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  • Commentary posted May 20, 2014 by James M. Roberts Free Markets, Limited Government Keys To Prosperity

    For the last 20 years, the Index of Economic Freedom has evaluated the state of economic freedom in virtually every nation, documenting the critical link between economic opportunity and prosperity. It shows how free-market, limited-government, rules-based capitalism helps people at every level of society to prosper. This month the Heritage Foundation launched the third…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014 by James M. Roberts The Pacific Alliance: A Latin American Role Model for the United States

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the old 20th-century debate about whether to engage with the global capitalist system is long over, replaced by a virtual consensus about the importance of trade and international investment. A new cleavage has emerged, however, over how to engage the rising economies of…

  • Special Report posted May 2, 2014 by The Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Task Force , James M. Roberts 2014 Global Agenda for Economic Freedom

    Contributors Luke Coffey is Margaret Thatcher Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation. Ariel Cohen, PhD, is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte M. Florance is a…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2014 by James M. Roberts, Edwar Enrique Escalante Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and…

  • Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014 by James M. Roberts Aid to Ukraine Should Not Be Held Hostage by IMF Politics

    The Obama Administration is insisting that before Congress can support courageous, Westward-looking Ukrainians, it must first reduce the power of the United States at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[1] The White House wants Congress to attach its approval of an IMF governance “reform package” that has been pending for three years to any legislation providing…

  • Commentary posted February 19, 2014 by James M. Roberts As Putin eyes Ukraine, Obama must not blink

    Last week, I visited Kiev’s Maidan — “Independence” square. It had something of a street festival feel, but there was also the sense that violence would soon strike. Barricades of old tires and garbage bags filled with snow protected the ramshackle booths and tent cities erected by pro-democracy groups from around Ukraine. Oil-drum fires helped beat back the brutal cold,…

  • Commentary posted January 31, 2014 by James M. Roberts Foreign Aid: Breaking the Cycle of Dependency

    Why do some nations that receive U.S. foreign aid year after year never seem to improve, or move beyond the dependency phase? Perhaps the largest reason is corruption. It’s the “pre-existing condition” that keeps many aid recipients from ever recovering. It’s a major obstacle to economic growth, which is why any U.S. development assistance program that does not make…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014 by Ana Quintana, James M. Roberts Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

    In 2013, the Obama Administration seemed to take for granted U.S. relationships with our many friendly neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean—nations that share our democratic and economic values—while ignoring growing threats to our national security from some countries in the region that are openly hostile to America’s core principles. In 2014, Congress should…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by James M. Roberts Congress Should Block the Morally Hazardous IMF “Reform” Package

    A little-known provision purported to be in the fiscal year 2014 omnibus spending bill currently being debated in Congress would chip off yet another little piece of American sovereignty—handing it and potentially billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars over to international civil servants at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail out economically distressed…

  • Special Report posted November 26, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Jonathan Blaisdell The Eurasian Union: Undermining Economic Freedom and Prosperity in the South Caucasus

    The Southern Caucasus—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—is in Russia’s geopolitical crosshairs. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who once called the demise of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century,”[1] is seeking economic and political alliances to restore Russia’s power in what then-President Dmitry Medvedev called its traditional…

  • Special Report posted October 17, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ryan Olson Time for Brazil to Reject Capital Controls and End Failing Statist Policies

    In 2010, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega fired off the first of a series of rhetorical salvos in what he called the “currency wars.” According to Mantega, serial competitive devaluations by the world’s largest economies aimed at boosting First World exports and monetizing their budget deficits were undermining the health of emerging economies—particularly his…

  • Special Report posted September 11, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ryan Olson How Economic Freedom Promotes Better Health Care, Education, and Environmental Quality

    No economic system in history has been as successful at lifting people out of poverty as that of capitalism based on principles of economic freedom. Economic freedom has done more for the poor throughout the world than any taxpayer-funded social program or welfare check ever could. The embrace of capitalism and the defeat of serfdom in pre-industrial Europe led to the…

  • Issue Brief posted September 5, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ryan Olson G20 Leaders Should Address Economic Growth

    When President Obama travels to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G20 summit on September 5–6, he will confront an agenda chock full of issues that are not directly relevant to restoring optimal conditions for global economic recovery and growth. Although many pressing geopolitical issues, such as the crisis in Syria, will demand some attention from the gathered heads of…

  • Commentary posted August 2, 2013 by James M. Roberts Brazil’s Economic Woes Show Limits of State Meddling

    Brazilians are angry. President Dilma Rousseff's government is spending billions on beautiful new stadiums — and it’s all about image. And when billions of viewers tune in to the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Ms. Rousseff wants them to see what appears to be a First World country. But that’s not what Brazil’s middle class sees when they look out…

  • Commentary posted June 24, 2013 by James M. Roberts Time to End Trade Preferences for Ecuador

    The July 31 deadline for renewing the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) is fast approaching. Congress first enacted ATPDEA more than 20 years ago to help four Andean countries — Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru — fight the illicit drug trade by expanding legitimate economic activities. Today, thanks to recently signed free-trade agreements with…