Stossel on Economic Freedom

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

John Stossel reports that the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations (and behind Canada). I find the first sentence of the following especially worrisome:

[Bill] Beach [of the Heritage Foundation] adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void. For example, bondholders in the auto industry were forced to the back of the creditor line during bankruptcy. And there's more regulation of business, such as the Dodd-Frank law for the financial industry and the new credit-card law. But how could the United States place behind Canada? Isn't Canada practically a socialist country?
Rule of law -- sometimes including even bad laws, if they are predictable -- is far more conducive to long-range planning than anarchy or the whims of a dictator (which are functionally the same in many respects). The avalanche of new regulations will function in a way more similar to the absence of law than bad law until its extent is fully known.

-- CAV

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