“Land of the Free, Home of the Brave…”
“It’s a FREE COUNTRY, isn’t it?”
Most Americans, even those of us who are a bit more cynical about our government, often think of our nation as a haven for freedom. In some regards, it is. Sadly, in many, many ways… it’s not.
Today, many Americans are ready to give up their freedoms for a “hope” of safety. Others beg the government to step in to tell their neighbors how they should live, speak, and even think (i’m looking at you LGBT leftists).
Recently, John Stossel asked an important question and it’s one you need to think about too.
Are you living in the freest country? Not if you live in the United States.
The new “Human Freedom Index” by the Fraser and Cato Institutes ranks countries by both economic freedom–like freedom to trade, amount of regulations, and tax levels–and personal freedom–such as women’s rights and religious freedom.
America rose seven spots in the latest report, to number 17. But it’s still far from where it once was.
Report co-author Ian Vasquez tells John Stossel that America “used to be a two, three, or four. And then government started to grow. It started to spend more.” President Bush signed the Wall Street bailouts and increased regulations. Obama continued increasing regulations and upped America’s top tax rate.
Stossel says a good ranking matters, not just because it’s good to be free, but because freedom allows people to prosper.
There are 16 countries on our planet that can reasonably argue that they are “freer” than the USA, and therefore have more right to call themselves “the land of the free” than we do.
Interestingly, there is a correlation on the list between FREEDOM and the size of government… can you guess what it is?
That’s right – if you want MORE freedom, than the government must be smaller. If you want more government then it necessitates that you also have LESS freedom. You can’t grow government and freedom at the same time, it’s impossible.
And therein lies an important lesson for us all.
The top 10 jurisdictions in order were Switzerland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and, tied at 9th place, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Selected countries rank as follows: Canada (11), Sweden (13), Germany (16), the United States (17), Japan (27), South Korea (29), France (33), Italy (35), Chile (37), South Africa (68), Mexico (73), Indonesia (78), Turkey (84), Kenya (89), Malaysia (97), India (102), United Arab Emirates (116), Russia (126), China (130), Nigeria (133), Pakistan (141), Zimbabwe (146), Saudi Arabia (149), Iran (154), Egypt (155), Venezuela (158), and Syria (159).
Out of 17 regions, the highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States). The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe (Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine), South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.