Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Index of Economic Freedom (25 items)

By , Deseret News

Jan. 22, 2014

The conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, created an index that rates the economic freedom in 186 countries.

The index covers 10 freedoms grouped into four major categories to calculate an overall score for each country. The information considered for each factor in each country was current June 30, 2013.

We compiled the top 25 economically free countries, but if you want to investigate the data and see more countries you can go to their website here:

2014 Index of Economic Freedom

1 of 25. Japan

Overall Score: 72.4

According to the Index, although Japan remains in the top 25 economically free countries, it's progress is suffering due to a lack of reforms.

2 of 25. Austria

Overall Score: 72.4

According to the Index, the backbone of Austria's economy is their vibrant banking sector.

3 of 25. Iceland

Overall Score: 72.4

According to the Index, Iceland continues to improve while serious economic barriers are slowly removed.

4 of 25. Georgia

Overall Score: 72.6

According to the Index, Georgia has achieved a "mostly free" status.

5 of 25. Lithuania

Overall Score: 73.0

According to the Index, Lithuania has reduced government spending to sustain momentum through the economic recovery.
1. UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC,
Jan. 22, 2014

It is interesting that all those countries and city/states ahead of the US have some form of socialized medicine. If you need imperial proof that one does not deter the other, you got it now. It doesn't guarantee better economic growth either… it just shows there is little correlation between the two.

2. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
Jan. 22, 2014

Health care. Single payer health care. It frees employers from a burdensome chore, and frees labour from being tied to a job only for the insurance.

3. Onion Daze
Payson, UT,
Jan. 22, 2014

Want a good laugh then look at this copy and paste of # 24 from the article's survey.

#24 Austria
Overall Score: 72.4

According to the Index, the backbone of Australia's economy is their vibrant banking sector.

4. politicalcents
West Jordan, UT,
Jan. 22, 2014

It is foolish for anyone to suggest that a Socialist system cannot function. Socialism is great for many countries, and has proven to do so. In Germany, for example, the people all know they are going to pay approximately 60% of their income in taxes to the Government. In turn, they have "free" health care, among other things supplied by the government.

The United States was founded on the principles of individuality and the need for as little government presence as possible. We want to do what we want with our money, not what the government wants.

However, as American's, we want to have our cake and eat it too. We still want control of all of our money to spend it how we choose. Yet, we want the government to pay for healthcare, food stamps, social security, and everything else.

Socialism can work. So can Capitalism. Have your cake? OR eat your cake?

5. carman
Wasatch Front, UT,
Jan. 22, 2014

UtahBlueDevil:

The more economically free a country is, the faster the growth in real income. At least that is what a regression line through the data says over the long-run.

In healthcare, simply going to single payer will not solve all of the problems that proponents claim it will. Health care innovation WILL decline. A regulated, market-based healthcare system is part of the reason the U.S. leads the world in innovation in medical devices, biotechnology, surgical procedures, pharmaceuticals, RX distribution, etc., etc. Moving to single payer WILL slow innovation, and the reduce the jobs, economic profits and tax base that goes with it.

What we need is real healthcare system reform that maintains price signals, increases incentives for good behavior (and penalizes bad behavior), reduces the tendency to over-treat, reduces the tendency to over-use the system, and increases the overall productive capacity of our citizens. ObamaCare did a few good things, but it mostly just extended a broken system to more people, and put more uncertainty and fog around much needed price signals.