Economic Freedom Slips in US, Around World
Each year, the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal assess and rank the "economic freedom" of the world’s economies. And each year, Hong Kong and Singapore occupy the top two spots--well, for the last 18 years anyway. The newest edition is out and those two continue their stranglehold at the top of the Index, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Overall, the report shows economic freedom slipping a bit as countries around the world tightened their grip through efforts to stimulate economic recovery. According to the report, government spending rose on average to 35.2% of GDP--up from 33.5% last year.
The Index of Economic Freedom measures economic freedom in 10 specific categories: labor freedom, business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights and freedom from corruption. Scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall score.
The US dropped to 10th place thanks to lower scores for government spending, freedom from corruption, and investment freedom. Its total score of 76.3 is the lowest for the country since 1999.