Posts Tagged Economy
Economic Freedom Report Knocks U.S.
Canada’s Fraser Institute recently released its 2013 Economic Freedom of the World report, and the results are discouraging for the U.S. First, the definition of economic freedom: “Individuals have economic freedom when (a) property they acquire without the use of force, fraud, or theft is protected from physical invasions by others and (b) they are free to use, exchange, or give their property as long as their actions do not violate the identical rights of others.” As ideal as that sounds, it’s becoming more difficult and rare.
It wasn’t that long ago that the U.S. was a world leader in economic freedom. According to the report, “Throughout most of period from 1980 to 2000, the United States ranked as the world’s third-freest economy, behind Hong Kong and Singapore.” However, “By 2005, the US rating had slipped to 8.21 and its ranking fallen to 8th. The slide has continued. The United States placed 16th in 2010 and 19th in 2011,” the latest year considered in the report. It’s worth noting that the decline began under George W. Bush, though it has accelerated under Barack Obama.
The report notes in ranking states and provinces that Canadian provinces fair better than U.S. states. The top two in North America are Alberta and Saskatchewan, and four of the top seven are Canadian provinces. Delaware is the highest ranked U.S. state at number three; Texas and Nevada are the next highest U.S. states. It’s telling that the states with no income tax tend to score higher. Unfortunately, the trend is going in the wrong direction, and Canada is not winning by becoming more free but by not being as bad as the U.S. The prescription for our sluggish economy is obviously to get back to the fundamentals of economic freedom.
Sliding Farther Down the Freedom Scale
It’s becoming an annual lament: Once the United States was among the most economically free nations on the planet, but now we barely crack the top 20. According to the 2013 Economic Freedom of the World report, now co-published by the Cato and Fraser Institutes, we rank not only behind the usual leaders Hong Kong and Singapore, but Jordan and the United Kingdom as well. Jordan? Are you kidding us?
Apparently they’re serious, and a key reason for the decline is the ever-growing role of our government in shaping the economy. At the turn of the century, the United States was generally just behind Hong Kong and Singapore atop the rankings, but that was before the size and scope of government grew thanks to the 9/11 terrorist attack and its resulting “enhanced” security measures, new and exploding entitlement programs, and — particularly in the last five years — a new regulatory state in response to economic crisis. “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system,” said George W. Bush in 2008, and with that our economic freedom continued its plunge.
One piece of good news, if any can be found, is that the U.S. has stabilized its ranking at 19th after plunging eight spots from 10th to 18th between 2009 and 2010 — the current edition of Economic Freedom of the World is based on 2011 data, which is the latest available. The value assigned by the study showed we actually improved our lot from a 7.70 score (out of a possible 10) in last year’s report to 7.74 this time. But that’s a long way from the 8.65 rating we attained in the year 2000, and it may be at least a half-decade before we claw our way back over the 8-point barrier.
Here is my study and proudly did with my time and nobodies dime!
Where shall we get the money to pay our debts….
Lets look at the following list of departments, NONE of which are authorized by the Constitution as a function of government:
The Department of Labor, which does no actual labor, has spent $102,157,000,000 this fiscal year; as of June 2011 The Dept of Education, which educates nobody: 46,058,000,000 The Dept of Energy, which produces no energy: 25,766,000,000 The Dept of Housing & Urban Development; which build our fine urban slums: 46,149,000,000 The Dept of Justice, which produces no justice: 23,084,000,000 The Dept of the Interior, which does…? What?: 9,862,000,000 The Dept of Transportation, which subsidizes Amtrack: 54,766,000,000 The International Assistance Program, which apparently mostly assists warlords and terrorists: 15,876,000,000 NASA, which seems to be pretty much out of a job now: 13,034,000,000 The National Science Foundation, which doesn’t seem to produce any actual science: 5,037,000,000
102,157,000,000 46,058,000,000 25,766,000,000 46,149,000,000 23,084,000,000 9,862,000,000 54,766,000,000 15,876,000,000 13,034,000,000 5,037,000,000 ============ 341,789,000,000
There ya go! Problem Solved! I just wish I had the numbers on all of the golden parachute, and early retirement benefits provided by U.S. slaves!
Washington has a spending problem. Tax cuts don’t increase deficits anymore than tax increases decrease deficits. Deficits are decreased by spending less. I wonder how many of the folks who quote this nonsense have ever budgeted their own money. If they find they are spending more than they take in, do they demand raise from their boss?
No President of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. *All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives* and all taxes are voted into law by Congress. This means Bill Clinton did not balance the budget, the Republicans did.
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Friday – December 21, 2012
“God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. If they don’t do that, they have no useful function.”
Columnist Robert Novak was speaking of the party that embraced the revolution of Ronald Reagan, who had hung a portrait of Calvin Coolidge in his Cabinet Room and set about cutting income tax rates to 28 percent.
But, to be historically precise, the GOP was not put here to cut taxes. From infancy in the 1850s, its mission was to halt the spread of slavery. From 1865 to 1929, it was the party of high tariffs. Mission: Build the nation and protect U.S. industry and the wages of American workers.
And if the Deity commanded the GOP to cut taxes, the party has had an uneven record. Warren Harding and Coolidge cut Woodrow Wilson’s wartime tax rates by two-thirds, but Herbert Hoover nearly tripled the top rate.