America’s longstanding world power designation was at least partly established due to a thriving and robust economy.
Unfortunately, though, the United States did not make the top 10 list in a new ranking of the most economically free countries for 2014. Old Glory is now flying at No. 12 on the list, well behind China, Hong Kong, Estonia, Singapore and others. When President Obama took office, America ranked No. 6.
The Economic Freedom Index is a joint publication by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, with 10 distinct set of criteria used to measure a nation’s economic health. The measurements are based upon fiscal freedom, government spending, trade freedom and corruption, among other categories.
Former US Senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint called it an “unfortunate but foreseeable slide” for America. “It should stun everyone.”
The United States economic freedom ranking has been on a downward spiral over the past five years. The number 12 spot on the list means that America is “mostly free” economically. The decline in recent years is due to large losses in property rights, freedom from corruption, and control of government spending.
Details Of The Report
America scored 75.5 points out of 100 possible points.
“The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years,” the reported states. “The overall U.S. score decline from 1995 to 2014 is 1.2 points, the fourth worst drop among advanced economies. Substantial expansion in the size and scope of government, including through new and costly regulations in areas like finance and health care, has contributed significantly to the erosion of U.S. economic freedom. The growth of government has been accompanied by increasing cronyism that has undermined the rule of law and perceptions of fairness.”
Hong Kong ranked first, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, Denmark, Estonia and the United States. Hong Kong has been at the top of the rankings for 20 straight years.
Countries which joined the United States of America in the “mostly free” category include: Bahrain, Lithuania, Chile, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Luxembourg, South Korea, Qatar, Macau, Colombia and Bostwana. Nations which were included in the “free” category also in numerical order include: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. France and South Africa landed in the “moderately free” category with Slovenia, Panama, and Portugal. Brazil, Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Vietnam were listed among the countries in the “mostly unfree” section of the annual Economic Freedom Index.
Countries on the “repressed” list score (between zero and 49.9 points) included Ukraine, Haiti, Argentina, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba and North Korea. A total of eight countries were not ranked and included the Sudan, Syria, Libya, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Read the full report online.