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The G-20 needs a freedom and prosperity agenda more than ever


The first in-person gathering of the world’s 20 largest economies, the Group of 20, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will be in Rome, Italy, from October 30 to 31. At the very least, the summit shouldn’t go as usual. Unfortunately, there are reasons to believe that the meeting will not address the issues most relevant to the G-20.

Italy “climate focusedThe G-20 presented “people, planet and prosperity” as the top priorities of the summit, largely echoing themes of G-20 talks in the past.

When the leaders of the G-20 first met a decade ago in November 2008, the trigger for the meeting was the global financial crisis, with the composition of the group reflecting the shift in the economic center of gravity. global to Asia and emerging economies around the world. Unfortunately, since then, the G-20 summit meetings have been long in words — mountains of the same words — but few real, concrete achievements.

President Joe Biden will attend this year’s G-20 rally to promote his great government “rebuild better”And an agenda full of issues that are not pragmatically relevant to restoring the optimal conditions for global economic recovery and growth.

The subject of the G-20 meeting, at which Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan noted the United States and Europe would be “energized”, “united” and “leading the agenda”, should be whether and how to undertake an economic rearrangement with climate change and social equity at the heart.

Also notable Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has not left China since early 2020, will participate only virtually, alongside his comrade Russian President Vladimir Putin. New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will also be absent. And the United States, Australia and France will be at the same table for the first time since Washington’s recent decision announcement of the trilateral security partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom which made Frenchman Emmanuel Macron quite unhappy.

Despite the less than optimal setting for the next G-20 meeting, the United States must be clear in its principles at the summit, particularly on the basis of the foundations of economic freedom and democratic values.

Without ambiguity, the past few months since the start of 2020 have been extraordinary for the global economy, with growth slowing and turmoil severely inflicted by the ongoing pandemic.

The principles of economic freedom have always been questioned by dictators, autocrats and others who could benefit from centralized planning and control. Now, however, populist attacks on the free market – fueled by politics in the United States and other countries, as well as real economic setbacks linked to coronaviruses – have gained noticeable momentum.

More than ever, however, it should be remembered that a nation’s ability to grow and prosper fundamentally depends on the quality of its institutions and its economic system. As shown in the Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom, which assesses the breadth and effectiveness of policies in four key areas of rule of law, size of government, regulatory effectiveness and open markets, countries with higher degrees of economic freedom tend to prosper in measurable ways. more durable and resistant manners.

Indeed, they capitalize more on the capacity of the free market system not only to generate, but also to strengthen, dynamic growth through efficient allocation of resources, value creation and innovation.

Sadly, some of the policy actions taken or planned by governments around the world in response to the global health crisis risk undermining economic freedom and, consequently, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Policymakers in Washington and around the world cannot simply return to prosperity after public health responses wreak havoc on local economies. For a meaningful economic recovery, it is essential that economic freedom is not restricted by extensive emergency powers of the government.

The path by which the global economy can emerge from this pandemic stronger than we were before is through a re-engagement with the proven ideas of the free market system. It would be a tragic mistake to assume that in times of crisis we must give up our commitment to economic freedom in the hope of politically correcting the situation.

This freedom has unambiguously made our societies vibrant and flourishing.

This piece originally appeared in The daily signal