How Does one Explain the Difference Between the Success of the U.S. Economy and Developing Countries?

Despite the humble roots, I was born with a silver spoon because I was born in the United States and given opportunities that are not even available for royalty in other countries. The same goes for millions of us in America. Some would dismiss my situation as privilege. I call them freedom.

In the 1980s, I traveled the world flying P3 Orions for the USN to such hot spots as Mogadishu, Somalia; Djibouti; Muscat, Oman; and the Philippines. I witnessed people living in poverty with no hope for a better future. My international business career took me to dozens of other countries, including China, Korea, India, and many European countries where I saw economic growth amid economic deprivation.

How to explain the difference between the success of the US economy and the bleak existence of developing countries? Simply stated, our Founding document, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, combined with the Rule of Law.

The inspired proposition of the Declaration that all men – king and poor – are born with the right to protection of their life, liberty, intellectual and physical property extinguished the human spirit in this new nation called the United States. In our time, leaders like Ronald Reagan made sure we kept that promise, which drew people from all over the world to America to live the best life they could.

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A friend recently asked rhetorically whether any country is luckier on earth than ours because it has the likes of Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin. This man understood the obstacles to creating any kind of government, let alone a premise on the concept of self-government that had never been tested before.

History taught our Founders that politicians would be so comfortable with their power that they would ensconce themselves firmly in office until they, not the electorate, decided it was time to go. Therefore, our framers believe that an informed citizenry will check this type of abuse. Unfortunately, modern voters do not live up to their expectations.

In Connecticut, one only has to look at Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Representatives Courtney, DeLauro, and Larson, and countless state-level officials like Martin Looney and Bob Duff, each with decades in office, to see what career politicians are like. Unfortunately, voters have failed to heed the warnings from the back.

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This devolution to a government led by partisan ideologues is destroying our liberties. With almost absolute power these politicians are wasting tax dollars on various pet schemes that do not promote human flourishing or protect our sovereignty. Instead, untold trillions of dollars are spent to influence votes and maintain power. How else does one explain Gov. Ned Lamont convenient dispersal of election year checks to key constituencies?

In Connecticut, when a neighbor is about to retire, the inevitable question is, “Where are you going?” It is assumed that he will not live in the country. The most frequently named countries of all have higher levels of economic freedom. These retirees are not greedy; they just want to keep control of their hard-earned savings to spend as they see fit. We have reached a point where it is easier for people to leave their families and friends for countries that allow them to exercise their freedom. Very few other countries have such a high level of out-migration of citizens when they retire.

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With one political party in control in Connecticut, we see Democrats using their position to hold power. A favorite feint is to point to evil corporations that do not pay their “fair share” in taxes. Those who insist on this canard are either economically illiterate or dishonest, perhaps both. Taxes are just a line item on the P & L statement; as with all operating costs, corporations will pass them on to customers. The claim that the wealthy should pay more is a dodge for the fact that Hartford should spend less.

Connecticut needs to change the paradigm and elect incumbents who have held office for decades. As citizens we must examine the country’s trajectory, think for ourselves, and be diligent in protecting our rights. Then we have to choose to change. I challenge those who say, “I always vote for Democrats because they take care of me” to rethink their premise and see how new leadership can help us all regain our economic and social freedom.

Robert Ham
Cheshire, CT


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