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Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report

Earlier today, the Fraser Institute released its “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.” Analyzing data from 144 countries based on 42 distinct variables, the study’s authors rank countries according to their relative level of economic freedom.

After ranking 2nd in 2000, the U.S. falls to 16th in this year’s report. As the authors explain:

“By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar, countries that are not usually perceived of as bastions of economic freedom.”

The Fraser Institute’s full report is available below and on the Economic Freedom Network website.

*The Fraser Institute holds copyright to “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.”

Comments

  1. Wow Plebis! That’s all you have? No facts? Just a witless retort? What, I’m rubber you’re glue was too long to type?

    • Richard McGrath says:

      I note you don’t address the comments above, which dispute the legacy of FDR. He was a would-be dictator who came to power on promises of less government and then prolonged the Great Depression of 1929 and its associated employment through his mindless interventionist meddling. Contrast that with the hands-off aproach of Warren Harding who let markets resolve the Great Depression of 1921.

  2. Nuarblack says:

    “True individual freedom cannot exist without
    economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

    Yep and FDR capitalized on this and was responsible for the greatest stride towards dictatorship the USA has experienced. His new Deal increased the power of the executive like no other and took more rights from the people than any other policy excepting slavery and Jim Crowe laws. Wickard vs. Filburn continues to be a seminal case justifying the restriction on American’s freedom. And now the current administration intends to follow suit seeing as they have said that no crisis should be wasted.

    Also your assessment of supply side economics as trickle down is laughable. There was a reason for the perceived switch, keynesian economics and its demand side thinking was debunked and proven ineffective just look at the work of Hayek and Friedman. The problem was that while Reagan talked a big game he remained a keynesian. Had we really had a paradigm switch we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. Demand side is the real trickle down economic philosophy because it requires that all funds flow to the top(the government) by force first before they are even considered to be allowed to trickle down. And guess what most of it doesn’t, it gets gobbled up by special interests who are rent seeking. So in order to meet the financial needs of real programs that help in addition to all the special interests the government must barrow and print money which has a disproportional adverse impact on the lower and middle class.

  3. Rothian says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous hodgepodges of half truths, economic ignorance and “let’s just raise taxes!” mania I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading.

    Free trade is evil? I hope this is an attempt at satire. With REAL free trade, consumers win. It’s called competition. It lowers prices and forces firms to make better products. Placing tariffs on goods to make them more expensive just because they happen to come from overseas HURTS the consumer. I certainly don’t want to pay 20% more for an item because of your protectionist nonsense.

    The wisdom of FDR and Alexander Hamilton? What wisdom would that be? Burning crops while a nation is STARVING during a Depression to ensure that prices can’t fall? Forcing Americans to turn THEIR GOLD over to the government for a pittance, and then tripling the price of gold once the government got its hands on it? That’s the “wisdom” of FDR. As for Alexander Hamilton, he may well have been a swell guy, but he took the equivalent of a Cliffs Notes class in Economics and, frankly, didn’t know a damn thing, compared to men like Jefferson.

    As for raising taxes, I’m endlessly mystified why you tax-happy hooligans are always so quick to demand gratitude when the government is ONLY taking 20, 30, or 40% of OUR hard-earned money, and demand that we be all too happy to offer more. If you’re so happy to give the government everything you’ve earned, you can go ahead and do so. Just leave the rest of us alone, with our own money in our wallets and pocketbooks.

  4. me says:

    Here in CT, one county’s Community Action Program is in big trouble with a $6.8 Million “bankruptcy” looming over the heads of the poor and needy. CT’s lottery system pools money into it’s General Fund. In November, 2011 the state of CT was the lucky winner of a major lottery jackpot, raking in over $100 Million to the state.

    “Mismanagement of funds” is the charge against the CAP, and this is not the first instance an agency has mismanaged. With Obama’s Housing Stimulus money in 2009, the same county’s agencies also misspent the money awarded to it which was nearly $1 Million dollars.

    Newly on sale this week is a $30 lottery ticket, of which 3.5 million are produced – a total worth of $105 Million dollars. The ticket is advertised as being “Loaded with $500 Prizes”, which is an absolute LIE. The state of CT is currently defrauding it’s citizens and I’d love to sue them. I’ve written to the state’s Lottery people and received a mentally retarded reply.

    Mismanagement all over the place! The problem isn’t with the numbers, amounts or the money itself … the problem is with the people who run the show. The evidence is crystal clear: the Community Action agency is falling apart and they don’t even have the common sense to access the General Fund money which just got heavily beefed up. Local news story appealed in it’s message: “HELP RIGHT THE SHIP”

    Try this: STOP LYING, stop defrauding, stop STEALING, stop cheating the people. The Housing Stimulus money did NOT need to be spent on repairing parking lots, building a handicapped bathroom and other maintenance repairs. That money needed to go to VOUCHERS, to put people in homes and get landlords PAID and mortgages, too.

    I have tried plenty of times to speak with people, but I have no power, no authority and I am not a politician – nor do I want to be. I’ve learned that MANY people do not want to get involved! Myself, I can only share my view and thoughts … the rest is up to the people who HAVE THE JOBS.

    I have less than $9,000 per year income on disability. The state is SO fraudulent that on my medicaid and food stamp application, they force me to sign that I “agree” if I win a lottery, receive an inheritance or win a lawsuit … they will TAKE IT. I always cross it off and write in “illegal”, because IT IS illegal!! God FORBID if I ever won even a $1,000 lottery ticket – it’s as good as TRASH to me!

    If ever I receive any inheritance, I’d have to spent it on an attorney to sue the state for ILLEGAL POLICIES.

    STOP stealing from people!

  5. Anonymous says:

    That long post has to be from Eric Foner. Hamilton is our Founding Crook. America died in 1865. There are a few with the Spirit still in them, but we have been British Empire 2.0 since the election of Abraham Tyrannus Lincoln.

  6. Marlene says:

    The United States, with an economic freedom score of 76, . The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and its score remains well above the world and regional averages.

  7. alaanile says:

    “True individual freedom cannot exist without
    economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

    Yep and FDR capitalized on this and was responsible for the greatest stride towards dictatorship the USA has experienced. His new Deal increased the power of the executive like no other and took more rights from the people than any other policy excepting slavery and Jim Crowe laws. Wickard vs. Filburn continues to be a seminal case justifying the restriction on American’s freedom. And now the current administration intends to follow suit seeing as they have said that no crisis should be wasted.

    Also your assessment of supply side economics as trickle down is laughable. There was a reason for the perceived switch, keynesian economics and its demand side thinking was debunked and proven ineffective just look at the work of Hayek and Friedman. The problem was that while Reagan talked a big game he remained a keynesian. Had we really had a paradigm switch we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. Demand side is the real trickle down economic philosophy because it requires that all funds flow to the top(the government) by force first before they are even considered to be allowed to trickle down. And guess what most of it doesn’t, it gets gobbled up by special interests who are rent seeking. So in order to meet the financial needs of real programs that actually help in addition to all the special interests the government must borrow and print money which has a disproportional adverse impact on the lower and middle class.

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  8. alaanile says:

    “True individual freedom cannot exist without
    economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

    Yep and FDR capitalized on this and was responsible for the greatest stride towards dictatorship the USA has experienced. His new Deal increased the power of the executive like no other and took more rights from the people than any other policy excepting slavery and Jim Crowe laws. Wickard vs. Filburn continues to be a seminal case justifying the restriction on American’s freedom. And now the current administration intends to follow suit seeing as they have said that no crisis should be wasted.

    Also your assessment of supply side economics as trickle down is laughable. There was a reason for the perceived switch, keynesian economics and its demand side thinking was debunked and proven ineffective just look at the work of Hayek and Friedman. The problem was that while Reagan talked a big game he remained a keynesian. Had we really had a paradigm switch we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. Demand side is the real trickle down economic philosophy because it requires that all funds flow to the top(the government) by force first before they are even considered to be allowed to trickle down. And guess what most of it doesn’t, it gets gobbled up by special interests who are rent seeking. So in order to meet the financial needs of real programs that actually help in addition to all the special interests the government must borrow and print money which has a disproportional adverse impact on the lower and middle class.

    here

    here

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