Skip to main content

Measuring Economic Freedom and Why It's Important

The index published in Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter markets and compete, and security of the person and privately owned property. Forty-two data points are used to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five broad areas.

Area 1: Size of Government
As government spending, taxation, and the size of government-controlled enterprises increase, government decision-making is substituted for individual choice and economic freedom is reduced. 

Area 2: Legal System and Property Rights 
Protection of persons and their rightfully acquired property is a central element of both economic freedom and civil society. Indeed, it is the most important function of government. 

Area 3: Sound Money
Inflation erodes the value of rightfully earned wages and savings. Sound money is thus essential to protect property rights. When inflation is not only high but also volatile, it becomes difficult for individuals to plan for the future and thus use economic freedom effectively. 

Area 4: Freedom to Trade Internationally
Freedom to exchange—in its broadest sense, buying, selling, making contracts, and so on—is essential to economic freedom, which is reduced when freedom to exchange does not include businesses and individuals in other nations. 

Area 5: Regulation 
Governments not only use a number of tools to limit the right to exchange internationally, they may also develop onerous regulations that limit the right to exchange, gain credit, hire or work for whom you wish, or freely operate your business. 

The top 10 countries with the most economic freedom are:

1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. New Zealand
4. Switzerland
5. Ireland
6. United States
7. Georgia
8. Mauritius
9. United Kingdom
10. Australia (tied)
10. Canada (tied)

Concepts of economic freedom is also discussed fully in books such as Why Nations Fail, The Birth of Plenty and The Age of Abundance

See the full report on Economic Freedom here.

Here's a quick video from the Frasier Institute, creator of the index. 



Another video from Learning Liberty by Prof. Joshua Hall, Beloit College:



If you really want to learn more about it, here's an hour-long lecture about the economic principles. I like his introduction about the debate over economic theory. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What happened when a Trump Supporter Challenged Me About the Wall

Vicky Alvear Schecter wrote in Medium | Poltics on Dec. 27, 2018 using her headline above. I thought it was pretty well written -- at least she made an attempt to keep her liberal bias out of it -- regardless of a few illogical fallacies

But she does make an attempt, in an effort to avoid her liberal bias, as she ponders  "...in order not to be accused by bias, I explained that I would only use conservative sources to prove my point."

To me, that's bias to start out with that premise. And I believe her premise is that she is against the wall. That's her stance. But she makes some good points, but some are skewed, even though she attempt to take a "conservative" approach, even by citing some "conservative" sources in her footnotes.

Here's the first problem: if she wanted to avoid bias, why not just stick to the the historical facts as written (when you can find them without bias), and not concern oneself with bias. "I must reject that becau…

Weekly wrap for Nov 9

After Thursday and Friday, it might seem the markets are down, but the weekly numbers tell a different story, with the three major indices up for the week. The Nasdaq, with its tech exposure, had the smallest increase. The tech sector is obviously under recent pressure. 

IndexNov 2Nov 9+/-%S&P 5002,723.062,781.01+ 57.95+ 2.12%Nasdaq7,356.997,406.90+ 49.91+ 0.67%DOW 3025,270.8325,989.30+ 718.47+ 2.84%
Over the last 12 months, the Dow is up 10.77 percent, the SP 500 up 7.6 percent, and the Nasdaq up 9.7 percent.  

The weekly chart of the SPY still indicates a long position in the broader market. (The blue line is the 34-week moving average; the red is the 13-week moving average).

















While the U.S. economy still seems to be just fine from most reports, investors seemed to worry about a couple of things on Thursday and Friday: 1) The Eurozone, 2) trade with China, and 3) the Fed and interest rates. Another topic of interest has been oil. 

First, it seems that the Fed has really not indicated …

U.S. Top Oil Producer, Thanks to Obama

\ You read that right.

The U.S. is now the largest oil producer in the world, according to the EIA, producing some 15 million BOE per day, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. (Remember back when Jimmy Carter said in 1979 the answer to our energy problems was to wear a warmer sweater...but you probably don't. He actually said this on national TV).

The United States is the top oil-producing country in the world, with an average of 14.86 million b/d, which accounts for 15.3% of the world's production. This is down from 15.12 million b/d in 2015, but it was enough to land the United States in the No. 1 spot, which it has held for the past four years running. (Source: Investopedia.)

Guess who takes credit for it? Granted, this increase in production began in 2012, but only because of private industry and the fact that the price of oil was at nearly all-time highs. And it dipped in 2016 because of Obama's anti-oil policies! 

But here he is again


Former President Barack Obama sure l…