Tonight, in lieu of a regular Madison Liberty meeting, we hosted John Hardin, a program manager from the Charles Koch Foundation. He gave a presentation on prosperity and economic freedom. I’m not usually a graph person, but he had a powerpoint and a short video from the Koch Foundation that had some really interesting graphs showing the relationship between economic freedom and things like average income per capita, happiness index, and life expectancy. The graphs showed a strong correlation between economic freedom and things most people would consider elements of a prosperous society—not a big shock. The lack of exceptions to the correlations was what really surprised me. No countries without at least a midrange level of economic freedom had high average income or long life expectancy. All the countries with a low economic freedom ranking had high percentages of infant mortality and child labor.
It was scary to see what happens in countries with less economic freedom, especially since our own economic freedom is under attack every day. Hopefully groups like the Koch Foundation (and Madison Liberty) can make a difference by spreading the word about the benefits of economic freedom and the risks of big government and loads of regulation.