The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that something must be done in order to change the economic freedom of any nation. The 2018 Index of Economic Freedom was recently published by The Heritage Foundation. The Index is an annual study that compares economic freedom in 180 countries with 6 nations not ranked at all. The top ten nations this year include the following: (1) Hong Kong, (2) Singapore, (3) New Zealand, (4) Switzerland, (5) Australia, (6) Ireland, (7) Estonia, (8) United Kingdom, (9) Canada, and (10) United Arab Emirates. The United States ranked 18th.
Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand are considered economically “free” nations. The next seven nations listed are “mostly free” and are joined by the following nations:
(11) Iceland, (12) Denmark, (13) Taiwan, (14) Luxembourg, (15) Sweden, (16) Georgia,
(17) Netherlands, (18) United States, (19) Lithuania, and (20) Chile.
The United States has steadily dropped in the index over the past decade. The good news is that it might have stopped dropping. Patrick Tyrrell and Anthony B. Kim posted an article at The Daily Signal titled “5 Takeaways from the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom.” They note that the index “compares countries’ entrepreneurial environments.” Their statement continues with the following explanation.
Since 1995, the index has measured a nation’s commitment to limited government and free enterprise on a scale of 9 to 100 by evaluating four critical policy pillars, including rule of law and regulatory efficiency.
These commitments are powerful forces that help societies grow in economic freedom. Countries that achieve higher levels of economic freedom consistently outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity, and social progress. Those with lower economic freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment, and deteriorating social conditions.
After reading their explanation for ranking, we can better understand why the United States kept dropping in the index. Apparently, our national leaders took the necessary steps to stop the free fall. The Daily Signal article lists the five points that we need to understand.
1. The world economy overall is rated “moderately free….”
2. Six economies … have achieved very high scores of 80 or more, putting them in the category of economically “free.” [I see only three with that score.] …
3. Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” in the 2018 index enjoy incomes that are more than twice the average levels in all other countries….
4. Economically freer countries that open their societies to new ideas, products, and innovations have largely achieved high levels of social progress….
5. The United States, ranked “mostly free,” had not been performing well in the index over the last decade. That precipitous slide has now fortunately come to a halt, with signs of renewed economic growth reinforced by major regulatory and tax reforms that elevate business confidence and investment….
So, the figures show that our economy is doing better. The people feel that the economy is doing better. The Trump policies must be doing some good!