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January 3 2020

Some Big Wins for Freedom in 2019

by Charlotte Whelan

With the turn of the decade into a new year, many are reflecting upon the last year, celebrating progress and doubling down on shortcomings.

The Foundation for Economic Education joined the ranks and listed their “6 Wins for Freedom in 2019.” While I may not agree with all of their “wins,” not personally supporting the legalization of marijuana, most of them should be acknowledged and celebrated. Here are my personal favorites: 

Obsolete and excessive regulations have come under fire throughout the United States. Often seen in the context of occupational licensing, many states have burdensome regulations which limit the economic opportunities of their residents.  In a bold move, Idaho repealed its entire regulatory code so that the governor could remove all the regulations that were unnecessary and burdensome. 

Specifically addressing occupational licensing, Arizona was the first state to recognize out-of-state occupational licenses.  Arizona has now been joined by Montana and Pennsylvania, as I wrote about in the Daily Caller. Reducing unnecessary requirements for occupational licenses will open up opportunities for more Americans, free their entrepreneurial spirits and provide a living for themselves and their families. 

Kim Kardashian also stepped up this year, working for prison reform. The First Step Act received bipartisan support and has helped thousands of federal inmates, reducing prison time and incentivizing good behavior while in prison. Not limited to supporting inmates, the First Step Act also provides for programs for the formerly incarcerated, supporting them as they find a purpose and helping them avoid recidivism. 

Finally, it appears that there is a path to releasing Americans from the onerous Obamacare individual mandate. The US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that the individual mandate is invalid. While the fight over Obamacare certainly isn’t over, we can hope Americans can turn towards price transparency in the new year. Price transparency would help all Americans to receive better care, be more educated about the care and services they are receiving.  

All of these wins are victories in an ongoing fight for freedom. Instead of listening to all the “failures” of the last year, as endlessly promoted by many media outlets, let’s celebrate what we’ve achieved and work to secure more freedom for Americans everywhere.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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