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2013 Index of (eroding) Economic Freedom-

Depending upon where you live and which elevation you have achieved in the socioeconomic strata, you may have had a nagging feeling your liberty, prosperity and economic freedoms have become somewhat pinched of late.

This will not be noticeable if you happen to be in the 1 percentile club of privilege, but for the rest of us who come by our daily bread honestly, the row to hoe seems to be getting longer, the weeds thicker and the heat of the day more oppressive.

It turns out it is not just our imagination. For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington's preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom. The Index covers 10 freedoms – from property rights to entrepreneurship – in 185 countries.

It turns out the things which govern our chance at economic freedom and personal opportunity to thrive... have been gradually whittled away.

What is economic freedom?

Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.

With so many "fixes in" on behalf of corporations it seems much of the definition has been reduced to a platitude for the common citizen. Hence the growing feelings of oppression, failure and inequity.

In an overall sense, places such as the USA(10) and Canada(6) still rate well in context of a world list but the disturbing thing is the consistent trend downwards since 2000. One would hope to see gradual improvement, not consistent erosion.

As an example the index reports...
The United States, with an economic freedom score of 76, has lost ground again in the 2013 Index. Its score is 0.3 point lower than last year, with declines in monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, and fiscal freedom.
Registering a loss of economic freedom for the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. has recorded its lowest Index score since 2000. Dynamic entrepreneurial growth is stifled by ever-more-bloated government and a trend toward cronyism that erodes the rule of law. More than three years after the end of recession in June 2009, the U.S. continues to suffer from policy choices that have led to the slowest recovery in 70 years. Businesses remain in a holding pattern, and unemployment is close to 8 percent.
Prospects for greater fiscal freedom are uncertain due to the scheduled expiration of previous cuts in income and payroll taxes and the imposition of new taxes associated with the 2010 health care law.
Although the organisation may be lobby based or biased, it at least provides confirming economic freedom erosion indications.

This obvious sign of consistent decline is a sobering prospect. We are talking about the most powerful nation on the planet, a country often held up as an ideal for others to follow... but not down the drain.

This post is not intended to disparage the USA or any other country for that matter. The point is to bring home a factual perspective to those folks who continually chide me for suggesting my perspectives are overly pessimistic when I note a slow creeping malady is chipping away citizens opportunities to be fully engaged.

I seldom have empirical data describing consistent slippage, mostly I cite "result" of the moment which I am told is a blip or exception or an anomaly.

These comments of my reporting negative blips, exceptions and anomalies is fair enough, but when they represent a steady state over time, I believe that represents an un-arrested trend. A downward spiral, gradual perhaps... but consistent, grinding, debilitating and unacceptable.

Consistent worsening prospects point to consistently flawed goals, objectives, policies, practises and procedures, the solution is replacement, tuning broken instruments is a fruitless endeavor. Ineptitude exacerbates failure and is a fatal companion to a broken system. Change need be applied to both.

And NO! Global collapse-nomics is not a solution, it is antecedent to the collapse.

For those of you who wish to explore the data...

2013 Index of Economic Freedom-

For many of us data does not tell the story... living it does!



Stay tuned...

Watch Mike daily at What Really Happened.
  


3 comments :

  1. While I see the good intentions of the author, I believe that this "think tank" is a propaganda dispensery. While the report indicates a decline in economic freedom, the reality is that people were MUCH more free in general in 2000. The decline in freedoms, economic and otherwise, has been dramatic in the past ten years, and I strongly believe that the original report is aiming to marginalize that decline by posting modest drops. "Lowest since the year 2000" - ya right! :)

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  2. I thought this would be a good place to post this letter.




    Jeff,



    This is important.



    The Federal Reserve's 100 year charter that was created in 1913 will end Dec 23, 2013.



    This is why the Fed chairman Bernanke has got the printing presses going full speed and propping up the stock market. They must destroy the dollar before then.



    China holds more than half our debt. Secret meetings were recently discovered that shows our Government has sold vast parts of America to China.



    When the dollar collapse happens, they want riots and civil unrest.



    These Fema camps that you have heard about do exist but they are not what they seem. They are forced labor camps. Here is the company that will run these debtor prisons, http://www.unicor.gov/



    This is why they want to disarm the American public. They are throwing everything at us at once for the final push for global dominance. If we fight them hard enough they will resort to plan B, which means they will start world war three and go into their underground fortresses.



    The propaganda from Washington will increase to keep the masses preoccupied for as long as possible.



    I have studied this crap for so many years that I know they always say cryptically exactly what they are going to do.



    We don't have much time left. I wish you peace and safety my Brother.



    Comet Ison = Come it is on!



    Good luck and Godspeed,



    Steve


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