As the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin writes, the Economic Freedom Network is out with its latest rankings of how countries stack up in securing economic freedom, and the United States has now fallen to 10th place in the world rankings — behind the United Kingdom. Numerically, the U.S. fell off steeply between the ratings for 2008 and those for 2009 — the first year of the Obama presidency and the most recent year measured — with only Ireland, the Philippines, and Kuwait falling off more. (Even Greece fell off a bit less.)
As recently as 2000, the United States ranked 3rd in these rankings, behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. By 2008, we’d been passed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Chile, and Canada. Since 2008, we’ve been passed by Australia, Mauritius, and the U.K.
I can’t vouch for the rankings (it’s hard to believe we’ve really fallen behind the British), but the publication’s explanation for America’s declining ranking certainly sounds reasonable: “Much of this decline is a result of higher government spending and borrowing and lower scores for the legal structure and property rights components.” (Perhaps all of this can be fixed by taking more property from the rich.)
The U.S. is already outside of the top-25 in both the “Regulation...” and “Size of Government” categories, and that’s even without Obamacare having yet gone into effect.
Perhaps it’s time for repeal.