Report: Economic Freedom Regresses in the United States

Posted: Jan 14, 2014 2:02 PM

Each year, the Heritage Foundation analyzes every country in the world according to various measures and comes out with what they call the Index of Economic Freedom. For the seventh year in a row, economic freedom in the United States has dropped relative to other countries - and Heritage no longer considers the United States one of the top ten freest countries in the world.

The report finds that the U.S. has suffered "particularly large losses in property rights, freedom from corruption, and control of government spending." Furthermore,

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.

Heritage finds that the freest countries are Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. The United States has now fallen to 12th in their analysis, behind countries like Mauritius and Estonia.

It's important to note that, while conservatives might want to attribute the United States' ranking to Obama-era impositions like Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, the slide began in the Bush Administration - and several countries ahead of the U.S., like Canada, Switzerland, and Singapore, have health sectors more comprehensively regulated than Obamacare.

Heritage finds that, relative to 2013's Index, the United States has actually improved in the "freedom from corruption," "government spending," and "labor freedom" measures of economic freedom. Not all is lost - the U.S. is still one of the freest countries in the world - but it's important to grapple with a disturbing trend.

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