According to an article on Bloomberg, reducing sitting time to fewer than three hours per day and also cutting TV viewing time to fewer than two hours per day may extend life by about 1.4 years.

Sounds great but I’m looking for something longer than 1.4 years. What about 10 or even 20 years?!

Well we’re in luck.  It seems increasing life expectancy is possible through Economic Freedom.

Based on data from the Economic Freedom of the World 2011 Report, life expectancy is approximately 20 years longer in countries with the greatest economic freedom than it is with countries deemed the least economically free.  Life expectancy is 79.4 years in the top quartile compared to 60.7 years in the bottom quartile (Exhibit 1.13).

Data from 141 countries and back to the year 1980 shows that when countries adopt policies that protect private property, promote voluntary exchange through competition not force, and allow personal choice, people in these countries live longer and have a higher overall quality of life.

Many think that the solution to solving all problems involves more government.  That is just as likely as me traveling to London and jumping on platform Nine and Three-Quarters to travel to Hogwarts.

From history, only countries that have adopted policies that promote economic freedom improve the lot of human beings over time.  Government cannot create a society of nirvana.  People seem to forget that government is not free of greed or self-interest.  It is no more virtuous than any individual no matter what its intention.  It is neither omnipotent nor omniscient.

If we are truly going to revolutionize an industry whether it be health care, automobiles or technology, we must take note of history and how over time societies that have limited the influence of government, acted fiscally responsible, and promoted free trade are more prosperous.

For fun and simplicity, imagine a scenario where the government was given the task of ordering you lunch (VIDEO: If the Government ordered your lunch).  How could it know what you desired or required with such an easy problem? Now imagine it trying to take into account the trillions of wants, needs and desires of society.  Impossible.

Write to Greg George at gmg@gregmgeorge.com.


This post can also be found at the Hillsdale Daily News and The Daily Reporter.