America’s Economic Freedom Declines for Seventh Straight Year

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from Heritage Foundation,

Economic freedom in the United States continues to decline, according to the new edition of the Index of Economic Freedom.

The U.S. fell from the top ten freest countries after its score declined for seven consecutive years in the Index, which is produced jointly by The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s why:

The United States, with an economic freedom score of 75.5, is the 12th freest economy in the 2014 Index. Its score is half a point lower than last year, primarily due to deteriorations in property rights, fiscal freedom, and business freedom. The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and although its score remains well above the world and regional averages, it is no longer one of the top 10 freest economies. . . .

Substantial expansion in the size and scope of government, including through new and costly regulations in areas like finance and health care, has contributed significantly to the erosion of U.S. economic freedom. The growth of government has been accompanied by increasing cronyism that has undermined the rule of law and perceptions of fairness.

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia top the Index’s rankings. See the full listing of all 178 countries in the online edition of the Index, plus detailed reports on each country.

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