Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, and even Ireland have leapfrogged over the US with respect to economic freedoms, measured by the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 index of Economic Freedom, in accordance with “10 measures that evaluate openness, the rule of law, and competitiveness.
I confess to finding the Heritages’ indices of “individual empowerment, non-discimination [sic], and the promotion of competition” a little vague, if not statist, as they all presuppose a central authority that acts to “empower,” police discrimination, and “promote” competition.
The Canadian Fraser Institute actually considers parameters like the “Size of Government, Legal Structure, Security of Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business—all recognizable as fundamental to economic freedom.
You know that American freedoms are on the wane when the very constructs our intellectuals use to measure those freedom are, well, so veiled and politically correct.
UPDATE: RELATIVE ECONOMIC FREEDOMS. Ingemar, these indices are relative. Ireland is not free, not by a long shot. Neither are we. According to the Heritage Foundation, Ireland is economically freer than the US. What you need to take away from this, vis-a-vis the US, is the following: If a think tank that is prone to American boosterism rates Ireland, which is bankrupt, higher than America—we are in bad shape. But then you already knew that.