Monday, March 23, 2015
We need candidates and leaders focused on a freedom agenda and economic growth
Heading into the 2016 presidential election, we need candidates and leaders who are 100% committed to a freedom agenda. The principal group offering an alternative are conservatives who openly support a freedom agenda focused on a smaller, less intrusive federal government and economic growth.
The right way forward is to elect congressional members committed to economic policy reform, small government, federalism and a renewal of states rights wherein social issues would be worked at the state level, and a foreign policy driven by realpolitik considerations.
We must take action to increase the degree of economic freedom by systematically addressing each element in the Index of economic freedom. These are:
1. Reducing the size of government.
2. Adhering to the rule of law and protecting property rights.
3. Supporting a sound currency.
4. Support international trade.
5. Sponsor regulatory reform that reduces costs, and opens markets.
Based on the actions of the Obama administration and liberal left, there is no reason to believe that reform in any of the metrics affecting economic freedom are a top political priority.
In order to discredit a real conservative alternative, the liberal left is advancing the message that conservatives, the one group advocating for a freedom agenda, is composed of people intent on using the power of the state to advance a socially conservative agenda, rather than acknowledging their real purpose and supporting reform.
Regarding conservatives, nothing could be farther from the truth. Real conservatives believe that social issues are not national issues. Conservatives are agnostic as to the resolution of social issues at the federal level because they don’t believe deciding these matters is a federal responsibility or right.
True conservatives believe in federalism. They believe that if social issues need to be worked at all by government they should be addressed at the state level as the founders envisioned.
This isn’t a game. Our country is in real financial trouble, and we need to get our financial house in order. I’m not opposed to extending the debt ceiling to accommodate the deficits that are going to happen because of the recent budget compromise, but, enough is enough.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and all spending isn’t equal. For every dollar taken out of the private sector, whether it comes from a rich man or a poor man, a business or an individual, or is financed by tax revenue or additional debt, that dollar can not be spent but once. When it is spent by the government it will always have less of an economic impact than if it were spent by the private sector.
So, if you want a successful economy the secret is for the government to take as little out of the private sector as possible. The federal government has two jobs–protecting us from foreign powers and state that would violate our constitutional rights, and providing an infrastructure supporting commerce–that’s it.
There are good reasons for limiting the task assigned to government. The first is that for every additional task you give government to do, a degree of personal freedom is lost. And, the second is that government’s are inherently inefficient and they typically do a poor job deciding what to do and once they settle on that, they execute the task poorly. In other words they are not efficient,
This is so because there is an information asymmetry present which the government can not over come. Markets, because of pricing signals, always operates with the best information available at any point in time and therefore allocated capital in the most efficient way under existing circumstances; governments do not.
The result of this is the grouse misallocation of capital and an under performing economy. This means that fewer people have jobs and other factors of production are idle.
Face it folks, the real change that needs to happen can only occur within the Republican Party, as the liberals have far too great of a hold on the Democrat Party to think that changes from that quarter have any chance of succeeding.
Somewhere along the way, the GOP lost its way and confused large government intervention with conservatism. Republicans abandoned in every way, other than in name only, the mantle of being the champion of a small, fiscally conservative, party who champions individual freedom, federalism, and free markets.
Republicans must return to conservatism, support federalism, and to commit themselves to reorganizing the federal government by simplifying its departmental structure, limit its activity (the act of embracing federalism), and committing to regulatory reform that supported free market capitalism.
The idea that conservatism is falling behind simply because a survey says that the GOP is losing ground is mistaken. What is actually happening is that the public well understands that both parties worldview isn’t working and they are seeking an alternative.
Many Americans understand that we have a fundamental problem with the political solutions currently being offered that a different approach is needed.
The largest political grouping in the country is now those calling themselves independents, and this group is overwhelmingly conservative. There also is a large contingent within the Democrat party who are fiscally conservative who would bolt from that party if they had a good conservative alternative.
Given these facts, either the GOP will change to embrace the type of conservatism I laid out or a new party will form to reflect that political philosophy. In either case, the nation must change so that the damage done by the progressives can be rolled back.