Capitalism has created the highest standard of living ever known on earth. The evidence is incontrovertible. The contrast between West and East Berlin is the latest demonstration, like a laboratory experiment for all to see. Yet those who are loudest in proclaiming their desire to eliminate poverty are loudest in denouncing capitalism. Man’s well-being is not their goal. Ayn Rand, Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal
Let those who are actually concerned with peace observe that capitalism gave mankind the longest period of peace in history—a period during which there were no wars involving the entire civilized world—from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
It must be remembered that the political systems of the nineteenth century were not pure capitalism, but mixed economies. The element of freedom, however, was dominant; it was as close to a century of capitalism as mankind has come. But the element of statism kept growing throughout the nineteenth century, and by the time it blasted the world in 1914, the governments involved were dominated by statist policies.
The nineteenth century was the ultimate product and expression of the intellectual trend of the Renaissance and the Age of Reason, which means: of a predominantly Aristotelian philosophy. And, for the first time in history, it created a new economic system, the necessary corollary of political freedom, a system of free trade on a free market: capitalism.
No, it was not a full, perfect, unregulated, totally laissez-faire capitalism—as it should have been. Various degrees of government interference and control still remained, even in America—and this is what led to the eventual destruction of capitalism. But the extent to which certain countries were free was the exact extent of their economic progress. America, the freest, achieved the most.
Never mind the low wages and the harsh living conditions of the early years of capitalism. They were all that the national economies of the time could afford. Capitalism did not create poverty—it inherited it. Compared to the centuries of precapitalist starvation, the living conditions of the poor in the early years of capitalism were the first chance the poor had ever had to survive. As proof—the enormous growth of the European population during the nineteenth century, a growth of over 300 per cent, as compared to the previous growth of something like 3 per cent per century. Ayn Rand
America has slipped one spot since last year. This is historic news, but don't expect the enemedia to mention it. America, once the freest nation in the world, is accelerating its slippage towards statism and failure under a President who would rather anyone succeed except .....us.
The once, great capitalist state ("a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church") is faltering.
America’s Economy: The Ninth-Freest NRO hat tip Van
The numbers are in: Our lost economic liberty is being noticed.
We’re No. 9!
America has slipped one spot since last year — from earth’s eighth-freest economy in 2010, according to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. This 17th annual report, jointly published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, sifts through the wreckage caused by government’s turbocharged acceleration during the Bush-Obama years. America’s slump in the rankings (we’re down from No. 5 in 2008) confirms the urgent need for Washington to revitalize free markets and restrain government intervention.
Among the 179 countries examined in the Index, Hong Kong is ranked first, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, and Denmark. These nations all outscored the U.S. across ten categories, including taxes, free trade, regulation, monetary policy, and corruption.
America barely made the top ten. Bahrain was tenth, with 77.7 points, one decimal point behind America’s 77.8 score. Chile reached No. 11 with 77.4, just 0.4 points behind the United States.
Even worse, with a score below 80, the U.S. is spending its second year as a “mostly free” economy. As it departed the family of “free” nations in 2010, it led the “mostly free” category. Even within this less-than-illustrious group, America now lags behind Ireland and Denmark.
How did our once-unassailable country wind up so winded?
“The national government’s role in the economy has expanded sharply in the past two years, and the federal budget deficit is extremely large, with gross public debt approaching 100 percent of GDP,” explain the Index’s authors, Terry Miller and Kim R. Holmes. “Interventionist responses to the economic slowdown have eroded economic freedom and long-term competitiveness. Drastic legislative changes in health care and financial regulations have retarded job creation and injected substantial uncertainty into business investment planning.”
Read the rest of Deroy Murdock's excellent analysis here.
UPDATE: OT but related (sorta):
Chinese Pianist Played Anti-American Communist Propaganda Song at White House State Dinner…