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America's Dwindling Economic Freedom

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Rocketman1981, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

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    Its sad that we're losing what made this country great. We're following the losers and not the winners.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles...0001424052702303848104579308811265028066.html



    America's Dwindling Economic Freedom

    Regulation, taxes and debt knock the U.S. out of the world's top 10.




    By Terry Miller


    Jan. 13, 2014 8:05 p.m. ET


    World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

    For 20 years, the index has measured a nation's commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.

    Those losing freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions. For instance, heavy-handed government intervention in Brazil's economy continues to limit mobility and fuel a sense of injustice.

    It's not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.

    But as the U.S. economy languishes, many countries are leaping ahead, thanks to policies that enhance economic freedom—the same ones that made the U.S. economy the most powerful in the world. Governments in 114 countries have taken steps in the past year to increase the economic freedom of their citizens. Forty-three countries, from every part of the world, have now reached their highest economic freedom ranking in the index's history.

    Hong Kong continues to dominate the list, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. These are the only countries to earn the index's "economically free" designation. Mauritius earned top honors among African countries and Chile excelled in Latin America. Despite the turmoil in the Middle East, several Gulf states, led by Bahrain, earned designation as "mostly free."

    A realignment is under way in Europe, according to the index's findings. Eighteen European nations, including Germany, Sweden, Georgia and Poland, have reached new highs in economic freedom. By contrast, five others—Greece, Italy, France, Cyprus and the United Kingdom—registered scores lower than they received when the index started two decades ago.

    The most improved players are in Eastern Europe, including Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. These countries have gained the most economic freedom over the past two decades. And it's no surprise: Those who have lived under communism have no trouble recognizing the benefits of a free-market system. But countries that have experimented with milder forms of socialism, such as Sweden, Denmark and Canada, also have made impressive moves toward greater economic freedom, with gains near 10 points or higher on the index scale. Sweden, for instance, is now ranked 20th out of 178 countries, up from 34th out of 140 countries in 1996.

    The U.S. and the U.K, historically champions of free enterprise, have suffered the most pronounced declines. Both countries now fall in the "mostly free" category. Some of the worst performers are in Latin America, particularly Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. All are governed by crony-populist regimes pushing policies that have made property rights less secure, spending unsustainable and inflation evermore threatening.

    Despite financial crises and recessions, the global economy has expanded by nearly 70% in 20 years, to $54 trillion in 2012 from $32 trillion in 1993. Hundreds of millions of people have left grinding poverty behind as their economies have become freer. But it is an appalling, avoidable human tragedy how many of the world's peoples remain unfree—and poor.

    The record of increasing economic freedom elsewhere makes it inexcusable that a country like the U.S. continues to pursue policies antithetical to its own growth, while wielding its influence to encourage other countries to chart the same disastrous course. The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom documents a world-wide race to enhance economic opportunity through greater freedom—and this year's index demonstrates that the U.S. needs a drastic change in direction.
     
  2. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    One big ass mistake, America
     
  3. lpbman

    lpbman Member

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  4. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    LOL

    First of all, the fact that they sneak Canada in is f**king hilarious. I can't speak for the rest of the countries, but the atmosphere is so poisonous to foreign investment here, the Harperos couldn't even get Verizon to come over, nobody knows what foreign takeover rules are, the Conservatives are not rolling in bank regulations that saved the country (thank God) and Canada has always had to have a low corporate tax rate because we're not America, basically.

    Meanwhile, on issues such as equity crowdfunding and digital currencies/commodities, the United States is light-years ahead---but of course, this trumped up index simply reflects the "outdated ideal free-market" conditions that gave the world 1929 and 2008.

    I am steadily growing to dislike the Wall Street Jounral more and more recently. They self-muzzled to a degree after 2008, but now they've come roaring back to claim the mantle of disaster, now that I suppose most people have forgotten (thanks to Keynesian economics, I might add).
     
  5. Johndoe804

    Johndoe804 Member

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    Northside, you should really look into the events that preceded 1929 and 2008. Even the non-free market folks wouldn't make the claim that "ideal free-market conditions" caused two depressions. You're just hilariously wrong there.
     
  6. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    They were "free-market" conditions... They however were definitely not "ideal".
    If people thought that corporations have too much power now, they wouldn't comprehend the amount of power that private corporations had before the Great Depression. Back then there was something called corporate paternalism. Could you imagine your employer today controlling your private life? That was a common occurrence during the early 1900's.
     
  7. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    I forgot that for some, ideal free-market conditions means the abolition of fiat money, the Federal Reserve, and all federal executive agencies with oversight of the markets.

    I can add in the 1800s, wildcat banking, and the Panic of 1907 as reference points for that.
     
  8. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Another crap WSJ editorial. What is going on over there? Holy...
     
  9. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    It's all BS. A poor person working that still needs food stamps doesn't have the same freedom as a rich kid who inherits hundreds of millions of dollars.
     
  10. Phillyrocket

    Phillyrocket Member

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    Seriously?!? SERIOUSLY?! The economy is still recovering from the deregulation of the finance industry that the taxpayers had to bail out and this moron is complaining about additional regulation?!?

    Did this idiot just crawl out from under a rock? Merger mania, savings and loans scandals, and the coup de grace of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and all the rest and we need less regulation?!

    Wow what does it take for people to stop following blind ideaology when a freakin case study in the dangers of deregulation just unfolded in front of them?
     
  11. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the uber interesting copy paste from WSj online and trenchant analysis, rm1981 - really interesting once again.

    6 stars. Will read twice.
     
  12. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

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    I'm glad you feel that way. I'll be sure to post more.
     
  13. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    It is sad Americans are losing their economic freedom. Millions will be forced to compete for jobs as Walmart Greeters in their old age while a few billionaires and multi-millionaires do well.

    Millions of young folks will not have the economic freedom to leave their parent's homes, or buy a house or work at a job that interests them if something boring pays more, or travel in their younger age etc. as they struggle to pay monstrous student loans.

    Millions of Americans will not have the economic freedom to go to a doctor when sick, or worry about bankruptcy or bill collectors just because they went. This of course is true especially in Texas, where Republicans with their Governor Perry are preventing them from getting Medicaid.
     
  14. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"

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    It's just an opinion column, and I can't find a new idea in the entire length of it. It's just the standard set of old tropes.

    The WSJ appears to have fairly excellent news work and then some of the lamest opinion pieces/columns on that side of the continent. I wonder if people joke internally about the disconnect?
     
  15. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    As the newspaper of record in the financial industry, how in depth have they exposed the financial abuses of 2008?

    The tradition of Edward R. Murrow is dead, corporately owned "news" is just a sockpuppet for Orwellian propaganda; and a platform to sell soap. For any "news" you read now, you have to ask yourself why is this printed, because the answer will never be for the greater good.
     
  16. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

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    I believe quasi-regulated and government affected industries like Housing, Education and Healthcare have all had significant increases in costs that affect lower income people more than anyone. Government does not have a history of bringing down prices to consumers or creating any efficiency.

    It has a storied history of making sweeping entries into industries with little to no follow through and then having it ultimately create a bubble and profiteers off of the system usually leading to inflated prices.

    Why do you think Wall Street is mainly democrat Glynch? New York, the banking and wall st. capital of the world is very liberal and very democrat and people seem to forget that quite often. They usually benefit from government getting into industries whether its having Fannie/Freddie increase exposure to subprimes, mandated insurance, trading carbon credits or guaranteed student loans backed by the government, offered by big banks.
     
  17. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    Wall Street is for whoever makes them money.

    Given the last election results however, I would hardly term Wall Street Democrat anymore, if they ever were "party loyal"---look at the Romney/Obama donation differential. Looks like Wall Street doesn't like people reining them in after they caused a big boo-boo.

    To be honest though, most people in data-driven jobs probably find the big tent/moralistic coalition partly composed of mildly xenophobic social zealots and science deniers that is the modern GOP basically toxic---this extends to the technology sector, and explains why despite the NSA snafu, it is very likely you will see Google et. al contribute heavily to a Democrat effort in 2016.
     
  18. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    The internet/every civilian application of military technology/pharma/energy (including shale)/biotech (genome project)/neuroscience (with the recent brain mapping project)---a lot of entities based on public guidance and research would seem to indicate the opposite.
     
  19. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

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    So Democrats have become the party of big business. I'm not a Republican fyi, but simply don't understand the modern democratic party (nor the republican party).

    Wall St. overwhelmingly supported Obama vs. McCain it wasn't that much of a landslide of support for Romney over Obama.

    There is now and maybe always have been groups that wait for goofy government actions and then jump in to benefit as long as people keep buying treasuries. Look at dental clinics in the Ghetto, they're everywhere and these guys are making fortunes off of government spending with any lack of restraint by people as they're spending other people's money.
     
  20. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Contributing Member

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    DERP taxes high, DERP regulation, DERP runaway spending, DERPITTY DERP Obama.
     

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