‘Freedom index’ shows sharp U.S. decline

According to a recent report that analyzes the economic freedoms of countries worldwide, the United States rates a paltry eighth place.

The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, jointly published by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, tracks the march of economic freedom worldwide.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, and Canada all earned the distinction “Free” and placed higher than the United States, who rated “Mostly Free.” The U.S. finished in eighth place, dropping significantly from last year’s fifth place. In fact, only three of the scores for the top 100 countries fell more than ours – The Bahamas, Barbados, and Mongolia.

Why is the U.S. no longer ‘Free?’
“The U.S. government’s policy responses to the crisis and economic slowdown have been far-reaching and implemented at the cost of curtailing economic freedom,” the Heritage Foundation stated in a press release.

In contrast, the editors wrote, “Canada’s high level of economic freedom, coupled with its sound and prudent banking sector, has enabled its economy to emerge from the global downturn relatively unscathed.”

Indeed, the Canadian dollar, which for years has lagged behind its American counterpart, is on pace to become more valuable than the U.S. dollar.

The report  uses ten categories to determine each country’s score: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom. The U.S. declined sharply from 2009 scores in most categories.

With the Democratic leadership seeking to socialize the healthcare industry, which is estimated to be approximately 17 percent of our economy, a government takeover would considerably decrease our freedom rating.

As economist Adam Smith wrote more than 200 years ago, “When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.” Perhaps the media should question Democrats—President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.) as to why their policies are making the U.S. less free.

[Originally published at The U.S. Report]

Posted on March 21, 2010 at 23:15 by Chris Carter · Permalink
In: Economics · Tagged with: , ,

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