View Full Version : Economic Freedom Means Prosperity

John Ashcroft
01-27-2004, 08:57 AM
Let's take a look at what works globally and in Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh.

Just released, the 2004 Index of Economic Freedom, published by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, provides a country-by-country analysis of economic growth, measured against 10 categories of economic freedom, including tax rates, regulations, government intervention in the economy, private property rights and the fiscal burden of government.

What the study shows is that the nations with the most economic freedom are also the most prosperous. "Economic freedom makes all the difference," writes Heritage president Ed Feulner. "When a government stops meddling with its people's money, cuts taxes, or sells state-owned assets to private industry, it encourages growth and investment. And the more a country expands economic freedom, the faster it will grow and the longer that growth will last."

The Irish economy, for example, expanded at three times the European Union average for most of the 1990s, producing jobless rates well below the EU average. Pro-business, growth-oriented government policies were the key factor in this dramatic economic boom. Ireland's 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, for instance, is less than half the 30 percent average found among other European Union nations.

Or consider North and South Korea. With its anti-capitalism, overblown government and centralized planning, North Korea ranks dead last in the Index of Economic Freedom. Begging for international food relief to feed its starving population, its per capita gross domestic product is $3 per day.

South Korea, in contrast, ranks 46th on the Index, out of the 155 countries graded, moving up six spots from last year by increasing its level of economic freedom. Sharing the same heritage and similar natural resources as North Korea, but with an economy that the Index ranks as "mostly free," South Korea enjoys a per capita GDP of $16,000 per year.

The conclusion of the Index: "The road to growth is paved with liberty."

Closer to home, Lowman S. Henry, chairman of the Lincoln Institute for Public Opinion Research in Harrisburg, Pa., links Pennsylvania's lack of growth and overall economic malaise directly to bloated government and the long-standing propensity of our politicians to grab larger and larger shares of our income.

"After six months of fighting over the state's budget, the governor and legislative leaders arrived at a tried and true Harrisburg solution tax everything in sight," writes Henry. "And so they did. From personal income taxes to cellular telephone taxes, 'revenue enhancements' as they are euphemistically known under the Capitol dome were raised on just about everything and everyone who hasn't left the state yet."

The 10 percent hike in personal income taxes, states Henry correctly, will adversely affect consumer spending, hurt businesses and cut job creation. The Commonwealth Foundation projects that the tax increase will strip $1.4 billion in disposable income from the wallets of Pennsylvania's families and produce a loss of 33,000 jobs.

In an overtaxed state with a below-par economy, in short, our politicians have voted to raise spending, hike taxes and make Pennsylvania even less competitive with the rest of the nation.

In Pittsburgh, with tax-subsidized Lazarus-Macy's and Lord & Taylor raising the white flag and the second Fifth-Forbes developer hightailing it out of town, the revitalization solution we're getting from our local politicians is a 50 percent parking tax and a call for the city to buy even more properties.

What will work, of course, is the exact opposite. What generates economic growth, more business creation and more jobs are lower taxes, less central planning and less government, as unambiguously demonstrated by country-by-country analyses and by the widely divergent growth rates within the United States between the different states.

In his book "The Fatal Conceit," Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek writes of the key ideological conflict in economics. On the one hand are "the advocates of the spontaneous extended human order created by a competitive market," and on the other hand, "those who demand a deliberate arrangement of human interaction by central authority based on collective command over available resources."

What's failed is the latter, the collectivism, the "fatal conceit" that says that a single mind, a single committee, can somehow do things better than the spontaneous, unstructured, complex and creative forces of the market.

Link: I know, it's common sense... But some here still don't get it. (http://newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/1/27/34122.shtml)

01-27-2004, 09:51 AM
I don't think it's realistic to compare a small island nation like Ireland to the US. How many huge corporations are based in Ireland anyway?

Only one I can think of :gulp: :gulp:

And this part really disturbs me...

sells state-owned assets to private industry

This brings up visions of old growth logging in national parks, drilling for oil in ANWR, and putting a big Halliburton logo on the torch of the Statue of Liberty. Is that the world you want to live in??

The "Heritage Foundation" is a religious reich puppet group. Maybe that explains it? It's the James Watt theory. Go ahead and exploit the Hell out of the fucking planet. Rape and pillage. Who cares if pollution increases by 4 million percent and there's not a single tree left to produce oxygen. Either (our delusional version of) Jesus will pull us out of here or we'll build a colony for the rich on Mars using the baby boomers' retirement, so who gives a fuck, right? :rolleyes:

John Ashcroft
01-27-2004, 12:12 PM
I like it! The statue of Liberty holding a giant "Halliburton" sign! That's a damn fine idea. Then we could carve a giant "Enron" E into Mt. Rushmore next. I think you may be on to something dude. Think of the revenue we could collect from the lease!

01-27-2004, 12:56 PM
heh heh! remember 1996? taco bell took out a full page ad in the washington post saying that to help defray the cost of protecting our national treasures, they partnered with the federal government and were now sponsering the "taco liberty bell." there was a picture of the bell.

one of my buddies and i were talking as we were all sitting around in somebody's dorm watching the NCAA tourney about how awful that was. it wasn't worth it. after we embarrassed ourselves for about 5 minutes, somebody else said, "uh...either of you two morons realize it's april fools today?"

what a GREAT fucking prank. i can't believe i got had, but i love it.