Tag Archives: Milton Friedman

David Davenport: Bad News From the Index of Economic Freedom

Compromise

The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom has been released and it contains some bad news for Americans.  The U.S. dropped 6 positions in the ranking of economic freedom around the world to #17, its lowest level since these studies have been published.  While most nations of the world increased their economic freedom, the U.S. saw a significant decline, rated now not “free” but only “mostly free.”

The main contributor was a new category in the study called “fiscal health.”  This shows that a shocking 38 percent of our gross domestic product now goes to government and also emphasizes our growing national debt and deficit.

Milton Friedman, the greatest economist of the 20th century, said that the country that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither, but the nation that puts freedom ahead of equality will end up with a great measure of both.

Clearly we need more economic growth, less government spending and less debt.  In other words, more freedom.

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David Davenport: Trump’s Budget Asks: What Should Government Do?

Compromise

President Donald Trump’s first budget proposes some big changes. A much higher commitment to national defense is at the top of the list and, in order to fund that, less foreign aid, government regulation, and federal subsidies for research and the arts.

What Trump is doing is returning to the age-old question of what the federal government should do (and not do). Over the centuries, nearly everyone has believed that providing a national defense is the essential role of the federal government. But, as the economist Milton Friedman pointed out, when the federal government does more and more, it gets expensive and inefficient and—over time—it limits our freedom.

What government has been doing for a long time is adding more programs at a higher cost and simply sending the bill to future generations through our growing national debt. What the Trump budget finally asks is, what must the federal government do … and then what can we cut to pay for that?

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