Two strains in our understanding of freedom seem to run deep in our culture, but rarely do we spell out their very powerfully different implications. So, with the hope of triggering rich debate, let me try.
Chinese-style "manipulation" is clearly a disaster. While it has generated 35 years of stunning economic growth, it has also forced rich people around the world to endure a week-long, anxiety-provoking drop in stock prices!
Modern conservatism is inherently big-government oriented. If you want to police the world, as well as every uterus, marriage and bedroom in the country, you have to spend money. Big government is inherent in the conservative agenda.
In addition to fortifying women with more choices and freedoms in areas like education, healthcare and nutrition, I think that one of the most powerful ways to expedite "a better future for all" is to give women greater economic freedom and opportunities.
Many young people I meet these days hold economic views that are pro-market and entrepreneurial. They also believe in social tolerance, and wonder where that places them politically. Are they Republicans? Democrats?
The decrease in economic freedom experienced thus far doesn't mean that the U.S. is about to turn into a poor third world country. But it does imply low or stagnant growth that slows our improvement in living standards.
America has prospered historically because we have chosen economic freedom rather than political allocation and crony capitalism. To the extent we move away from economic freedom, our future prosperity will be diminished.