Is the American dream in jeopardy? The Morning Bell put out by The Heritage Foundation on April 19, 2011, said that the American dream is in jeopardy because large American corporations are "cutting back on their domestic workforces and increasing hiring overseas." This movement is a sign that America has a serious problem in economic freedom.
"Big government policies are setting us on a path away from a fundamental freedom we cherish - one the Founders strove to preserve. It's the freedom to pursue the American dream of `economic freedom' that, tragically, is in jeopardy."
The Morning Bell included the following quote by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. and Matthew Spalding, PhD., previously printed in The Heritage Foundation's "Understanding America" series: "America's founders knew that liberty is about more than just securing political freedoms. True liberty requires economic freedom - the ability to profit from our own ideas and labor, to work, produce, consume, own, trade, and invest according to our own choices. Thomas Jefferson underscored that point when he observed that `a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.'"
The United States is no longer considered to be "free" economically but "mostly free." According to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States fell from eighth place to ninth internationally. The lower ranking reflects deteriorating business freedom, trade freedom, government spending, and monetary freedom. Hong Kong is ranked as number one in the world in economic freedom and is followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, and Denmark. Bahrain is in the tenth spot.
According to the Index, "Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself."
The economic freedom in each nation is measured by ten components with each component receiving a grade. Then the ten component grades are average to obtain the overall economic freedom. The ten components of economic freedom are: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom.
Will the United States continue to fall in economic freedom? Can the American dream survive or will it simply continue to disintegrate?