After all the hullabaloo from the GOP and Dem political conventions, I thought I’d remind everyone where the U.S. stands on global measures of economic freedom and human freedom.
Politics is toxic and deceptive. Rarely does the truth emerge from political conventions. So what was said at them, well, take with a grain of salt. Let’s look at the facts.
Economic freedom measures the level of voluntary exchange, property rights, regulations, and other indicators.
In 2013, the last year available, the US ranked 16 out of 197 countries and sinking. By contrast, in 2000 the US ranked 2 out of 123 countries, #3 in 2001, 5 or 6 from 2002 through 2008, then 10 in 2009, 12 in 2010, 16 in 2011, and 13 in 2012.
Here is an interactive map of the world.
Human freedom combines economic freedom with measures of social freedom such as freedom to exercise one’s religion, association, assembly, and expression. It measures a total of 76 indicators.
On this measure the US ranks 20 out of 152 in 2012, the latest year data are available.
The reason this freedom is referred to as “the” freedom of speech is to reflect the belief of the Framers that the right to speak freely is pre-political. Stated differently, the freedom of speech is an integral aspect of our humanity. The government does not grant the freedom of speech; it is prohibited from interfering with it.
This is known as a negative right, in the sense that government is negated from interfering with a personal natural right. A natural right is one whose exercise does not require a government permission slip. Speech is the classic example.
The first duty of government is to preserve life, liberty, and property. It is a strange and dangerous government that stifles freedom for some fleeting private purpose. It is equally strange that a freedom-loving people would tolerate this.
The whole purpose of the First Amendment and its underlying values is to encourage open, wide, robust, unbridled debate about the policies and the personnel of the government.
Dillary Clump = Hillary Clinton + Donald Trump
Can Hillary Clinton supporters or Donald Trump supporters make a case for their candidate that does not reference how terrible the other candidates is?
Last week’s convention was a wake for the GOP as we know it.
This week will be an explanation of why Hillary Clinton is
unacceptable not simply to libertarians but to that plurality of Americans who define themselves as independent, centrist, moderate, or anything other than a dyed-in-the-wool partisan.
On Federal Spending, Foreign Policy and State Surveillance, Free Speech, Social Issues, Immigration, Gun Rights, and Regulations, Trade, and the Sharing Economy, Hillary is just as much an authoritarian as The Donald.
Mary Anastasia O’Grady in the WSJ on Trump’s bashing of trade with Mexico:
Exhibit A is his promise to shred the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) on the grounds that Mexico, his favorite bête noire, is stealing American jobs. It is technology, not free trade, that is behind the shrinking number of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Beating Nafta like a piñata worked in the Republican primary. But it is likely to hurt Mr. Trump and GOP candidates further down the ticket in the general election. Mexico is, after all, the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner and second-largest export market.
. . .
Indiana, the home of GOP vice-presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, exported some $4.8 billion of goods to Mexico in 2015, making it the state’s second-largest export market.
. . .
Exports to Mexico were over $1 billion in 31 states in 2015. It’s the largest export market for California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It ranks second for 25 other states.
. . .
Trade wars will also damage U.S. competitiveness. As former Mexican deputy trade minister Luis de la Calle explained in a conference call to investors in New York earlier this month, Carrier Corp.’s production move to Mexico from Indiana—much-assailed by Mr. Trump—means that the company can survive Asian competition and can retain U.S. jobs in research, development, marketing and high-end components.
. . .
Mr. Irwin cites a study by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, which “found that productivity growth accounted for more than 85 percent of the job loss in manufacturing between 2000 and 2010, a period when employment in that sector fell by 5.6 million.” This 85% compares, according to the study, with 13% of job losses attributed to trade during the same period.
. . .
It is “high-education” and “low-education” jobs—requiring “interpersonal interaction, flexibility, adaptability and problem solving”—that are most difficult to automate Mr. Autor notes. Traditional middle-education jobs have been the easiest to replace with technology.
Whoops, the unintended consequences. This same problem goes for Hillary Clinton and any other critic of trade.
I wondered what “competitiveness” meant. The above quote contains an example.
Not a neat situation that lends itself to a government program.
Behind firewall here.
“As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” Kerry said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we–you–are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the Democratic Party is about to hold its convention to nominate Hillary Clinton. The weather forecast:
The heat wave that descended on the city is expected show no mercy on Sunday with temperatures around 96 degrees. It could peak on Monday, the convention’s first day, with temperatures possibly hitting 100 degrees, said Mitchell Gaines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey.
Secretary of State Kerry’s message to convention goers: don’t use the air conditioning!