Freedom can be defined in many ways. However, one of the greatest indicators of freedom and liberty is economic freedom. True free-market capitalism is the basis of individual liberty. However, America is no longer a top 5 contender, and we haven’t been for a years. Actually, America is barely even in the top 10. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom study reports that America continues to fail. Who took first place in economic freedom in 2012? The
answer may surprise you. It was Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s score was an 89.9%, which was a 0.2% increase from 2011. Following Hong Kong in order: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and finally America at number 10. America’s economic freedom score was a 76.3%, which is down 1.5% from 2011. In fact, America is no longer even rated as a “Free” nation, which is a title granted only to countries with a score above 80%, but a “Mostly Free” nation. Right behind America rated at number 11 is Denmark. Denmark places the highest total tax pressure on its citizens in the world.
This study takes the following 10 benchmarks into account when rating countries: Freedom from corruption, property rights, individual fiscal freedom, restrained government spending, monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. As mentioned earlier, economic freedom is more vast than it may sound on the surface. It includes all of the above benchmarks, which affect our everyday lives. Money is not the root of all evil; however it is at the root of our lives and if we are not economically free one must ask themselves if our freedom is simply a fallacy. There are 9 other countries more economically free than America and our rating is dropping drastically. In 2010, America was rated number 8. With the numbers trending down and all of the benchmarks trending towards negative values America’s rating should not be expected to improve when the 2013 ratings are released.
There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty. -Margaret Thatcher