Capitalism lives

Today, wishful thinkers on the left look at world market turmoil and see nothing less than the demise of free enterprise. Fact is, no system on earth is better at creating and fairly distributing wealth than the free-market system, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Just last week, the Heritage Foundation released its annual study of economic freedom around the world. Once again the freest countries are also the richest. Those in the top 20 per cent of free nations have an average per person gross domestic product (GDP) of $28,217; those in the bottom 40 per cent average $3,998. A huge difference, and no accident, says IBD.

But bloodless numbers can deceive. What does an unfree country really look like? Here are a few examples in the news Wednesday:

  • In Zimbabwe, ranked 155 out of the 157 countries in the Heritage Freedom Index, the state-run grain company now makes luxury dog food for Robert Mugabe and the other privileged Marxists who run the country – while up to four million people starve.

  • The Arab News wire service reports Arabs on the West Bank, who live in a nearly totally unfree economy as wards of the United Nations, suffer from a 57 per cent poverty rate and a third live on less than $1.60 a day.

  • In the Congo, another socialist paradise ravaged by war, 45,000 people are dying unnatural deaths each month, in large part due to food shortages, malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and even measles and whooping cough – all easily treatable in free, rich societies.

    Remember, that's just from one day. Imagine a year of such hell, says IBD.

    We are going through a short-term economic slump that will be followed by another long-term boom. The only doom will be found in countries that reject free markets for the failed god of socialism, says IBD.

    Source: Editorial, Capitalism Lives! Investor's Business Daily, January 24, 2008.

    For text:

    For 2008 Index of Economic Freedom:

    For more on Economic Issues:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 29 January 2008
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