Tuesday, May 26, 2015

George Ayittey ― The solutions to Africa's problems lie in Africa

Sean Jacobs ― Remembering Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew

(via HipHopRepublican.com)
‘We start with self-reliance,’ said the late Lee Kuan Yew in a 1994 interview. ‘In the West today it is the opposite. The government says give me a popular mandate and I will solve all society’s problems.’
On 22 March 2015 Lee passed away at age ninety-one. The end of his remarkable life offers a sobering reflection on what it takes to actually build an economic pie and not just cut it up – a practice many of today’s democratic practitioners appear exceptional at.
Singapore now thrives alongside the Silicon Valleys and Tel Avivs of the world. Back in the 1960s, however, Malaysia effectively dusted its hands of the small nation by forcing it to break away.
A future of poverty and desperation appeared likely until Lee, warding off communist subversion and the revolving emergence of security threats, turned Singapore’s slim fortunes around. ‘He did not just pilot Singapore to prosperity,’ added Margaret Thatcher, ‘he became the most trenchant, convincing and courageous opponent of left-wing Third World nonsense in the Commonwealth.

Anthony B. Bradley ― The Power of Market-Driven Diversity

The Supreme Life Building is a historic insurance building located in ChicagoIllinois. Built in 1921, the building served as the headquarters of the Supreme Life Insurance Company, which was founded two years earlier. The company, originally known as the Liberty Life Insurance Company, was the first African-American owned insurance company in the northern United States.

(via the Acton Institute Blog):

The story of Chicago-based Supreme Life Insurance Company of America, one of the most venerable black-owned businesses in American history, challenges the prevailing fiction that minority customers need the government to guarantee services for them and is a dynamic reminder of the power of markets as a basis for economic freedom.

Supreme was originally incorporated as the Liberty Life Insurance Company in 1919. An amazing 1969 study of this company by Dr. Robert C. Puth in Harvard’s Business History Review inadvertently dispels all sorts of myths about black businesses and black life during the era of legalized racial discrimination. The article, “Supreme Life: The History of a Negro Life Insurance Company, 1919-1962” details, for example, the existence of thriving black-owned businesses during that era, a fact of which many are unaware. By 1960 the forty-six firms of the National Insurance Association—a coalition of all black owned, managed, and operated firms—had $1.7 billion of insurance in force and held $300 million in assets. In today’s terms, that is approximately $17 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively. In 1965, Supreme Life had assets over $33,000,000 ($251 million inflation adjusted for 2012). Even though black incomes were very low and blacks worked mostly in unskilled labor, black-owned businesses prospered.

These black-owned firms were successful for several reasons. First, legal segregation created a concentrated market free from competition. As such, there was a surge in the 1920s in black entrepreneurship. Second, especially in the North, blacks gained access to manufacturing jobs through the cessation of immigration during World War I. Third, black families epitomized a culture of saving, even more so than white families, making them desired customers. Lastly, it was normal for leaders at Supreme Life and other black firms to maintain relationships with and gain experience working with white business, civic, and religious leaders.

Read more: http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2012/05/30/power-market-driven-diversity

Phumlani M. UMajozi ― Roland Fryer – an inspiration to troubled Black communities

Phumlani M. UMajozi, the South African libertarian writes about Roland G. Fryer, Jr. , the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and the recent recipient of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal.


He writes: "When the American Economic Association (AEA), the professional body of academic economists in the United States of America, announces the winner of the John Bates Clark Medal each year, acknowledging the “American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge”, the recipient is usually of white race and from privileged background. But in April this year, things were different. The man who won the prize isn’t white, he’s black, and was bred up in the ghettos of Florida and Texas, poor. His name is Roland Gehrard Fryer, Jnr. – a professor of economics at Harvard University. 

At least a week ago, I read a short article by The Economist about his life, I found Fryer’s story very inspiring. The article was published in the midst of chaos in Baltimore. It was a reminder that there are, African-Americans out there, who overcome serious hurdles to succeed in life. It made think profoundly. That I couldn’t wait to write a piece this week to encourage people to familiarize themselves with this blazingly smart human being."

Read more: https://policydebates.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/roland-fryer-an-inspiration-to-troubled-black-communities/

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Antonia Okafor ― If Rand Paul were president, I might still have a father

 Antonia is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Dallas and a Republican precinct chair in Denton County, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @antonia_okafor
Antonia Okafor (RL Wright Photography) 

(Rare Magazine)

When I was seven, my father was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He sold drugs and got caught after years of being investigated by the FBI (One count of possession of heroin, one count of conspiracy to distribute).

My mother was indicted as an accessory. For a year, in 1997, she was also in federal prison.
For that year, I had no parents. In the years after, I had no father.

I didn’t realize for a long time just how much growing up without a dad affected me.
When I entered my twenties it hit me like a ton of bricks. Until then, I had focused on other things, appreciating what I had overcome from having a less than perfect childhood.

But I eventually began to realize the heartache of growing up fatherless. It tore my family apart. It seeped like poison into every aspect of my life.

Read more at http://rare.us/story/if-rand-paul-were-president-i-might-still-have-a-father/#CYaRg5woiTXC8sef.99

Saturday, May 2, 2015

BALTIMORE BURNING! Gov Declares State of Emergency

My commentary on the death of Freddie Gray and the ensuing riots in Baltimore.

Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal ― The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) Debacle

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015 is abominable for one distinct reason: In the name of “religious freedom,” it encourages secular bondage.

In 1964, Congress passed the federal Civil Rights Act. This legislation prohibits discrimination in housing and public arenas based upon a multitude of factors, including race, gender, religion, and national origin. Notably, the act does not prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Decades later, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration of Act of 1993 was declared unconstitutional as it applied to the states. So, individual states are free to pass their own RFRAs. More than a dozen have already done so, including Indiana (this year). However, Indiana did not have to pass the RFRA in order to discriminate against others based on sexual orientation—before the law’s passage, the state was already free to turn a blind eye in the midst of such prejudice. Hence, the actions of Indiana’s legislature took things one step further, resulting in an act that encourages people to discriminate based on religion with the backing of the law.
I am no longer surprised when politicians enact ludicrous laws because politics and politicians have cumulatively reached the apex of idolatry. It is detestable that religion is being fashioned into a tool to serve political ends, and some individuals may even have been deluded into thinking that religion is all about discrimination. Putting the name “religion” on a vile act does not purify it of its malevolence. Politics ought never to set the tone for matters of faith.

Read more at http://www.chesadaphal.com/the-religious-freedom-reformation-act-rfra-debacle/