04/17/2017

The Brazilian Liberty Movement Is A Model For The World

Jeffrey Tucker, Foundation for Economic Education

Two years ago in Brazil, when I first addressed the Forum da Liberdad in Porto Alegre, the conference was already huge (3,500 people, as I recall) but spirits were low. The political system seemed hopelessly mired in corruption. Liberty-minded people did not see themselves as making progress. The country seemed stuck in an impoverishing socialism forever, an entrenched despotism as far as the eye could see, and people were asking: is there nothing we can do?

What a difference two years have made! Corruption hit the papers. Everything opened up, and suddenly. Street protests broke out. A president was impeached. New political leaders have emerged. The press is paying careful attention to the huge and diverse movement for liberty in that country.

Everyone today is energized, optimistic, and dedicated at every level. It’s not just about politics. It’s among professors, students, bloggers and YouTubers, and local organizations of every sort. Everyone is jumping in, ready to contribute.

Opportunity is in the air, and the realization feeds on itself. You create the future that you believe is possible.

What a Change

And sure enough, the liberty movement seems poised to make a gigantic difference. The same conference this year drew 5,500 people, making it by far the largest liberty-oriented event in the world. Speakers included business people, statesmen, media figures, intellectuals, publishers, and huge numbers sat with rapt attention as they spoke about the great liberal tradition of peace, enterprise, freedom, and the adaptability of history in light of new ideas.

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In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

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