As historian Victor Davis Hanson notes, that’s not unusual: “The pattern of the French Revolution’s grandees, the Soviet nomenklatura (privileged class) and the European Union’s elite has always been to force equality down the throats of free people while enjoying quite unequal lifestyles.” The result? Less freedom. In the most recent annual ranking of the nation’s freest economies (authored jointly by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal), the United States no longer resides in the Top 10. “It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground,” the study notes. “Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43 percent cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.” Instead of aiding the poor by creating jobs and helping people hold them, our elites divide us with vicious rhetoric and punitive policies. As Hanson bluntly states, “History has shown that a government’s redistribution of shrinking wealth, in preference to a private sector’s creation of new sources of it, can prove more destructive than even the most deadly enemy.” M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.