"Dr. Buchanan advances a vision of government—especially the federal government—that I find attractive. There is, alas, a lingering nostalgia for the vision of the minimalist state as a purer form of government, one that advances everyone’s economic well-being while maximizing personal freedom. While I have a romantic attachment to this vision, I’m far from convinced that it would achieve the goals set for it—that we’d be living in a better world today if only we repudiated the New Deal, or had never adopted it in the first place. Whenever I try to imagine what such a world would look like, I look at the world we do live in and recognize that we don’t have it so bad at all. We have the world’s strongest economy by far; we are the only superpower, having managed to bury the Evil Empire; and we have more freedom than any other people anytime in history. We must be doing something right."
Could it be true that "we have more freedom than any other people anytime in history"? The Index of Economic Freedom does not rank our system of political economy at the top of the heap today, and it seems to show economic freedom on the decline in our system of late. Could it really be true that the people of the United States prior to the Democrat Supreme Court's of FDR and Truman had less economic freedom than we do today? Could it really be true that the people of the United States had less economic freedom during the "economic due process era" of Supreme Court constitutional jurisprudence than we do today? Can it really be true that we have greater freedom today when government can take a person's house to become the private property of another, than the people of the United States had when the Supreme Court said this could not be done?