Saturday, January 07, 2006

2006 Economic Freedom Rankings

Our freedom in a nation can depend on whether we're trying to run a business or to change the government, so there are two indexes - Economic and Political. This post covers the former and shows the nations now spending blood and treasure to spread freedom through the world are the most economically free, those attempting to block them are not very free, and all the bad guys are completely unfree.

The Economic Freedom Index is produced by the
Heritage Foundation:

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Their objective and rigorous assessments are explained here. They use 50 economic variables measuring everything from property rights to government intervention in the economy, weight and combine them to produce a freedom index for each nation. The results for 2005 show:
Out of the 157 countries graded in the Index, 99 saw improved scores this year, and the average country score now falls into the “mostly free" category for the first time ever. Because economic freedom is linked with economic growth and prosperity, this is an important development.

The Ten Most Free
RankNation
1Hong Kong
2Singapore
3Ireland
4Luxembourg
5United Kingdom
5Iceland
7Estonia
8Denmark
9United States
9Australia


Strip out the small nations, and your left with the core of the coalition.

The Weasels


These range from just free to unfree. It's obvious from the numbers that France, Russia and China have more in common with eachother than with free nations. Germany is a special case - economically freer than good allies like Japan and Israel, although of course less free than the decent Dutch. The anti-Semitic, anti-American angst that grips the Germans - as chronicled in David's Medienkritik - can probably be only be exposed by psychoanalysis, not econometrics.

RankNation
19Germany
44France
111China
122Russia


The Lowest Ten

These are all terror states that subjugate their own populations and seek to subjugate others. Their position at the bottom of the freedom tree provides the quantitative proof of the president's assertion that only a world of free nations will be free of torture, murder and oppression.

RankNation
148Turkmenistan
149Laos
150Cuba
151Belarus
152Venezuela
152Libya
154Zimbabwe
155Burma
156iran
157North Korea