January 20, 2010
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation has released our 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, and the results are alarming if not terribly surprising: America is no longer ranked among the world’s free economies.
Instead, for the first time, America ranks as only “mostly free” — behind countries like Canada, Ireland and Switzerland.
The Index, published for the past 16 years as a joint project with The Wall Street Journal, analyzes the economic freedom of 179 countries and bases their scores on three categories: government burdens upon businesses and entrepreneurs; intrusiveness of government; and fundamental societal characteristics that support today’s most prosperous economies.
Given the past year, it should come as no surprise that the United States’ ranking has declined. After all, government spending has exploded and intrusion into the economy has increased, yet our government continues to raise its debt ceiling to allow for spending package after spending package.
The drop in rankings is notable as it comes in the same week that marks the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. By any standard, Americans’ overall wealth and prosperity has continued to decline…unemployment has skyrocketed and shows no signs of abating, government spending and debt are at unprecedented levels during peacetime, and our elected officials seem determined not only to ignore these alarm bells but to pursue policies…that will cause entrepreneurs to stay on the sidelines rather than take the risks that have led the United States out of previous recessions.
Americans are not happy about this. More and more of them are voicing their disapproval of big-government policies, which give way to more taxes and less freedom. On Tuesday, many of these Americans made their message loud and clear.