Monday, January 25, 2010

Latest Index of Economic Freedom

The latest INDEX OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM is out. It reflects a downward trend over the past year for 8 of the top 10 countries with the greatest economic freedom. Only Switzerland and New Zealand, among the top 10, show an upward trend in economic freedom over the past year. The United States fell to #8 and is no longer characterized as "free" but only "mostly free." I'm not surprised.

TERRY MILLER offers commentary and this summary of the reasons for the decrease in economic freedom in the United States:
The U.S. lost ground on many fronts. Scores declined in seven of the 10 categories of economic freedom. Losses were particularly significant in the areas of financial and monetary freedom and property rights. Driving it all were the federal government's interventionist responses to the financial and economic crises of the last two years, which have included politically influenced regulatory changes, protectionist trade restrictions, massive stimulus spending and bailouts of financial and automotive firms deemed "too big to fail." These policies have resulted in job losses, discouraged entrepreneurship, and saddled America with unprecedented government deficits.

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