May 22, 2015 Print

True economic recovery after a crisis requires widespread investment in entrepreneurial ideas, undertaken by people who see an opportunity to satisfy the needs and wants of the people around them and who are willing to stake considerable time, effort, and resources in new productive enterprise. Increasingly, however, the U.S. economy has stagnated in the years since the 2008 recession — a malaise fostered in no small part by an ever-growing web of taxes and regulations that stifle innovation. A new book from Canada-based Atlas Network partner the Fraser Institute collects five essays “that connect the dots between entrepreneurship, economic freedom, and economic growth, detailing their interrelated roles in America’s sluggish economic recovery.”

What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity, edited by economist Donald Boudreaux, senior fellow with Atlas Network partner the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, examines the details of how regulatory overreach and fiscal irresponsibility by government agencies strangles investment and economic growth, and makes the world poorer as a result.

“There is ongoing interest both inside and outside the United States regarding the nation’s tepid and abnormally slow recovery from the pronounced contractions in 2008,” Boudreaux writes in the book’s executive summary. “A number of scholars have explained components of the slow recovery but almost no analysis exists that provides a larger understanding for the country’s dismal economic performance. The collected essays in What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity provide just such a framework, which allows readers to both understand the nature of the problem facing the United States and equally as important the path to recovery and prosperity.”

The book contains contributions from Liya Palagashvili of New York University and George Mason University; Russell Sobel of The Citadel; Robert Lawson of Southern Methodist University; Roger Meiners of the University of Texas at Arlington and Andrew P. Morriss Dean of Texas A&M University School of Law; and Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“In summary, the information and arguments presented here demonstrate unmistakably that the growth of government stymies entrepreneurship and threatens prosperity—a demonstration that, it is hoped, will help inspire efforts not just to slow, but to reverse, this growth and return to prosperity,” Boudreaux concludes.

Learn more about What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity.

Read a PDF of the full book.