Land Of The (Economically) Free?
The Cato Institute – in conjunction with The Fraser Institute (a Canadian think tank) – has released its 2013 Economic Freedom of the World report, which analyzes “the consistency of the institutions and policies of various countries with voluntary exchange and the other dimensions of economic freedom.”
How did the United States – a.k.a. the “land of the free” – fare on this report? Not well …
“The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade,” the report’s authors note. “From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore.”
In fact after ranking second in the world in economic freedom back in 2000, America had slipped to No. 8 by 2005. In 2010 and 2011 – the last years for which data is available – the U.S. ranked No. 19.
“The foundations of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, and open markets,” Cato scholars conclude. “As Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek have stressed, freedom of exchange and market coordination provide the fuel for economic progress.”
Unfortunately, the policies of the federal government continue to move in the opposite direction of economic freedom … which means our income levels continue to move in the opposite direction of prosperity.
Anyway … to view the report for yourself, click here.