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February 18, 2017

What Are The Limits To The Sharing Economy?

The sharing economy can be broadly defined as a set of economic activities that go beyond the traditional model where goods and services are directly supplied to consumers by specialized producers that use their own capital goods to supply them. The emergence of its elements has been one of the biggest economic stories of the recent years. Uber, Lyft and many other start-ups have disrupted the taxi markets, Airbnb has forever changed the set of alternatives that travellers face when choosing a place to stay for their trips, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have allowed people to more easily raise money for all kinds of projects. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Tumblr and other social networks gave ordinary people the platforms to publish and evaluate all sorts […]
February 12, 2017

How Is Your Money Being Spent? – GSFL: DEFEND YOUR WALLET

This report was written by Local Coordinator Liza Katsiashvili. Georgian Students For Liberty’s latest campaign Defend Your Wallet! is dedicated to raising awareness about taxation and government spending. Because of low economic development, the Georgian government should refrain from high taxation and interference with the market. Unfortunately, the budget for 2017 doesn’t show any signs of restraint. The Georgian Students for Liberty team decided to launch this campaign in order to inform people about expedient government spending. On February 3rd, a second panel discussion took place, titled “How is your money being spent?” with Zurab Tchiaberashvili (a politician), Irakli Kiknavelidze and Salome Ugulava (both journalists) as speakers. Mr. Zurab Tchiaberashvili discussed several important problems, which are and will continue to be a threat to the Georgian […]
February 10, 2017

Three Misconceptions about Luxembourg

For many Europeans, the Grand-Duchy is a great question mark in the Western European landscape. It’s quite possible that if you’ve ever heard of it, people might have told you some very counterfactual things. I’m here to help. “Luxembourg is a tax haven” Every time I hear that I’m apparently living in a tax haven I need to double-check if people are talking about the same Luxembourg. It even gives me a good reason to go home to check out this mystical land in which nobody pays their taxes. What do we really pay? When it comes to income tax, the Luxembourgish government recently concluded a fiscal reform. The old system contained 19 different tax brackets, the maximal tax rate being 40 percent. In Luxembourg, the middle class consists […]
February 7, 2017

Freedom of the press in Serbia: A state of emergency

This article was written by Ratko Nikolić, president of the Center for Anti-Authoritarian Studies in Serbia.It is widely accepted that the freedom of the press is one of the fundamental prerequisites of a free society. Due to its crucial role in preventing power abuse and corruption by keeping the general public informed about the wrongdoings of their elected officials, it is often regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy. Following this logic, it goes without saying that attacking the media for simply doing their job or preventing them from doing it in any other way, is an attack against the very foundation of democracy itself. And yet, this phenomenon seems to be increasingly widespread throughout the Western Balkans region and Serbia in particular. According to the 2016 […]
February 5, 2017

A Freer Sky for a Freer World

This article was written by ESFL Local Coordinator Jean-Baptiste Fink. If there is one hot topic in transport development policy in Europe, and particularly air transport development, it is what we call “traffic rights”. In the press, we are constantly able to read about complaints from different air transport actors: On the one hand there are the Gulf States, who pretend to not have enough traffic rights for Europe, and on the other hand European airline companies, who think the ones of the Gulf States have too much access. The long and complex allocation of traffic rights In order to get a full understanding of this topic, we first have to figure out how an airline can open a new route. If an air carrier from country […]
February 3, 2017

Liberty Face Off: Should We Abolish The EU?

  In this first Liberty Face Off of February 2017, Tereza Sladkovská and Jernej Kosec will take on the European Union debate from a libertarian perspective. Is the EU a bureaucratic, freedom trampling moloch? Or do its institutions guarantee us piece and prosperity like Europe has never seen before? Should we abolish the EU?  Out with the EU, in with treaties By Tereza Sladkovská The answer to this question is complicated and it is impossible to keep it simple. Let’s try it this way: I would suggest to abolish the whole bureaucratic apparatus of the European Union, but to keep the voluntary cooperation of its members. I support the free market and free movement of European citizens across the continent. It is not on an irregular […]
January 30, 2017

History of Liberty: The French Revolution, a Critical Analysis

Picture source: Flickr. History of Liberty: The French Revolution, a Critical Analysis “To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency, to forgive them is barbarity” – Maximilien Robespierre, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. The French Revolution The French Revolution is commonly seen as an example of rebellion against tyranny, and it’s mentioned in every history book as a victory for freedom. The revolt against the Ancien Régime and the effective step forward of the Third Estate into the political life,  reminds all of us of our history lectures during primary or secondary school, which promoted the marxist doctrine of the oppressor versus the oppressed; thus dividing the situation into only two factions. Thanks to this effective marketing, the French Revolution has been getting more credit than it truly deserves, while other revolutions that were […]
January 30, 2017

You Clicked on this Article because Marine Le Pen is in the Thumbnail

Picture source: Flickr. You Clicked on this Article because Marine Le Pen is in the Thumbnail The French presidential election has been taking on speed in recent weeks: former Minister of the Economy Emmanuel Macron is running as an independent, Thatcher-admiring François Fillonwon the Republican primary, former president Nicolas Sarkozy left French politics after losing his primary, and incumbent president François Hollande announced he will not stand for re-election in 2017 as Prime Minister Manuel Valls resigned in order to prepare his own presidential bid. Meanwhile, France’s National Front is working hard to ensure that Marine Le Pen qualifies for the second round presidential vote in April 2017. Le Pen’s platform is that of hard-line protectionism: taxing imports and subsidizing the local economy, leaving the European Union, and […]
January 30, 2017

Android’s Open-Access Policy Makes Competition Work

Picture source: Patrick Tomasso Android’s Open-Access Policy Makes Competition Work   The first generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007 and revolutionized the mobile industry for decades to come. In the third quarter alone, Apple, as a company that had never produced a firmware for a mobile, let alone a phone on its own[1], sold 270,000 phones and ended up bringing 6.1 million iPhones over the counter in just 6 quarters. Far more amazing than Apple’s sales is how technology evolves, especially to someone who has no background in this what so ever. In fact, Apple considers the first generation iPhone ‘obsolete’ on a worldwide scale since 2013. Think about this: an invention that had revolutionized the entire mobile industry 6 years before is already ‘out of date’. In 2007, this first-gen […]
January 30, 2017

Europe’s War on Tobacco

Picture source: Thong Vo Europe’s War on Tobacco   Governments worldwide crack down on the consumption of tobacco. We know that smoking is bad for one’s health, but governments manage to create a new set of health risks through their interventions. The War on Tobacco is amongst the most misguided doctrines in behavioral policy, and yet politicians continue to enforce it. The side effects on private industry as well as personal health have long been ignored by advocates for smoking-freedom. Nevertheless, these side effects exist. Smoking Bans Harm Small Businesses and Are Ineffective A 2008 study in Germany proved what associations representing the restaurant and bar industries had claimed for a long time. A comparison between federal German states which had implemented a smoking ban with states that had not, showed that the ban […]
January 30, 2017

Labor Flexibility Beats Unemployment: A Closer Look at the Labor Market in Denmark

Picture source: Susan Yin Labor Flexibility Beats Unemployment: A Closer Look at the Labor Market in Denmark Despite Bernie Sanders’ efforts to identify Denmark with some sort of democratic socialist utopia where a highly-interventionist government regulates all the nooks and crannies of the economy, it is well known nowadays that the success of this Scandinavian country is closely linked to its high degree of economic freedom. We just need to look at the latest Index of Economic Freedom, published every year by the Heritage Foundation, to state the obvious: Denmark ranks in the top 15 worldwide. When looking more closely, Denmark excels at two specific economic indicators: business freedom and labor freedom. Business freedom measures the impact of government regulation on businesses. This indicator places Denmark at the top of the […]
January 30, 2017

Lithuania’s Mislead Nanny Policy on Alcohol

Picture source: Eathers Collective Lithuania’s Mislead Nanny Policy on Alcohol Lithuanian statisticians have reported that on the average every Lithuanian drinks 14,3 liters (WHO 2014) of pure alcohol per year, so that we can proudly say that we are among the heaviest drinking countries in the world. The Lithuanian government takes many measures to reduce our high alcohol consumption, such as restrictions on times and places where you can buy and sell alcohol, minimum ages to buy alcohol, and advertising restrictions. But there’s a problem with the assumption that these policies are based on: to take an average number provides very little information about reality. The truth is probably that while some of us might consume 30 liters, others only have a consumption level of one […]