The United States recently slipped to its lowest level yet in world rankings of economic freedom compiled by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. It now qualifies not as “free” but as “mostly free.”
As The Hill notes:
In the latest report, the U.S. ranks 17th out of 180 countries with an economic freedom score of 75.1 out of 100. Last year, the U.S. ranked number 11.
Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand topped the list, with respective scores of 89.8, 88.6, and 83.7. Other countries that placed ahead of the U.S. included Canada, Taiwan, and Britain, among others.
The Heritage report said countries with scores between 80-100 are considered economically “free,” while countries scores between 70-79.9 are considered “mostly free.”
The Index of Economic Freedom cited the “substantial expansion in the size and scope of the U.S. government, increased regulatory, and tax burdens in many sectors,” and “large budget deficits and a high level of public debt.” It also took into account “changes around the globe” in 2016 affecting America’s competitors. The Heritage Foundation’s Anthony Kim concluded that America’s slow economic growth in recent years is “an unfortunate legacy of Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency.” The Obama administration reduced America’s “economic dynamism” through “new and costly regulations in areas like finance” and “health care,” and the environment” that shrank “opportunities for nongovernmental production and investment.” Moreover, the “growth of government has been accompanied by increasing cronyism that has undermined the rule of law and perceptions of fairness.”
The Heritage Foundation is not the only think tank to conclude that economic freedom has diminished in the United States over the last decade…