Monday, March 5, 2012

"Mostly Free" just ain't good enough...

Since 1995 the Wall Street Journal and think tank The Heritage Foundation have published The Index of Economic Freedom... The Heritage Foundation discloses up front that the theories of Adam Smith, author of the 1776 masterpiece, The Wealth of Nations, are the single greatest influence on the benchmarks that determine country rankings...

There's been much ado (right here in fact) about the United States' plunge from #5 to #10 (out of 187) over just the past three years... And of course The Heritage Foundation has been vilified by the left... Now I couldn't (without a little research) confirm nor deny the liberals' claim that the foundation sports only hardcore right-wingers, given that the index and a few related videos sums up my exposure... So I Google'd "Heritage Foundation", and, sure enough, the first hit was an ad soliciting membership with none other than Rush Limbaugh's mug prominently featured... Thus, if only by nature of their ads, they're worthy of skepticism...

That said, notwithstanding my limited (and their Limbaugh) exposure, if I were to pin an ideology on The Heritage Foundation (based on how the index is compiled, and the content of their videos), it'd be Libertarian, as opposed to conservative...

And with regard to the U.S.'s past performance; our ranking actually improved 3 of the last 4 years of the Clinton Administration and under GW Bush we bounced up-and-down between #5 and #8 (if indeed playing partisan politics [with the index] is their aim, we'd have surely seen steady declines under Clinton and gains under Bush)... I conclude then, based on this lack of correlation with the party in office, and the fact that the same 10 benchmarks are applied at all times, it's legit... Although a truly free-market-aimed administration, assuming it could effectively forward its cause, would [legitimately] move the U.S. back into the group of nations (currently the top 5) the index labels "FREE"... We currently sit in the "MOSTLY FREE" category...

The above prelude is my attempt to validate the following - which I hope you'll take very seriously... This is The Heritage Foundation's summation of our current state of economic affairs:

The United States

2 comments:

  1. I wonder how much of our increased government spending on unemployment benefits and the collateral effects of unemployment (greater use of social services and health care, for example) is causing our declining rating.

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  2. Martin L. MazorraMarch 6, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Our ranking declined in 4 of the 10 benchmarks...

    Government Spending: we went from 122 in 2011 to 127 in 2012..
    Freedom From Corruption: went from 19 to 22...
    Monetary Freedom: went from 61 to 72...
    Investment Freedom: went from 26 to 36...

    Here's the link: http://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates#rule-of-law

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