The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have a new report promoting the 18th annual release of their "Index of Economic Freedom," the right wing's gold standard for international comparisons of public policy.
It almost goes without saying that since the results "demonstrate that when countries adopt policies leading to high scores, they also enjoy prosperity, economic security and success," the key to winning the future, according to Heritage and the WSJ editorial page, is to become a small East Asian dictatorship…
Hong Kong scored 89.9 on the 1-100 scale, highest worldwide. Singapore, which has ranked second all 18 years, scored 87.5. Australia and New Zealand ranked third and fourth, respectively, enabling the Asia-Pacific region to account for the four highest-ranked countries.
But, but! Mitt Romney says the United States is "the greatest nation in the history of the earth!" By which he must mean we're the greatest at being number 10, since that's where we're ranked, behind sixth place Canada and in a statistical dead-heat with Denmark.
The interesting thing, besides the discovery that Heritage analysts are actually Canadian infiltrators (admitting that other people are better than you was the giveaway), is that many policy interventions that are controversial in the United States come standard in the high-ranking countries.
Hong Kong's public healthcare system is still modeled on the Beveridge Plan that created the British NHS. Canada is well regarded for its single-payer insurance scheme known as
Death to GrandmaMedicare. Switzerland joined the universal healthcare club in 1994. The Danes contribute 49% of the nation's GDP to taxes. Every country in the top 10 has a higher union density than does the United States.
It's almost as if systems of subsidized heath-care, egalitarian tax and spending schemes and pro-labor policy can be a part of "freedom." Just don't tell the Wall Street Journal about the Wall Street Journal's own research — extreme cognitive dissonance isn't covered by most private insurers.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Tags: Canada, Economy, Health Care, Heritage Foundation, Hong Kong, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Unions, Wall Street Journal
The most outspoken member of Congress makes his case to Stephen for why the most unspoken member of the Supreme Court should step away from the bench when the court hears cases involving health care reform (which his wife happens to be making its repeal her life's work)…
Coverage continues after the jump.
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Tags: Anthony Weiner, Clarence Thomas, Fox, Health Care, Heritage Foundation, House of Representatives, Judiciary, Megyn Kelly, New York, Supreme Court, Virginia Lamp Thomas
Good for you, Texas! You did it!
A lot of people thought that you couldn't possibly legislate your way into a completely alternative reality than the rest of the world with just a little gumption and a fair share of prayer to Bronze Age Middle Eastern deities, but not me! I always had faith in you!
After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday voted to approve a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Father’s commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light…
The conservative members maintain that they are trying to correct what they see as a liberal bias among the teachers who proposed the curriculum. To that end, they made dozens of minor changes aimed at calling into question, among other things, concepts like the separation of church and state and the secular nature of the American Revolution…
They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about "the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schalfly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association."
Great ideas all around. I've always said that we need more information about the NRA in our schoolbooks. Don't you feel like you had a dangerously low amount of semi-automatic rifle learnin' back in grade school? (Yes, you do, obviously.)
Oh, and that's not all! The Texas BOE also voted to keep out references to deviants like transvestites, transsexuals and Thomas Jefferson. It's about time someone booted that old queen, am I right. (Yes, of course I am, obviously.)
Tags: Bill of Rights, Christianity, Conservatives, Constitution, Education, Guns, Heritage Foundation, LGBT, Newt Gingrich, NRA, Phyllis Schlafly, Religion, Texas, Thomas Jefferson