Sunday, September 25, 2005


Life in the Free World

In Poland, they're fighting over whether to institute a 15% flat income tax for everyone, or have two brackets, 18% and 28%. True, this is on top of a 15% value added tax paid before retail sale, but either way, nobody seems to be screaming to soak the rich only.

In Ireland, another country that took the bracing plunge into cold capitalist waters, growth next year is expected to come in at 6.5%. That's a lot of opportunity, a lot of scope for people's commercial dreams to come true. Oh and gee, the murderous IRA have just turned in their weapons. Now that the country they have been trying to terrorize is growing and expanding, who has time for such adolescent acting out?

Indeed, a broad if not complete survey of the entire world shows that its "economic freedom" score, calculated by averaging each country's score and dividing, rose from 5.2 to 6.4 from 1985 to now. This is for the 109 countries that were measured in 1985, with only seven such countries going backwards. But again, how many newspapers is that information going to sell?

Freedom. Feeding, clothing and enabling the better part of a planet for the better part of a decade, with only more to come.


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