It’s a safe bet the 2019 Index Of Economic Freedom has not been read by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Red Deal… ahhh, sorry… Green New Deal compatriots. The importance of this carefully compiled report, launched in 1995 and widely praised for its detail and accuracy by all sides, cannot be emphasized enough as the wild-eyed far-left gains increasing traction in the Democratic Party.
With demands for a 70% marginal tax rate, and a massive government takeover of the health and energy sectors of the economy, including those Green New Deal pledges to provide every American with a government job, “retrofit every building in America,” and abolish air travel in favor of high speed rail (to name but three), the cold, hard factual data of the Index is a crucial rebuttal.
Of particular note is the Index finding on the size of government and its effect on economic freedom. Obviously, every government on the planet taxes its citizens. But the Index documents what is obvious to all but those fans of Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and the rest.
There is a direct connection — well documented here — between those people living in economies around the world that are rated “free” or “mostly free” and those who “enjoy incomes that are more than twice the average levels in all other countries and more than six times higher than the incomes in ‘repressed’ economies.”The higher the government’s share of income or wealth, the lower the individual’s reward for his or her economic activity and the lower the incentive to undertake work at all. Higher tax rates reduce the ability of individuals and firms to pursue their goals in the marketplace and thereby lower the level of overall private-sector activity.
And not to go unnoticed is that people living in “economically free societies live longer, enjoy better health, and are able to be better stewards of the environment.” The last of those should serve as a lightbulb moment for the Green New Dealers who are advocating a massive expansion of government in the name of saving the environment — i.e., climate change.
The Index arrives just at the moment of the news of all that turmoil in Venezuela. And right there in the country-by-country data the source of Venezuelan chaos is displayed. Attention please, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez:
Reports the Index:The bungling and deeply corrupt “21st Century Socialist” government’s policies have caused severe shortages of food, medicines, and other consumer goods that, combined with hyperinflation, have accompanied one of the worst economic contractions ever recorded.
In short? Written and compiled before the release of the Green New Deal, the Heritage 2019 Index of Economic Freedom is in fact a detailed answer to the socialism that the GND represents. It is simultaneously a bold reply and detailed deconstruction of the fantasies of Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and all the rest of the would-be People’s Commissars, illustrating exactly what will happen to the United States if, in fact, there are enough Americans who can be bamboozled into following the siren song of socialism.Venezuela’s once-modern economy has collapsed into a sort of 21st century feudalism. Monetization of large public deficits, coupled with mismanagement of the state-dominated oil industry, has led to hyper-inflation and shortages of foreign currency, basic goods, and industrial inputs. An economic plan launched in August 2018 included the removal of five zeroes from the currency, a massive devaluation, and another large increase in the minimum wage amid persistent ad hoc policy interventionism, heavy state control of the economy, and blatant disregard for the rule of law.