Roger Simon's blog and this blog (hat tip: Instapundit)both discuss a WSJ (annoying registration required) oped piece that has some incredible news, and some bad news. First the bad news:
The United States has dropped out of the top 10 in the new list of the "freest economies" in the world. The rankings, published annually for the last 11 years by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, show that countries such as Ireland, Denmark and Hong Kong (coming in at #1) all rank ahead of the US. But the biggest surprise on the list is that former Soviet satellite Estonia now ranks at #4 in terms of economic freedom.
This is, of course, GOOD news for Ireland, Denmark, Estonia and Hong Kong. But it is deeply troubling to see that the U.S.--even under a Republican administration-- has become less free economically (I can just imagine where we would have ranked under Gore or Kerry).
Now the incredible news:
Policy makers who pay lip service to fighting poverty would do well to grasp the link between economic freedom and prosperity. This year the Index finds that the freest economies have a per-capita income of $29,219, more than twice that of the "mostly free" at $12,839, and more than four times that of the "mostly unfree." Put simply, misery has a cure and its name is economic freedom. (emphasis mine)
Please read that last paragraph again. And remember it. It is ECONOMIC FREEDOM that is the true cure for poverty. NOT TAXES. NOT REGULATION. NOT GOVERNMENT CONTROL . NOT THE REFLEX DEMONIZATION OF CAPITALISM--
BUT C. A. P. I. T. A. L. I. S. M.
So, for those who pay lip service to fighting poverty and actually want to do something, I recommend that you shut up, and let those greedy, selfish, Capitalistic bastards effortlessly bring your country's standard of living to new highs.
And, if the U.S. wants to remain the economically free and maintain its high standard of living, then it is the statists -of both Left and Right persuasion- who need to get the hell out of the way.