America Must Return to Its Free Market Roots

by J. Wesley Fox - Date: 2010-07-12 - Word Count: 867 Share This!

The United States is the most prosperous country in the world. Its economy has been a constant engine of growth and innovation that has dramatically improved the standard of living for millions of people. Americans are innovators and entrepreneurs, always finding new and better ways to make products. We have achieved this because we have had the freedom to work, build, start businesses, invent new products, and sell them with little interference from the government. In recent years that has changed. The government is now interfering at a level never seen before. New taxes, regulations, and mandates are limiting economic freedom and making Americans reluctant to be entrepreneurial. These policies are deepening and prolonging the recession. In order for the United States to recover from the most recent recession, it must return to the principles of a free market economy which have served it well for over two hundred years.

The American Revolution was set in motion when Great Britain began to interfere with the colonial economy. New taxes and restrictions on products like tea angered the colonists and limited their freedom to conduct commerce. At one point, colonists were forced to purchase tea only from Great Britain so that the King could collect taxes. In response, the colonists boycotted then dumped British Tea into Boston Harbor and worked to smuggle cheaper Dutch tea in the colonies.

Economic freedom allows for private enterprises to conduct commerce with minimal taxes, rules, and regulations from the government. Americans have enjoyed a very high level of economic freedom until recently. For years, the United States was one of the top five freest economies according to Heritage Foundation. Since President Obama has entered office, the U.S. has dropped three spots, a dramatic drop since the last study. It is no coincidence that the wealthiest nations are the most economically free including Singapore, Australia, Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. It is also no coincidence that the least free economies are among the poorest including Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea.

Private enterprise has been at the forefront of every great achievement in American business, industry, and scientific innovation. Today, our leaders blame private enterprise for all the ailments of the economy in order to justify greater government power and control. This argument is flat out wrong. Greater government control has never resulted in prosperity. For example, a common myth is that the government programs of the New Deal got the country out of the Great Depression. In reality, the United States dug itself out of the Great Depression during World War 2. The war created a demand for weapons, equipment, supplies, and manpower that Americans quickly and patriotically produced. The American economy was a "sleeping giant" that ended up producing more weapons than any other Allied country. American war production was a major contributing factor to the defeat of Japan and Germany.

Government control of major corporations or sectors of the economy has been shown to be inefficient and disastrous. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises, contributed greatly to the housing bubble that triggered the banking collapse. The U.S. Post Office is on the verge of Bankruptcy. Under President Obama, the Government has gained control over more corporations such as General Motors and Chrysler. Despite the lessons of history, the government thinks it can run these companies better. Government-run or sponsored enterprises have an awful track record and we should expect no better today.

Competition produces lower prices and higher quality products. Government dominance removes competition. In fact, it is the lack of competition that leads to corporations that are "too big to fail". The government failed to properly regulate them or ensure they were not gaining a monopoly. Even worse, the Government decided to bailout out these failing corporations, which rewarded their bad behavior. Large Corporations can now afford to be reckless because if anything goes wrong, the government will bail them out.

Finally, the federal tax code has been distorting the American economy for decades. The complicated IRS forms, high tax rates, and ridiculous regulations have made it very difficult to do business in America. It is a miracle of American productivity, innovation, and grit that we have endured this burden thus far.

Despite the major problems in the American economy, there are simple solutions that can turn the economy around quickly. The principles that have created so much wealth and prosperity need to do be restored. Restore America's Legacy supports (1) simplifying the federal tax code; (2) cutting tax rates; (3) end government bailouts and corporate control; (4) responsible financial reform; and (5) elimination of burdensome and excessive regulation.

It is time for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid socialist experiment to end. To recover, we need to allow the American talent for innovation and entrepreneurialism to return to the forefront. Private enterprise has managed to recover and flourish after every recession in history. Simplifying and cutting federal taxes is the most obvious way to reduce government intrusion. The Government must also be stopped from its feeble attempts to "manage" or "operate" American companies. Finally, streamlining regulations and getting rid of unnecessary requirements lowers the cost of doing business in the United States. These policies will help spur economic growth, investment, and most importantly job creation.

J. Wesley Fox is the Chairman of Restore America's Legacy PAC. He is a recent graduate of DePaul University College of Law and has been active in local and national politics for several years. He currently lives in New Jersey after growing up in the Chicago suburbs.www.restoreamericaslegacy.comn
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