Freedom Rings Hollow in the U.S.
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” – James Madison
What is it that I value most in life? Freedom ranks in the top three. It is the primary reason generations of immigrants have flocked to America to pursue their dreams with minimal encroachment. It is sad to witness the slow yet steady erosion of those freedoms. A recent report confirms the decline…
The 2012 Economic Freedom of the World report was just released by the Cato Institute and Canada’s Fraser Institute. In just a few years, the U.S. has fallen from No. 3 in 2000 (behind the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore) to No. 8 in 2005 and now has plummeted to 18th place, trailing such countries as Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar. Finland, Denmark and Canada now also have freer economies than the United States.
Most Americans will ignore this report, at their peril; this is not something cobbled together by academic, ivory tower wonks. The initiator of the Economic Freedom of the World report was the late Milton Friedman, who suggested its need as a measure of liberty.
The extensive index covers the size of government (taxing and spending), legal systems, property rights, sound money, free international trade and regulation (including credit markets, labor and business regulations).
According to the report, in 2005 the U.S. ranked 45th in overall size of government among 144 nations surveyed. Today, government has ballooned in size and the U.S. rank has fallen to 61st place. Other areas of freedom lost include a spike in stifling regulations, labor-market restrictions, and barriers to trade. The U.S. standing fell in all those categories, and there was also a long-term deterioration in ranking on property rights as well. No doubt these disastrous developments, along with reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve, serve as roadblocks to sustainable recovery from the ongoing recession that began in 2008.
Cato Institute’s Richard Rahn noted: “Worse yet, the U.S. decline continues and in next year’s ranking it is almost certain to be lower.” If ever there was a bedrock solid compilation of facts urging Americans to at least have an exit strategy in place you can find it in the pages of the above mentioned report.
There is no reason to limit ourselves by artificial, politically-induced borders. Exercise your freedom to explore other places, and other opportunities. Even if you choose to stay in the U.S., your life will be enriched by the adventure!