We're #10! US has 10th freest economy in the world (Updated)
Who's ahead of us? Denmark, for one. Chile outranks us, as does Switzerland. And that well known bastion of economic freedom Mauritius comes in at number 8.
Canada is ranked higher than the US.? Australia?
Thie list was compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.
Heritage has jointly compiled the index annually with the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. It covers 185 countries around the globe.
The index measures "10 components of economic freedom, assigning a grade in each using a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 represents the maximum freedom," according to Heritage.
The 10 components are grouped into four distinct areas:
- Rule of law, including property rights and freedom from corruption.
- Limited government, including fiscal freedom and government spending.
- Regulatory efficiency, including business freedom, labor freedom and monetary freedom.
- Open markets, including trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom.
America is in the top 10 and thus among the world's freest nations, but its total score of 76 is .3 lower than last year, according to Heritage, which noted that:
"Registering a loss of economic freedom for the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. has recorded its lowest Index score since 2000.
"Dynamic entrepreneurial growth is stifled by ever-more-bloated government and a trend toward cronyism that erodes the rule of law."
Lowest score since 2000? Fifth straight year of decline? Well, what happened between 2001 and 2008? A Republican in the White House couldn't make a difference, could it? Must be a coincidence.
You can understand if Hong Kong and Sinagpore are #1 and #2. Those small enclaves exist to make money. But the fact that Australia is #3 should give us pause and make us take a hard look at what we're doing wrong.
Australia is a social democracy, but one where regulation isn't overly burdensome and there is a strong ethos surrounding property rights. I don't know if their markets are any freer than ours. But there appears to be more ecouragement of entrepreneurs and less hostility to business in general.
One thing is sure; we're not going to climb in the rankings as long as President Obama is in office.
I just received this email from the Heritage Foundation:
Thanks so much for your American Thinker post about US slippage in the ranks of the world's freest economies. Unfortunately, the information is old news. The data cited come from our 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which came out a year ago.
The 2014 Index will be released next Tuesday. (The Examiner thought it was THIS Tuesday--i.e., today--and wrote its story off the old Index as posted here: http://www.heritage.org/index/. Hence the confusion.)
Next week, however, the rankings will change. I hope you will be interested in covering the latest developments then.
The Examiner is usually reliable, but I should have checked other sources (as I do with many stories). I regret the miistake and wil cover the new rankings next week.