Remember how we broke the story on the State of World Liberty and pretty much all of Eastern Europe picked it up?
Well, now theis doing so. They put an article out on September 5 about Estonia’s ranking in Nick Wilson’s index, and the reason for it and what it’s done to Estonia. I think this is pretty much an airtight case against socialism, too.
Since you have to register for the article, I found it reprinted here. But here’s the relevant portions:
Economists call Estonia the Baltic Tiger, the sequel to the Celtic Tiger as Europe’s success story, and its policies are more radical than Ireland’s. On this year’s State of World Liberty Index, a ranking of countries by their economic and political freedom, Estonia is in first place, just ahead of Ireland and seven places ahead of the U.S. (North Korea comes in last at 159th.)
It transformed itself from an isolated, impoverished part of the Soviet Union thanks to a former prime minister, Mart Laar, a history teacher who took office not long after Estonia was liberated. He was 32 years old and had read just one book on economics: “Free to Choose,” by Milton Friedman, which he liked especially because he knew Friedman was despised by the Soviets.
Laar was politically naÃ¯ve enough to put the theories into practice. Instead of worrying about winning trade wars, he unilaterally disarmed by abolishing almost all tariffs. He welcomed foreign investors and privatized most government functions (with the help of a privatization czar who had formerly been the manager of the Swedish pop group Abba). He drastically cut taxes on businesses and individuals, instituting a simple flat income tax of 26 percent.
These reforms were barely approved by the legislature amid warnings of disaster: huge budget deficits, legions of factory workers and farmers who would lose out to foreign competition. But today the chief concerns are what to do with the budget surplus and how to deal with a labor shortage.
It’s obvious: socialism can’t hold a candle to the free market insofar as the creation of wealth, or its equitable distribution, goes. They have no argument.