Mdou Moctar (b. 1986) is a Tuareg songwriter and musician based in Agadez, Niger, and is one of the first musicians to perform modern electronic adaptations of Tuareg guitar music. He first became famous through a subtle trading network of cellphones and memory cards in West Africa.

Mdou Moctar is a popular wedding performer and sings about Islam, education, love and peace in Tamasheq. He plays a left-handed Fender in a takamba and assouf style. He is originally from Abalak and has also lived in Tchintabaraden and Libya.

Moctar says that in Agadez, guitar is like football in Brazil: Only about 10% don’t play. His first guitar was one he made himself as a kid with a box and the cable from a bicycle brake.

The language he sings in is of a Berber language family called “Tamachiq,” more frequently called “Taureg” in the West.

Songs:
Tada Dounia
Wiwasharnine
Tarhatazed
Kamane Tarhanin

How Higher Costs Help the Biggest Companies - Peter G. Klein

Does any business like higher costs? Does any company like increased regulations, whether good or bad, which make it more difficult to operate? Does any company want a government that does this type of thing, and will support such a government?

Yes, in a competitive market, those types of difficulties benefit the biggest companies, who have the resources to do these things easily, and which will make business relatively harder for their smaller business competitors who might even go out of business. It’s in their interest to support governments who promise and execute these types of governmental actions, making it costlier to do business.

Economist Peter G. Klein, speaking at a recent Mises podium, gave some examples of this:

“Walmart can easily afford to design the parking lot in a certain way to make sure there are no steps as you enter the store. It’s easy for Walmart to do, and of course Walmart Corporation has hundreds, maybe thousands, of attorneys and compliance officers and all sorts of folks who specialize in understanding the regulations and making sure the firm is in compliance. Mom and Pop stores don’t have that. They can’t afford to build a ramp instead of stairs. They can’t afford to re-pave their parking lot. They don’t have a lawyer on retainer who can help them decipher the latest requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“So large companies often lobby for more regulation, for stricter government requirements on disclosure and so forth, because they know they can afford it and their smaller, newer rivals cannot afford it.”

 

Most important economics books, according to Prof. David Gordon

At a recent Mises presentation, American libertarian philosopher and intellectual historian and senior fellow at the Mises Institute Dr. David Gordon listed his top 8 picks for understanding economics. They are (with links to places on the Mises website where they can be downloaded free):