possible motive is that the White House was trying to finish unfinished business left from the 1991 U.S. war against Iraq. This may have contributed to the war decision, but no definitive evidence for this theory has yet been produced.

A third possibility -- perhaps the most popular theory -- is that the main motivation for the war was to secure Middle Eastern oil while the U.S. withdraws troops from Saudi Arabia, where a U.S. military presence came with a high price in the form of enraging Osama bin Laden.

The blood-for-oil thesis is plausible as a theory for why the U.S. went to war. However, whether the blood-for-oil thesis is a legitimate rationale for war is another matter altogether, Eland explains.

"The United States imports roughly 20 percent of its oil from the Persian Gulf," writes Eland. "From the Far East, America imports about 80 percent of semiconductors-another product that is crucial for the U.S. economy and national security. Yet Washington never worries about shortages of or high prices for East Asian circuits and does not intervene militarily to make supplies of them secure.

"So even oil, the most defensible of the potential unstated reasons for invading Iraq, doesn't turn out to be very defensible at all. Could 1,000 Americans have died in vain?"

See "Have 1,000 U.S. Souls Died in Vain?" by Ivan Eland
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1362

For information on Ivan Eland's foreign-policy debate with Tim Starr in San Francisco, to be held on Saturday, September 18th, see http://www.independent.org/newsroom/.

For information on Ivan Eland's forthcoming book, THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, see
http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=54

Center on Peace & Liberty
http://www.independent.org/research/copal/

To order a copy of the video, UNDERSTANDING AMERICA'S TERRORIST CRISIS: What Should be Done?, see
http://www.independent.org/store/events/event_detail.asp?eventID=12

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3) Economist Benjamin Powell to Head Institute's New Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation

The Independent Institute is pleased to announce that economist Benjamin Powell has joined the Independent Institute as director of its new Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation.

As head of the new center, Dr. Powell will oversee a research and publication program that will examine market-based approaches to a wide range of public-policy topics, including high-tech innovation, employment, outsourcing, immigration, affordable housing, transportation, electric power, and entrepreneurship.

The Independent Institute is confident that Dr. Powell, who received his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, will head up a team of scholars who will effectively bring promising new ideas to the public's awareness on these and related issues -- just as Dr. Ivan Eland has done as director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty.

For a press release on Benjamin Powell's appointment, see http://www.independent.org/newsroom/news_detail.asp?newsID=38.

For more about Benjamin Powell, see
http://www.independent.org/aboutus/person_detail.asp?id=1023

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4) Off-shoring Restrictions Would Harm U.S. Workers

Three pieces of legislation pending before California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger -- bills intended to help Californians by reducing "off-shoring" -- would, if passed, harm Californians economically, according to Benjamin Powell, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation. ("Off-shoring" refers to outsourcing certain business functions overseas by companies located domestically.)

In a new op-ed, Powell notes that a recent study shows that Californians -- particularly workers in the San Francisco Bay Area -- benefit greatly from overseas trade. Legislation intended to reduce off-shoring therefore would be counterproductive because exporters based in the United States benefit significantly from the ability to outsource some of their operations in order to reduce their operating costs, he argues.

"When off-shoring is limited, U.S.-based exporters are hurt because foreign demand for our goods decreases," writes Powell. "The [San Francisco] Bay Area would be disproportionately harmed by measures that restrict off-shoring and international trade because it is such a highly globalized region."

Powell notes that Bay Area manufacturers earn 60 percent of their sales revenue from foreign sales, and that "over 700,000 Bay Area employees work for subsidiaries of foreign corporations located here." If policymakers wish to improve California's business climate, he suggests, they should concern themselves with the state's limited supply of housing, above-average corporate tax rate, the high cost of workers compensation insurance, and high energy costs.

Powell concludes: "The bills awaiting the governor's signature will not save any California jobs on net. They will only protect some jobs at the expense of others. In the end, the bills would contribute to making the state less competitive in attracting new businesses. The governor would be well advised to veto the proposed bills."

See "Proposed Off-Shoring Bills Would Harm the Bay Area's Economy," by Benjamin Powell (9/9/04)
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1361

Also see:

"Outsourcing and Adam Smith," by Robert W. Galvin (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 4/19/04) http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1288

For more on international trade, see
http://www.independent.org/issues/search.asp?subID=44

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