Thursday, February 21, 2013

And It All Went Downhill From There

In the war of ideas between the good guys (conservatives) and the bad guys (liberals), the first step is to gather data. One of the links on the sidebar is to the Heritage Foundation, a conservatively-oriented think tank that does a very good job of data collection and analysis. They have recently released the 2013 edition of their Index of Economic Freedom.
For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington's preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom. Since 1995, the Index has brought (Adam Smith's) theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 185 countries around the world. With its user-friendly format, readers can see how 18th century theories on prosperity and economic freedom are realities in the 21st century.

The Index covers 10 freedoms – from property rights to entrepreneurship – in 185 countries.

Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.
Given the long-term problems facing the United States, the economic turmoil of recent years, looming sequestration and massive budget cuts, and the 'new normal' of continual manufactured economic crises and kicking the can down the road, the following should come as no surprise.
... two advanced economies and one developing country have registered five consecutive years of declining economic freedom: the United States, Ireland, and Equatorial Guinea. Each has recorded a cumulative score decline of 5 points or more since 2008. All have suffered from substantial declines broadly across the 10 components of economic freedom, particularly in the areas of the rule of law and limited government.
Five consecutive years of declining economic freedom. Hmmm ... let's see ... what happened five years ago?

Oh yeah - this country elected (and subsequently re-elected) perhaps the most unqualified person to ever hold the office of President of the United States.

While the Heritage Foundation does a commendable job of data collection and analysis, that's not enough. In spite of the abdication by the media of their watchdog function (Watchdog? Hah! They're more like lapdogs these days) if there is any possibility of working our way out of this mess we have got to get the word out.

Supporting the Heritage Foundation is a good place to start. As an added bonus, it's also a great place to go for facts and arguments guaranteed to give liberals a case of stuttering apoplexy.

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