Skip to comments.Economic Freedom and the Leftward Drift
Posted on 01/30/2012 8:49:12 AM PST by No One Special
The market may move up and down, but there is something more fundamental; namely, economic freedom. The Heritage Foundation has published an "Index of Economic Freedom," which rates conditions in 179 countries and can be viewed at the Heritage Foundation's 2012 Index of Economic Freedom site. It is worth noting that the United States is not in the highest tier of "free" countries, but is ranked as "mostly free."
Each rated country in the Index is given a score. The country with the most economic freedom is Hong Kong with a score of 89.9, the United States receives a score of 76.3 and the lowest ranked country -- Communist North Korea -- has a score of one. The ratings cover four areas: (1) Rule of law as measured in property rights and freedom from corruption; (2) Limited Government as measured by government spending and fiscal freedom; (3) Regulatory Efficiency as measured by business freedom, labor freedom and monetary freedom; (4) Open Markets as measured by trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom.
Here is the breakdown for the United States (source is Heritage Foundation):
One might guess that the U.S. was once in the top category of "free," and further, that we have become less free over time -- and will likely continue on this path until we enter the category of "mostly unfree," where nations like Russia, China and Italy stand today. What is pushing us in the direction of less freedom? Political scientist Tim Groseclose has written a book titled Left Turn: How Liberal Bias Distorts the American Mind. Groseclose has developed a measurement of political liberalism, which appears to track (at the same time) the leftward drift of both political parties in the United States. His measurement is called a PQ (or political quotient), with 100 being extremely liberal (i.e., leftist) and 1 being extremely conservative. Perhaps the most astonishing measurement in the book concerns the U.S. Congress. Professor Groseclose will correct me if I've misunderstood his numbers, but he mentions that the PQ of Congress (median member) was 38 in 1980, but was 50.06 in 1999. What makes this astonishing is that the Democratic Party controlled Congress in 1980, and the Republican Party controlled Congress in 1999. In other words, today's median Republican is to the left of yesterday's median Democrat. If this seems absurd, perhaps I have misread Professor Groseclose's numbers. (Read his book and make your own determination). Of course, we don't need a political scientist to tell us that the entire country has moved to the left. We know that the size and expense of government continues to increase. We know that regulations have decimated many domestic industries.
Of course, the United States is yet a free country (mostly free, according to the Heritage Foundation); though it cannot be denied that we are "on the road" to serfdom, slowly but surely. Social spending is going to grow because people are going to avail themselves of the government's "bounty." Instead of the law of supply and demand, there will be a law of increasing demand for government programs and government money. Already many Americans prefer dependency and entitlement to economic freedom; and this preference will have catastrophic consequences for the country -- and may spell the end of liberty.
To quote from Kim Holmes and Mathew Spalding's Why Does Economic Freedom Matter, "America's founders knew that liberty is about more than just securing political freedoms. True liberty requires economic freedom -- the ability to profit from our own ideas and labor, to work, produce, consume, own, trade, and invest according to our own choices."
So it is.
Hong Kong is a country?
What makes this astonishing is that the Democratic Party controlled Congress in 1980, and the Republican Party controlled Congress in 1999. In other words, today’s median Republican is to the left of yesterday’s median Democrat
I don’t find that astonishing at all.
I’ve heard it said many times that if JFK were alive today he’d be a conservative republican. This falls in line with the PQ premise of leftward drift.
I have already done this. It is much less painful than people might think. A day without leftists in your life is another day of sunshine, no matter the weather.
Good work! It provides the satisfaction of doing the right thing.
People who provide succor to the enemy are the enemy. I'm about to move a degree away and shun those who won't shun libs. I almost have to laugh at myself but it is an effective path we foot soldiers can follow.
“Hong Kong is a country?”
No. It’s officially a Special Administrative Region of China, as is Macao. But it has it’s own set of laws and government, which makes it very country-like.
I doubt it. If JFK were alive today he and his family being predisposition toward power would be made drunk by the same.
He would not appose the vast expanse of goverment subjugation that has taken place instead he would simply try to control it as he did in his day, and his father did in his day.
Regretfully what Thomas Jefferson observed about the nature of Goverment and the politicians that lead them is true. Governments only grow crushing liberty beneath their weight.
I hope very much for a peaceful liberation of our people, but I know in my heart with respect to the lessons of history it is likely that if we are to ever reclaim our freedom it will ultimately depend upon our ability to take & secure that liberty from theses monsters by force.
There are two ways this could take place:
1: This take place in far future after that collectivist monster has fully crushed our freedom and squandered few remaining resources so much as to weaken itself to the point of being unable to support & secure itself. At which point those who still beleive in liberty will likely be too weak to do anything to prevent anther tyranny from taking its place. Such has historically been the case thou-out history.
2: Patriots could one day gather their strength and carry out a revolutionary war. If successful(somewhat unlikely historically) they have a chance to regain their liberty and reinstitute new goverment respectful and protective of the that liberty.
Again however like the last time the new goverment could only be trusted to remain faithful for a time. The corrupting nature of power is that which drives Governments to expand and the men who seek position in them to drive that expansion and resist contraction.
It is only when that power is not possible & unobtainable that they are consigned to a more limited position.
Letter to William Stephens Smith (13 November 1787), quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy
When was the last time the "patriots" have risked their honor, fortune and lives to refresh the tree of liberty?
“When was the last time the “patriots” have risked their honor, fortune and lives to refresh the tree of liberty?”
To risk life, limb, fortune & honor must have a firm plan and organization in place capable of winning the ensuing conflict.
I would be against any such risk that has not spent many years laying into place the careful plans and support base controlling effectively a tactically viable number of States.
This is a measurable political goal, a fact that is both its strength(if heeded) and its venerability(if observed by friends of tyranny).
But even our forefathers knew Washington would not be inclined to allow those subjugated under its control to build an army of resistance under their nose. It was their hope that the Constitution might prevent them from doing anything about the assemblies of that army. That the 1st and 2nd amendment in particular were designed to insure that effect, just as the Militia officer & training clause of Article 1 section 8.
To the extent theses protections still exist and can be used, they must be used. But ultimately our revolution requires we control our State Governments to exercise theses rights and provide us with a foundation with which to defend our rights.
I think we’re not speaking about the same thing. I’m not saying if JFK had lived and were a politician today he’d be a conservative.
As his politics have (obviously) not changed in the last 50 years, the measuring stick of what’s conservative and what’s liberal has shifted left underneath his positions.
If JFK himself from 50 years ago magically appeared today with the political positions he had in 1960 he’d be considered a conservative. Think of it like moving a 0 ——— 100 scale left underneath a stationary object. Relatively speaking, a stationary object moves right.
That’s the point of both this article and the book. The politics of the country has drifted so far left that the politics of old leftists would now be considered somewhat conservative or strongly conservative.
Let me put another way: if today’s Mitt Romney were placed in politics of 1960, his politics would be considered a radical leftist - ok with gay marriage, ok with aborition, ok with giant government etc... - while today he’s considered centrist or moderate republican.
This I know, and 50 years before that you would have the same phenomenon. The leftist have infiltrated our schools both goverment & private and have been indoctrinating our children with their ideology. On top of that as goverment grows you will note how people tend to forget that we can get along just fine with out it. Thus opening the door to the defenders of the goverment power to cry disaster should theses power grabs ever be removed.
This of course is ironic as often when Goverment usurps this power they do so under the guise of an experiment. They never give it up.