Slip Sliding Away

It is officially time to put a fork in the concept of American Exceptionalism. Whatever bragging rights Americans had in influencing and shaping the world, in crushing the totalitarians and spreading democracy and freedom, sometimes at a terrible cost to ourselves, well, the glory days are long gone. What’s left is a dying nation (not yet dead) as evidenced by the new CATO report on world economic freedom;

In the year 2000 the United States ranked second in the world for economic freedom. Today, the US has dropped to a dismal seventeenth, thanks to overspending, disregard for the rule of law by elected leaders, and increasing regulations. Economic freedom is what has brought about the standard of living we all enjoy today. I shudder to even think what we’ll rank after Obamacare has been fully implemented.

The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade. From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. After increasing steadily during the period from 1980 to 2000, the chain linked EFW rating of the United States fell from 8.65 in 2000 to 8.21 in 2005 and 7.74 in 2011. The chain-linked ranking of the United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 to 19th in 2011 (unadjusted rating of 17th).

You can access the actual report here. Using easily measured yardsticks like legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulations (both levels of and effectiveness), you can track the precipitous slide into oblivion.

The one advantage to perusing a list like this regularly is that when that time comes when freedom loving Americans decide that enough is enough, that this shall not stand, they can relocate, picking a country that actually respects its citizens and is doing now what America use to do.

It is sad, really, to think how low we have fallen. The usual suspects are clearly out there but what’s the point in pointing fingers, the damage is done and there really is no going back. The era of big government and dependency is what we now have. I can’t say get used to it because it will only get worse.

Thank God Reagan is not around to see what they have done to his shining city on the hill, it is now a garbage dump. Being an American now others zero prestige, I guess we can lie and say we are Canadians.

One more domino in history, the Greeks, the Roman, The Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, now us. Obama got his wish, we are now…………..ordinary.

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000

    I’ve been mulling a post on this for a while. Part of it is that we’ve been passed by other nationals liberalized their laws (particularly in the Americas and Asia). But we’ve been in decline for a decade. Funnily enough, the decline in our economic freedom parallels our economic travails. But I’m sure that’ just a coincidence.

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  2. Hal_10000

    (Another thing to note: there are countries with fully socialized medicine that have more economic freedom than we do. This isn’t just a matter of creeping socialism — although that plays a part. it’s also a matter of massive over-regulation and crony capitalism in Washington).

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  3. CM

    Yeah I see we’re third but we have a public health system (although we have a private/public hybrid really). Anyway, clearly it hasn’t damaged our score too much. And neither did the ETNZ funding ;-)

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  4. richtaylor365 *

    “Creeping socialism” may not have been the goal, but it certainly was the road that got us here.
    Economic freedom goes hand in hand with personal freedom. The countries that meddle the most in the affairs of its citizens, those that limit, restrict, and put conditions on how they live and how they earn a buck, those are the ones that will score poorly.

    Those countries with high taxation, both personal and corporate, inhibit and erode the individual’s ability to expand his economic freedom, it essentially tells him to slow down, he can’t keep the rewards and bounty of his hard work and achievement, those are the ones that will score poorly.

    Those countries that confound efforts at energy independence, getting natural resources out of the ground, and being able to profit from it, erecting walls of carbon considerations from imperfect data and 5 year waits for permits, if they can get one at all, those will score poorly.

    And those countries that place a premium on truly educating their youth, making them more competitive in the global marketplace, and not just indoctrinating them with the pervasive ideology that permeates academia, those are the ones that will excel.

    Spreading the wealth (what little there is and shrinking constantly) and enabling a dependent class of society, one that contributes nothing and instead drains resources away from the host, is a one way ticket to the very bottom of that list, and if that new CBO report that came out last week, the one that said essentially in 20 years we will be worse than Greece, is be believed, that boat has probably sailed already.

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  5. Section8

    Excellent point Rich.

    This isn’t just a matter of creeping socialism — although that plays a part. it’s also a matter of massive over-regulation and crony capitalism in Washington

    Hal there isn’t a right leaning person, here or anywhere else in this country that hasn’t said for years and even decades that expanding socialism would result in EXACTLY what you are claiming here. That being crony capitalism and over regulation. Why you would now want to separate it out is beyond me.

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  6. AlexInCT

    Our political class ass fucked us royally. They created a broken system, one that used the power of government to skew the balance in favor of those that would pay them for favors, and then decried the people that profited from this arrangement but didn’t give them their lucre as evil profiteers, while telling the average Joe to vote for them so they were the only ones that could get the poor people justice. The more people voted to keep them there, basically making their job one in perpetuity, the more they rigged the system to make it impossible to do anything without paying them off. The system is now reached a point where they can’t hide this incestuous relationship between them and the people that buy their favors anymore from the bulk of the American people.

    Billions in tax payer dollars are funneled to their friends and special interests, under the guise of whatever bullshit marginal political agendas of the day are sold as the right kind of things and technologies we all should follow, allowing them to funnel insane amounts of cash to them and their friends, who get rich as the country suffers. All while the policies and industries that could cause an economic upturn are hammered and hobbled through ridiculous regulation and vilification. And then they blame the very things and people that could help our economy rebound for the damage they cause, and the sheeple eat that pile of shit not just eagerly, but asks for seconds.

    Class warfare is beyond despicable, because the people claiming to fight the fight for the little guy are the very ones doing the most damage to them, but is the main driver behind much of this over regulation. These people will never admit their mistake, because their fortunes and futures depend on maintaining the status quo. In a system without the favoritism and the help from government to cripple their competitors, these crooks wouldn’t stand a chance. They are not much more different than the mafia or other criminal cartels. The only difference is that these criminals had a more robust and honorable moral system than these crook politicians and those that like the system as it exists now.

    Capitalism has been dead in America for a long time. The crony system we have has destroyed our economy and will be our doom unless we break the stranglehold these crooks have on us.

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  7. AlexInCT

    One more thing: it is not a coincidence that the very people that hated American exceptionalism and said it didn’t exist, are the ones that destroyed it. I wonder if they understand that the nature abhors a vacuum, and that with American no longer leading someone else will step in to fulfill that role. These American exceptionalism hating idiots might think this finally will give their progressive brethren around the globe a chance to finally give us progressive paradise on earth, and, as happened everywhere the utopian socialist paradises were tried and millions were abused and murdered, they will be the ones most surprised, if not the hardest hit, when things go horribly wrong.

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  8. stogy

    it is not a coincidence that the very people that hated American exceptionalism and said it didn’t exist, are the ones that destroyed it.

    Too many pretzel’s again?

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  9. Hal_10000

    That being crony capitalism and over regulation. Why you would now want to separate it out is beyond me.

    it is not a coincidence that the very people that hated American exceptionalism and said it didn’t exist, are the ones that destroyed it.

    The EFI has been falling for more than a decade under both Republican and Democratic leadership. Republicans claim they oppose socialism and love American exceptionalism but have done plenty to advance the former and hurt the latter. There was a bit more crony capitalism under the GOP than socialism but they are not one and the same, as demonstrated by far more socialized countries that outrank us in economic freedom.

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  10. AlexInCT

    The EFI has been falling for more than a decade under both Republican and Democratic leadership.

    Seriously Hal? How many times do I have to say that with the exception of the tax cut Boosh was just a democrat-light when it came to spending? Compassionate conservatism meant a nanny state that’s a little less intrusive and slower in its pursuit of growth, but it is nanny statery just the same. The only reason the left didn’t like Boosh is because he prevented Gore from stealing the 2000 election. Otherwise he was Obama light. Know what I am saying?

    Republicans claim they oppose socialism and love American exceptionalism but have done plenty to advance the former and hurt the latter.

    Never said otherwise. But the undisputed masters of both this practice and the hypocrisy of blame game around this practice, are the donkeys. They take that title with no competition.

    There was a bit more crony capitalism under the GOP than socialism but they are not one and the same, as demonstrated by far more socialized countries that outrank us in economic freedom.

    Bullshit. That’s a myth. Democrats have always been the masters of this game. They have in the past just been better at blaming the other side and hiding their crap (go look at who really gave the oil industry all the subsidies the left now seems so up in arms about). These days they don’t bother with either that much, and that’s why it is so blatant that they are the worst at it. Go ahead and argue otherwise, but you either are unaware of the facts or confused.

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  11. Section8

    There was a bit more crony capitalism under the GOP than socialism but they are not one and the same, as demonstrated by far more socialized countries that outrank us in economic freedom.

    Yeah the GOP was a joke, and expanded socialized programs. So what’s you’re point? I’m not interested in becoming the best run socialized country. Anyone wants to live in a “well run” socialized country, hop on a boat or plane and have at it. You do know there are some in the GOP who actually are willing to fight and put us on the right path, and while none are perfect and never will be, they’re not fit for leadership right? Because as you and I both know you are a big fan of the status quo when push comes to shove.

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  12. richtaylor365 *

    To separate socialists from non socialists countries when analyzing EFI numbers misses the point. Even socialists countries (and we have to add a mountain size caveat to this since even they realize that wealth is earned and would not countenance the free loading element that we have allowed to flourish here- an almost 50 percent chunk of the population that pays no taxes, half on public assistance and over 15% on food stamps, and growing) practice fairness better than we do. If I was say a citizen of Finland, I would at least be getting something in exchange for high taxation. I would know that I would be taken care of in my old age with whatever system they had because it was well funded, I would not mind working hard and doing my part to fund the government because I would know that government was on the right track wrt managing its debt, and I would feel that I was being treated like everyone else, and not being fleeced to support some bum down the street. Here there is no guarantee (and predictions to the contrary) that social security will be around when I need it, there is no guarantee (and predictions to the contrary) that the nation that I am feeding will remain solvent, vibrant and strong economically in the future. Yes, I have to pay taxes, and I would do it willingly if I knew I was ,through my contributions, funding a nation on the rise, a nation that I could be proud of, and a nation that could provide a home for my kid in the future. Sadly none of these things will happen.

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  13. CM

    ‘an almost 50 percent chunk of the population that pays no taxes’

    This is always thrown around. More accurately it’s federal income tax not being paid by, I think it was, 47% (Mit’s Magic Number).

    Excellent point though Rich – where freedom is ‘restricted’ (i.e. tax to pay for a healthcare system) it’s about feeling that you’re getting a good deal, that it’s all being well managed. I feel a greater sense of freedom knowing that if something terrible happens to me or a loved one we’re not going to have to sell houses. I also am a supporter of the unemployment welfare system we have, but that’s reliant on it being well managed.
    BTW I can’t believe the size of the pensions in the US public service.

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  14. Iconoclast

    The EFI has been falling for more than a decade under both Republican and Democratic leadership. Republicans claim they oppose socialism and love American exceptionalism but have done plenty to advance the former and hurt the latter.

    You do realize that “Republican” and “Conservative” are not synonymous, yes? Obviously, we have a generous number of liberal (or at the very least non-conservative) Republicans in DC, and such has been the case since at least the Nixon Administration.

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  15. Miguelito

    You do realize that “Republican” and “Conservative” are not synonymous, yes? Obviously, we have a generous number of liberal (or at the very least non-conservative) Republicans in DC, and such has been the case since at least the Nixon Administration.

    Unfortunately, most of the so-called “leadership” of the GOP falls into this non-conservative (if not outright progressive-light) bit.

    Hell, McCain basically gave the dem response to Cruz’s semi-filibuster.

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