On Monday, I registered my concern that our great country has slipped from sixth position to tenth position since 2009 in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. In the second part of this Independence Day-inspired series, I’d like to outline a route to recovery for the U.S. and propose a way for our great country to realize its own BestPossible self.
A BestPossible world is achievable by definition. It would be composed of nations with a weighted average economic freedom score approaching 100. The latest Heritage Foundation data shows that the average score for 185 countries evaluated is 59.6. By combining those figures with population data published by the World Population Reference Bureau, I calculated a recent weighted average for those countries to be 67.6. From this perspective, the recent U.S. score of 76.0 is well above the world average – but also far short of where we have been and where we could be. Though internationally we remain 33.4 percent short of a BestPossible economic freedom, there is a way to close that gap – BestPossible is always possible.
Conflicts between good and evil will ebb and flow, but the prevailing movement will always be toward brighter horizons. Journeys toward BestPossible take time, but it is clear what must be done. Because my vision of a BestPossible world comes from common sense and conforms to natural law, it is likely similar to what any wholesome, freedom-loving person would describe. This collective vision is what will continue to drive us to where we can and ought to be. But given the current turmoil in the Middle East, Brazil, Africa and our own country, most would think of such a world as centuries away – if not an impossible dream. However, natural law dictates that malevolent people who insist on living in opposition to nature cannot prevail. There is nothing natural about one group of people seizing and exercising control over another group against its will. Certainly, several more atrocities will be perpetrated as you read this article. But such deprivation of freedom is contrary to natural law and eventually will lead to the self-destruction of it perpetrators.
In the meantime, there’s more good news for the rest of us. A BestPossible world is a dream that can be pursued, and many of our successes can be enjoyed immediately. Just as the world is made better one person and one good deed at a time, so BestPossible is to be enjoyed in increments. Understanding this dream is as simple as grasping the difference between right and wrong, between dark and bright.
I have no illusions of perfection. I know that nature requires us to live by choice and that there will always be those who choose to behave wrongfully either by default or design. But I also know that their numbers will eventually dwindle into manageable distractions. Most certainly, I know my dream is possible and worthy of effort to help it become a reality.
As you celebrate this Fourth of July and those to come, I invite you to join me and millions of other freedom-loving Americans in reconfirming our nation’s Declaration of Independence, in honoring the wisdom and courage of our founding fathers, and in doing our individual and collective best to preserve our heritage and our constitution’s safeguards.