Tag: 2012 Index of Economic Freedom

We’re Number…………Oh Crap!!

Thinking about the anti American sentiment as shared by some around the world (still not convinced it is as prevalent as put forth) that we talked about in the Knee Jerk post, it is clear that we bring some (and still not convinced that the “some” equals “most”)of this on ourselves. When your sphere of influence is the largest, when a good portion of the world looks to you for guidance/protection/financial support, and when you foot the bill for the projection of law and order that even our allies come to expect, it is hard for the big dog to share his food bowl with others.

Along those lines, Americans revel in their financial strength, their alacrity in the practice of democracy and capitalism, and adherence to the primacy of the individual and his civil liberties. Yep, it’s pretty cool to be us, except, it’s all eroding before our very eyes:

Good news! On economic freedom, America is in the global Top 10.

Bad news: America is No. 10
Because the United States keeps slipping in those areas, America has slid from No. 9 in 2011 to tenth place today. Indeed, this is the fourth consecutive year in which the U.S. fell a notch. Out of a perfect score of 100, America declined 1.5 points to 76.3

Looks like the big dog is losing his teeth. Wasn’t it just since the turn on the century, not this one-the last one, that the world danced to our tune? Those things that we used to pride ourselves on doing better then anyone else, {injecting the obligatory Darth Vadar quote , “When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master.”}

U.S. tax-and-spend scores are appalling: Among 179 countries surveyed, America is No. 127 in government spending and No. 133 in fiscal freedom, far below average on both counts. The U.S. suffers an “overall tax burden amounting to 24 percent of total domestic income,” the Index states. “Government expenditures have grown to 42.2 percent of GDP, and the budget deficit is close to 10 percent of GDP. Total public debt is now larger than the size of the economy.” Such boulders bow American shoulders.

Making us more like them, Obama did think our arrogance needed some toning down, good job on that.

Another problem: “Corruption is a growing concern as the cronyism and economic rent-seeking associated with the growth of government have undermined institutional integrity,” the Index declares. For Freedom from Corruption, the U.S. is ranked No. 22; approximating Transparency International’s finding that America is the earth’s 24th most honest country.

And the hits keep on coming. I’d like to put this squarely on Obama’s shoulders and how he is running his administration but this problem is part and parcel of big government in general. We have talked before how big government will always be bloated, corrupt, inefficient, working at cross purposes with itself, much of it unconstitutional (or at least runs contrary to the originalists and their views), and self perpetuating in that once created or grown it is a ravenous beast who will protect itself. I don’t see this changing to any real degree no matter who wins in November.

The old adage that a cruise ship can’t turn on a dime, even this assumes the proper will in turning. Anybody seen any of that lately?

Sadly, I see this precipitous slide only continuing, and next year will bring news of an even farther fall in the ratings. The good news in that ratings like this (and those documenting nations of economic stability and low taxation) provide us Americans possible bail out locations. Although Canada is too cold for me and those crazy Irish drink too much (good music though), I have heard good things about Chile. Aussie babes and beaches( and the climate, some areas) are a definite consideration. Who knows, me and CM might turn out to be neighbors.

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