The Right Opinion

Restoring Confidence

By Michael Reagan · Dec. 6, 2012

Help us, we're falling and we can't get up again.

Once upon a time – in 1988 and 1998 to be exact – the United States was the best country for a baby to be born and raised in, at least according to The Economist magazine.

But the 2013 edition of the magazine's “where-to-be-born” index has us down at No. 16 – tied with Germany and one spot ahead of the United Arab Emirates.

Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – nice countries but not exactly world famous as destinations for millions of people seeking opportunity – are ranked 1 through 5.

The Economist's annual ranking tries to quantify what country “will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.”

It crunches and weighs the numbers for 11 indicators – everything from geography and demography to GDP per capita, the cost of living and future economic growth prospects. And, unfortunately for the United States, it weighs government debt.

The Economist doesn't factor a debt-related reason America will likely continue to slide in these rankings – no one today has any confidence in our political leaders to solve our economic problems.

Our economy is stuck on a reef. Growth is too low. The prospects of a real recovery coming anytime soon are dim and getting dimmer, not brighter.

It's so bad, even illegal aliens are losing confidence in America and leaving the country. And Citigroup just announced it is laying off 11,000 employees. Obviously, its bosses don't have much hope for a better future, either.

Back in the 1980s, we had more confidence in our political leaders because they actually earned it from time to time.

When my father was in the White House and Democrats controlled Congress, both parties fought bitterly with each other.

But when it came time to work out a solution to get the economy moving forward, they sat down and cut deals to lower or simplify taxes and to ease or eliminate onerous regulations.

In the 1990s, the roles were reversed. Clinton was president, Republicans ran Congress and partisanship was fierce. But when they had to do it, the leaders of both parties worked out a way to balance the budget and reform welfare.

In the old days, conservatives and liberals – loyal R's and die-hard D's – buried their hatchets and ultimately found a way to work together.

Today, we don't seem to even want both parties to cooperate. We demonize the other side so much we can't imagine ever working with them to fix the Capitol Building's roof, much less the economy.

Fast-forward to 2012. Does anyone have confidence in our leaders to work together to pull the Supertanker of State off the reef, much less turn it around?

We know what makes America work better for everyone today and in the future – or we used to. It's when government is smaller and the private sector is bigger, not vice versa.

The American people have lost confidence in their leaders for good reasons. Politicians from both parties in Washington have to join to clean up the economic mess they created or that confidence will never be restored.

If they don't do it soon, being ranked No. 16 on The Economist's “best place to be born” index will look pretty good to our grandkids.

Copyright ©2012 Michael Reagan

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8 Comments

wjm in Colorado said:

If the treasonous marxists have their way, there will be no ranking, the collapse will kill off the country and anarchy will be the rule in the hinterlands, while Obmao the King will enjoy his fifedom on the Potomac. Obamao wants to destroy the Constitution. It is obvious to anyone left that is not an economic illiterate. The sheeple have voted for security from the government, and that too is fleeting.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

Michael Reagan waits till mid essay to mention his father. Perhaps one day Michael will write something interesting without that crutch. In the meantime we can simply hope Michael writes something interesting either way.

He writes with little ability and no original ideas especially with regard to his father's talent for optimism.

President Reagan took office during what some called "the malaise" of President Carter's "Era of limits". That mood was critical because it allowed RR to play the upbeat "Morning in America" line.

In this case Michael simply imagines things worked better in the past. Consider this trope "Clinton was president, Republicans ran Congress and partisanship was fierce. But when they had to do it, the leaders of both parties worked out a way to balance the budget and reform welfare."

President Clinton was at the nadir of his political life, a second term was a far fetched idea. Then, Newtie came to the rescue by shutting down government. The President's rating soared and the R's lost dozens of seats in Congress.

The factual history is so much more interesting than conservative's pretend history. You kids should open a book now and then.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:34 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Your revisionist history is hysterical Gregory. Maybe you should take your own advise and recognise truth other than your liberal propoganda. You are a traitor, and I hope your eternity in hell suits you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

There will be no security or freedom if Odumbo gets his way. The government will control every aspect of our lives. All decisions will be made by the elite in Pollutiion on the Potomac and the sheeple will have to follow along or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, The rest of us who see through his BS will have to suffer right along with the sheeple. Serves the stupid asses right for voting for Odumbo and his intention to turn us into a Third World country or a copy of European Socialism. I suspect he intends to go even further than that unless the patriots in this country rise up and say enough is enough. I'm not sure we have enough patriots left to stop his agenda. I sincerly hope so!

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

Gregory, dude, you must be a happy camper. Your socialist party won. Yeah, we conservatives are down in the dumps about it, of course. When we see a once great America, a stronghold for capitalism and individual success fall into the hands of socialists, it is much to our chagrin. So, yeah, we are disappointed.

I'm just wondering how or if you will be disappointed when the situation in America reaches out and bites your ass, or if you will stand by the socialist creed until the end. You say you own a business. Okay, are you ready for the 21 tax hikes buried in Obamacare over the next ten years? If you are successful (over 250K), are you ready for post-fiscal cliff? Are you ready for the time in the not-so-distant future when the monies we spend outpace the monies collected? Can't you see this, Gregory? It's not just us "kids" saying these things, Gregory, it's some of the best economic minds in our country and the world...some even from the current administration.

So, Gregory, you'll have to put up with us kids being disappointed to see our once great country diminished to third world status...and as the author of this piece says, we're already at number 16. Enjoy the downhill run, bud.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Tex, Your wasting your time on Greggy. He is busy sucking down his baby bottle full of Socialist tea. The poor little fellow needs to grow up and quite wetting his diapers everytime a Conservative writes something he doesn't like. From the smell of his rants I suspect he did more than wet himself.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

Grigori owns a business? What can it be I wonder? Bongs-R-Us?

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

I would rather eat shite, than spend day & nite, on the teets of L.W. SOCIALISM!! The King of Kings-Born in a lowly manger stable, in Bethlehem!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 6:36 AM