2006 Economic Freedom Rankings

January 7, 2006

Our freedom in a nation can depend on whether we’re trying to run a business or to change the government, so there are two indexes – Economic and Political. This post covers the former and shows the nations now spending blood and treasure to spread freedom through the world are the most economically free, those attempting to block them are not very free, and all the bad guys are completely unfree.

The Economic Freedom Index is produced by the Heritage Foundation:

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute – a think tank – whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Their objective and rigorous assessments are explained here. They use 50 economic variables measuring everything from property rights to government intervention in the economy, weight and combine them to produce a freedom index for each nation. The results for 2005 show:

Out of the 157 countries graded in the Index, 99 saw improved scores this year, and the average country score now falls into the “mostly free” category for the first time ever. Because economic freedom is linked with economic growth and prosperity, this is an important development.

The Ten Most Free

Rank Nation
1 Hong Kong
2 Singapore
3 Ireland
4 Luxembourg
5 United Kingdom
5 Iceland
7 Estonia
8 Denmark
9 United States
9 Australia

Strip out the small nations, and your left with the core of the coalition.

The Weasels

These range from just free to unfree. It’s obvious from the numbers that France, Russia and China have more in common with eachother than with free nations. Germany is a special case – economically freer than good allies like Japan and Israel, although of course less free than the decent Dutch. The anti-Semitic, anti-American angst that grips the Germans – as chronicled in David’s Medienkritik – can probably be only be exposed by psychoanalysis, not econometrics.

Rank Nation
19 Germany
44 France
111 China
122 Russia

The Lowest Ten

These are all terror states that subjugate their own populations and seek to subjugate others. Their position at the bottom of the freedom tree provides the quantitative proof of the president’s assertion that only a world of free nations will be free of torture, murder and oppression.

Rank Nation
148 Turkmenistan
149 Laos
150 Cuba
151 Belarus
152 Venezuela
152 Libya
154 Zimbabwe
155 Burma
156 iran
157 North Korea

This England

January 7, 2006

Now a semi-outsider to Brit culture, I can enjoy their eccentricities. Here are some examples.

Dress and Manners

A guy in line at a local store was wearing denim pants with crotch at knee level, skin tight black sweater, and an Iranian-thug style beard. His heavily gelled hair supported six 12 inch high masts, each carrying four red and blue decorations. He looked like a post-modern Christmas tree, and perhaps intended to. He reached out to nudge a passing female. “Ooh, hi Darren”, she cooed, “didn’t notice you there!”.

The Out To Lunch Elite

Blair just legalized gay civil unions (oddly not giving single people living with and supporting elderly parents the same benefits) and has now allowed gay couples to adopt, ignoring the damage kids suffer without father and mother role models.

The new, dynamic, Tory opposition leader has announced:

“The right test of our policies is how they help the least well-off in our society”.

I guess the tests of fairness, equity, effectiveness, legality, national interest and affordability will have to wait until the next administration but one.

Strikes Are Back

London Underground workers are striking for more annual vacation – they just rejected an offer of 10 weeks. Another reason to avoid the Underground.

Bureaucracy

Blair imposed on the state health service a 4 hour maximum time between arrival in A&E (ER)and discharge, with inevitable unintended consequences – a hospital is reported as hiding casualties in corridors, since the clock doesn’t start until they check in to A&E.

“Ripped to pieces in a unique frenzy of Lib-Dem venom”

This is a headline about the Lib Dems, a small lefty party that is about as venomous as a dead sheep. If the Brits had proper treasonous American Dems, they’d see what true venom is! An exchange of Dems would be educational for both nations.

Stealth Taxes

Blair and his Finance minister (and rival) Brown are struggling for money as the economy tanks and tax revenues collapse. Raising direct tax rates will cut revenues further (Laffer Curve) so they’re using increasingly ingenious tricks.

Here’s one they use on London motorists, as told us by a furious taxi driver. In one day he’d been caught speeding twice – both cases a “temporary speed reduction” scheme was in place, marked by a single (but obscured) sign, and enforced by a specially calibrated speed camera. He was fined for driving at 27mph in a 30mph zone which had briefly been made 20mph; and again for doing 37mph in a 40mph zone that had been cut to 30mph. Two more fines and he loses his driver’s license and his livelihood. London’s cab drivers are the finest in the world.

Blairphobia

We haven’t met anybody who has a good word for the guy – he’s seen as a corrupt, weak, deceitful appeaser. Can’t imagine how that happened.

Institutional Incompetence

Wild boars are making an unspecified nuisance of themselves in Southern England, and here’s what the farmers have done. Nothing.




The Chief Executive of the British Pig Association, said “We want the Government to act quickly to get rid of them”.

Guys, why not just shoot ‘em – farmers are allowed to have guns, right? Shoot the wild boars, I mean – the taxi drivers will take care of Blair and his government.

Naivety

People are puzzled about one of the 7/7 killers:

A report in The Sun said that Shehzad Tanweer, 22, who detonated a bomb on the Underground at Aldgate station, killing eight people, had an estate valued at £121,000 net of taxes and debts.

Yet Tanweer, a British national of Pakistani descent, was a student until 2004 and worked for a few hours a week as an assistant in the fish and chip shop run by his father in Beeston, Leeds. Questions were being asked how he could possess assets of such value.

I can answer the questions. The perp was a Muslim terrorist, so will have been paid money by one of their terror sponsors – Iran, Saudis, or the EU – the better to kill and maim Brits. Now they know this, the Brit government has to confiscate the money from the killer’s parents and give it to his victims. I bet they don’t though.

In spite of all this, the Heritage Foundation reports the Brits as the most free major economy in the world, so they’re doing something right.

Update

Corrected Freedom House in the paragraph above to Heritage Foundation, and added link to their results.


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