Source: Liberato.us, By Christopher Wright, March 8, 2021
There is a clear correlation between the amount of economic freedom a country has and its overall level of prosperity. Not only does more economic freedom mean a higher standard of living, it also means better health, education, environmental quality, upward mobility, and social progress. Thus, it is with great sadness I must report to you that the United States received its lowest score and lowest ranking ever in the Heritage Foundation’s latest Index of Economic Freedom.
The United States now ranks 20th among all countries in the world, still “mostly free” but declining because the government is accounting for a larger portion of the economy, government debt is becoming unsustainable, and government regulation is increasing in health care and the financial sector. What this means is the U.S. will have less prosperity and social progress in the future than it otherwise could have had, if the previous level of economic freedom had been maintained.
Singapore sits on top the rankings, the economically freest country in the world with a high standard of living. It is no accident that the socialist basket cases of Cuba, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe are at the bottom of the rankings, with the most government intervention in their economies and the worst economic results. Socialists always claim they can produce more prosperity by imposing more government strictures, but it’s never true. Cuba and Venezuela have made noises recently about liberalizing their economies to some degree, showing, once again, that turning in the direction of market forces – not socialism – is what produces prosperity.
Hong Kong was taken off the list entirely this year, because it is no longer independent enough of China to deserve a listing of its own. You don’t have to be a genius to predict less economic freedom there will mean the people will be less well-off in the future. Not to mention all the pain that goes with being locked up in a communist police state.
There is hope for the United States, though. New Zealand was once in the throes of heavy government regulation and statist policies. It reversed course in the 1980s, moving in the direction of market forces and economic freedom. It is now the second-most economically free country in the world. Until the pandemic, its economy had steadily been expanding for 10 years. The Left likes to make fun of people who say ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ but they really have no constructive alternative to offer. Seizing the means of production doesn’t get you anywhere economically, just the opposite. All it does is enrich and empower a tiny elite. Just ask the five million refugees who have fled Venezuela since 2016 for countries with more economic freedom, they’ll tell you.