US becomes ‘less free’ in new economic rankings

Danny Huizinga Freelance Reporter
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The United States is no longer in the top ten countries for economic, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom published by The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

The Index measures a country’s economic freedom by determining scores in ten separate areas, including freedom from corruption, property rights, government spending, and freedom for investment, business, and trade.

For 20 years, Hong Kong has topped the list by pursuing policies that encourage growth, entrepreneurship, and free markets. The United States, on the other hand, has dropped from 6th to 12th in the rankings since President Obama took office.

Though the United States dropped in the rankings, the world as a whole became more free, indicating a worrying trend in American policy. “The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom rankings should act as a wake-up call to U.S. policymakers and citizens alike,” said Derrick Morgan, vice president for domestic and economic policy at Heritage.

Though the United States is above the world average on most of the rankings, it performs significantly worse in the areas of “fiscal freedom” and “government spending,” indicating an ever-growing bureaucracy and higher taxes. Fiscal freedom is the worst area, as the United States dropped 13 places from last year’s ranking due to an increasing tax burden.

Ambassador Terry Miller, who worked on the rankings, said in the Wall Street Journal that American policies have been “inexcusable” and that the United States needs to make a greater commitment to strive for economic freedom.

“The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom documents a world-wide race to enhance economic opportunity through greater freedom—and this year’s index demonstrates that the U.S. needs a drastic change in direction,” Miller said.

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Danny Huizinga