Sacred cow chainsawed.

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 @ 12:53 am | Clueless Conservatives

Rightwingers, plug your ears! (tip: Sullivan)

Plenty of European countries have markets about as free as those in the land of the free. Look at the ratings provided by the annual Economic Freedom of the World report, co-published by the Cato Institute. On four broad categories of economic freedom — legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation — the United States was slightly “freer” than Sweden, the United Kingdom, Austria, Finland, and Switzerland. Meanwhile, Ireland, the Netherlands and, by a wide margin, Denmark were found to have freer markets. Note that the two highest scorers have two of the biggest welfare states in the world — which just goes to show that blurring issues of regulation and redistribution, as Brooks tries to do, leads to intellectual confusion.

Co-published by the Cato Institute? And they didn’t automatically plug America into the #1 spot? Traitors!!!

This is good too:

A 2001paper, “Why Doesn’t the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?” by economists Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote, provides powerful evidence that race is at the center of the story. There’s a strong negative relationship between a country’s racial heterogeneity and its levels of social spending, and within the U.S., states with larger black populations spend less on welfare programs. “Americans think of the poor as members of some different group than themselves, while Europeans think of the poor as members of their group,” the paper concludes.

Two words: Welfare queens. The GOP is still convinced that there’s lazy darkies out there getting all their tax money; it’s one of their animating beliefs. Whether aid has positive benefits or not, whether it’s good for the country or not, the (white) identity politics prevail.

-hw

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