capitalism

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"Travel", said Francis Bacon, "is part of education for the young and a part of experience for those who are older." But there is an additional benefit from a journey outside of one's own borders: a reminder of why certain places function better than others.

In a recent trip to Hong Kong, I met with a plethora of civil servants, some politicians and a few business people, all with an obvious interest in the future of that territory. My purpose was simple: to get a sense of how that territory has held up in the face of massive change occurring in China proper.


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You might think the federal Conservatives, who added $125-billion to the federal debt since 2008 and will add another $21-billion by the end of March, might be shy about unnecessary expenditures. Alas, that’s not the case, as it appears Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his colleagues would rather hand out cash to corporate Canada instead.

In just the first two weeks of January, the prime minister announced another $250-million for the Automotive Innovation Fund—a federal subsidy program that provides the auto sector with taxpayer cash for research and development.


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In Fidel Castro’s recent interview with Atlantic Monthly columnist Jeffrey Goldberg and in response to the question, “Is the Cuban economic model still worth exporting?”, the retired dictator made this admission: “The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore.”

Several days later, Castro backpedalled. He claimed he actually meant the opposite. “My idea,” said Fidel, “is that the capitalist system no longer works for the United States or the world. How could such a system work for a socialist country like Cuba?

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