The New Face of Economic Freedom

|February 21, 2024
American flag on a Golden bitcoin coin on us dollars

We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and, ultimately, human fulfillment are created from the bottom up, not the government down.

Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success – only then can societies remain alive, dynamic, prosperous, progressive and free.

Those words come from President Reagan, the first of only two U.S. presidents to visit the floor of the NYSE while in office. (The other was George W. Bush.)

We share them as a nod to Presidents’ Day… as well as to illustrate just how wonky perceptions of a free market system have become. After all, it’s no stretch to suggest that, in certain circles, Reagan’s comments would be deemed controversial today.

A recent Pew Research survey found that almost 40% of Americans – across political lines – have a negative view of capitalism. And among those aged 18 to 29, the numbers are even worse. A full 60% of responders had a somewhat negative or negative view of capitalism.

And yet, when we look to our borders, we see torrents of asylum-seekers fleeing authoritarian regimes. They’re looking to make a new start in what they perceive to be the world’s freest, wealthiest nation.

China, whose economy has exploded since Reagan’s time in office, is losing citizens in droves. Tens of thousands of Chinese nationals crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. during 2023… more than 10 times the amount who crossed in 2022.

Clearly they see something that a growing number of Americans can’t see.

Of course, none of this is to say that the U.S. economy – and the way it’s managed – isn’t in dire need of correction.

As we’ve noted many times here in the Digest, our debt levels are out of control, homelessness is soaring and increasingly it seems that government subsidies are the only thing keeping us afloat.

But even as decades of mismanagement have muddied the path ahead, the ingenuity of the free market continues to create opportunities for investors. It’s still the driving force behind economic growth in our (still) great nation.

Robert outlined a perfect example yesterday.

As you know, he’s been closely following the situation with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. The gains have been fast and furious this year… and it looks like the sector is just getting warmed up.

Yet in all the partisan bickering, many folks tend to forget that certain cryptocurrencies represent a lot more than big financial returns (or the potential for big returns). Around the world, they’ve created an alternative to fiat currencies and monetary systems that are, frankly, dangerous to the citizens who depend on them.

“Bitcoin represents freedom,” Robert wrote, “especially for those fleeing authoritarian governments.”

It’s a classic example of free market ingenuity creating opportunity for all.

If you missed it, you can give Robert’s piece a read here. And as always, you can keep scrolling for our other recently published pieces below.