Would you want to live in a country that is losing freedom?
How about a country that has lost ground in property rights and become more corrupt?
If you’re an American, you’re living there.
The 20th anniversary edition of the Index of Economic Freedom reveals that the United States has dropped out of the top 10 freest economies in the world.
When President Obama took office, the U.S. was ranked 6th. Now it is 12th.
According to the Index, which is published jointly by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal:
Over the 20-year history of the Index, the U.S.’s economic freedom has fluctuated significantly. During the first 10 years, its score rose gradually, and it joined the ranks of the economically “free” in 2006. Since then, it has suffered a dramatic decline of almost 6 points, with particularly large losses in property rights, freedom from corruption, and control of government spending. The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.
The Index grades each country in 10 areas of economic freedom. The area where the U.S. ranks the worst: government spending. America’s out-of-control government spending is having a major impact on our economic freedoms—which isn’t too surprising when you see that total public debt has grown bigger than the size of the entire U.S. economy.
And in case you were wondering whether Obamacare has had real economic effects, the authors note that the law “appears to be significantly hurting job creation and full-time employment.”
That’s part of a bigger trend: “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.”
This is a trend that needs reversing. Derrick Morgan, Heritage’s vice president for domestic and economic policy, urges:
The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom rankings should act as a wake-up call to U.S. policymakers and citizens alike. Freedom leads to prosperity, and our founders put us on that path of freedom. As we fight for just government, we must also fight for a government that lives within its means and does not spend the next generation’s money.
The Index’s release is well-timed as Congress prepares to spend a possible $1 trillion in the next week or so.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.
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