Thursday, March 9, 2017

Our Continued Loss Of Freedom, Part 1: The Loss Of Economic Freedom

One of the reasons why America has been such a wonderful experiment in government is because of the many freedoms that the Founders guaranteed via the Constitution and Bill of Rights. America has lifted more people out of poverty and created a legendary middle class that has never been matched anytime in history. Freedom comes in many different ways and each of those ways helps make Americans wealthier and freer to live their lives as they want.

But for the next few days we will be examining how that freedom mission and promise has been severely impaired by the American political class. We have often discussed on how our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, economic freedom, and other freedoms have been eroded over time by our politicians. And as the next few days will prove, these politicians have continued to impose their will on us and will continue to do so until we will them to stop.

Today will be focusing on how our economic freedom is being stripped away by over taxation and over regulation of the Federal government. And when you think about it, without economic freedom, i.e. the freedom to keep the fruits of our labor, there really cannot be many other kinds of freedom. If you were allowed to keep more of your income and wages, you could:

  • Send your kids to better schools.
  • More easily start your own business.
  • Donate more to charities and needy individuals that you want to help.
  • Take more and better vacations.
  • Live in a better house or drive a better car.
Without economic freedom, freedom in other parts of your life becomes much more restrictive.

The basis of our economic freedom discussion will be the annual study of economic freedom by country that is conducted by the Heritage Foundation every year. Let’s see where the U.S. falls in their latest analysis:

1) Unfortunately, the latest study shows that the U.S. has slipped all the way down to the 17th position relative to the rest of the world when at one time, not too long ago, the U.S. was one of the most economically free nations in the world. 

2) The top 25 nations look like the following:

1- Hong Kong, trending upward relative to overall economic freedom.
2 - Singapore, trending upward.
3 - New Zealand, trending upward.
4 - Switzerland, trending upward.
5- Australia, trending upward.
6 - Estonia, trending upward.
7 - Canada, trending upward.
8 - United Arab Emirates, trending upward.
9 - Ireland, trending downward.
10 - Chile, trending downward.
11 - Taiwan, trending upward.
12 - Great Britain, flat.
13 - Georgia, trending upward.
14 - Luxembourg, trending upward.
15 - The Netherlands, trending upwards.
16 - Lithuania, trending upward.
17 - United States, trending upward.
18 - Denmark, trending downward.
19 - Sweden, trending upward.
20 - Latvia, trending upward.

3) Observations from the above list include the following:

  • Countries with the highest economic freedom overwhelmingly are trending upwards, with the U.S. being one of the few in the top twenty that are trending downwards.
  • Many former members (Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania) of the Soviet Union, one of the most economically oppressive regimes ever, are comparable or much better relative to economic freedom than the United States which used to be close to the gold standard for economic freedom.
  • Even the United Arab Emirates, a macho Middle East country, is much freer economically than the U.S.
  • Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden, and others, often cited by Democrats and liberals as countries we should aspire to, all fall below the U.S., indicating that their economic freedom is even worse than the falling U.S. level of economic freedom.
From one of the freest economic powers in the world we are now lagging behind once former backward economies from Estonia, Georgia, and the United Arab Emirates.

4) For the last four years of the Bush administration, the overall economic freedom index was over 80. Since Obama took office, in just eight years, the U.S. economic freedom index has plunged almost 7% down to about 75. 

5) Back in 2006, Hong Kong was also the most economically free country in the world but the difference between Hong Kong and the U.S. index values were only 7. But by 2017, that difference in index had doubled to 14. Thus, while Hong Kong has maintained its index quite steady over time, the U.S. has steadily lost ground to Hong Kong.

6) Fifteen years ago the U.S. was the 6th most economically free country but has allowed 11 other countries to surpass it in that timeframe.

Thus, given the deterioration in our economic freedom, is there any doubt why we have had to endure the following anemic economic malaise over the past eight years:

  • The worst economic recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.
  • Eight years of GDP economic growth that never broke through to 3% or higher nor attained the long term historical trend line of GDP annual growth.
  • Wage and household income growth that has been stagnant during almost the entire Obama Presidency.
  • Job creation during the Obama recovery has included mostly temp, contract, and low paying service industry type jobs.

During the Obama administration, the tax burden went up, thousands and thousands of Federal government regulations were added to the economy, and the national debt doubled which led to less and less economic freedom which led to the above horrible economic realities. It is all related and tied together. Unfortunately, as our economic freedom went down, as measured by this economic freedom index, so did our political and individual freedom. And that sucks.

More on our loss of freedom tomorrow.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

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