Thursday, January 16, 2014

 Ourselves and Freedom We Trust

Just trust yourself then you will know how to live.

Goethe (1749-1832), Mephistopheles and the Student

In his 1981 Inaugural Address, President Reagan declared, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”  Later he added, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

These Reagan thoughts came to mind with two news releases this week:

One was from the Gallup organization.  It cited these numbers in response to the question:  What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?
January 5-8, 2014
1)      Dissatisfaction with government, 21%
2)      Economy in general, 18%
3)      Unemployment/jobs, 16%
4)      Healthcare/high costs, 16%
5)      Federal budget deficit, 16%

On healthcare, it gave these year-to-year dissatisfaction  figures comparing January 2013 to January 2012/
US Adults, 4% to 16%, +12%
18-34 age group, 2% to 13%, +11%
36-54 age group, 4% to 15%, +12%

55 and over age group, 6% to 19%, +13%

Republicans, 4% to 24%, +20%
Independents, 3% to 13%, +10%
Democrats, 5% to 14%, +9%

Two was a January 13 Wall Street Journal  Op-Ed piece “America’s Dwindling Economic Freedom.” It was based on the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.  The article noted that after 7 straight years of decline, the U.S. had dropped out of the 10 most economically free countries.  The Index used 10 criteria to judge economic freedom, including fiscal soundness, government size, and property rights.   

The U.S., it said, was rapidly losing ground because of its 43% marginal tax rates, its economic stagnation, and its heavy regulation of finance, energy, and health care.

It may be  worth noting that the Obama administration has presided over 6 of the 7 years of economic and freedom losses while the Reagan administration had seven “fat years” of prosperity and freedom gains.

The 12 top countries in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom were:
1.      Hongkong
2.      Singapore
3.      Australia
4.      Switzerland
5.      New Zealand
6.      Canada
7.      Chile
8.      Mauritius
9.      Ireland
10.  Denmark
11.  Estonia
12.  The U.S.

In conclusion, the U.S. is losing trust in government.  A Gallup poll  shows Americans consider government the number one problem facing America.  At the same time, we are losing personal and economic freedoms.  It is time we put more faith in  ourselves and our economic freedoms and less trust in government.  In healthcare, this trust should be placed in the ability of patients and doctors to handle their own decision-making and implementation of needed health reforms.

Tweet: Americans consider government as our number one problem perhaps because we are losing our personal and economic freedoms.

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