The first in-person gathering of the worlds 20 biggest economies, theGroup of 20, since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic will take place in Rome, Italy, from Oct. 30 to 31. To say the least, the summit should not be business as usual. Regrettably, theres reason to believe that the meeting will fail to address the issues that are most relevant to the G-20.
Italys climate-focused G-20 has billed people, planet, and prosperity as the top priorities for the summit, largely echoing the themes of the G-20 talks in the past.
When G-20 heads first congregated about a decade ago in November 2008, the trigger of the gathering was the global financial crisis, with the composition of the group reflecting the shift in the worlds economic center of gravity towards Asia and the emerging economies around the world. Unfortunately, G-20 summit meetings since then have been long on wordsmountains of the same wordsbut short on real, concrete accomplishments.
President Joe Biden will attend this years G-20 gathering to promote his big government build back better agendaand agenda chock full of issues that are not pragmatically relevant to restoring optimal conditions for global economic recovery and growth.
The focus of the G-20 meeting, in which Bidens national security adviser Jake Sullivansaidthe U.S. and Europe would be energized, united, and driving the agenda, is expected to be about whether and how to undertake an economic rearrangement with climate change and social equity at the core.
Equallynotableis that Chinese president Xi Jinping, who hasnt leftChinasince early 2020, will participate just virtually, along with his comrade Russian President Vladimir Putin. Japans new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Mexican President Andrs Manuel Lpez Obradorwill be also absent. And the United States, Australia and France will be at the same table for the first time since Washingtons recentannouncementof the U.S.-Australia-U.K. trilateral security partnership that made Frances Emmanuel Macron quite unhappy.
Despite the less than optimal setting of the upcoming G-20 meeting, the U.S. needs to be clear in its principles at the summit, particularly based on the foundations ofeconomic freedomanddemocratic values.
Unambiguously, the past months since early 2020 have been extraordinary for the global economy, with slowing growth and turmoil gravely inflicted by the ongoing pandemic.
The principles of economic freedom have always been questioned by dictators, autocrats, and others who might benefit from centralized planning and control.Now, however, populist attacks on the free marketfueled by politics in the United States and other countries, as well as by actual coronavirus-related setbacks to the economyhave gained notable momentum.
More than ever, however, it should be reminded that fundamentally a nations capacity to grow and prosper hinges on the quality of its institutions and economic system. As documented by The Heritage Foundations annualIndex of Economic Freedomthat evaluates the extent and effectiveness of policies in four key areas of rule of law, size of government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets, countries with higher degrees of economic freedom tend to measurably prosper in far morelasting and resilientways.
Thats because they capitalize more fully on the ability of the free market system to not only generate, but also to reinforce, dynamic growth through efficient resource allocation, value creation, and innovation.
Regrettably, some of the policy measures undertaken or planned by governments around the world in response to the global health crisis run the risk of undermining economic freedom and, thus, long-term economic growth and prosperity.
Policymakers in Washington and around the globe cannot simply spend their way back to prosperity after the toll public health responses have taken on local economies. For a meaningful economic recovery, its essential that economic freedom is not curtailed by extended government emergency powers.
The path by which the global economy can emerge from this pandemic stronger than we were before runs through a recommitment to the proven ideas of the free market system. It would be a tragic mistake to assume that in a time of crisis we must abandonour commitment to economic freedomin the hope of politically resetting the situation.
That freedom has unambiguously made our societies vibrant as well as flourishing.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal
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