We Need Another New Deal
The Heritage Foundation has just released its annual report on the status of economic freedom amongst countries around the globe. The index results demonstrate year after year that people living in countries with higher levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of per capita income, better health care and education, and cleaner environments than those living where economic freedom is significantly constrained.
America needs big, structural, free-market reforms
The signs are not strong for the United States, with it’s free-market standing falling to 20th place from 17th place just a year ago. Two years ago, America sat at a score of 76.8, with this new report now showing the US sitting at 74.8 with a even stronger deterioration in our fiscal health position. The US is now in the complete red for fiscal health with our spending in the clear yellow. A two point fall might not seem like much, but it’s a clear indicator of a growing irreversible trend that the US is becoming more comfortable with. The growing momentum behind social democracy on the left and populism on the right might very well create an anti-market consensus that will deteriorate our standing further. This free-market reform package is meant to put the breaks on that growing consensus and reverse the decline of our economic freedom.
America nevertheless is still a mostly free country. Yet, if these illiberal conditions continue to go unchecked, we might very easily find ourselves become a moderately free nation. Mostly and moderately free are not good enough. What’s needed is a sweeping free-market reform package that can reject this status, bring our score into the 80s figure, and ensure we are a completely economically free country.
A New Deal for Economic Freedom
This free-market initiative would have to mirror that of Ontario’s Common Sense Revolution, Sweden’s period of reform in the early 1990s, and New Zealand’s period of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. Thankfully, an American style of these periods won’t have to go too deep into the cuts or pursue as radical of reform, since we are in a good starting position. These free-market revolutions effectively pulled those areas out of great struggle and completely transformed previously unliberalized economies. The United States is not in that similar situation, yet we are headed in that direction.
That direction has prompted me to conclude that we need a free-market style New Deal to combat the growing populist and socialist agendas which unite against economic freedom.
A New Deal that restrains public spending, reforms entitlements, shifts government assets to the private sector, debureaucratizes the federal government, devolves major spending to the states, eliminates corporate welfare, privatizes state-owned enterprises, marketizes the health industry while introducing a universal catastrophic model, cuts federal regulations by a third, replaces the bulk of our welfare system with a negative income tax, combats climate change through carbon taxation, terminates dozens of outdated agencies, rolls back tariffs and expands free trade, shifts taxation away from income and towards consumption, expands school voucher programs, and establishes a more liberal immigration system.
Free-marketeers are ready.
We need a New Deal for Economic Freedom.