“Economic Freedom”

Thoughts on a Free Market Economy…
“Economic Freedom”
By Phyllis Hunsinger
October 1, 2019

Economic freedom is defined as the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property.  In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please.  

Each year the Fraser Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Wall Street Journal compile a ranking of countries in the world according to their economic freedom.   The Economic Freedom Index, which the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal define as the cornerstones of economic freedom, is based on personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of privately owned property.  The size of government expenditures, taxes, and enterprises also affect the freedom of individuals to control his or her own labor and property.  The Fraser Institute of Canada publishes an annual survey to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world’s nations.

Hong Kong continues to occupy the #1 ranking on the Economic Freedom Index.  The United States continues to lag behind, however, the U.S. has improved six places and its overall score in the 2019 freedom index is the highest recorded since 2011.  This improvement was credited on the Freedom Index website, https://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates, to significant regulatory reform since January, 2017, and to successful challenges to compulsory unionization resulting in expanding the right to work.  According to the website, more improvement would be seen except the new minimum wage laws have curtailed low-income job opportunities in some areas.  The increasing U.S. national debt diminishes freedom for its citizens, and the report said subsidies for agriculture, health care, green energy, and corporate welfare continue to add billions of dollars per year to the national debt.

Why is economic freedom important to the citizens of any country?  Countries with higher economic freedom have a higher gross domestic product per capita.  The principles of economic freedom are free markets, rule of law, protection of private property, and open trade.  These principles boost prosperity and reduce costs so societies can secure a better quality of life.

https://www.free-dom.co.us, Phyllis Hunsinger © 2013 All Rights Reserved

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