Mr. Rasmussen, you are a dedicated advocate of democracy and free markets across the globe. What role does democracy play in the global markets?
Democracy may not be an absolute precondition for growth, but in my view it is the only system that provides true economic freedom, and ensures that trade and growth happen more fairly and sustainably.
Take entrepreneurs – who are at the heart of economic growth and innovation. They thrive when they are freed from the dead hand of the state, and able to bring their ideas to market without having to contend with stifling red tape, corrupt officials, or punitive taxes.
The Western world – led by the USA – has built a global economic and political system based on the premise that political freedom and economic freedom are symbiotic. It is a premise that is being challenged with the world transforming into one of friction, trade barriers and geo-political disputes as the USA retreats from its global leadership role.
I decided to establish the nonprofit organization, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation to address these challenges and call on the world’s democracies to face up to their responsibilities. As the Korean War Memorial in Washington reminds us: “Freedom is not free”.