What America's Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity

Originally published in Fraser Institute

This book demonstrates unmistakably that the growth of government stymies entrepreneurship and threatens prosperity—a demonstration that, it is hoped, will help inspire efforts not just to slow, but to reverse, this growth and return to prosperity.

The United States’ tepid recovery from the 2008 financial crisis is raising concerns about the future of the American economy. Entrepreneurship—the great driver of widespread prosperity and economic growth—is on the wane. Small business start-ups are down, large corporations’ cash hoards are up, and innovation is threatened as a result.

Why? The most likely culprit is the decline, especially since 2008, of economic freedom in America. The United States is today only the ninth freest nation in the developed world, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2014 Annual Report. If the United States were a smaller and less iconic nation, this decline would be less troubling. But given America’s size and historical role in the global economy, the current outpouring of regulations, taxes, and fiscal and monetary irresponsibility from Washington throttle not only the US economy, but the world economy as well. Everyone is made poorer.

The essays in this volume explore this timely issue. Anyone concerned about the current economic malaise will find in these pages a compelling explanation for our troubles and guideposts for reinvigorating economic freedom and entrepreneurship in America and, by extension, the rest of the world.