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Starved of Elites

Starved of Elites

The staffing of the Trump Administration will always be its Achilles’ heel, from the lowest echelons of its 4,000 positions to be filled to the Cabinet level of the mandarins who decide many of the US Executive branch’s policies and their details. Regardless of the factual and moral truth in the matter of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s discussions with the Russian Ambassador and his report on the content of the discussion to his superiors, the political truth made his position untenable even for Trump at his most defiant. While public contention has reached new heights with the Trump Presidency, every new Administration has had its staff criticized, scrutinized, derided, lambasted or slandered until a stable and workable political formula could be found. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Initiative for Competitiveness proudly presents a look into the future high tech economy

The Initiative for Competitiveness proudly presents a look into the future high tech economy

The 1st of March is the first day of spring and is marked by numerous traditions. Please accept as our gift an invitation to a special event organized by INACO – “Inițiativa pentru Competitivitate” (The Initiative for Competitiveness) in collaboration with the International Business and Economics Faculty of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies and covered for a worldwide audience by The Market for Ideas magazine. It will take place on the 1st of March at 4:30 P.M. in the Robert Schuman Hall of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. The topic of the conference is represented by the new facets of business and the economy under the rushing tide of technological development. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Future Is Already Here. It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

The Future Is Already Here. It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

Science fiction author William Gibson coined the phrase in the title of this article in an interview with The Economist over a decade ago and his observation still stands. Automation and its physical sub-domain, robotization, are taking the world by storm. Automation stands for the reduction of human input in any process, though we will be referring mostly to economic processes. Labor saving devices and processes have been a mainstay of Western economic development since the Industrial Revolution, with their share of detractors, but labor elimination devices are increasingly more capable and more affordable, even for areas previously thought immune to automation. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Marx & Spencer

Marx & Spencer

The wordplay in the title blissfully suggests that mirth is a legitimate reaction to the connotations of a mundanely “hallowed” name. Phonetically, it insinuates an English apparel retailer, much appreciated by the in-crowd. Visually, there seems to be a “spelling” mistake. Obviously, it is just a caprice, of the same character as the caprices history slams in our faces; these caprices are (also) known as coincidences. They make up the tools based on which some individuals torment themselves to transform the historical fact into invariant lessons. Those individuals may be labelled “hasty” historians. And the most “arrogant” of them postulate with no remorse universal laws from past uniqueness.  More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The World after Brexit and Trump

The World after Brexit and Trump

Come to Free Market Road Show 2017! The event is organized by Austrian Economics Center - Austria (AEC) and will host interventions from renowned libertarians thinkers and speakers like Andreq Bernstein and Barbara Kolm. Individual liberty is the undying dream of western civilization. State tyranny is the enemy of democracy. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Aristotle and the Benefits of Moderation

Aristotle and the Benefits of Moderation

Many times, when moving from the descriptive of “what is” to the prescriptive of “what ought to be”, it is necessary to appeal to a shared knowledge of a moral framework that imbues the ideas presented with values, concepts and interpretations that are scarcely universal, but rather grounded in one specific civilization and possibly one specific tradition. In his article in The Market for Ideas No. 2, “Blurred lines: Good vs. Good. Evil vs. Evil.”, Dragoș Tîrnăveanu crowned his analysis with a twist on the ancient Manichean (dualist) vision of a conflict of opposites – light versus dark, good versus evil. He analyzed the uncertainty of our modern age, in which an asymmetry of information and of values gives rise to morally ambiguous situations, which he termed as “Good vs. Good” and “Evil vs. Evil”.  More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Football and Invisible Hands

Football and Invisible Hands

The British Isles have shared with our world, among others, two paradigms of sociality: the classic economic liberalism and the modern game of football. Contrasting the proverbial avarice, Scotland has handed us two apostles of the… “invisible hand”, that witty formula touching both the social matter-of-course and the footballer’s fetish: Adam Smith and Sir Alex Ferguson. Professor of logic and moral philosophy, searching for a unified theory of society and bringing together ideas of theology, ethics, politics and law, Adam Smith came to write the first systematic treatise on political economy in history. Smith’s thesis contrasts its logical simplicity with the complicated sophistry employed by those who ignore it: if individuals were free to pursue their own interests, doing it through entrepreneurship and commerce, with respect for the freedom of the others, the society as a whole will improve its condition, coordinating itself via the market. And opposed to the invisible hand is the statists’ “hand play”. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Trump and the Israel Gambit

Trump and the Israel Gambit

There have been many attempts to label Donald Trump as an anti-Semite by his Democratic opponents, who feel themselves entitled to sling the accusation around implicitly because of Jewish voting patterns that heavily favor them. This is the sort of “scarlet letter” that instantly destroys careers, campaigns and social standing without a presumption of innocence or due process. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The Leader of the Free World

The Leader of the Free World

The Arab Spring began as a spark in Tunisia and extended to the entire MENA region, causing major disorder and a political meltdown of authoritarian regimes from Libya and Egypt, but a firm stand began in Syria by the beleaguered regime, where a social uprising has been transformed into a bloody civil war. By far, the ongoing conflict in Syria is the most brutal because a “civil war” has been replaced by an international war, due to the fact that every party involved is getting outside support: More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Trump’s Budget Battles Are Just Beginning

Trump’s Budget Battles Are Just Beginning

Maybe it is the effect of being immersed in the now and only being aware of the rough summary of history, but I am not alone in getting the feeling that the political polarization in the Western world has reached such a fever pitch that political coups that took place once in a generation are now occurring with greater frequency. Whether it is the unbalancing of the political establishment or the overt transgression of formal or informal political norms, one gets the feeling that politics has become unhinged. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Googlelections

Googlelections

Throughout history, the relationship between rulers and those who ruled was, by necessity, a distant one that, nonetheless, had the effect of enabling propaganda of divine origin or the act of being anointed by God and the imagination of the people to create larger than life figures out of mere men. Then, as with so many things in our age of modernity and post-modernity, America changed the paradigm. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became engaged in a fundamental reworking of America’s relation to government and business in the New Deal era after the Great Depression and then in mobilizing the American people for entry into WW2. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


Five Scenarios Regarding the Assassination of Ambassador Karlov in Ankara

Five Scenarios Regarding the Assassination of Ambassador Karlov in Ankara

The tragic event in Ankara, in which the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Turkey, 62 year old Andrey Karlov, was assassinated by a lone gunman during an art exhibit, has raised numerous suspicions, some of which have been aired on the global media stage. Ambassador Karlov was shot on November 19, just one day before the meeting of the Iran-Russia-Turkey trilateral discussion group, whose stated goal is a workable Syrian peace plan. The event has been delayed indefinitely, which has raised suspicions regarding the context of the assassination. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016