NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Freer Is Better

October 18, 2010

The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations -- behind Canada!  A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada, says John Stossel.

For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world's countries on the basis of their economic freedom -- or lack thereof on 10 criteria.

The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile.

For first time in 16 years, the United States fell from the "totally free" to "mostly free" group, says Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis.

Beach attributes to the slip in rankings to:

  • Excessive spending.
  • The highest corporate tax rate in the world.
  • Government takeovers of industries.
  • Subsidizing industries.

Stossel questions how the United States can be behind Canada, a country noted for its social welfare.

"Canada might do health care the wrong way," Beach says, "but by and large they do things the right way."  In fact, Canada has recently lowered tax rates and reduced spending.

If we want to reverse America's decline, we'd better get to work.  There's a lot of government to cut, says Stossel.

Source: John Stossel, "Freer is Better,", October 14, 2010.

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