Author Topic: Economic Freedom  (Read 302 times)

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Online Bigun

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Economic Freedom
« on: July 02, 2014, 09:29:20 AM »
Economic Freedom

Walter E. Williams | Jul 02, 2014

A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama, speaking on the economy, told an audience in Osawatomie, Kansas: "'The market will take care of everything,' they tell us. ... But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. ... I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory." To believe what the president and many others say about the market's not working requires that one be grossly uninformed or dishonest.
The key features of a free market system are private property rights and private ownership of the means of production. In addition, there's a large measure of peaceable voluntary exchange. By contrast, communist systems feature severely limited private property rights and government ownership or control of the means of production. There has never been a purely free market economic system, just as there has never been a purely communist system. However, we can rank economies and see whether ones that are closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum are better or worse than ones that are closer to the communist end. Let's try it.

First, list countries according to whether they are closer to the free market or the communist end of the economic spectrum. Then rank countries according to per capita gross domestic product. Finally, rank countries according to Freedom House's "Freedom in the World" report. People who live in countries closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum not only have far greater income than people who live in countries toward the communist end but also enjoy far greater human rights protections.

According to the 2012 "Economic Freedom of the World" report -- by James Gwartney, Robert Lawson and Joshua Hall -- nations ranking in the top quartile with regard to economic freedom had an average per capita GDP of $37,691 in 2010, compared with $5,188 for those in the bottom quartile. In the freest nations, the average income of the poorest 10 percent of their populations was $11,382. In the least free nations, it was $1,209. Remarkably, the average income of the poorest 10 percent in the economically freer nations is more than twice the average income of those in the least free nations.

Free market benefits aren't only measured in dollars and cents. Life expectancy is 79.5 years in the freest nations and 61.6 years in the least free. Political and civil liberties are considerably greater in the economically free nations than in un-free nations.

Leftists might argue that the free market doesn't help the poor. That argument can't even pass the smell test. Imagine that you are an unborn spirit and God condemned you to a life of poverty but gave you a choice of the country in which to be poor. Which country would you choose? To help with your choice, here are facts provided by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield in their report "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor." Eighty percent of American poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Almost two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France and the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry because they could not afford food. The bottom line is that there is little or no material poverty in the U.S.

At the time of our nation's birth, we were poor, but we established an institutional structure of free markets and limited government and became rich. Those riches were achieved long before today's unwieldy government. Our having a free market and limited government more than anything else explains our wealth. Most of our major problems are a result of government. We Americans should recognize that unfettered government and crony capitalism, not unfettered markets, are the cause of our current economic problems and why the U.S. has sunk to the rank of 17th in the 2013 "Economic Freedom of the World" report.

http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2014/07/02/economic-freedom-n1857279/page/full
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Online Bigun

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 09:30:52 AM »
I agree with every single word Dr. Williams wrote here and would add that we will never have true economic freedom for so long as we continue to put up with the Marxist income tax and the IRS!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline Oceander

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 09:37:38 AM »
The income tax is not Marxist and the IRS will not disappear.

Online Bigun

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 09:38:36 AM »
The income tax is not Marxist and the IRS will not disappear.

I beg to differ on both counts!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Online EC

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 03:04:20 PM »
I beg to differ on both counts!

I'm not sure if I'd call the Income tax Marxist.

The entire system, where you legally rob Peter to pay off Paul, yes, but income tax in and of itself is more a protection racket than anything else. "Nice income, it'd be a shame if someone audited it."
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Online Bigun

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 03:43:57 PM »
I'm not sure if I'd call the Income tax Marxist.

The entire system, where you legally rob Peter to pay off Paul, yes, but income tax in and of itself is more a protection racket than anything else. "Nice income, it'd be a shame if someone audited it."

“The greatest tool Communism has in our toolbox is the progressive income tax.”-- Karl Marx

The following is directly quoted from “The Communist Manifesto"  by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles  chapter II. “Proletarians and Communists” page 7.

“The proletariat will use its political supremacy top wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible. Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production. These measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
   
1.   Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
   
2.   A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
   
3.   Abolition of all right of inheritance.
   
4.   Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
   
5.   Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
   
6.   Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
   
7.   Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
   
8.   Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
   
9.   Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
   
10.   Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c.
   
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.


What else would you call it given the above? 
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Online EC

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 04:10:52 PM »
Well .... I could get behind number 8 and possibly number 9.  :shrug:

But I take your point.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Economic Freedom
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 09:31:12 PM »
/snicker


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