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The Ultimate Resource

Posted by Richard on April 23, 2007

If you're an advocate of free markets and a fan of the late Julian Simon and the late Milton Friedman, and you have an HDTV, it doesn't get any better than this: glorious high-definition images from exotic locales all over the world celebrating people's creativity as the ultimate resource and freedom as the key to enabling them to accomplish wonderful things. 

Tuesday, April 24, at 10 PM Eastern, HDNet premieres a new documentary from Free To Choose Media entitled "The Ultimate Resource." It will repeat five more times between then and May 5 (see schedule), so you have time to buy that high-def TV you've been thinking about and order HD programming from your cable or satellite provider. 

Lance at A Second Hand Conjecture has lots of info:

In short, they travel to China, Bangladesh, Estonia, Ghana, and Peru and show examples of how people (thank you Julian Simon) – when given the incentives and the tools – are proving they can apply their free choice, intelligence, imagination and spirit to dramatically advance their well-being and that of their families and communities. …

You can see the trailer and more here. Teachers can get the video (and lots of other resources) for free at

These stories of entrepreneurship and achievement among the world's poorest people illustrate the ideas of four outstanding thinkers featured in the program:

Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which uses microfinance to bring opportunity to the world’s poorest people by helping them to start their own businesses.

Hernando de Soto, founder of The Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru, helps developing countries open their systems — creating strategies for legal reform that offer the majority of the world’s people a stake in the free market economy.

James Tooley, British professor of education policy, explores the widespread, dramatic impact of low budget private education– financed not by charities or wealthy supporters– but by the poor families themselves in India, China, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.

Johan Norberg, Swedish author and scholar, takes aim at both left-wing critics, who would condemn developing countries to poverty until they develop “First World” workplace standards, and Western governments, whose free market rhetoric is undercut by tariffs on textiles and agriculture, areas in which developing countries can actually compete.

Wow, what a lineup! I can't wait to see it. 

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