US Economic Freedom Improves

The Heritage Foundation‘s 2006 Index of Economic Freedom has the United States tied for 9th place with New Zealand and Australia, up from 12th place last year.

Number 1 is Hong Kong, but the political repression is ramping up there under the ChiComs and the economic freedom is only on sufferance. Number 2 is Singapore, but much as I like the idea of publicly hanging murderers I’m put off by caning people who spit their gum on the sidewalk. (FWIW, I checked the Freedom House rankings on these countries and they both rank as “Partly Free” in political freedom and civil liberties.)

Number 3 is Ireland, 4 is Luxembourg and 5 is Iceland. Quentin Tarentino was on Late Night last night talking about staying in Iceland and how the women are all hard drinking Viking supermodels. Ireland is the home of Guiness, Irish Whiskey and William Butler Yeats. As soon as Google gets that worldwide wireless internet system set up, I may just start shuttling back and forth between those two.

Interestingly, the “socialist” UK is number 6 – ahead of the US – for the second year in a row. On the other hand, “socialist” Sweden which tied with the US for 12th last year is 15th this year.

With the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore all the countries I mentioned ranked with scores of 1 in the Freedom House index for both political freedom and civil liberties, the highest possible.

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