UPDATED: RELATIVE Economic Freedom: Canada Clobbers the US

Business,Canada,Economy,Free Markets,Government,Regulation

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.

7 thoughts on “UPDATED: RELATIVE Economic Freedom: Canada Clobbers the US

  1. Dan Jeffreys

    Folks parrot (no offense to parrots lol) the whole “America the Free” mantra the same way they do the “Our Soldiers are over there defending Us” mantra, that is, completely without thought. Case in point, I was watching the local news cast the other evening and they were discussing a new city ordinance to restrict what color businesses could paint their buildings. Wow, ain’t it great living in the “Land of the Free”.


  2. Dennis

    Just a few days ago, it was announced that California had passed – I believe it was for the year – 750 new laws. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the average number passed by each state is 50% of the 750. There are 50 states, so, half of 750 is 375 times 50 equals…are you ready…18,750 new laws. That is approximately 71 NEW LAWS PER DAY based upon 22 working days per month for 12 months. Is it any wonder why all of us are going crazy? How the hell does anyone know what is legal and what is not and what to make, use, sell or not!?!? Ayn Rand had it right in ATLAS SHRUGGED, I paraphrase: You can’t rule honest men. To that, I add: But…You can bury them in so much regulation and so many insane laws that they surrender and kill their spirit to create. Any suggestions out there???

  3. Myron Pauli

    The rankings should not be taken as an absolute but certainly we have very little freedom compared to what we should have. On the other hand, one can certainly argue about the “optimal” amount of government to secure economic freedom. Locke, Jefferson, and the [PC ALERT] “racist sexist White Christian Males” of the Enlightenment talked about a Government to secure our rights (such as property). I would not argue that Somalia has economic freedom because there is no discernable government, rule of law, or whatever but just a bunch of mobs and thugs.

    However, LAWS that were envisioned to support rights to life and property were a minimal set against fraud, theft, breaking of contracts, and peaceful settlement of disputes via civil courts. What the US and the so-called free (but really soft authoritarian) countries have are tens of thousands of laws, decrees, regulations – often issued by faceless bureaucrats, understood by no one in particular, and arbitrarily enforced. Most major industries are owned, subsidized, or substantially managed by the government – for example: health care, automobiles, power generation, banking, agriculture, schools, telecommunications, aviation, rails, steel. Megalomaniacs like Mayor Bloomberg would even regulate restaurants. Well, we still beat Belarus!

  4. Jack

    The Philippines, where my wife is from, always rates low on the economic freedom list. She joined me in America about 6 years ago and I can’t tell you how many times she has exclaimed “What, I thought America was supposed to be a free country”!

    Examples: When I told her we couldn’t open up a sari-sari (convenience) store in our garage. When I told her we couldn’t build apartments on the back of our lot and rent them out. When I told her we couldn’t bring beer to the beach. Etcetera, Etcetera.

    Economic freedom is in the eye of the beholder, I think.

  5. irongalt

    Canada beats the United Socialists of America…interesting, but not surprising.

    Ilana, do you know of any country out there that does have unimpeded (moral) freedom, no taxes, etc.? … Or does your phrase “we are doomed” apply to the whole world?

    @ Myron: “I would not argue that Somalia has economic freedom because there is no discernible government, rule of law, or whatever but just a bunch of mobs and thugs.”…well, at least there are a couple of Browning machine guns on your house to give you freedom (sort of) 🙂

  6. derek

    I wish the third world would get the message that the USA is not so nice. Maybe they would either stay home, or head to Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland and the rest of those free paradises. Maybe the fact that we’ve taken in almost 30 million in the past 3 decades has something to do with the types of politicos being elected who are ruining our nation.

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