Economic Freedom of the World and an Abundant Future

Nations that are economically free out-perform non-free nations in indicators of well-being

Nations in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita GDP of $36,770 in 2017, compared to $6,140 for bottom quartile nations (PPP constant US$) (exhibit 1.6).

In the top quartile, the average income of the poorest 10% was $10,646, compared to $1,503 in the bottom quartile in 2017 (exhibit 1.10). Interestingly, the average income of the poorest 10% in the most economically free nations is two-thirds higher than the average per-capita income in the least-free nations.

In the top quartile, 1.8% of the population experience extreme poverty (US$1.90 a day) compared to 27.2% in the lowest quartile (exhibit 1.11 ).

Infant mortality is 6.7 per 1,000 live births in the top quartile compared to 40.5 in the bottom quartile (exhibit 1.8).

Life expectancy is 79.4 years in the top quartile compared to 65.2 years in the bottom quartile (exhibit 1.7).

A number of other outcomes are more positive in economically free nations than in those that lack economic freedom. For example:

Political and civil liberties are considerably higher in economically free nations than in unfree nations (exhibit 1.12).

Gender equality is greater in economically free nations (exhibit 1.13).

Happiness levels are higher in economically free nations (exhibit 1.14). __

Nations of Europe and the Anglosphere Tend Toward More Economic Freedom

Europe burst ahead of the rest of the world beginning around the year 1500 AD. Ancient Greek knowledge reclaimed from Islam in the reconquista of Spain and other sources, helped trigger a surge in systematic scholarship and experimentation that brought about a new age of critical rationalism. Steve Davies of London’s Institute of Economic Affairs recently published a detailed book that examines why Europe birthed a new age of economic freedom and prosperity.

Other nations such as China and India had been very wealthy and innovative. But they had never systematised thought in science, technology, or other technical areas underlying the innovative process. Thus ancient innovations tended to be isolated, used primarily for the benefit and amusement of wealthy elites, then died out to be forgotten until accidentally reinvented.

More on Steve Davies and his book “The Wealth Explosion:”

Modernity brought fundamental changes in human life, which percolated in every aspect of society. When Reverend Thomas Malthus published his Essay on Population in 1798, the observable reality was that “all human beings, even many of the wealthy, were always living on the edge of dearth and famine.” Sure enough, Malthus “proved to be one of the worst prophets ever,” writes Davies, “given the way things have worked out from his time to our own,” but he described well the world he knew. Resource constraints made human civilization seem a rather precarious thing.

… If we now think civilization stands on firmer ground, it is precisely because innovation has unleashed unprecedented growth. In a world that keeps breaking the chains of scarcity, “a growing population is not the inevitable premise of mass starvation. But, on the contrary, hands and heads that can further contribute to creating prosperity and wealth.” Two centuries after Malthus, economist Julian Simon could label human beings themselves as “the ultimate resources.” We all know that each of us is at the same time a resource and a constraint for others, if only for elbow room. How much of a resource and how much of constraint largely depends on our circumstances. In a world of economic growth and open-ended innovation, Simon, not Malthus, proved to be right.

This is the gist of modern economic growth: something that not only provides more, but does so for more people. __

Economies that are freer tend to provide more good for more people. Theories of political economy such as socialism promise to provide more value for more people, but socialism always reveals itself to be a lying and brutal overlord of impoverishment in the end.

Intelligent people tend to look beneath the claims of politicians, journalists, and academics, to the deeper context of historical experience. Socialists typically appeal to the young, naive, and unintelligent — who are easily lied to.

Most of What Was Special About Europe Can Easily Fade Away

Economic Success Correlates With National Average IQ
More at VDare

Back in 1500, the average intelligence of Europeans was high enough to provide sufficient numbers of bright scholars to take the ancient Greek knowledge — augmented by other old knowledge from the East — and ignite the most startling revolution of thought and technology the world had ever seen. As a result, the nations of Europe became wealthy and powerful, and their people began to live longer and healthier lives.

The effects of that revolution live on in the higher prosperity of Europe and the Anglosphere, and in the superiority of institutions of higher learning in the western world. While Europe and the Anglosphere continue to enjoy high average population IQ combined with freer and less corrupt institutions, they are likely to continue to ride a wave of innovation.

But these prosperous nations are not breeding new generations at a sufficient rate, and they are allowing the indiscriminate influx of immigration from low-IQ, high-violence, high-corruption nations. As a result, the very basis of their earlier prosperity is being eroded.

Books such as The Wealth Explosion help us understand some of the reasons why Europe was able to burst through “the Malthusian limit.” But what goes up can come down, if populations and policies move too far away from the bases of the original rise.

Insufficient Criticism of Bad Ideas Can Lead to Disaster

As an example of “a bad idea” that is receiving insufficient criticism, we can look at today’s “renewable energy” technologies. Big wind and big solar cannot possibly power a modern civilisation. And yet nations across the western world are squandering vast quantities of scarce resources in the futile attempt to make them work:

Wind and solar are inherently intermittent means for power generation. They only work when the wind blows or the sun shines. We need to account for the cost of batteries or the cost of conventional power as backup for wind and solar when comparing the cost of power. None of the current Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) measures account for this. Neither do standard LCOE measures account for (1) the additional cost of interconnections required, nor (2) the cost of managing networks with highly volatile energy inputs, nor (3) the efficiency losses resulting from keeping coal, gas, or nuclear power as backup. Number (3) is interesting and actually explains why the total cost of power goes up the more wind or solar you install beyond a certain point. What that certain point is depends on the country and region, but one thing is sure: Germany is beyond that point, illustrated by their high-power prices (Figure 2).

… one annual Gigafactory production of 50 GWh of Tesla batteries would be enough to provide backup for 6 minutes for the entire US power consumption. Today’s battery technology unfortunately cannot be the solution of intermittency.

… it is very worrying that young people are taught in school to fear the warming created by fossil-fuel burning. We had 1 degree of warming in the past 200 years. The “human cause” has much more to do with the heat that our existence (energy consumption) produces and releases to the biosphere rather than with CO2. The majority of warming is natural, caused by the sun as we are coming out of the Little Ice Age that ended about 300 years ago. We are not heading into a catastrophe, but we need to worry about real pollutants to our environment and the waste we create. This is where we should focus our attention and spend our resources. [ed: not on CO2]

Wind and solar – while certainly being appropriate for certain applications such as heating a pool, and thus earning a place in the energy mix – cannot and will not replace conventional power. We need a “New Energy Revolution”. To reach this New Energy Revolution we need to invest more in base research and at the same time invest in, not divest from, conventional power to make it efficient and environmentally friendly. ___

It takes abysmal ignorance and gullibility to believe that a modern civilisation can run on wind and solar energy. But one of the main purposes of modern education, politics, and media is to generate a widespread and abysmal ignorance and gullibility. And such deficits in intelligence and wisdom can only spell trouble for the future unless they are reversed.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

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1 Response to Economic Freedom of the World and an Abundant Future

  1. John says:

    Always enjoy your writing and wish I could get more than a thought or two out at a time.
    just a thought on socialism that I’v only read or heard in bits and peaces reading mostly My spin on it would be that we are all socialist to one point or another but do not think it thru to the end. On a small scale family, friends you want to be helpful and give and human nature is lazy so we think that if we can give and help thru the goverment then we don’t have to help those that cannot help themselves, almost everyone including self serving sicopathic suckers care about something other than themseves even if it is only there dog. So something in human nature wants to help and almost any and all organizations are willing to take our willingness to be helpful and our nature to be lazy and make a living out of being the middle man to dole out the money that at first we want to give and eventually they take as a tax or tif a church or plea to end hunger or whatever.
    I think the easy way to say it is socialism is in our blood at the family level and we try to bring it to the national level and create a disaster out of it.

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