Having recently unveiled its final report, The Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission offered a clear pathway to America’s economic rebound with specific, actionable recommendations for policymakers.
Highlighting the interwoven critical linkage between good public health policy and sound economic policy, the commission’s final report underscored the importance of economic freedom to our recovery efforts:
The United States will be a linchpin for international recovery and must demonstrate vigorous, strategic, and compassionate leadership in this crisis that has affected the entire world. One of the most powerful tools America has to advance recovery at home and abroad is free enterprise. America must use the natural strengths of freedom and bottom-up ingenuity to sustain recovery.
Indeed, before the coronavirus hit, America’s dynamic $21 trillion economy, buttressed by free enterprises, had made the U.S. the strongest and most prosperous society in the history of the world. Fortunately, the free-market capitalism underlying that economy remains in place.
To reboot the abruptly halted economy, America needs to advance pro-people, pro-free enterprise economic policies that will not only fast track the economic rebound, but will also have a long-term positive impact on our society.
Better and more practical solutions are within reach, and the great American free enterprise system—with its vast marketplace of goods, services, and, perhaps most importantly, ideas and willing civil society—is just the proven institution to provide them.
The U.S. economy will rebound, and it’ll recover before China and any other big economies.
However, conserving and enhancing that system requires renewed commitment to free-market principles.
In a time of uncertainty, economic freedom matters more than ever. Direct and indirect threats abound from many across the political spectrum who would use the current downturn to remake America in fulfillment of their narrowly-defined political, social, and economic agendas.
The American people are smarter than that. Our collective genius has always been our determination to fight for and preserve our freedom within the functioning rule of law.
As America moves forward, we must leverage the built-in strengths of free enterprise and civil society to revive our economic pulse.
Fundamentally, a nation’s capacity to handle economic turbulence hinges on the quality of its institutions and economic system, as shown by The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom.
For over a quarter of a century, Heritage’s index has documented what policies work and generate broad-based economic growth and progress in practice. It reveals the crucial link between liberty, empowerment, and prosperity.
Perhaps most remarkably, that interplay constantly pushes forward the frontiers of human achievement in commerce, science, medical breakthroughs, and technology through greater innovation reinforced by free enterprises in the private sector.
As the United States considers immediate policy approaches to save both lives and livelihoods amidst the coronavirus pandemic, policymakers must also look forward to securing long-term prosperity for America. As the final National Coronavirus Recovery Commission report pinpointed, “the solutions will not come from the top down, but from the bottom up.”
The months ahead present unique opportunities to pursue and implement more freedom-oriented economic policies that will generate renewed opportunities for all.
More than ever, it is critical to highlight and communicate effectively why and how free enterprise can shape America’s effective response to the coronavirus and its capacity to revitalize our economic livelihood.
Now is the time to act.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal