Posted by: rbbadger | January 18, 2009

The 2009 Index of Economic Freedom

Each year, the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal put out an index which measures economic freedom around the world.  Once again, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is in first place.  Mainland China scored a dismal 132nd place in the rankings.  Number 2 on the index is the tiny nation of Singapore.  The USA is in 6th place behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.  The United Kingdom is once again in 10th place.  I find it very interesting that with the exception of Switzerland, the rest of the top ten were British colonies at one time. 

In a fairly dismal 40th place is South Korea.  South Korea got lower marks because of some its high tarriffs.  The Korean government has high tarriffs on many imported things, especially things which might be considered luxuries.  Buying an American-made car here is, for instance, much more expensive than if you bought one in the states.  Korea also got low marks due to the price caps and subsidies that are imposed by the government on some things.  For instance, electricity is highly regulated and highly subsidised.  Also, price caps are put on some things by the government which distorts their true market value.  South Korea gets low marks for corruption, something which is still a major problem.

Anyhow, if you’re interested in such things, I invite to take a look at http://www.heritage.com/index

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