In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:


May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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Intellectual Property: As Global Economy Deteriorates, US Remains Atop International IP Index Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 11 2016
In an increasingly competitive global economy that becomes progressively knowledge-based with each passing day, the importance for the U.S. of maintaining a legal and regulatory environment protective of IP rights becomes even more critical.

We're still number one. 

In the realm of intellectual property (IP) protection, that is. 

That feels refreshing to say, especially given America's steady and tragically unnecessary decline in other measures of global leadership and prestige in recent years. 

Moreover, as the global economy approaches what increasingly appears to be a dangerous precipice, America's IP exceptionalism doesn't just help explain why we've managed to weather the turbulence comparatively better than the economies of Europe, Japan and China.  It also offers an encouraging sign that we'll continue to flourish in an increasingly knowledge-based global market.  

That depends, however, upon resisting threats to undermine America's IP standing, both domestically and abroad. 

The specific occasion for this latest opportunity to celebrate American exceptionalism is the release this week of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual International IP Index

Even more specifically, it's worth celebrating that the U.S. remains atop the Index relative to the world's other leading economies. 

Each year, the Chamber's Index employs objective, quantifiable criteria to measure the relative IP environments of the world's 38 largest economies constituting 85% of worldwide output.  Those six broad categories include patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret protections, as well as IP enforcement and commitment to international IP standards. 

Importantly, however, the Index doesn't simply measure each nation's relative IP performance.  It also objectively illustrates how strong IP protections correlate with a nation's economic well-being.  Simply put, stronger IP protections directly translate into more innovation, greater prosperity, higher levels of investment, more research and development, more creative content and more technological advancement, as the Index summarizes: 

-  Access to finance:  Economies with robust IP regimes are more likely to attract venture capital and private equity funding. 
-  High-quality human capital:  Economies with favorable IP protection possess on average 2.5 times more research and development (R&D)-focused personnel within their workforces.
-  Foreign direct investment attractiveness:  Economies with robust IP systems receive on average a 45% higher Standard and Poor’s credit rating than economies whose IP systems lag behind.
-  Inventive activity:  The top 10 economies in the Index exhibit patenting rates more than 30 times greater than the Index’s bottom 10 economies.
-  Advanced technology markets:  People and firms in economies scoring above the median level of the Index are 30% more likely to enjoy access to the most recent technological developments.
-  Streamlined and enhanced access to creative content:  Advanced and easy-access delivery of streaming services is 3 times greater in economies scoring above the median level of the Index, than in those scoring below the median, while access in the top 5 economies is up to 25 times greater than in the lowest 5. 

In an increasingly competitive global economy that becomes progressively knowledge-based with each passing day, the importance for the U.S. of maintaining a legal and regulatory environment protective of IP rights becomes even more critical.  Over more than two centuries, the U.S. has become the most innovative, prosperous and powerful nation in human history, without even remote competition.  What nation in all of recorded history rivals our array of patented advancements, from the light bulb to powered flight to computer technology to lifesaving pharmaceutical and medical advancements?  What nation has so dominated the world in terms of copyrighted content, from blockbuster films to popular music to literature to television entertainment?  What nation has ever maintained such disproportionately high levels of valuable trademarks recognized instantaneously throughout the world, from soft drink logos to technological products that have revolutionized our lives? 

The simple answer is that no society rivals the U.S. in any one of those categories, let alone all of them simultaneously. 

And that is the direct result of America's tradition of strong IP protections.  The Founding Fathers specifically protected IP rights in the text of the Constitution, and the U.S. has consistently led the world in protecting IP rights.  The relationship between America's IP protections and our unrivaled innovation and prosperity therefore isn't coincidental, it's causal. 

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that challenges don't remain.  Domestically, some activists on both the political left and right actively seek to weaken American IP protections even when they ought to know better.  And overseas, such threats as widespread piracy and efforts by foreign governments to weaken our IP protections so that they can achieve free rider status are cause for ongoing concern. 

But the good news is that strong IP protections have made us the world's most inventive and successful economy in world history, and this week's release of the Chamber's International IP Index shows that we maintain that position. 

Going forward in an increasingly challenging and information-based global economy, it's more important than ever that we keep it that way. 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
"We all know what happens when a tree falls in an empty forest. What happens when a democracy emerges unscathed from a purported vile racist threat to its very existence?Pretty much the same thing, it turns out.The surge in the early vote in Georgia shows that all the smears about the state's new voting law, repeated by everyone from the president of the United States on down, were complete nonsense…[more]
—Rich Lowry, Editor-in-Chief of National Review
— Rich Lowry, Editor-in-Chief of National Review
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?