America, Land of Economic Freedom! Well, Sort Of…

Economic FreedomWhen I think of the United States, i think of prosperity. I think of potential. I think of all the great things that could be.

All because we’re free.

Like the proverbial child looking up at his Dad, saying, “One day I want to be President.”

Or maybe, “I’m going to be an astronaut.”

For most of my life, these visions of what could be was the essence of my impression of the USA.

I can feel that slipping away.

From Human Events:

According to the 18th annual Index of Economic Freedom, released Thursday morning by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong enjoys Earth’s freest economy. It invariably has topped this list since 1995. No. 2 Singapore leads Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, and Ireland. Agnostic on political freedom, the Index evaluates fiscal discipline, taxes, regulations, monetary policy, rule of law, corruption, and other measures of economic liberty.

America has slid from No. 9 in 2011 to tenth place today. Indeed, this is the fourth consecutive year in which the U.S. fell a notch. Out of a perfect score of 100, America declined 1.5 points to 76.3. Denmark, No. 11, scored 76.2.

“As recently as 2008, the United States was ranked 7th, rated 81, and considered a ‘free’ economy,” Heritage notes. “Today, it is ‘mostly free’ –the runner-up category.” The Index’s authors add: “Fading confidence in the government’s determination to promote or even sustain open markets has discouraged entrepreneurship and dynamic investment within the private sector.”

U.S. tax-and-spend scores are appalling: Among 179 countries surveyed, America is No. 127 in government spending and No. 133 in fiscal freedom. The U.S. suffers an “overall tax burden amounting to 24 percent of total domestic income,” the Index states. “Government expenditures have grown to 42.2 percent of GDP, and the budget deficit is close to 10 percent of GDP. Total public debt is now larger than the size of the economy.”

Meanwhile, U.S. businesspeople moan beneath the regulatory rubble. “Over 70 new major regulations have been imposed since early 2009, with annual costs of more than $38 billion.”

Well, that’s just great.

Our politicians – even the so-called conservatives – are asleep at the wheel.  The left is actively subverting freedom.  Who is left?

You and me.

The politicians aren’t going to fix a damn thing.  It’s up to us to force the hand, or one day…well, I’ll let Ronald Reagan say it:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

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Comments

  1. I can’t disagree with your analysis. It’s a shame that our own “side” has contributed to the problem.

  2. Yep. “Republican” has become not much more than a general idea: disagree with democrats.

    I say it’s up to you and me, but I’m not sure what that looks like. Third party? Something else? It’s tough to say.

    Real conservatives – constitutional conservatives – need to coalesce and re-take control of the country. Is this happening with the Tea Party? I don’t know. What I do know is that increasingly the Republican Party does not appear to be the vehicle to right the country.

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