US No Longer in Top 10 of Most Economically Free Countries

The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation released their 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, and, unsurprising to most of us, the United States has dropped out of the top ten most economically free countries. This is due in part to our escalating economic regulations and out-of-control debt, but it also has to do with growing freedoms in other parts of the world. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The most improved players are in Eastern Europe, including Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. These countries have gained the most economic freedom over the past two decades. And it’s no surprise: Those who have lived under communism have no trouble recognizing the benefits of a free-market system. But countries that have experimented with milder forms of socialism, such as Sweden, Denmark and Canada, also have made impressive moves toward greater economic freedom, with gains near 10 points or higher on the index scale. Sweden, for instance, is now ranked 20th out of 178 countries, up from 34th out of 140 countries in 1996.


The U.S. and the U.K., historically champions of free enterprise, have suffered the most pronounced declines. Both countries now fall in the “mostly free” category. Some of the worst performers are in Latin America, particularly Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. All are governed by crony-populist regimes pushing policies that have made property rights less secure, spending unsustainable and inflation ever more threatening.

I think it’s important for us to realize that the United States is being plunged into an economic quagmire that European and Eastern nations have already suffered through and are exiting. While we extol the virtues of government regulations, universal blah blah blah, and socialist utopias, former socialist states are abandoning these same ideologies in favor of the laissez-faire economic policies that traditionally characterized the US. And why are formerly socialist countries abandoning socialist policies? Because they just don’t work. I don’t know how long it will take for us to figure that out. How many other countries need to destroy themselves pursuing socialism before everyone just agrees that big government top-down economic controls paralyze economies and dissipate economic potential? Seriously. This is frustrating.

60 responses

      • I grew up in the golden age of ever growing American prosperity where the only unemployed were the 4% who were unemployable. That was the time that made America the true envy of the world.

        The liberal mantra that America is better off than ever is pure bullsh*t. Standards of living are plummeting in the relative sense. Almost half of the Americans are unemployed and fully 25% are unemployable in the modern technological era where they can’t read, have no critical thinking skills, don’t even understand what cognitive means, and can’t read above the 3rd grade (cartoon) level, much less write or read in cursive.

        That’s what the progressives and liberals have created, but hey, the uneducated, impoverished stooges are easier to control, right?

        • Jim… I agree with most of what you say. However, I studied Economics under Thomas Sowell. Anything under 5% unemployment is essentially full employment. At any given time~5% of the workforce is changing careers, going back to school, etc. Of the 4% you site, probably 1% of that, .04%, was chronically unemployable. Of course, the massive increase in food stamps and people in permanent disability is the direct result of Barack HUSSEIN Obama and the depression he has wrought on the country.

  1. There’s been quite a bit of talk about an Article V
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    Recent Congressional approval ratings are around 9%; how clear can it be that
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  2. To hell with Freedom, to hell with choices, to hell with independent thought. I want to be like a big bull with a ring though my nose so every other idiot that thinks they know more then me can pull on my ring and lead me to were they want me to go, so they can tell me what to eat, so they can tell me who will look over my health, so they can tell me where I will work, so they can tell me were I can live, so they can tell me what to wear, so they can tell me who my friends can be, so they can tell me what I can drink, so they can tell me how I feel, so they can tell me how smart they are, so they can tell me how all is good now they are in charge, so they can me what I’m worth, so they can tell me what I can drive, so they can tell me what chemicals need to be in my foods, so they can tell me where to sleep, so they can tell me what God to believe in, so they can tell me my social beliefs, so they can tell me who to mate with, so they can tell me it’s ok to kill babies, so they can tell me how well off I am when I rube my only two pennies together, so they can tell me who to vote for, so they can tell me how their failures are such great successes and my successes are really failures, so they can tell me when my time is up and put me down to die.

    When will liberal learn this is a sad way to live life? The rest of the world seems to be catching on. Even China has let some capitalism into their country so they could compete in the free international market place.

    • Unless I’m mistaken aren’t you the one that wants BIG GOVERNMENT to enact more laws restricting birth control, sex education, abortion, same-sex marriage, and drug use, among other things??

      • Another of your tiresome ignorant arguments. No one wants to restrict birth control, just don’t want to be forced to pay for anyone else’s. Who wants to restrict sex education? Government should not be doing it at all. Abortion? We already restrict murder. Just want that protection extended to cover the unborn. Same sex marriage? Don’t care. Government should not sanction it as it will lead to all immorality being acceptable.Drug use? It has negative effects on more than just the user and should not be seen as acceptable to our children. Out of the top ten economically free countries. Ah… the joys of progressivism. You are regressive and leading us down the path to serfdom. You will convince the ignorant to piss away all their freedom for the promise of Uncle Sam taking care of them with crumbs off the table of multi-millionaire politicians. Freedom loving Americans are disgusted with your snarky sarcastic BS Boob.

      • You are wrong. Liberals want BIG GOVERNMENT. Conservatives want little government. We want government to remain out of: Sex, marriage, and many other things. Big Government just has a way for screwing things up. Crimes like illegal drug use and murder are some of the things government should address.

      • Hey Boob
        You seem to confuse having some moral Government with having Government dictate every waking moment of our life
        It is no coincidence that all the most economically free countries in the World are former members of the Soviet bloc who came out of the nightmare of communism that we are descending into



            character assassination noun
            : the act of saying false things about a person usually in order to make the public stop liking or trusting that personOU REALLY ARE>>>>

      • If you’re going to make such a bold and specific claim, you ought to have the courage and wherewithal to back it up. So do it.

  4. This is what you get when low-information voters and an endless parade of human debris that thinks the world owes them a living twice elect a Chicago Democrat Machine Street Thug who happens to be a communist.

    • Here we go again with this teabag “low information voter” myth. Of the 10 most educated states, measured by the percentage of residents over 25 years old who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, Obama swept all 10. Conversely, among the 10 least educated states, Obama lost 9 states. Obama also carried 8 of the Nation’s 10 Wealthiest Counties & his margin of victory in all eight counties was greater than that of the national vote. the 10 poorest most uneducated states in the country are Republican!!! Mississippi is the poorest followed by Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama and North Carolina & that doesn’t even include Texas where one in five people lives in poverty. In the upside down world of a teabagger the poorest most uneducated people are the “smart ones” while the wealthiest most educated are the “idiots”!

      • You pull this BS out at least once a week Boob. Once again your ignorant, unscientific, self serving conclusions can be shot full of holes over and over again. Like President Reagan said, “It isn’t that the left doesn’t know anything, it’s just that so much of what they know is wrong. Stuff your educated states argument up your arse.

      • Bob… You have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. Low-information has nothing to do with intelligence. There are PhD’s who are low-informaiton voters. Doctors and Lawyers are low-information voters. Low-information voters refers to people who have absolutely no idea what is going on in the world, do not follow politics, and generally focus on a narrow field of interests that does nothing to prepare them to make informed decisions in the voting booth.

        On the other hand, many people of modest education pay extremely close attentions to the issues and better prepare themselves to make informed choices in the voting booth.

        Funny, you didn’t challenge me on the fact that the endless parade of human debris that thinks the entire world owes them a living voted in large number for Barack HUSSEIN Obama. They see him as Santa Clause!

        By the way, I live in Arkansas and have three graduate degrees from Stanford (two in the Graduate School of Business, one in the Engineering School). Does that make me uneducated because I live in Arkansas? Might I ask where YOU received your education? Could you have even been accepted at a school like Stanford? I doubt it!!

      • Bob, your article is worthless. Even in the states that vote Democratic and elect a liberal governor the number of people voting Republican or Independent is half the population. Does the fact that Detroit elected a Democratic mayor for decades make them wealthy, highly educated, and models for the rest of the country. California, New York and Illinois are in big league fiscal difficulty now thanks to reckless spending by liberal-progressive big government politicians of both parties, but the democrats win the cake for spending other peoples’ money and spending much more than they take in. One of the wealthiest parts of the country now is in Washington, D.C, Alexandria , VA and Maryland suburbs near D.C. They have the highest percentage of people with college degrees and post-graduate degrees in the country, all because the government hires them. Government workers on average get 125% the income and pension of people in the private sector. That does not mean big government works. It means that big government takes really good care of itself and its workers at the expense of the rest of the country. Maryland has high per capita income but it is filled with government workers, military bases, military contractors and is a hostile high tax environment for private businesses. Private business would rather open up their headquarters in Delaware that has lower taxes.

    • Also when the candidate running for President has a resume of Baskin Robbins and buying ping pong balls for a Community Center! Obama WILL run in ’16 & ’20 and for next 30 years! He’ll repeal the 22nd Amendment and he’ll cheat(if there’s even elections) & be the Furor for as long as Stalin, Breshev, Castro or his hero Mao, All Murderers!

      • Actually, the 2016 election will never happen. Do you remember the Occupy Movement. This was nothing more than a dress rehearsal for 2012. If the polling showed he was going to lose, the Occupy Movement would create all kinds of havoc in every city, allowing Barack HUSSEIN Obama to declare martial law and suspend the election. The polling by late October showed he was going to win, and the Occupy Movement disappeared as if it never existed. No, it was not approaching Winter that dispersed them. They would have shown up by Spring of 2013. They did not.

        What do you want to bet they show up as the 2016 election approaches. Barack HUSSEIN Obama will declare martial law, suspend the election, and remain in office. Please remember that Hitler was also an elected official. His Brown Shirts burned down the Legislature building, he was able to declare himself Chancellor,and the reuse is history.

        Do NOT say this cannot happen here. Six million Jews were warned repeatedly, as I am doing here. They contented to say, “You are all crazy. It can’t happen here, in Germany.” Ask them how that worked out!

        • You may be right but I don’t say “It’ll never happen here” I tell everyone Churchill said “If you want to look into the future, just look at the past”! History always repeats itself! There’s a Storm Coming!

  5. This was inevitable when the framers rejected Yahweh’s perfect moral law (including and especially His economic laws) for their fickle edicts:

    “…3. Every problem America faces today can be traced back to the fact
    that the framers failed to expressly establish a government upon
    Yahweh’s immutable morality as codified in His commandments, statutes,
    and judgments. (Would infanticide and sodomy be tolerated, let alone
    financed by the government, if Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether
    righteous judgments were the law of the land? Would Islam be a looming
    threat to our peace and security if the First Amendment had been
    replaced with the First Commandment? Would Americans be in nearly as
    much debt if usury had been outlawed as a form of theft? Would crime be
    as rampant if “cruel and unusual punishment” had not been outlawed and
    criminals were instead punished with Yahweh’s altogether righteous
    judgments? Would we be on the fiscal cliff if we were taxed with a flat
    increase tax rather than a graduated income tax?)….”

    For more, see our Featured Blog article “5 Reasons Why the Constitution is our Cutting-Edge Issue” at Then take our Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of an 85-page book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.

  6. It puzzles me as to “why” people don’t wait up and do something to stop O. I’m talking about phoning and emailing your congressmen and demand they stand up to O and either start impeachment proceedings or arrest him for treason. Do not remain silent because if we do all of our freedoms will become completely gone (by O and his D minions). PLEASE, do something instead of doing nothing.

  7. Economic freedom to the Heritage Foundation means the right to pollute and ruin the environment at will without pesky government regulations.

    • There is more oil and natural gas under our own countrys soil than all the middle east combined. If our leaders and enviro freaks would get their heads right (and yes regulations can still be in place) then we would have much cheaper energy and fuel as well as many new permanent jobs. The middle east shieks know this, and dread the day we lose our dependency to them

      • You are absolutely right – a little known fact – the U.S. is an oil exporting nation. Yet the American consumer pays twice as much for fuel as citizens in other oil exporting countries. And get the blame right, enviro freaks have nothing to do with this – it is the corruption between the oil companies and the government, and the MSM that propagates the lie of oil shortage.

  8. “US No Longer in Top 10 of Most Economically Free Countries”

    The progressives have always intended the above, we will know they are fully successful when the economy is in free-fall and a loaf of generic white bread cannot be bought with a wheel-barrow full of money.

  9. In three years we will be lucky to be in the top 50. With a Hillary election or Obama reelection we will be lucky to stay in the top 100. Zimbabwe here we come.

  10. Interesting post by Avatarbob – The wealthiest and most well educated voted for Obummer, the poorer and less wealthy voted Republican. Maybe the most highly educated have been brain washed in College, to be good little Socialists, and the poorer Republicans can really see the devastation socialist polices have caused, not having the shield of wealth to protect them.

    • A person can be educated like Obama worshipping Democrats/Marxist/Communist/Progressives but still be Ignorant! Not just about economics but also history and Real Life! When they finally wake up, it’ll be too late.

    • What an upside down argument. Somehow intelligence and knowledge are bad, and illiteracy and ignorance are the salvation of the country. What silliness. No wonder Republicans oppose aid to education. Intelligent, knowledgeable, educated people are not Republicans material.

      • Not as stupid a post as you might think my friend. Most college degrees are not worth the paper they are written on. The only degrees worth having are the engineering disciplines, Bcom etc. the bulk of college degrees are for “basket weaving”. A good trade qualification, electrician, plumber, building management etc. are cheaper to attain, and more lucrative

        • True enough, but those without either the ability or the ambition to get a degree at all are mostly the slum dwellers and illiterates.

          • Wow! What an ignorant response! You are a piece of work! There isn’t even enough words to describe what a scum bucket you really are. No matter whether someone is a Repub or Dem, everybody deserves respect. You have no idea why a lot of people do not have degrees. In your case, apparently you can give someone a degree, but you can’t give someone a brain.

          • I am 71 years old, so what I have got is really irrelevant, but out of interest sake, I have 2 degrees, one in accounting and one in marketing, and eventually founded, with my wife a world class knitting mill, which we ran for over 28 years, untill the Chinese killed our whole industry. The point I wanted to make, is that one does not need a degree to be successfull, 2 of my friends went to Technical College. I believe in America you call them Trade Schools? One studied to be an electrician, and the other studied plumbing. Both are still very, very successfull, and have made millions, and the Chinese could not kill their businesses. One should not be too quick to judge!

          • I had not recognized your age. You are of a generation that did not have access to the education resources available later. For your generation and all prior ones higher education was generally the province of the rich or the very committed. There were a great number of self educated and very intelligent persons without degrees.
            Beginning with my generation, there has been so much money thrown at higher education that anyone who doesn’t take advantage of it either can’t, or doesn’t have the desire. There are rare exceptions (e.g. Bill Gates). But the rule is pretty generally useful.

          • Hi Jack, age has got nothing to do with it. I am posting from Cape Town, South Africa. We have some of the top universities in the world, such as UCT( University of Cape Town), Wits (Witwatersrand University) in Johannesburg, University of the Free State, Stellenbosch University etc.Look them up, these are world class universities, on a par with Harvard and Yale. Although the way Harvard have been fudging their pass marks lately? I have been watching the American mania to gain a “College” degree, any degree, from afar with amusement, with what I call “basket weaving” degrees. To my mind, if a degree does not consist of the following, Bsc Med, Bsc Eng(Elec. Mech, Chem.). it is useless. Our local farmers used to send their daughters to study for a BA, to catch a good husband. The value of the other degrees have been so degraded, that it would have paid the students to study to be Electricians, Plumbers, Welders etc

  11. What do we expect? Facism and cronyism, along with budding marxism abounds in the US. Caused by being ruled by the most incompetent of our society! I think there is a word for that type rule, but not gonna look for it! I think it is Assesocracy! Our leaders are chosen by big business out of an olegarthy, educated by long time members, to screw the folks every chance they get, right on down to the bottom eschelons of gov’t! We are offered 2 choices in voting, terrible and worse! We know one thing, we will get a constitution smashing, educated idiot, that will do what it takes to please and appease big business who is their benefactors! It squelches competition for them, and enrichens the pockets of our elect, The international companies are the big payers of politicians! They love to rule!

  12. This is a threshold we crossed after electing Obammi. His legacy is adding up, he’ll be filling that Presidential Library he’s planning with all kinds of questionable schit starting with that “Peace Prize” he got for showing up. He’s never worked at anything, earned anything – besides a bad name, never run anything, built anything and his lack of experience sticks out like a black eye. He is a black eye – on this country. You’d think being, so-called “black”, he would have wanted to done black folk proud. Uh uh baby, he’s that bathroom plunger the white liberals have stuck up your asses. Liberals think people need lots of things and they want people to have those things – for free. How’s that free bathroom plunger be feeling?

  13. Not only are we not in the top ten we are falling at a faster rate. No country in the top allows for over a million foreign workers per year to take the jobs of their citizens or drive down their wages. No country in the top has 11-20 million illegal’s taking their citizens jobs and driving down their wages even furter. Every economic indictor shows that we are in a rapid free fall and sadly our leaders like the LIAR Rubio are willing to grant amnesty to the illegal’s and through reform double the number of legal immigrants, according to the CBO report this will drop us further down the list and closer to being a third world country.

  14. Interesting to note that some 25 years ago New Zealand had what was called Granny Government. We visited that lovely country some 25 years ago and it looked well worn and not prosperous. Well to make a long story short they wised up and flushed the Granny Government. Just about 3 years ago we revisited New Zealand and found a bright shiny nation with beautiful cities and prosperity. The country is near the top in economic freedom as well and is now ranked near the top as an overall good place to live!

  15. Europe continues to be quite socialist and enjoys a great amount of economic freedom. Canada is well above the US, and has socialized medicine.

  16. The top twenty include the socialist countries in Europe whose average scores are the same as the US. Socialism has nothing to do with economic freedom. That is a myth perpetrated and perpetuated on us.

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