The Economically Freest Nation (oh, and WE ain't it)
Every year there is a study that ranks the nations in the world based on economic freedom. Not surprising those countries with more economic freedom also enjoy a higher standard of living (duh!).Let me pose the level of economic freedom with a question: You own an orange tree orchard. This is the harvest season. You and I strike up a conversation and my eyes fall on a particular orange. Now, I've never enjoyed an orange right off the tree and I decide that that one orange is for me. You, the grower/owner, pluck the orange off the tree and I pay an agreed upon price. Have there been any laws broken? If that orange is under 3 1/8 inches in diameter, both you and I have committed a crime. It's illegal to sell or to buy an orange of that size. Why? Because the Department of Agriculture says so. An agreed upon transaction, no force, no fraud. But illegal. A small segment (pun intended) of economic freedom is peeled away (intended again).
The Heritage Foundation does a study each year that ranks nations (161 this year) into four categories Free, Mostly Free, Mostly Unfree and Repressed. There are seventeen nations in the Free category. And the United States is NOT #1. Not even #5. #10? Nope.
We are #13. 13. Way below Singapore, below Estonia (Estonia?). Even below Chile (no offense to Guillermo, my first scrum half at the U of MN Rugby Club, who is a hard working capitalist in Santiago. My apologies Willy).
Click on United States and you'll see the category rankings and a graph of the past years ranking for that particular country. (www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm )
The very first sentence in the introduction states "The U.S. Constitution provides strong protections for private property, and the vibrancy and dynamism of the U.S. economy are testimony to these constitutionally protected economic liberties." The listings were before the Kelo v City of New London Supreme Court decision.Go down the list to near the end where there is a ranking for Property Rights and read the dire pre Kelo predictions.
Now, the lefties will seize upon the comment under Regulations "By global standards, the level of regulation in the United States is low." Now, the lefties ALWAYS claim "It could be worse." Well, I've ALWAYS found little comfort for my misery by seeing someone else who's more miserable. Especially when that misery is inflicted on me by someone else by force.
Vox Day, in his column yesterday ( www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45111 ) , near the end he comments:
" The genius of America was its independence. As that independence has been systematically reduced over the years, so too has its competitive advantage over other, less free, nations declined. The best and brightest have been leaving the country for years, and the American brain drain is accelerating as the Internet has made it possible to run a software company from the Bahamas or an import-export operation from Ireland, where the taxes are lower and there's no danger of losing your home to a Wal-Mart."
I remember about a month ago, while I was stopped at Hwy 13 and Cty Rd. 42, looking around and trying to find one thing, just one thing that was not taxed and/or regulated (as regulation has a cost and is therefore a tax). I couldn't find a thing.
When I look around and see what we have, I wonder how much more we could be if the government just got out of the way.