Open Markets and “Free Trade” Have Failed America

Publisher’s Note: This article points out the glaring fact that free markets do not work. Free trade is nothing more than open access for foreign companies, allowing them to destroy our economy with their predatory practices. Our leaders should take notice of this and learn from other nations who’s economic systems are more effective and efficient than ours currently is.

American policy makers poured money into the economy to stave off a full-blown Depression, intervening in the financial markets, the auto industry, the housing sector and other areas of the economy, causing the U.S. to lose its “free” rating, according to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom.

Conducted jointly by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, the study measure economic freedom on a 100 point scale based on 10 different attributes that acre scored and then averaged: Business freedom, trade freedom, monetary freedom, government size, fiscal freedom, property rights, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, labor freedom.

For the first time in the survey’s 16-year history, the U.S. lost points in the scoring, falling from a “free” economy to a “mostly free” economy. Still, according to the survey, the U.S. is the eighth most open economy out of 159 studies. However, the U.S. 2.7 point decline was the steepest of the world’s 20 largest economies.

Ahead of the U.S. in terms of economic freedom are, in order, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland and Canada.

Perhaps more telling, however, are the ranking of some of America’s top trading partners.

Competing with the U.S. for the world’s top economy are Germany and Japan, which are ranked 23rd and 19th, respectively. France, which also has one of the world’s largest economies, is ranked just 64th, and is considered only “moderately free.”

Emerging as America’s top economic competitor in the 21st Century, however, is China, which ranks near the bottom of the list. Beijing’s extremely closed economy is ranked 140th out of 159 nations, receiving a rating of “mostly unfree.”

While the report blames the loss of some economic freedom in the U.S. mainly on government intervention into key sectors of the economy, the authors also blame the current administration’s lack of commitment to free trade policies.

“Leadership in free trade is likely to be further undermined by ‘Buy American’ provisions in stimulus legislation and failure to pursue previously agreed free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea,” the report read.

Those claims, however, seemed to be undermined by the very same report. In it, it finds that, of the three nations the U.S. has pending free trade agreements with, South Korea is ranked the highest in terms of economic freedom at 31st, followed by Columbia at 58th and Panama at 60th.

The study is also telling, in that it demonstrates rather clearly that America’s trading partners are not nearly as committed to openness as the U.S.

Of the 18 nations, the U.S. currently has operating free trade agreements with, only five are ranked in the top ten. The rest – save for Bahrain at 13th – fall far outside of the even the top 20. Nine are ranked “moderately free,” while three are ranked “mostly unfree.”

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