Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Myths of American 'Cowboy Capitalism'

A great piece from Thomas Hemphill and Mark Perry, at the American:
The historical trends of the last decade show that when it comes to the regulation of American business operations, the direct involvement of government in providing subsidies to specific industries, and the level of federal taxation of corporate income, the “cowboy capitalism” moniker applied to the U.S. political economy is more myth than fact. To the extent that America may have deserved the distinction of being a “cowboy capitalist” nation in the 1980s, that distinction has clearly changed in recent years as economic freedom in the United States has suffered a steep decline since the turn of the millennium.

And what would it take for the United States to regain its ranking among the world’s most “free” economies? According to Heritage, it “will require significant policy reforms, particularly in reducing the size of government, overhauling the tax system, transforming costly entitlement programs, and streamlining regulations.” Those are serious fiscal and institutional challenges that realistically could take several decades to successfully address, suggesting that any significant shift in the direction of a “freer” market economy and “cowboy capitalism” would be generations away.
Via Maggie's Farm.