"The secret of […] success is simple - less regulation, lower taxes and more freedom. That is a formula that can work everywhere."
It is not a political statement by a republican, which makes liberals cringe. This was published in Washington Times on March 20, 2012 by Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.
It is about Georgia. Not the one with Atlanta, it is about Georgia with Tbilisi as their capital city, Georgia, which just 2 decades ago became independent in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
My first cousin lives in Tbilisi. He is a retired criminalist expert. Struggles living on a small pension with unemployed wife, lives very modestly… But he was telling me about the growth, the changes around, the way they curtailed the boundless lawlessness, so that his 20-y.o. daughter can walk in the middle of the night with no fear for her safety…
I was always taking it with way more than just a grain of salt. I live in America, and it is us who have the birthright to lead the world, to make life better…not Georgia… Still I am curious, I Google stuff, and I ran into this article.
I could not believe what I was reading. Forgive me excessive quoting, but I just can’t help it. Read the article. It is how Georgia, a small nation of 4.7 Mil, is getting from the ashes turning into a beautiful Phoenix… through pain, difficulties, lack of money, but going towards better future, towards stability and prosperity…
“The Georgians eliminated much regulatory red tape, moved to a largely free-trade regime and went to a 20 percent flat-rate personal income-tax system and a 15 percent corporate tax rate. The results are impressive. In the World Bank's 2012 Doing Business report on the "ease of doing business," Georgia ranks No. 16 of 183 countries and is No. 1 among the 24 countries in the Eastern European and Central Asian region. Georgia ranks No. 27 of the 141 countries in the Fraser/Cato Economic Freedom of the World index, by far the highest ranking in the region. Most important is the fact that Georgia ranks No. 7 on business regulation and No. 15 on the size of government”
“Georgia has had more success in fighting corruption than any other country.”
“Georgia has a debt-to-GDP ratio that is half that of the United States, the United Kingdom and France at a very manageable 38 percent.”
Reading it was like a case of déjà vu… Isn’t it what we hear every day… about America? Isn’t it what our President tells us was what caused all our problems in the first place? Isn’t it about a more efficient smaller government, more transparency, less taxes, less regulation, more measured success and more progress?
So, how about this: “The Georgians struggled to develop a free-market democracy during the first years after becoming independent but fell short until they elected a young, and partially U.S. educated, free-market reformer by the name of Mikhail Saakashvili as their new president in 2004.”
Ah-ha, so Mikhail Saakashvili learned the concept of free market while here in the United States, and is applying it quite well in Georgia… Wow, how cool!
Somewhere in the article talking about Varshalomidze, the Chairman of Batumi, a Georgian city on the Black Sea, the author said “he is not trying to manage decay”… What a novel concept. Because when I listen to both Democrats and Republicans with their ideas on how to slow down the growth of debt, not elimination, it is managing decay.
Maybe we need to send our president to Georgia so that he could see what deregulation can do to the economy? Where he could see with his own eyes what lower taxes can do to development, to growth, to building stability and prosperity?
No, poor and mainly agrarian Georgia hasn’t reached it all yet, and might have a long road ahead… But there is a chance to get there once you have the right direction…
And managing decay is not it.