Monday, October 13, 2014

US Falls To 12th Most Free Economy

America's descent down the ladder of economic freedom is unsettling, in itself. More troubling, however, is the chief factor behind the US decline. The biggest drop in US economic freedom has been in the country's legal structure. The report notes that, "increased use of eminent domain to transfer property to powerful political interests, the ramifications of the wars on terrorism and drugs, and the violation of the property rights of bondholders in the auto-bailout case have weakened the tradition of strong adherence to the rule of law in United States."
Political actions have consequences. Politicize the economy enough, and Atlas doesn't have to shrug. Atlas can be crushed in place.
The rule of law has long been the foundation of America's economic prosperity and liberty. The US ranking in this area has plummeted to a terrible 36th place in the world. This, combined with increased regulation is stifling US economic growth. The report observes, "[t]o a large degree, the United States has experienced a significant move away from rule of law and toward a highly regulated, politicized, and heavily policed state."
We no longer live in a free country, and there are very powerful interests indeed which like it that way: Controlling the regulators and the subsidizers is more effective for the bottom line than producing goods and services the consumer wants, at a price consumers are willing to pay.
Curtailing government's leviathan isn't simply solving a math problem, i.e. getting revenue and spending figures for government to balance. A far larger threat is the accumulation of thousands of rules and regulations that not only stifle innovation but also undermine our personal and property rights.
Again: That is the way the Crony Capitalists want it, and they have entrenched themselves deeply in the political system. We may never again have anything like a free economy or a free society: Interests already in place may already be too powerful to overcome.

Breitbart has more here.

The original, at CATO Institute, is here.

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