The freedoms of the system. Essential Liberties for Economic Growth
In the previous chapter, we described the kind of government that is most conducive to economic development in a nation that seeks to move from poverty toward increasing prosperity. This is a government in which leaders use power for the benefit of the people as a whole rather than for themselves and their friends. To promote that kind of government, we described safeguards against corruption (rule of law, a fair court system, absence of bribery and corruption, limited power of government, and divided powers of government). We also listed various ways in which governments must protect people from being harmed by others who would take advantage of them (protection against crime, violation of contracts, violation of patents and copyrights, foreign invasion, useless wars of conquest or revenge, and destruction of the environment). Finally, we discussed three beneficial institutions that should be promoted by the government (education, marriage/family, and the church).
There remains one major area of concern that we have not discussed in detail—a condition that must be protected by the government. This factor is at least as important as any of those we discussed in the previous chapter, and it influences all of them. It is the general condition of “freedom.”