You may be surprised at how far you need to scan your finger down the list to locate the United States in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2017 Annual Report co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada and more that 70 think tanks around the world. The United States, which has held a spot in the top ten for decades, now ranks 11th.
Going back to the period 1980-2000, the U.S. was an economic beast, generally ranked 3rd freest economy in the world behind Hong Kong and Singapore. And then came the decline. After the U.S. ranked 2nd in 2000 it’s been mostly downhill from there.
It only took five years to fall to 8th in 2005 and another five years to drop to a pathetic 19th in 2010.
Why does this matter? Well, the index “measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom,” as the report explains, “cornerstones are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter markets and compete, and security of the person and privately-owned property.”
The top ten freest countries in 2017, like a broken-record, are once again Hong Kong and Singapore, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Georgia, Australia, and Estonia.
You can view the full report here.
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