Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Index of Economic Freedom

What makes a country rich? Per P.J. O'Rourke: Is it being smart? In Russia chess is the national sport. Are they smart? Yes. Are they rich? No, they are poor!! Then look at Hollywood. Are those people smart? No, but many are rich. What is the difference? Freedom. If you look at which countries have the freest economies you will see a list of growing, prospering countries. Freedom is the key to prosperity. And you might add the rule of law = enforcing contracts and such. You are headed in the right direction. Every year Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal research the countries of the world and their economic and legal systems to find which are allowing businesses to conduct business without undue interference and in an environment that encourages legal behavior. This year the top eleven countries (there was a tie) are: Hong Kong 1 [1.28]  Singapore 2 [1.56]  Ireland 3 [1.58]  Luxembourg 4 [1.60]  United Kingdom 5 [1.74]  Iceland 5 [1.74]  Estonia 7 [1.75]  Denmark 8 [1.78]  United States 9 [1.84]  Australia 9 [1.84]  New Zealand 9 [1.84] We may be behind Estonia, but there are 149 countries below us. To the report online Tomorrow: More about what factors they use in this ranking.

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