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
International/financial/extraterrestrial expert Sarah Palin's big speech at a Hong Kong investment forum happened yesterday, and lucky for us, the Wall Street Journal gotcha'd its hands on a tape of the double secret event (closed to press, of course).
It seems Sarah Palin talked about everything, literally everything, from the econopocalypse (blame over-regulation) (??) to China ("makes people nervous") to Afghanistan to health reform to the Fed to, who knows, Trig's bowels?
Let's listen in as the unemployed lady tackles another hot-button issue: immigration…
She also spoke about how Alaska once shared a land bridge with Asia. And she noted that her husband's Eskimo ancestors crossed that bridge. "To consider that connection that allowed sharing of peoples and bloodlines and wildlife and flora and fauna, that connection to me is quite fascinating," she said.
INCORRECT. There is nothing "fascinating" about sneaking off to a foreign country to admit that your husband's family is full of Illegals. Come on, Sarah.
Todd Palin better not be getting any health care, ever.
Tags: Alaska, Asia, Hong Kong, Sarah Palin, Todd Palin
Remember last week when we all found out that Sarah Palin was planning on traveling to the faraway kingdom of Asia to deliver a speech before all the mesmerized Asian subjects?
Well, what's the Asian word for "practical joke"?
CLSA, the Asia-focused broker who invited Mrs. Palin as keynote speaker
for an Asian investment conference, is well known for their cheeky takes on investment research.
In the past, they've polled Asian fortune tellers for index targets, hired anime cartoonists to draw Japanese research, and generally love to push the boundaries between entertainment and analysis. They are a real research firm, it's just that they love to sprinkle in some hilarity every now and then as a smart marketing gimmick.
Sarah Palin is this year's big laugh for them.
Wow. Just wow. It's so unlike her to fall prey to a thing like this.
Tags: China, Hong Kong, Sarah Palin
Since becoming unemployed Sarah Palin has had more time to focus on her hobbies, which for a dedicated former public servant like Sarah Palin involve learning about the issues of the day, so she can write Facebook notes about them.
Next on Ms. Palin's agenda? A trip to Asia, her first ever, to address the CLSA Investors' Forum in Hong Kong. Take that, everybody who says Sarah Palin lacks foreign policy experience…
CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, a Hong Kong-based brokerage, announced Monday that the former Republican candidate for the U.S. vice presidency and, until she resigned last month, governor of Alaska, will address the Sept. 21-25 [Investors' Forum] in what a press release called "her first international speaking engagement outside North America."
But look! Also too! The CLSA forum is "Asia’s premier investment conference providing unrivaled corporate access to 1,300 global fund managers from 32 countries, representing more than $10 trillion in funds under management," which means that Sarah Palin will simultaneously become an expert in international finance, all in one trip!
And if the multitasking Ms. Palin samples a traditional dim sum feast during her visit, why, she'll be able to launch her own gourmet cooking show just as soon as she gets home.
Tags: Alaska, Asia, Economy, Hong Kong, International Affairs, Sarah Palin