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:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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Annus Horribilis: 2021 Continued 2020 Murder Increase Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 13 2022
One full year into the Biden Administration and the Pelosi/Schumer Congress, we’re experiencing an alarming disintegration of societal order across multiple fronts.

In 2020, the United States witnessed its sharpest murder rate increase in history.  

In 2021, the situation tragically worsened in cities across America.  

Prior to 2020, the worst murder rate increase that the U.S. had ever experienced was 13% in that annus horribilis 1968.  In 2020, however, our murder rate rose 30%.  Thirty percent.  

As local government officials across America calculate final crime statistics for 2021, we already know that many of the same cities accounting for 2020’s record increase set new records for murders this past year.  

In November, the Council on Criminal Justice reported that homicides in 22 cities during the first nine months of 2021 were 4% higher than during the same period in 2020.  In America’s three largest cities, as The Wall Street Journal reports, 2020’s record jolt merely provided a springboard for additional increases in 2021:  

New York City, which recorded a nearly 45% increase in 2020, had a 4% murder rise through Dec. 26, 2021, when compared with the same period the prior year.  Chicago, which had a 55% increase in 2020, had a 3% rise in 2021…  In Los Angeles, where homicides were up 12% through Dec. 25, the pandemic led to a pause in gang intervention and other programs targeting the people most likely to be involved in violent crime.  That contributed to an increase in gang shootings, according to police officials and gang-intervention workers.  

Elsewhere, at least 16 major cities across America set new records for murders recorded in 2021:  Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Columbus, Ohio;  Indianapolis, Indiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Louisville, Kentucky; Macon, Georgia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Haven, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Tucson, Arizona.  

Accordingly, instead of 2020 proving an aberration with 2021 returning toward the previous norm, conditions continued to deteriorate in cities across America.   

One full year into the Biden Administration and the Pelosi/Schumer Congress, we’re experiencing an alarming disintegration of societal order across multiple fronts.  This week brought new government reports of accelerating consumer price inflation, which even Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell now labels a “severe threat” to an economic recovery.  The federal government also just announced that, contrary to candidate Joe Biden’s promise to “shut down” Covid, U.S. hospitals are now caring for the highest number of Covid patients since the pandemic began.  

Quite a first-year job performance, Joe.  

The most troubling metric of all, however, remains the progressive disintegration of American domestic order as measured in our out-of-control murder rate.  

Leftists stubbornly rationalize that the spike in murders across America are byproduct of the Covid pandemic, but Heather MacDonald dismantled that claim when it was trotted out to explain 2020’s record murder rate increase:  

Why this mayhem?  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch expresses the conventional wisdom:  because of the “economic, civil and interpersonal stress” from the coronavirus pandemic.  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed pandemic-related “frustration, anger … trauma and mental health challenges.”  But crime fell during the first months of the pandemic shutdowns, both in the U.S. and globally.  Only at the end of May did that trend reverse itself, and only in the U.S.  

Moreover, 2021 experienced a relaxation of societal Covid shutdowns with the arrival of vaccines and improved treatments, so there’s simply no merit to the Covid rationalization.  

Unemployment and poverty have also been offered as a rationalization for crime throughout the decades.  With low unemployment and a surplus of open jobs, however, no reasonable person can allege that causal connection in 2021.  

The superior explanation remains an ongoing effort among too many political leaders to demonize our nation’s police forces and reverse tough-on-crime reforms that cut the nation’s murder rate in half between 1994 and 2019.  From Waukesha, Wisconsin, to New York City, we’ve witnessed high-profile murders committed by men who should’ve remained behind bars due to prior transgressions but were free to roam the streets.  

The simple reality is that a very small percentage of the population commits an overwhelming percentage of crimes, so incapacitating them from committing additional crimes by locking them up reduces the crime rate.  In recent years, unfortunately, political leaders in cities across America have mindlessly pursued the opposite course.  

Perhaps the threat of losing power will trigger reconsideration.  According to a new Rasmussen survey, only 26% of respondents trust elected Democrats who control the White House and both houses of Congress to address America’s distressingly increasing crime, so current leaders would be wise to understand the electoral peril they face if they don’t improve conditions quickly.  

That’s not the main reason they should want to reduce the unprecedented increases in murders across the U.S., but perhaps that will at least ignite the fire of self-interest to get them to change course.

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When did Memorial Day officially become a federal holiday?
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"Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio are pushing back against a Biden administration plan to give the World Health Organization authority to dictate global lockdowns and mandates, superseding U.S. and state laws.According to an amendment to a treaty likely to be approved this week by representatives of 194 countries, sovereign nations would be required to fund and participate in a…[more]
 
 
—Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
— Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
 
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Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?