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Economic Freedom Continues to Decline

Last week the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal released the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom. Bringing into focus 184 different countries, the index analyzes their economic policy developments and grades them according to 10 distinct measures of economic freedom, including the intrusiveness of government, regulatory efficiency, and the openness of markets.

Some highlights—or lowlights

The 2012 Index shows the United States’ economic freedom continues to fall as a result of increased government spending and costly regulations.

The index editors also noted as worrisome a decline in the United States’ score in freedom from corruption stemming from “both the growing perception of corruption in government bailouts of troubled industries, including automakers and investment houses, and regulatory exemptions granted to politically well-connected companies and special-interest groups.”

Internationally, the average grade for economic freedom across the globe has also suffered, with a majority of the most advanced economies either stagnating or falling in their economic freedom score.

The full 2012 Index of Economic Freedom is available at