Heritage not only reports an annual report on economic freedom that ranks 178 countries, but it also allows you to download their data into a spreadsheet to further explore the data. Knowing the methodology used for scoring helps you to sort the data in a helpful and instructive manner.
There are scores that can be sorted into five economic categories:
- 80-100 = “Free” economy
- 70-79.9 = “Mostly Free” economy
- 60-69.9 = “Moderately Free” economy
- 50-59.9 = “Mostly “UnFree” economy
- 0-49.9 = “Repressed” economy
There are ten components that can be sorted into four areas of economic freedom concern:
- Rule of Law measured by Freedom from Corruption and Property Rights
- Open Markets measured by Trade Freedom, Investment Freedom, and Financial Freedom
- Regulatory Efficiency measured by Business Freedom, Labor Freedom, and Monetary Freedom
- Limited Government measured by Fiscal Freedom and Government Spending
The tables below are the data for the best of the best and worst of the worst in the four areas of economic freedom concerns. The Rule of Law and Limited Government tables have more best and worse countries because each of these areas have two instead of three components that needed to be either all 80 or above or all 49.9 and below. 18 of the 178 ranked countries are mentioned, and sadly, the United States is not one of the best. We need another President like Ronald Reagan to lead us out of the same mess we made of things in the 1970s. It’s not just taxes and spending that need to be fixed. Actually the things that really matter the most that need fixing are in the areas of Rule of Law, Open Markets, and Regulatory Efficiency.
The data on the Limited Government table may surprise you. Remember a dictator believes in shrinking the government down to one person in complete control. The only government spending he needs is enough to keep his top military brass satisfied so they won’t take him out in a military coup. He doesn’t need to dole out any money to win votes because he can’t be voted out of power. We also need to take to heart the words of Ronald Reagan about individual freedom.
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.
The 18 Countries included in these tables
|Country||Population (Millions)||World Rank|
|Country||Fiscal Freedom||Gov’t Spending|
Rule of Law
|Country||Property Rights||Freedom from Corruption|
|Country||Trade Freedom||Investment Freedom||Financial Freedom|
|Country||Business Freedom||Labor Freedom||Monetary Freedom|