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Study: US Now Ranks 17th In Economic Freedom

From the Daily Caller:

US ranks 17 in measure of economic freedom

By Caroline May | September 17, 2013

The United States has dropped 15 slots since 2000 in an annual ranking of economic freedom, from 2nd place to 17th place.

Wednesday, the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think tank, released its annual Economic Freedom of the World Report…

Of course, this might help explain the bad news that we have gotten from the Census Bureau about the stagnation of the median income and the increase in poverty and the widening of the dreaded income inequality. But, then again, it’s probably just a coincidence.

The report gauges how supportive countries’ policies and institutions are of economic freedom using 42 variables in five general areas: government size, property rights and legal system, sound money, international trade freedoms, and regulation.

This year’s report ranks 152 countries and territories on that basis, with Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand in the one, two and three slots. The Republic of the Congo, Myanmar and Venezuela occupy the very bottom slots.

But who in their right mind would choose to live in New Zealand over the workers paradise of Venezuela?

The United States, at 17, ranks behind Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia

All three of which have recently elected much more conservative governments. Meanwhile, we are heading in the opposite direction.

According to the report, the freest countries experienced the most economic growth, with those living in the freest countries experiencing higher incomes and longer life expectancy.

Hall explained there are “lots of reasons” the United States has declined in the economic freedom ranking since 2000. Three areas he noted are an increase in government spending, expanding regulation and declining security of property rights and rule of law

[Hall] added that Americans should view the report as a warning.

“In the long run there is a very strong relationship between high levels of economic freedom and growth,” Hall said. “And so a few years of lower economic freedom, we’re not going to see immediate declines in our standard of living; but if we continue on the slide, we are essentially kind of eating the seed corn and destroying all that we have built up over the past couple hundred years.”

“I think I would view the report as kind of a canary in the coal mine. These are warning signs that we’re becoming over-regulated, we’re spending too much, we’re racking up too much debt. We need to understand that our current economic prosperity was dependent in large part on the government sticking to its core functions.”

We have a crazy idea for our country. Let’s obey the US Constitution and have the states and people take care of education, nutrition, housing, and other Tenth Amendment responsibilities. And let the federal government focus on national defense, foreign policy and border security.

We said it was crazy.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Study: US Now Ranks 17th In Economic Freedom”

  1. Progressives cheer. Hope for $7 toilet paper and mile long lines for a pair of one-size-fits-all shoes.

    • Petronius

      Indeed. Chalk up another triumph for the Liberal Death Wish.

      These days the Liberal war against freedom and prosperity marches from victory to victory, with little or no opposition.

      Note that even the quasi-socialist United Kingdom (#12) is outstripping the United States (#17) in economic freedom. The UK economy is growing while the American economy is barely scraping along, despite all the Fed’s stimulus, including $3 trillion in bond buying and money printing.

      By the way, international investors are now dumping US Treasury bonds like hot potatoes, the most in 36 years. The biggest sellers have been China and Japan, who also happen to be our largest creditors.

      This experiment in America’s fundamental transformation is not going to end well.

      As L/T interest rates rise, bond prices fall, and the losses are beginning to add up on the Fed’s huge bond holdings.

  2. captstubby

    The Forgotten Depression
    A Look at the Causes of the 1893 Depression
    In his last address to Congress, President Benjamin Harrison wrote, “There has never been a time in our history when work was so abundant, or when wages were as high, whether measured by the currency in which they are paid, or by their power to supply the necessaries and comforts of life.” The president gave that message in early 1893. By September of that same year, The Commercial and Financial Chronicle could write:
    “The month of August will long remain memorable as one of the most remarkable in our industrial history. Never before has there been such a sudden and striking cessation of industrial activity. Nor was any section of the country exempt from the paralysis; mills, factories, furnaces, mines nearly everywhere shut down in large numbers, and commerce and enterprise were arrested in an extraordinary and unprecedented degree. … [H]undreds of thousands of men [were] thrown out of employment.”
    Why had the economic situation changed so drastically? We must assume that Harrison was not delusional and that The Commercial and Financial Chronicle was not engaging in wild hyperbole later that year. What circumstances wrought such devastation?

    Outside the mining states of the west, the Republican Party steadfastly opposed free silver, arguing that the best road to national prosperity was “sound money”, or gold, which was central to international trade. They argued that inflation meant guaranteed higher prices for everyone, and real gains chiefly for the silver interests. In 1896, Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado led many western Republicans to bolt and form a third party that supported William Jennings Bryan, the short-lived Silver Republican Party.
    The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, while falling short of free silver’s goals, required the U.S. government to buy millions of ounces of silver (driving up the price of the metal and pleasing silver miners) for money (pleasing farmers and many others). However, the U.S. government paid for that silver bullion in gold notes—and actually reduced their coinage of silver. The result was a “run” on the Treasury’s gold reserves which was one of the many reasons for the Panic of 1893 and the onset of the 1890s Depression. Once he regained power, and after the Panic of 1893 had begun, Grover Cleveland engineered the repeal of the Act, setting the stage for the key issue of the next presidential election.
    Free silver became increasingly associated with Populism, unions, and the fight of ordinary Americans against the bankers, railroad monopolists, and the robber barons of the laissez-faire capitalism era and was referred to as the “People’s Money” (as opposed to the gold-based currency, which was portrayed by the Populists as the money of “exploitation” and “oppression”).

    “[d]istrust of the solvency of the banks rather than dissatisfaction with the circulating medium was clearly the direct cause which brought about runs upon banks and the numerous failures and suspensions.” The cause of the panic of 1893, as distinct from the depression that lasted until 1897, was imprudent loans and low reserves.
    we examine the pages of history we find that prosperity and depression have come during every kind of money condition. In spite of all that has been said and written on the money question as affecting panics and depressions, we are coming to realize that we have been chasing false causes. The indisputable fact is that we have had prosperity when we have had confidence, and we have had depression when there developed lack of confidence.
    “there was no agreement as to the causes of the depression; one’s explanation depended on one’s political predilections.” He then proceeds to examine the different persuasion’s appraisals of the causes.
    Conservatives, he says, attributed the panic to the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which undermined confidence in the gold standard, and “radical attacks on property.” Labor leaders and agrarian radicals both ascribed the depression to capitalists and their greed. Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, said that had labor’s demands been addressed, “it is safe to say that the panic of 1893 would have been averted, deferred, and certainly less intense.” Agrarian radicals argued that it was silver that precipitated the panic—because the capitalists had refused to enact the free coinage of silver. Democrats and Republicans, he continues, blamed each other for causing the depression—the Democrats frightened business when their platform included tariff reform and Republicans’ laws were still in effect at the onset of crisis.
    the depression of 1893 touched off the progressive movement. It served to concentrate attention on the ills (or perceived ills) of society and their remedies. Two of the issues most focused on by this nascent movement were tax reform and “corporate arrogance”: certainly two of the linchpins of the progressive movement.

    as i always name or cite the source,
    but this is one of those that was added to my files long ago and no names were kept.




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