Liberals love to talk about freedom and the economy — just not in the same sentence. Don’t expect the White House to have much to say, therefore, about the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom.
A statement by the administration is less probable still when you consider that the United States ranks twelfth globally in economic freedom, which according to the report “offers a time-tested formula for sustained economic growth” and is “grounded in the classical liberal economic theories of Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek.” When Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. was in sixth place.
As the study notes, there are 10 components of economic freedom: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom.
Taken together, these 10 components of economic freedom provide a portrait of a country’s economic policies and establish benchmarks by which to gauge strengths and weaknesses. A systematic analysis of the 10 freedoms over [its] history… demonstrates that economic freedom is the key to creating an environment in which entrepreneurship and innovation flourish, with rapid economic growth and sustainable development as the happy results.
Economic freedom impacts prosperity, democratic governance, human development, and even the environment. The higher the score, the higher the standard of living in a country.
Today, the U.S. has an economic freedom rating of 76.2. In contrast, Hong Kong, the number one ranked nation, has a score of 89.6. Interestingly, Mauritius, with which the U.S. has a trade agreement, moved on Obama’s watch from 18th place to 10th place, two ahead of America.