Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Uh, oh. We're number...twelve?

The 2005 Index of Economic Freedom is out and the United States is tied for...twelfth?

The "free" countries are:

1 Hong Kong
2 Singapore
3 Luxembourg
4 Estonia
5 Ireland
New Zealand
7 United Kingdom
8 Denmark
10 Australia
11 Chile
12 Switzerland
United States
14 Sweden
15 Finland
16 Canada
17 Netherlands

Money quote:

In 1998, the U.S. was the fifth freest economy in the world, in 2001 it was sixth, and today it sits at 12th, tied with Switzerland. The U.S. drop in ranking is explained in part by a slightly lower score, but mostly by the good performance among its competitors. The lesson? Stand still on the highway to economic liberty and the world will soon start to pass you by.

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge also picks up the story.