Monday, September 23, 2013

Economic Freedom: America continues to tank

The Fraser Institute in Canada just released the most recent version of their Economic Freedom of the World rankings and once again, the United States has dropped in the rankings.  As J.D. Tuccille, blogging at Hit and Run, points out in his article on the Index, between 1980 and 2000, the US was never lower than 4th.  This time? Dropped to 19th place:
The authors [of the index] attribute the massive plunge with regard to Legal Systems and Property Rights largely to the "use of eminent domain to transfer property to powerful political interests, the ramfications of the wars on terrorism and drugs, and the violation of the property rights of bondholders in the auto-bailout case." But the U.S. has declined in all areas ranked by the index: Size of Government, Legal Systems and Property Rights, Sound Money, Freedom To Trade Internationally, and Regulation. In economic terms, the U.S. is not just a little less free than it was in 2000, but far less free. And it's much less attractive to international investors and entrepreneurs as a place to try to build businesses and create wealth. [Emphasis Marc Street]
Something else to consider: During the 1980-2000 period, we had two individuals who were relatively free-market oriented as President: Republican Reagan and Democrat Clinton.  Since 2000, we have had two individuals that were not relatively free-market: Republican Bush and Democrat Obama. BTW: you can access the entire collection of rankings, here.