Welfare


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.

Here.

Its more like income maintenance for the family and economic stagnation for the community. There’s no wealth creation or economic growth that will encourage firms to hire more people. It might prevent people from being laid off but not the unemployed to be hired. Here.

Timothy P. Carney ponders why no one “rid the GOP” of Rep. Paul. He has proven to be correct in his prognostications of government policy, from housing subsidies, to wars, to cutting taxes while increasing spending.

One reason the bipartisan establishment finds Paul so obnoxious is how much the past four years have proven him correct — on the housing bubble, on the economy, on our foreign misadventures, and on our national debt.

Shunning Paul would be the equivalent of silencing critics through campaign finance “reform”, ie, infringing on First Amendment rights, or relying goons as Sen. Durbin (D-IL) did when he was recently confronted by a journalist from the Washington Times about him blaming the Tea Party for S&P’s downgrade.

It has taken me some time to understand Rep. Paul’s arguments about the Federal Reserve, government spending, and military. But now I do. I recommend you take the time also because he is the only presidential candidate, including President Obama, with the ideas to fix this economy.

The Federal Reserve allows politicians to spend wildly two ways. One, by keeping interest rates low the government can sell bonds at low interest rates thereby keeping financing costs low. That encourages politicians to spend and offer tax credits because they have a cheap source of financing for economically inefficient policies. Two, the Federal Reserve can buy those bonds directly in the open market as it has done with QE1 and QE2. None of this cannot happen with a gold-based currency.

No, says Janet Daily. Here. Also, a smart observation on American democracy:

Contrary to what the Obama Democrats claimed, the face-off in Congress did not mean that the nation’s politics were “dysfunctional”. The politics of the US were functioning precisely as the Founding Fathers intended: the legislature was acting as a check on the power of the executive.

The Tea Party faction within the Republican party was demanding that, before any further steps were taken, there must be a debate about where all this was going.

That’s about how I feel.

Watch John Stossel last night or read his latest column?

Since America is on the road to bankruptcy, we’ve got to make some changes. What would you do?

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation gave $200,000 to six think tanks to write budget proposals. The money went to the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation; the “liberal” Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute and Roosevelt Institute Campus Network; and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The liberal budgets raise spending and taxes, cut military spending, and keep entitlements. The conservative budgets keep military spending but just trim entitlements, and reform the tax code.

I’m also underwhelmed.

If that’s what you want, fine. But it is NOT a blueprint for liberty. Democrats are exaggerating about the proposed changes. Here.

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