Thursday, January 28, 2010

The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom

The new rankings are now available. (Insert here my usual caveat that all rankings are a bit subjective and methodologies open to scrutiny and debate, but this is a useful rough sketch of different nations' economic freedom status.)

The US is still in the top 10, but we've slipped in the rankings. (Technically the US ranking is no longer fully "Free" but "Mostly Free," and Canada's ahead of us now. Really?! HopeChange!)

Number 1 in the world for economic freedom? Hong Kong.

In fact, Asian/Pacific nations rule supreme: HK, followed by Singapore, then Australia and New Zealand.

Dead last in the list is also an Asian nation. North Korea, natch. I do mean DEAD last. It's even worse than Zimbabwe.

The survey has this useful little definition of "economic freedom":
Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.
Oh, yes.

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