Get the latest news, research, commentary and analysis on what is impacting your quality of life. From top scholars to regular citizens, this blog’s contributors make the latest in empirical research on economic freedom accessible and easy to understand, issue by issue.
Mama Knows Best!
Choosy Moms Choose … Economic Freedom
Every mother worries. It’s part of the job. While moms can’t shield their children from every form of hardship, research shows that societies with high levels of economic freedom are the best places to raise kids. For example, in countries with more economic freedom, babies have a better chance of surviving infancy, and kids will grow-up to have more choices in their career paths.
Central to these benefits is the greater amount of quality healthcare and education that people living in economically free countries enjoy.
While raising kids is a challenging endeavor, moms can be certain that a society with high levels of economic freedom is the best environment for their kids to grow into happy, healthy and successful adults.
Just a spoon full of economic freedom makes the medicine abound
Kids get sick — there’s no way around it. The best way to protect children against serious illness is by living in societies with more economic freedom. Research shows that in societies with high levels of economic freedom, people have better access to critical healthcare services like medical vaccinations.
For example, in the early 1900s, diseases like diphtheria were a constant source of concern for mothers in America. In the 1920s, there were an estimated 100,000-200,000 cases of diphtheria in the U.S. leading to more than 13,000 deaths per year. Children made up a majority of those deaths. Today, thanks to medical innovations, fewer mothers experience the heartbreak of losing a child to diphtheria and many other preventable illnesses.
Analysis of data from the World Bank and the Economic Freedom of the World Report reveals that in the most economically free countries virtually everyone has received a vaccine against diphtheria, as well as pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough) and tetanus. However in countries with little economic freedom almost one quarter of people have not been vaccinated against these diseases.
The availability of diphtheria and other vaccines in more economically free countries is an example of how economic freedom benefits societies. When a society is based upon free-market principles that promote entrepreneurship and innovation, new drugs and procedures are developed that can protect children from diseases and help them grow into healthy and productive adults.
Helping your kids achieve their dreams
Parents will make incredible sacrifices so that their children can receive the best education possible, land a good job and improve their quality of lives. Moms know that education is crucial for their kids to succeed, and data shows that living in a society with economic freedom increases the chances of receiving a quality education.
However, in countries with little economic freedom, many children are trapped in the labor force and aren’t able to get an education. In fact, in countries with low economic freedom the incidence of child labor is 19 percent compared to less than 1 percent in countries with greater economic freedom.
And in the most economically free countries, 95 percent of children complete primary education. In contrast, in the least free countries, only 72 percent of children complete primary education. For example, in Angola, which ranks 138th in economic freedom, just 66 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 24 have learned how to read or write, while in Mauritius, which ranks 9th in economic freedom 98 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 24 have learned how to read or write.
People living in economically free societies have the resources and wealth to invest in better healthcare and education. Because societies with economic freedom support free-market policies such as a small government, minimal regulations and sound rule of law, they prosper and offer a better future for their children.
So how can you help ensure that your kids will have the opportunity to grow up and live happy and healthy lives?
Be a choosy mom. Choose economic freedom.