Economic Freedom on the Decline: U.S. Falls Four Slots
According to the Frasier Institute economic freedom around the world is the lowest it has been in three decades. The U.S. has fallen from number three in 2000 to number ten, in 2010 the US was sixth and has fallen to tenth this year. Is it any wonder that we are in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression? The three decade low matches the malaise of the Carter years. Lack of economic freedom is traditionally associated with death, bone crushing poverty, violation of civil rights, and every anti-human condition. The evidence is overwhelming: if you are pro-human then you have to be pro-freedom, meaning pro individual rights. If you are anti-human then you will advocate more government spending, more government control, and more government manipulation of the money supply. If the Obama Administration and the Socialists and il-Liberals were truly interested in creating jobs and human happiness, they would support pro-freedom, pro-individual rights policies. But since they continue hate-speech claiming that everyone needs to pay their fair share and we need more government, rather than actually pursuing pro-human policies, the only conclusion is they hate human happiness and want to destroy it.
Now is not the time to elect more timid leaders, we need leaders who would make Reagan and Thatch seem timid. Failure to do so we lead to economic collapse. Unfortunately, some of the so-called pro-freedom organizations are pushing weakening the most fundamental of all property rights – patents. Property rights correlate almost perfectly with economic growth, the beginning of real per capita increases in income correlates exactly with modern patent systems. Yet, detractors expect us to see the connection between economic freedom and human happiness, but deny the obvious correlation with patent rights. Increases in our level of technology are the only way to provide sustained long term economic growth. See the Source of Economic Growth.
Here are specific policies that we need to enact in order to avoid a financial collapse of the West.
1) Rationalize our tax system
We need a tax system designed to raise revenue as efficiently as possible. A flat tax or a sale tax both fit the bill. Any tax system should only be on earnings or spending and not on capital gains and estate taxes. Our tax system is a national disgrace
Our Bill of Rights has been completely circumvented by the regulatory state. It is not enough to just roll back regulations, we need a real check and balance on the Regulatory state. I have proposed such a system in my post Regulatory Bill of Rights.
3) Cut Government Spending and limit total government spending to no more that 15% of GDP.
The evidence is overwhelming that government spending destroys both the economy and our individual rights. See Austerity: Why it is Key to Both Our Short Term and Long Term Economic Growth. This means that we have to reform Social Security and Medicare and turn them into a private saving program. Obviously, this will take time and the transition has to be fair to today’s seniors and in the long term should phase out these unconstitutional programs.
4) Strengthen Our Patent Rights and All Property Rights
Patents are the most important property right for economic growth. We need patent office’s that issues patents in under a year, courts that understand patent laws and protect the property rights of inventors, and we need patent rights to extend across national borders like copyrights do. It goes without saying we need to repeal the AIA and the publication rule.
It is no coincidence that when patent rights are under attack then so are all other property rights. This was true in 1970s, the 1930s and in every country that has limited property rights.
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