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Must-see HDTV

Posted by Richard on April 25, 2007

Did you take my advice and watch "The Ultimate Resource" last night? It was simply outstanding, meeting and exceeding my rather high expectations. Visually, it was first-class — beautiful high-definition video comparable in quality to the better Discovery HD programming. The content was fascinating as well as uplifting.

My only minor criticism is that the last of the five segments — the story of Shanghai entrepreneurs and their computer game company — was the weakest. The China segment was merely interesting, while the preceding four segments were moving:

  • In Ghana, a poor fisherman and his wife wanted their daughter to get a good education, so they put her in a private school instead of the free government school. James Tooley explained that in this very poor region of Ghana, 75% of the schools are private and for-profit, and all of them outperform the government schools.
  • In Peru, remote mountain villagers celebrated when they finally get legal titles to land that their families have worked for generations. Hernando de Soto talked about how property rights and the rule of law can turn the world's four billion poor into eager and successful stakeholders in the capitalist system.
  • In Estonia, the former Soviet republic has become one of the economically freest countries on Earth, enabling the Estonia Piano Company to transform itself from an inefficient producer of mediocre pianos for the state into an efficient, successful producer of some of the world's highest-quality instruments.
  • In Bangladesh, a young woman got a small loan so she and her husband could buy a loom. This enabled them to make and sell high-quality saris, lifting themselves out of poverty. Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus and his Grameen Bank have made millions of similar "microcredit" loans (averaging $70), always for an income-producing purpose that will lift a family out of poverty. The repayment rate is 99%. 

The program is a joyous and heartwarming celebration of the human spirit and of the benefits of liberty. By all means, see it if you can. HDNet is showing it several more times in the next few days (see schedule). I'm sure it will eventually be available on DVD, but if you can see it on HDNet this week, I bet you'll be glad you did. 

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