On October 1st in Lviv on the occasion of anniversary of birth of Ludwig von Mises honorary plaque was unveiled at the house in which he was born 130 years ago. Below is the photo from the unveiling ceremony.
Many thanks to Mykola Bunyk, Petro Bilian, and Sofia Dyak without whom it would be impossible.
Extremely good news. On the occasion of the 130th birth anniversary of Ludwig von Mises a conference "Economics and bureaucracy in an open society" will take place on Sept 30 – Oct 1, 2011 in Lviv, Ukraine.
3. On November 30thVerkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed
on first reading bill draft that prohibits advertisement, sponsorship, and stimulating
tobacco products sales which in particular imposes prohibition on putting in internet
information with intent to stimulate sales of tobacco products.
It is a good thing when a politician says what he is really thinking. At least, there is no hypocrisy, only straightforward contempt of the citizens by such a high ranking member of Cabinet:
...one is not supposed to listen to ordinary people during economic reform. One must listen to the experts... The people are not always right, they have the right to make mistakes... popular debates on the tax code, forgive me, is a nonsense.
People are not always right? And who is always right, some bureaucrats?
Foreign policy, particularly its implication as the "war on terror," is one of the major issues among American libertarians. Perhaps, "war on terror" or "Muslim threat" are not on our Ukrainian agenda, but one can easily assume that many had thoughts about Islam, fundamentalism, or terrorism.
Recent British tragicomedy about suicide bombers, "Four Lions," offers an unusual perspective on these issues. Being more closely related to reality, it is even less politically correct than "Borat" and "South Park" combined. Not using actual events as the basis for film plot, the authors depicted their own jihadists. Jihadists that use benefits of civilization, still blaming evil capitalism. Jihadists who, like the main character, leads usual "Western" lifestyle and shuns his too religious brother, who closes his wife in a small room, looking just like closet.
Extremely hilarious (and with foul language) this tragicomedy, however, is unlikely to give you a pleasant mood. The authors managed not just to satirize semi-literate terrorists. In the last few minutes they, literally, gave an account of the current "war on terror" with its innocent victims, tortures and lying politicians.
With realistic filming and not so realistic characters "Four Lions" tries to shed a different light the issues. And after you will laugh your head off, you would be left with questions on which no answers will be offered. Just watch and think for yourself.
Perhaps, Yuriy Yekhanurov (ex-prime-minister) is the most closest to libertarian views, at least to classical liberal views, among all Ukrainian politicians. His latest column in Ukrainian Pravda entitled "We are equal", however it's not about egalitarian equality, on the contrary, he describes (though somewhat clumsily) something like a libertarian non-aggression principle:
We are all equal, and that's why everyone has the right to live and to have support from community if one does not deny or limit the pursuits of other persons.
After that he reiterates the same principle more specifically:
Ukraine is an integral part of Western civilization, which, as a rule, limits one's freedom only when it interferes with freedom of others.
Personally I cannot agree that the principle, which he describes, such an integral part of Western civilization, but the mere understanding and agreement with this principle is a non-trivial thing for Ukrainian politician.
[The Ministry] recognized that protectionist policy on the meat market of Ukraine instead of the expected increase in production led to the shortage in the last few years.
The plan to overcome shortage in domestic market consisted of government protectionist policies, namely extension of subsidies to the industry and increasing of imports control.
But, in fact, government policy in this area had an opposite outcome. Meat shortage on domestic market had grown, recognizes the ministry.
What a surprise! You can not cure shortage with an import prohibition. Additional production do not emerge that way. No reasonable person would argue that if government ban imports of Chinese and Taiwanese electronics, you can expect growth of electronics production in Ukraine. And it can not be changed with government subsidies. To fund morally outdated and backward technology of production is not a solution. Sure, the beneficiaries would be satisfied. But what about consumers prevented from buying imported goods and forced to pay subsidies to farmers with their tax money. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic brain can generate only one explanation for the failure of his kind of policy: there was not enough money for subsidies.
Minister of Agrarian Policy Mykola PRISYAZHNYUK believes that imports of fruits and vegetables that can be grown in Ukraine should be prohibited.
Unfortunately, our officials still not able to think beyond protectionist categories. They can not get why people are buying non-Ukrainian products. So the dearest minister invents his own version of why average Ukrainian consumes imported goods:
"In this situation our consumer becomes accustomed to imported products. This is the main problem with which we are faced."
So we, like addicts, can no longer refuse from consumption of imports. And when we come to the store first thing we look at is not the prices of goods, but what's the country of production.