Debating Minimum Wage Laws In A Moot Parliament In Iran

After visiting Tehran, Christopher Hitchens called Iran the “as if society.”

In his Vanity Fair piece, following the trip to Iran he puts it very eloquently:

“People [in Iran] live as if they were free, as if they were in the west, as if they had the right to an opinion, or a private life. And they don’t do too badly at it.”


Well, every Saturday evening in Tehran, a bunch of mostly young people get together to decide the fate of an “as if” society called Libertas, which is a made-up country with a somewhat similar sociopolitical situation to Iran.…

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Iranian Gov. Recognizes The Spontaneous Currency

The Iranian President’s chief of staff announced that they are about to remove a zero from the currency. Obviously, it is due to inflation which, at the moment, stands about 40 to 50 percent. Our banknotes have been breeding zeroes for the past 50 years or so and are currently next to inadequate. As an economist, these kinds of policies cannot solve anything and probably could add to the problem by making it less apparent.

There is, however, something more interesting at work.…

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Joss Stone Deported From Iran – From Our Correspondent In Iran

Joss Stone was deported from Iran. She has been saying, “the Iranian authorities did not believe she would not try to play a public show in the country.” She may have been told so, and not being familiar with the settings, she believed it too. I assure you, no one in Iran, not the authorities and not the people believe that to be the case.

Regardless of her intentions, it was not even a remote possibility.…

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When The Law Becomes Criminal

If you live in Iran, you will deal with this sort of advertisement daily. An ever-increasing number of websites are banned in the country and to be able to function online, one needs a reliable VPN. Almost all social media platforms are banned, for example, and so are a lot of other websites. And no, I don’t necessarily mean that kind of websites. World Bank and IMF are banned too. Unapproved statistics, probably. How dare they!…

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In Other News From Ankh Morpork

This is an official announcement for the price of ice (yes, ice) in an Iranian newspaper nearly fifty years ago which is, of course, before the revolution of 1979.

Shah did not believe in free markets, either. He loved “his” country and wanted it to progress the way he deemed fit. His priorities, his way. He wasn’t the first to do it this way and certainly, he won’t be the last. In fact, they have a name for it, Command Economy, or in more democratic settings, to offend fewer people, Planned Economy. 

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A Theocracy Doesn’t Mean People Understand The Holy Book

From Our Correspondent In Iran:

Recently an official in Iran, in his inaugural address, had referred to Nas Surah in Quran and its emphasis on working for the people, hoping he, too, could live up to the teachings of Quran and serve our people. Little did he know that the Surah had nothing to do with the subject.

In Arabic, Nas means people (mankind more like in the context, really) so, his Excellency didn’t deem necessary to go any further and check the content.…

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Unicorn Sighting in Iran – Just Where Did Rory Stewart Find That Opium?

Rory Stewart has apologized for smoking opium in Iran some 15 years ago. I do not usually dwell on these sorts of things and I am not going to spend much time about it here either but since the matter seems to come up quite frequently I thought I’d say a quick word about it.

Mr. Stewart says he smoked opium at a wedding. It is important to note that Iran is a vast country and despite common belief it is a melting pot of many different cultures and ethnicity.…

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Black Markets Work – They’re Just Markets Without Bureaucrats, Right?

For the past forty years, the majority of policy-makers in Iran have been arguing for more government intervention in the economy. They think it is necessary to regulate and control the prices down (or up) to a desired point. Hence, we have multiple organizations for price control in the country. Some of them try to come up with the correct price for each and every good and service. Others, try to enforce the set prices and root out the wrongdoers.…

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The Cost Of Caging Fellow Human Beings

Recently, the warden general of Ilam, a central province in Iran, provided a routine report that went viral in the social media around the country. The report indicated that each prisoner costs nearly $30 a day, or nearly $11,000 a year. Fine, why not? Doing things costs money and I wouldn’t be surprised if they spent much more on their prisoners in the developed world.
The controversy came in when in an irrelevant interview, the former minister of education happened to mention that every student in the country costs nearly $700 a year, as in less than $2 a day, for the government.
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War Is Good Business Only If There Is No Other Business Around

Tensions rise as President Trump designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group. This is the first time that the United States government has designated a part of another country’s military as such a threat. On a side-note, by designating the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group, the United States may have inadvertently implicated the Iranian head of state, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran who, happens to be the commander in chief of the armed forces, including but not limited to the IRGC.…

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