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The Freer The Economy The Better
#1
As usual John Stossel is right on the money with this one. He correctly states that the freer a nation's economy, the higher it's standard of living, and the better off the citizenry.

But even more alarming is that the US just keeps slipping down the list, and is not currently number eight. I remember a few years ago, we were number three, just behind Hong Kong and Singapore. Now,.........................

Quote:Freer Is Better

By John Stossel
The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations -- behind Canada! A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada.

Don't say it's Barack Obama's fault. Half the data used in the index is from George W. Bush's final six months in office. This is a bipartisan problem.

For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world's countries on the basis of their economic freedom -- or lack thereof. Ten criteria are used: freedoms related to business, trade, fiscal matters, monetary matters, investment, finance, labor, government spending, property rights and freedom from corruption.

The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile.

The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea.

The index demonstrates what we libertarians have long said: Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.

Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, which compiles the index with The Wall Street Journal, says the index defines "economic freedom" to mean: "You can follow your dreams, express yourself, create a business, do whatever job you want. Government doesn't run labor markets, or plan what business you can open, or over-regulate you."

We asked Beech about the U.S. ranking. "For first time in 16 years, the United States fell from the 'totally free' to 'mostly free' group. That's a terrible development," he said. He fears that if this continues, productive people will leave the United States for freer pastures.

"The United States has been this magnet for three centuries. But today money and people can move quickly, and in less than a lifetime a great country can go by the wayside."

Why is the United States falling behind? "Our spending has been excessive. ... We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries ... these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries. ..."

Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void. For example, bondholders in the auto industry were forced to the back of the creditor line during bankruptcy. And there's more regulation of business, such as the Dodd-Frank law for the financial industry and the new credit-card law. But how could the United States place behind Canada? Isn't Canada practically a socialist country?

"Canada might do health care the wrong way," Beach said, "but by and large they do things the right way." Lately, Canada has lowered tax rates and reduced spending.

China is an interesting case. It ranks 140th out of 179, but its economy is on fire. How can this be?

"They have a complex economy," Beach says. "Around the edges of the mainland are rapidly growing city-states, like Hong Kong, which are pockets of enormous prosperity (and) economic freedom. But within the mainland is a very different economy. It's heavily controlled by the state. If you look at the growth rates of these two regions, you'll see one hardly growing."

And look at France. It ranks 64th, behind Mexico, Peru and Latvia! Yet France is a much wealthier country.

"France is doing their best to fall out of the index," Beach explained. "That's a country that says, 'We'd rather not be economically free if we can be economically secure.'"

Which countries should we keep an eye on in the future? Beach says parts of Central and South America are awakening. "Brazil has pretty much broken through after years of doing the right thing and is on the verge of serious sustained economic growth."

And Mexico is improving: "If Mexico could fix its drug war problem, we'd see the good things happening there."

If we want to reverse America's decline, we'd better get to work. There's a lot of government to cut.

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"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#2
Quote:Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.

That final clause of the final sentence is crucial.

What exactly is a "free economy"? Wouldn't the freest economy, in absolute terms, be one with zero government intervention, like Somalia?

What the Stossel means is that the economy needs to be free up to a point. Because a "free" economy cannot exist without clearly defined property rights, and a mechanism to enforce contracts. These cannot exist without government. This is important to note.

Quote:Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void.

This is one of the most dissapointing things about the Obama administration. Declaring perfectly valid contracts null and void is exactly the opposite of what government should be doing.
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#3
Brooklyn Wrote:
Quote:Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.

That final clause of the final sentence is crucial.

What exactly is a "free economy"? Wouldn't the freest economy, in absolute terms, be one with zero government intervention, like Somalia?

What the Stossel means is that the economy needs to be free up to a point. Because a "free" economy cannot exist without clearly defined property rights, and a mechanism to enforce contracts. These cannot exist without government. This is important to note.

Quote:Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void.

This is one of the most dissapointing things about the Obama administration. Declaring perfectly valid contracts null and void is exactly the opposite of what government should be doing.

No, and I must assume you are playing Devil's Advocate here. Anarchy can only work in a society having few participants. The larger the society, the more the requirement for certain basic rules. But the less rules the better.

The L.H.Rockwell crowd will tell you that spontaneous order is all required, but they are living in a utopian paradise within their heads. Please go the link in my Signature, and see what I mean. This is pretty much what Stossel is talking about.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#4
John L Wrote:
Brooklyn Wrote:
Quote:Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.

That final clause of the final sentence is crucial.

What exactly is a "free economy"? Wouldn't the freest economy, in absolute terms, be one with zero government intervention, like Somalia?

What the Stossel means is that the economy needs to be free up to a point. Because a "free" economy cannot exist without clearly defined property rights, and a mechanism to enforce contracts. These cannot exist without government. This is important to note.

Quote:Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void.

This is one of the most dissapointing things about the Obama administration. Declaring perfectly valid contracts null and void is exactly the opposite of what government should be doing.

No, and I must assume you are playing Devil's Advocate here. Anarchy can only work in a society having few participants. The larger the society, the more the requirement for certain basic rules. But the less rules the better.

The L.H.Rockwell crowd will tell you that spontaneous order is all required, but they are living in a utopian paradise within their heads. Please go the link in my Signature, and see what I mean. This is pretty much what Stossel is talking about.

I'm really just trying to point out that there is a minimum set of rules, and enforcement of those rules, required for a market economy to exist. And that it is more efficient to allow government to be the institution that does these things (due to transaction costs and economies of scale).

This is something all "pro-market" people are aware of. But people who tend to go along with the progressives when it comes to economic policy sort of shrug off pro-market people by saying that we are just anarchists, we aren't realistic, or we just hate government. None of which is actually true. Most pro-market people understand that government protection of property rights, enforcement of contracts, & tending to public safety issues are crucial to a well functioning economy.
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#5
Brooklyn Wrote:I'm really just trying to point out that there is a minimum set of rules, and enforcement of those rules, required for a market economy to exist. And that it is more efficient to allow government to be the institution that does these things (due to transaction costs and economies of scale).

This is something all "pro-market" people are aware of. But people who tend to go along with the progressives when it comes to economic policy sort of shrug off pro-market people by saying that we are just anarchists, we aren't realistic, or we just hate government. None of which is actually true. Most pro-market people understand that government protection of property rights, enforcement of contracts, & tending to public safety issues are crucial to a well functioning economy.

Did you bother watching the link in my Signature?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#6
[Image: 81303_600.jpg]
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#7
What is so funny here "Q" is that the cartoon is drawn by a person who believes in Keynesian thinking, and is attempting to translate the same gibberish into Supply-Side thinking.

It won't work, because Jude Wanniski has debunked this thinking time after time, and was a staunch follower of dynamic forecasting. The cartoon shows static forecasting, which is not part of human nature: something only a bureaucrat could love.

Furthermore, if he(and you too) had just taken the Laffer Curve, you would immediately know that this thinking is pure mindlessness.

[Image: laffercurve.gif]

Somehow, I thought you were smarter than this. Here is something that even you can understand. Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#8
what can i do, john? ignore that your freedom for the rich politics turned the booming economy, and government surplus of the clinton years into the greatest economic crisis of the industrialized era in no time? tax cuts for the rich paired by gigantically increased government spending, paid for by more debt of the bush years did that. one would expect you learned something, but i am overestimating your abilities?
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#9
quadrat Wrote:what can i do, john? ignore that your freedom for the rich politics turned the booming economy, and government surplus of the clinton years into the greatest economic crisis of the industrialized era in no time? tax cuts for the rich paired by gigantically increased government spending, paid for by more debt of the bush years did that. one would expect you learned something, but i am overestimating your abilities?

Yawn,.................you have too much time on your hands "Q".

did you bother watching the video? I realize that it may cause your teeth to rot, but it's worth the chance. Your testicles won't shrivel up, either way. Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#10
John L Wrote:
Brooklyn Wrote:I'm really just trying to point out that there is a minimum set of rules, and enforcement of those rules, required for a market economy to exist. And that it is more efficient to allow government to be the institution that does these things (due to transaction costs and economies of scale).

This is something all "pro-market" people are aware of. But people who tend to go along with the progressives when it comes to economic policy sort of shrug off pro-market people by saying that we are just anarchists, we aren't realistic, or we just hate government. None of which is actually true. Most pro-market people understand that government protection of property rights, enforcement of contracts, & tending to public safety issues are crucial to a well functioning economy.

Did you bother watching the link in my Signature?

No. I was hoping it was something I could read and skim over. Videos are for entertainment, not information.
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#11
Ok. So I watched the video. I must say, it was nice, entertaining and accurate, but I didn't learn anything new.

I'm kind of confused why you sent me to the video, when it says the same thing I was saying?
:-s
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#12
Brooklyn Wrote:Ok. So I watched the video. I must say, it was nice, entertaining and accurate, but I didn't learn anything new.

I'm kind of confused why you sent me to the video, when it says the same thing I was saying?
:-s

Because it's a great reference.

Also, I am doing exactly the same thing you were doing with Stossel. You and I both knew what Stossel meant, but you chose to highlight his slip of words. By defending him, I was also pointing you to what both he, and I, have been saying all along.

If you go back and reread your initial response to my earlier post, where I quoted Stossel, you can see what I mean. Nitpicking is fine, as long as we are All allowed to nitpick, right? Wink1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
Reply
#13
John L Wrote:
Brooklyn Wrote:Ok. So I watched the video. I must say, it was nice, entertaining and accurate, but I didn't learn anything new.

I'm kind of confused why you sent me to the video, when it says the same thing I was saying?
:-s

Because it's a great reference.

Also, I am doing exactly the same thing you were doing with Stossel. You and I both knew what Stossel meant, but you chose to highlight his slip of words. By defending him, I was also pointing you to what both he, and I, have been saying all along.

If you go back and reread your initial response to my earlier post, where I quoted Stossel, you can see what I mean. Nitpicking is fine, as long as we are All allowed to nitpick, right? Wink1

touché
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#14
Deep down, everyone agrees with the laffer curve.

It's self evident to even the Derpiest of Keynesians that you can't tax 100% and expect anyone to actually do any work.

Where we disagree is where we are on the curve. The Collectivists think they can jack up the rates and still increase revenue. Individualists think that we are already past the point of diminishing returns if not on the downhill slope toward the languishing, permanently sluggish economy of a euro-socialist dictatorship of the proletariat.
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#15
yes pixiest, there is some confusion in that brain of yours again. it's you with the world's sickest economy, and record unemployment, and record national debt. we are doing fine. strongest growth for the last 20 years, lowest unemployment for the last 15 years, and the chinese exports are in their rightful place again, behind us. no idea were you stand, tenth or so? looks like you have entered the same sort of stagnancy the japanese have been enjoying for the last 20 years.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#16
quadrat Wrote:yes pixiest, there is some confusion in that brain of yours again. it's you with the world's sickest economy, and record unemployment, and record national debt. we are doing fine. strongest growth for the last 20 years, lowest unemployment for the last 15 years, and the chinese exports are in their rightful place again, behind us. no idea were you stand, tenth or so? looks like you have entered the same sort of stagnancy the japanese have been enjoying for the last 20 years.


:lol: :lol: Son-of-a-Bitch!!!! :lol: :lol:
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#17
Q: That's because we have european socialists in charge. It was recently reported that we are now even less free than Canada, economically speaking.

Even Bush bought into the stimulus nonsense.

We need to get past this Keynesian crap and back to tax cuts and smaller government. Then our economy will boom again.

Our economy started to tank when the extremist hard core leftists took over congress in 2006. Hopefully, the Tea Party Republicans will stick to their guns when they take over this year and pull us out of the fire.

I'm only cautiously optimistic though... People in power tend to crave more power. And that's what collectivism is. More power for those in power.
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#18
This is nearly the basis of all gov't - and why ours originally was set to limit itself, Pixi, till recently anyhow.

I am very cynical and pessimistic, and often my views are rewarded in that I already saw the future before it became real.

Pleasant surprises once in awhile would be nice.
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#19
well, the freedom of big business is really not my concern. i want good roads, and not drive 50 miles to the next bridge over a river, a working canalisation, protection by police from pedophiles, and the military from osama, etc. so, why should i speak up on behalf of the interests of big business, which make their profits, and leave them abroad?
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#20
This little video shows why the US is quickly falling down the scale of business friendly countries:Why Can't Chuck Get His Business Off the Ground?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...QscE3Xed64#!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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