The good news is that America had dropped as low as #18, so we’ve been improving the past few years.
The bad news is that the U.S. used to be a top-5 country in the 1980s and 1990s.
But let’s set aside America’s economic ranking and deal with a different question. I’m frequently asked why European nations with big welfare states still seem like nice places.
My answer is that they are nice places. Yes, they get terrible scores on fiscal policy, but they tend to be very pro-market in areas like trade, monetary policy, regulation, and rule of law. So they almost always rank in the top-third for economic freedom.
The Humans Freedom Index.
Moreover, there’s more to life than economics. Most European nations also are nice places because they are civilized and tolerant. For instance, check out the newly released Human Freedom Index, which measures both economic liberty and personal liberty. As you can see, Switzerland is ranked #1 and Europe is home to 12 of the top 16 nations.
And when you check out nations at the bottom, you won’t find a single European country.
Having now engaged in the unusual experience of defending Europe, let’s take a quick look at the score for the United States.
As you can see, America’s #17 ranking is a function of our position for economic freedom (#11) and our position for personal freedom (#24).
Anyhow, here’s how the U.S. score has changed over time.
Let’s close with a few random observations.
Other nations also improved, not just the United States. Among advanced nations, Singapore jumped 16 spots and is now tied for #18. There were also double-digit increases for Suriname (up 14 spots, to #56), Cambodia (up 16 spots, to #58), and Botswana (up 22 spots, to #63). The biggest increase was Swaziland, which jumped 25 spots to #91, though it’s worth pointing out that it’s easier to make big jumps for nations with lower initial rankings.
Now let’s look at nations moving in the wrong direction. Among developed nations, Canada dropped 7 spots to #11. Still a very good score, but a very bad trend. It’s also unfortunate to see Poland drop 10 spots, to #32. Looking at developing nations, Brunei Darussalam plummeted an astounding 52 spots, down to #115, followed by Tajikistan, which fell 46 spots to #118. Brazil is also worth highlighting, since it plunged 23 spots to #120.
P.S. I don’t know if Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia count as European countries or Asian nations, but they all rank in the bottom half. In any event, they’re not Western European nations.
P.P.S. I mentioned last year that Switzerland was the only nation to be in the top 10 for both economic freedom and personal freedom. In the latest rankings, New Zealand also achieves that high honor.
Reprinted from International Liberty.
Daniel J. Mitchell is a Washington-based economist who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
Follow libertyLOL on your favorite social media sites:Facebook
Countable: Government Made Simple
Steemit blog on a blockchain
libertyLOL's Liberty Blog RSS Feed
We also run a couple twitterbots which provide great quotes and book suggestions:
Murray Rothbard Suggests
Tom Woods Suggests
Jason Stapleton Suggests
Taxation is Theft Bot
MORE FROM LIBERTYLOL:
Do you trust "The Government" or "The Market" more?
I have no doubt that Comcast and other large Internet Service Providers do not have MY personal best interests in mind. Not exactly.
They have this thing called 'profit motive'.
But in a Free Market, if they continue to screw someone over or charge too high of prices, people will stop using their services and it’s an opportunity for another business to undercut them. They go out of business if they can’t offer the best product at the cheapest prices, because someone else will. Because "Profit Motive".
There are entire YELP-like industries designed around measuring how well companies
This entire Net Neutrality Debate is simplified in one question.
Do you trust "The Government" or "The Market" more?
This is the only question you need ask yourself.
Let's discuss all these atrocities they are saying 'could occur'.... Why haven't we seen them from 1994-2014, twenty years with NO NET NEUTRALITY at all, and none of these horrors occurred.
Sure some companies had some fights and guess what they all solved it and moved on. It never affected you for a moment, you didn't even know it happened until the TV or the great Facebook told you about it.
The internet is the most awesome tech ever created, why?
More than two decades to evolve free of regulation, that is why.
Some are too young, you don't remember how regulation has always been the problem and never once been the solution. When phones were highly regulated, great screams poured out when deregulation was proposed. They said it would be 'suicide for our communication networks and capabilities'.
"The corporations will charge you for every feature", "Long distance will triple!", "They will shut your phone off if you say something they don't like!", "they will tap your phone", on and on it went....any of this sound familiar?
Jack Spirko reminds us what telephone service was like before DEREGULATION?
I’m talking about back in the good old days when it was highly regulated?
Here are some facts about that time...
The sheep are so easily led by a terms "net neutrality" and “free and open internet”, it all sounds so nice right?
It actually amounts to one thing "government regulation of the internet", every time you hear or read the term “net neutrality”, translate it in your head to read"government regulation of the internet" and see how much support you have for it in a week or two. Go check out these and other chunks of wisdom at The Survival Podcast.
But what about GEOGRAPHICALLY disparate communities with only one provider?!
First research this: Why aren't there competing ISPs where you live? Does your local ISP have a monopoly that was granted to them from government regulation? Or does the cost of internet infrastructure truly outweigh the population in an area?
If there is no incentive to bring a second company into such a small population, chock that up to your 'cost of living in the boonies."
The argument that "Cheap Abundant Internet is a Right because everything we do is online" will be withheld for another time (it's not).
There are never really any true monopolies, even Standard Oil would see competitors the moment they increased prices.
The ‘out in the boonies’ problem you have can probably only be fixed with a US Postal Service-style monopoly. But then you’d be getting USPS Government quality Internet.
The problem we have in this case (geographically, only one provider) is the kind of problem that the market corrects for, over time, though. It spurs the next innovation that will reduce the cost of DSL/Satellite solutions which will free us of the old physical fiber lines.
Just think, the 'telephone poles' we are so accustomed to seeing in our neighborhoods are 99% obsolete for telephone connectivity these days. Who has telephones in their house anymore?
Let the market innovate out of your problem. Yes, I know that means it sucks in the meantime.
If the internet would be SO AWFUL without net neutrality why was it awesome from 1994-2014 when we had nothing even approaching "net neutrality" for those 20 years?
If it’s meant to help ‘the little guy’ compete with large media, then why is large media lobbying to get it passed?
Could it possibly be that large media LOVES legislation that they can lobby for that helps them and hurts others?
Could it be that large media firms can afford the teams of lawyers needed to comply with large regulation, knowing that the startup “little guy” can’t?
Most people who hate big business these days don’t even understand that these big businesses have politicians in their pockets in order to protect their market share and protect them from the ‘little guy’ who can innovate to make things better and cheaper for us.
Just think, if government started regulating the net in 1994, you'd still hear modem noises followed by "YOU'VE GOT MAIL" every time you logged on 23 years later!
Thanks Free Market!
Don't Fall for the Following Scare Tactics in Hopes Government can get Involved
Search and Shop on Amazon.com!
Tom Wood's Liberty Classroom
"Get the equivalent of a Ph.D. in libertarian thought and free-market economics online for just 24 cents a day...."
At Liberty Classroom, you can learn real U.S. history, Western civilization, and free-market economics from professors you can trust.
Short on time? No problem. You can learn in your car.
Find out more!