Connect with us

Business

Economic Liberty: 7 Reasons You Should Care about It

Published

on

Christians who support the free market often find ourselves accused of worshiping, in the words of the New York Times, “a false idol”—a thought shared by a disconcerting number of evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics alike. Yet irrefutable proof to the contrary was issued from two very different venues this week and literally echoed all over the world.Economic Liberty Improves Quality of Life

From the unassuming and scholarly halls of Canada’s Fraser Institute on Tuesday came its annual report detailing the state of global economic freedom. Its authors provided us the service of cross-referencing their findings with other indices of human well-being and found that the free market benefits the world in at least seven ways:

  1. Life expectancy increases—and people live longer: The average person in the freest nations lives 15 years longer than those in the least free nations (79.5 years in the top 20 percent of free nations vs. 64.4 years in the bottom quartile), according to the World Bank’s “World Development Indicators.”
  2. Infant mortality rate declines—and children live: Babies are about seven times as likely to die by their first birthday in the least free nations as they are in the freest nations. (In the most economically interventionist societies, 42.25 babies out of every 1,000 babies die within their first year of life. On the other hand, only 6.28 babies of every thousand die in the most laissez-faire countries.) The decline in death—and the upswing in the number of babies who have an opportunity to grow and offer their unique gifts to the world—moves in sync with increased economic freedom, according to the World Bank’s “World Development Indicators” data.
  3. Average citizens prosper: The typical person in the most economically free countries made $40,376 in 2016; someone living in the lowest 20 percent had a per capita income of one-seventh of that ($5,649).
  4. Poverty declines sharply: People in economically unfree countries are 2,142 percent more likely to live in extreme poverty (defined as $1.90 a day) and 1,200 percent more likely to live in moderate poverty ($3.20 a day), as recorded by the “World Development Indicators.” At each 20 percent increment in economic freedom, poverty rates fall by more than half.
  5. Political freedom expands: Citizens of nations that do not intervene in the economy also enjoy greater political and civil freedom, as measured by Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World 2017” report. (Likewise, the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty found that economic liberty is positively correlated with electoral freedom. So is religious liberty, freedom of the press, and an Anglo-American cultural influence.)
  6. More gender equality: Women in the most economically free nations score two-and-a-half times better on the U.N. Gender Inequality Index than those in the most economically interventionist (socialist or communist) states.
  7. Greater happiness: People who live in economically free nations score significantly higher on the U.N. World Happiness Report. This makes sense since a free society leaves its members free to pursue their own desires and enjoy their unalienable right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier, and healthier lives,” said Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute.

These disparities in the most fundamental measures of life occur not just between nations but also within the same nation at different times, as economic liberty expands or contracts.

This message came from a very different venue, and a very different messenger, on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump—neither unassuming nor one to affect academic mannerisms—noted the ravages of socialism in his speech before the United Nations.

The most notable example involved the change that has taken place within the nation ranked dead last for economic freedom in the Fraser Institute’s 2018 report: Venezuela. (North Korea and Cuba are not rated due to lack of data.)

“Currently, we are witnessing a human tragedy as an example in Venezuela,” the president said. “More than two million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the socialist [Nicolás] Maduro regime and its Cuban sponsors.”

Then he recounted Venezuela’s transition from a free nation to a socialist one:

Venezuela was one of the richest countries on earth. Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty. Virtually everywhere, socialism or communism has been tried. It has produced suffering, corruption, and decay. Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone. In that spirit, we asked the nations gathered here to join us in calling for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. Today we are announcing additional sanctions against the repressive regime, targeting Maduro’s inner circle and close advisers.

His speech put a human face on the Fraser Institute’s numbers. Economic data subsume a myriad of human tragedies.

No one who cares about human flourishing, political freedom, gender equality, or the right of newborn babies to survive to adulthood can turn a blind eye to economic liberty. The production of plenty means the average person rises, the less fortunate are not so bad off, and the vulnerable at society’s margins survive. For those at either end of life’s journey, economic liberty can literally mean the difference between life and death.

And, as Ian Vasquez said on the Cato Institute’s daily podcast, the countries in this year’s top ten freest nations come from the transatlantic sphere (North America and Europe) but also Oceania, Asia, and Africa. Liberty benefits all peoples and cultures by providing them with the stability, security, and autonomy necessary to fulfill their earthly callings.

The empirical evidence proves that economic freedom best empowers all children of God to reach their potential, from the cradle to the grave and every prolonged, joyful second in between.

This article was reprinted with permission from the Acton Institute.

Continue Reading

The Daily Do It

 

 

The News without the Noise

The Great Transition3 days ago

Understanding the Great Transition

The Great Transition3 days ago

Information, Communications, Media

The Great Transition3 days ago

Consumption, Materials and Resources

The Great Transition3 days ago

Food and Agriculture

The Great Transition3 days ago

Transforming Health

The Great Transition3 days ago

Education for a New World

Featured3 days ago

The Transformation of Energy and Transportation Systems

The Great Transition1 week ago

Going forward: A realistic action plan

Rethink X4 weeks ago

Understanding where we’re at and how to get to where we are going

Video: Rethink4 weeks ago

0:00 / 20:59 Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

Policy4 weeks ago

NO TO NUKES: Non-proliferation treaty conference ends in failure, ban treaty shows the way forward

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Innovation without Borders

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Information without Borders

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Affordable and Renewable Clean Energy

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Resources and Materials

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Improved Food Systems

Build for Change1 month ago

Why Endless Consumption of Our Finite Planet Will Take Us to Our Cliff of Doom and How We Can Prevent It

Featured1 month ago

Indigenous rice out-performs commercial varieties in nutrition value and tolerance to drought, flood, extreme weather

FOOD + AG.1 month ago

Reviving Jordan’s community, resilience and food sovereignty through urban wheat cultivation

FOOD + AG.1 month ago

An organic farming revolution in Thailand

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Heart Attacks Are Not Worth Dying For

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Rethink: Humanity’s Next Operating System

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Find out how your community could take on big business to serve the health of all.

Food and Land1 month ago

Understanding the Roots of the Food Crises and Preventing Future Crises: Resilience and a Deep Dive

Editorials2 months ago

Another Conference is not going to save us:

A web of Life for ALL Life2 months ago

Truths or Consequences

Build for Change2 months ago

The launch of “Rights of the Atlantic Ocean” campaign in Newfoundland

Build for Change2 months ago

What’s really going on in the Brazilian Rainforests?

Editorials2 months ago

To Save the Planet, Forget About the Globe (And Act Locally)

Weekly Exchanges2 months ago

A global information commons

Build for Change2 months ago

We are One

Build for Change2 months ago

The Power of us

Build for Change2 months ago

When Stars Collide

Build for Change2 months ago

Heal the World

People Planet Purpose2 months ago

A NEW STORY FOR A NEW WORLD

Rethink X4 weeks ago

Understanding where we’re at and how to get to where we are going

Video: Rethink4 weeks ago

0:00 / 20:59 Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

Rethink X4 months ago

Out of Chaos Comes Creation: Understanding Transformation of Civilizations

Rethink X4 months ago

Understanding the Repeating Patterns of History: Growth / Collapse / Transformation

Mobilized News Network7 months ago

Clarity Above all Else

Paradigm Change7 months ago

Nuremberg Prosecutor at 102: Make Law, Not War.

INTERVIEWS8 months ago

GAIA TALKS: The Earth Speaks: Mohamed Ismail from Egyptians Abroad For Democracy Worldwide

Paradigm Change8 months ago

An Empowered World: People, we are Ready!

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Conscious capitalism and Raising the Bar of Human Possibility

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Open Collaboration on an Epic Scale: The Future is Cooperatively Decentralized

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Transforming Energy and Transportation

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Transforming agriculture and food systems for optimal planetary and personal health

Arts9 months ago

How The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies into Super Effective Propaganda

A web of Life for ALL Life10 months ago

We are One

Mobilized TV10 months ago

How we can eradicate heart Disease

Mobilized TV10 months ago

Howard Bloom: Imagination Takes You Everywhere

Featured10 months ago

From Punk to Planet: Slam Dunk the Junk with Dave Street

Mobilized TV11 months ago

A Moral Responsibility: Jean Su, Ctr. for Biological Diversity

Mobilized TV11 months ago

On Free Speech TV: Rethinking Humanity with James Arbib of RethinkX

Mobilized TV11 months ago

Sustainable Architecture, Design and Building for a Sustainable Planet

Mobilized TV11 months ago

A better understanding of lawn care for Climate Care featuring Dr. Rob Moir of the Ocean River Institute

Mobilized TV11 months ago

Stories from the Reservation: Davidica Little Spotted Horse

Translate »