America’s Rating as a Free Country Continues to Plummet

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This is a sad article for me to post….we are losing our freedoms folks.

Freedom can be defined in many ways. However, one of the greatest indicators of freedom and liberty is economic freedom. True free-market capitalism is the basis of individual liberty. However, America is no longer a top 5 contender, and we haven’t been for a years. Actually, America is barely even in the top 10. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom study reports that America continues to fail. Who took first place in economic freedom in 2012? The



answer may surprise you. It was Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s score was an 89.9%, which was a 0.2% increase from 2011. Following Hong Kong in order: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and finally America at number 10. America’s economic freedom score was a 76.3%, which is down 1.5% from 2011. In fact, America is no longer even rated as a “Free” nation, which is a title granted only to countries with a score above 80%, but a “Mostly Free” nation. Right behind America rated at number 11 is Denmark. Denmark places the highest total tax pressure on its citizens in the world.

This study takes the following 10 benchmarks into account when rating countries: Freedom from corruption, property rights, individual fiscal freedom, restrained government spending, monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. As mentioned earlier, economic freedom is more vast than it may sound on the surface. It includes all of the above benchmarks, which affect our everyday lives. Money is not the root of all evil; however it is at the root of our lives and if we are not economically free one must ask themselves if our freedom simply a fallacy. There are 9 other countries more economically free than America and our rating is dropping drastically. In 2010, America was rated number 8.  With the numbers trending down and all of the benchmarks trending towards negative values America’s rating should not be expected to improve when the 2013 ratings are released.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty. -Margaret Thatcher

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Why Constitutional Conservatism Is Ascending


An excellent article, and I am also posting some very relative comments at the end.  Mike and I, along with several of our listeners, writers and friends advocate a return to the document of our Founders, and we have from day 1. That will NEVER CHANGE! Enjoy! From the American Thinker….

Why Constitutional Conservatism Is Ascending
By Mark J. Fitzgibbons
If 2009 was the year of birth of the Tea Party movement, 2010 was the year of ascendancy of constitutional conservatism.  In many ways, the movements are the same — except, perhaps, that the Tea Party is a movement of political activism by people who weren’t traditionally activists, and constitutional conservatism represents an awakening about the way back to American exceptionalism.

For conservatives to emphasize constitutionalism is nothing new.  The greater emphasis, however, is a bit of branding that helps distinguish them from establishment Republicans who stole the brand “conservative,” or those whose policies are constitutionally limited only some of the time.

You know constitutional conservatism is on the right track when the liberal literati (Lincoln Caplan) and dimwiterati (Randi Rhodes) criticize it.

More than ever, people now sense that the country is in decline because America has moved away from its true constitutional structure of government.  As stated previously, the Constitution is the law that governs government.  It is a limitation on government power as much as a grant of certain power.

It is the limitation part that is the Constitution’s core, which is why liberals and the ruling class can’t or won’t wrap their heads around constitutional conservatism.  The Democratic Party, taken over by social Democrats, and the Republican Party, whose leaders like to call themselves Reagan conservatives but became the old Democratic Party, failed to honor the limitations.

Federal agencies were given power to intrude on private property rights in the name of regulation for the public good.  Free markets ceased to exist and were replaced by crony capitalism partnered with big government.  The nonprofit sector, religious organizations, and other institutions became additional partners with government, and they had little or no regard for the Constitution except as it protected them — and even then, they were willing abettors in its erosion.

The ascendancy of constitutional conservatism is a result of people’s belief that restoring the Constitution is the only way we can save the country from becoming like the European nations.

Gordon Wood’s The Creation of the American Republic, 1776 – 1787 is a marvelous depiction of the formation of the American Constitution as a response to the ruling-class nature of Europe at the time.  Angelo Codevilla’s brilliant book and article, America’s Ruling Class, show that we’ve become much like the Europe of the time of our nation’s constitutional creation.

We have watched more or less passively for decades as government has broken the law that governs it.  Constitutional conservatives understand that America’s exceptional nature is a direct result of the principles of our Declaration of Independence and the structural safeguards of our Constitution.  We now understand that many or most of our national deficiencies can be attributed to the government’s having broken our paramount law.

The divisions of power created by the Constitution were designed to provide a system of order that protects freedom. As importantly, the divisions of power were intended to protect private property rights and the bounty that flows from private property.  The erosion of the Constitution as a strict structure has resulted in a loss of rights that are the key to our moral and financial well-being.  A return to American exceptionalism requires a return to our constitutional structure.

Constitutional conservatism means that powers not delegated expressly to the federal government are indeed reserved to the states or to the people, which means that even conservatives must be restricted in the agendas they wish to accomplish at the federal level.

It means that constitutional conservatives will look to scale back government that has exceeded its legal limits — first by reducing the powers of federal branches and agencies to their rightful places, and then by eliminating agencies not consistent with powers authorized by the Constitution and returning those controls back to the states.

Conservatives, including our best leaders, may not always articulate these notions perfectly, which is why the liberal literati are tempted to be derisive.  With the national debt and the decay of our institutions, however, we are insolvent. The solution to insolvency is to restructure.  The Constitution provides the structure for a return to exceptionalism.

The steps won’t always be clear, certain or without dispute and debate, but as long as the direction is true, it can be done.

Fortunately, discussions of constitutionalism are no longer restricted to the writings of law professors or debates among lawyers.   Books like Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny and Who Killed the Constitution? by Thomas Woods and Kevin Gutzman helped popularize the notion that the country’s current downward path is directly attributable to the deterioration of our constitutional structures and protections.

Americans are reading, discussing, and emphasizing the Constitution like never before.  They are, so to speak, forcing it upon elected officials, who despite their oaths to uphold the Constitution, often considered it as an afterthought or inconvenience.

Liberals and social Democrats understand, of course, that constitutional conservatism threatens their paradigm, which is why they attempt to mock it as akin to and, in their world, as dangerous as religious fundamentalism.

This is why we need even more elected officials who articulate the vision of constitutional conservatism and what impact it will have.  The 2010 election was a bit of a hastily designed test run.  If in the 2012 election conservatives become more facile in their explanations of constitutionalism and how it will help America return to exceptional status, then we will truly see an autopsy of liberalism.

Posted by: Gordon

Dec 10, 02:45 AM

The downfall of this Republic began when Congress usurped the “Power to grant Powers,” and, set up the Railroad Commission, with a power to seize land on both sides of their routes. From there it cascades into an orgy of granting Rights to anyone who can further a Politicians career. Where in the Constitution does it grant a “Power to Grant Powers?

Posted by: Nolie

Dec 10, 04:42 AM

The Tea Party is going to have to flex it’s muscles, the Republicans did not get the message prior to November 2, 2010, and the Democrats certainly did not. Have you ever heard anything as ridiculous as the death tax being proposed by the Socialists as the government deserves it, to hell with the family involved. What do you think the reaction would be from the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, etc., bloody mad I’d say.
Posted by: cedarhill  

Dec 10, 07:07 AM

What is really needed is for the States to use their power reserved under Article V of the Constitution. Convene a Constitutional Convention, make it permanent, and simply reduce the unlimited power of the Federal Courts, Congress and Executive. We need 34 states for starters and another 4 to enact restrictions. We, as a people, need to work to have our own State put the public back into Republic.
Posted by: wodiej  

Dec 10, 07:36 AM

The liberal hypocrisy is on display again as now they want to start their own “tea party.” Now who will the demonize??  

Make no mistake, this debacle we are in is because conservatives sat on the sidelines. We were too busy with shopping, buying huge homes and SUV’s, cell phones, Ipods, 60 inch flat screen tv’s and acquiring material possessions at an unprecedented rate. When we didn’t get the GOP nominee we wanted in 08, we sat at home and pouted.

As Edmund Burke once said “evil prevails when good men do nothing.” Are you good or evil? Because, really that is what this all comes down to. I don’t believe all liberals have an evil soul though many do. But I do believe there are many who have been utterly fooled by Satan. He is the master of deception. And unless people set aside their preconceived notions that a leader must be a senior, white man who has been part of the establishment for decades, we are not going to make it out of this mess. It’s your choice.

Posted by: gxm  

Dec 10, 08:16 AM

“It means that constitutional conservatives will look to scale back government that has exceeded its legal limits”  

Here is how to start scaling back. Organize a constitutional convention to pass these amendments. I am beginning to believe a constitutional convention will turn out to be the only way to wrest power from the venal, corrupt, collectivist hacks that now run our government. If some one has a better way I’ll be happy to sign on.

1. A balanced budget Amendment with real teeth like the one from Representatives Jeb Hensarling of Texas , Mike Pence of Indiana and John Campbell of California.

2. Repeal of the 16th Amendment that also makes plain that only consumption taxes like the FairTax are henceforth permitted cutting off the massive money pipeline that politicians use to punish enemies, reward friends and of course reward themselves.

3. An original language or original intent amendment that makes clear that the bogus and sophistic “living document”/ “general welfare” concept is henceforth banished from American jurisprudence.

4. An amendment that either abolishes the Fed or at the very least backs the dollar with precious metals so that out of control money creation is stopped.

5. An amendment that explicitly makes the commerce clause (in Article I Section 8) more restrictive and in line with its original intent, i.e. limits its applicability to acts by the states that are in restraint of trade such as duties, tariffs, subsidies, etc.

6. Repeal of the 17th Amendment and a return to Senators being appointed by the state legislatures so that the original idea of preserving state sovereignty is protected.

Posted by: Larry  

Dec 10, 09:11 AM

Nothing could revitalize both our country and our economy faster than a clear plan to get us back to our constitutional roots, even though it may take decades to achieve. Freedom and personal responsibility are what lead us inexorably to capitalism, the most efficient way for any society to organize. In today’s extremely competitive world, if we are to win, we need to utilize the most efficient method and we know from our own history that it works miracles.  

If we are ever to experience Peace on Earth, we need to be that Shining City on the Hill for all to emulate. Let them copy us. Let them become bastions of freedom or fall further and further behind. Egalitarian redistribution is a Sirens Song that entraps society, promising what can never be and costing everything they have…truly a deal with the Devil. The strange thing is that seeing ship after ship being entrapped, the deceptive Song still attracts nearly every passersby.

Posted by: Xenos  

Dec 10, 09:38 AM

The United States Constitution is to political power what the Ten Commandments are to personal morality. Any government unconstrained by legal limitations on its power will behave much like an individual who is not guided by a strict code of conduct. Righteous government does not extend its responsibilities and regulations too far because, at some point (and we have passed it), the power of the state becomes detrimental to the social and economic fabric. A righteous government, deriving its powers from the consent of the governed and organized to promote the general welfare, does not do harm to individual life, liberty, or property, but rather creates conditions within which individuals thrive. An empowered state will ruin the lives of its citizens and sow the seeds of its own destruction. A righteous individual, by limiting his actions in accordance with a long-established ethical structure, avoids harm to himself and those with whom he is associated, and he and all those around him will thrive. An individual without behavioral limits will injure those around him and sow the seeds of his own destruction.
Progressives hate what they call ‘religious fundamentalism’. What they truly hate, though, is an externally imposed limit on their personal behavior. The fact that progressives also seek expanded governmental power, which leads to coercive and mandatory limits on personal behavior, is one of life’s paradoxes. How they can reconcile this contradiction I don’t know.