Political gridlock, the government shutdown, and Obamacare are making Americans gloomy. But, largely thanks to economic freedom and the free-market system, things aren’t so bad after all.

Americans are currently healthier than at any time in history, live in cleaner environments than most of the world, and have access to more of the best educational institutions. Economic freedom and the free market encourage a competitive environment that helps to produce the best social outcomes for citizens.

According to research by The Heritage Foundation, students from countries with higher levels of economic freedom stay in school longer and have higher test scores.


For decades, the U.S. was a leader in economic freedom and a model of the free market. Thanks to the prosperity that this freedom has brought, we have been able to solve complex social issues such as illiteracy, disease, and environmental degradation. But our freedom is slipping. Since 2007, economic freedom in the U.S. has been declining.

If we want to maintain the wonderful quality of life we enjoy now—with good education, good health care, and clean environments—we must get back to the basics of economic freedom: respect for the rule of law, limited government, efficient regulations, and open markets.