David R. Henderson  

Leon Louw's Talk at Mont Pelerin

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One of the highlights of the Mont Pelerin Society meetings that are ending in Istanbul tonight was a talk by Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation in South Africa. Some high points:

1. He led off by stating, "I was a Communist before I was a libertarian. People often say, 'That's a big shift.' I answer, 'Not really. I was in favor of the withering away of the state. I still am."

2. "Ghana had the biggest positive shift of any country in the world, moving from unfree to free."

3. "Africa shows that once you get rid of multi-culturalism, freedom becomes more probable."

4. "The freest provinces of China are comparable to Hong Kong in their degree of economic freedom. The least free are comparable to Myanmar and Zimbabwe." BTW, I asked Wolfgang Kasper at lunch if he agrees. He does.

5. "Switzerland is the only country in the world where politicians lobby the public. Why? Because voters can overturn any law and any administrative rule."


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
Jacobo writes:
Africa shows that once you get rid of multi-culturalism, freedom becomes more probable
The freest provinces of China are comparable to Hong Kong in their degree of economic freedom. The least free are comparable to Myanmar and Zimbabwe

Very interesting. Is there a transcript or video of the talk available?

Amir writes:

Can you explain no. 3 a bit?

Daniel Klein writes:

Nice, thanks.

Please tell us more about the MPS meeting.

Stuart Williams writes:

I can't honestly see the point of 5 contextless quotes, all of which need a very large quantity of supporting evidence.

Ash writes:

Re: point 5: why can't the same be said of California?

M.R. Orlowski writes:

I'm actually very interested in obtaining any information that discusses the differences in economic freedom (or freedom in general) for the various provinces in China. Does anyone have any book or article recommendations? Does this talk go into the topic much?

Shane writes:

"I was a Communist before I was a libertarian. People often say, 'That's a big shift.' I answer, 'Not really. I was in favor of the withering away of the state. I still am."

Both also reject the status quo in general. In Europe the most determined opponents of the EU seem to be from the extremes of right and left; centrists don't seem to mind it so much. Likewise Republicans and Democrats went for some kind of bailout when the banking crisis struck, but libertarians and communists were appalled.

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