Suppose we win this war. What then?
Do we try to nudge
By contrast, economic freedom—that is, limited government, functioning markets, well-enforced property rights, and an absence of barriers to international trade—really matters. Canada's Fraser Institute, in cooperation with 50 other economic think tanks around the world, ranks countries in terms of economic freedom, with Hong Kong at the head of the list, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. (The United States loses points for its widely varying tariff rates and restrictions on capital transactions with foreigners.) Algeria and Myanmar bring up the rear; Afghanistan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia are unrated due to the unavailability of data, but presumably would have given Myanmar stiff competition. These rankings correlate quite strongly with per capita income; in the following graph, each black dot represents a country, and the general upward trend is quite obvious to the naked eye.
Economic freedom breeds not just prosperity; it breeds also a sense of belonging to a global community surrounded by trading partners, as opposed to an insular community surrounded by enemies.
Last week, I gave a public lecture where a member of the audience (whom I wish I could credit by name) summed it all up in a sentence: We need to think less about nation-building and more about economy-building. Or even more succinctly: It's the economy, stupid. If
Right now, the freest countries in the
So how do we encourage economic freedom? Well, how do you encourage anything? The first thing that comes to mind is bribery—economic assistance that's contingent on the maintenance of free institutions. What I'm proposing is that when we're setting our conditions, we should focus more on economic institutions than on political ones.
We can also reward foreign economic development by opening our own borders to trade. This is an experiment we've never really tried in
TODAY IN SLATE
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The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
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Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.