April 7, 1987 (33rd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

Jobs, rising incomes, opportunity-they must be created, day to day, through the enterprise of free men and women. We have had to learn and re-learn this lesson in this century. In my own country, we have witnessed an expansion and strengthening of many of our civil liberties, but too often we have seen our economic liberties neglected, even abused. We have protected the freedom of expression of the author, as we should-but what of the freedom of expression of the entrepreneur, whose pen and paper are capital and whose profits and literature are the heroic epic of free enterprise, a tale of creativity and invention that not only delights the mind, but has improved the condition of man, feeding the poor with new grains, bringing hope to the ailing with new cures, vanquishing ignorance with wondrous new information technologies.
In the United States we have found a new consensus, among members of both Parties, in a reformed tax structure that lowers tax rates and frees the spirit of enterprise of our people. Today, that consensus is broadening as your great free market nation seeks the same path back to the first principles of economic growth through rate-reducing tax reform. We see movements in Germany and Japan, as well, to cut tax rates. But this must be only the beginning; for what is simply
beneficial to us is a matter of the most dire necessity to the nations and peoples of the developing world. And this is the second great example that, together, we offer to the nations of the world in desperate economic need. For the poorer, the more desperate their condition, the more urgently they need the growth that only economic freedom can bring.
We have seen time and again the healing, invigorating effects of economic freedom: tax rate cuts lifted both Germany and Japan out of post-war stagnation and into the forefront of the world economy; low tax rates catapulted the nations of the Pacific Basin out of the Third World, making them major economic partners today.
A recent study prepared for our Government found a direct relationship between the high tax rates and other statist policies of many underdeveloped countries and a cycle of deepening poverty and despair. On the other hand, the study found that countries with low tax rates and free market policies are among the fastest growing in the world, providing improved living standards and increased opportunity for all their people.
We apply the principles of economic freedom at home; we should not export central planning and statist economics abroad. When the Holy Father came to this country, he spoke of the moral obligation of the wealthier nations to share with those less fortunate-it is time to take up that challenge. Both our countries have been generous donors of foreign aid, and that is important.
But our own experience, the experience of this century, has shown that the only effective way to share prosperity is to share the conditions that generate prosperity. History has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that statism spreads poverty; it is only freedom that begets wealth. Free markets, low tax rates, free trade-this is the most valuable foreign aid we can give to the developing nations of the Third World.

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