2021 index sees increase in global economic freedom, but US score drops

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America’s economic freedom ranks drop to all-time low, says The Heritage Foundation Index of economic freedom 2021.

The United States has fallen three places since last year and now ranks 20th in the world among the countries assessed, with an economic freedom score of 74.8 out of 100.

The 27th annual Index of economic freedom was published Thursday during a Heritage virtual Event starring Charles Payne, host of Fox Business’s “Making Money With Charles Payne”.

The “US government spending [score is] at 62.2. It will go down, ”predicted Payne at the event. “And unfortunately the best category for America [is] freedom of work at 87.1. it will hurt a lot [by the pro-union policies of the Biden administration]. ”

The 2021 index ranks 178 countries in four broad categories (rule of law, size of government, regulatory efficiency and open markets) to determine their overall economic freedom score.

America’s ranking in the 2021 Economic Freedom Index. (Photo: The Heritage Foundation)

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to economic freedom in America and around the world, said Terry Miller, director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation and one of the editors of the index.

“Many measures implemented by governments, especially travel restrictions and blockades, have a negative effect on economic freedom and all the benefits that come with it,” Miller said.

Speaking of the impact COVID-19 has had on the US economy, Payne said he was concerned that the federal government’s numerous stimulus packages have now become a ‘cash grab’ that will further hurt the economy. .

“We sank into an even worse position,” Payne said of increased spending during the pandemic. “Four rounds of fiscal stimulus have now added fodder to those who say we can do it all the time.”

The government seems unlikely to “exploit the breaks” in spending, he said, but providing students with a good education and spreading a “can do” message across the United States can help improve education. America’s economic future.

Without education, “we lose control of our destiny,” said the Fox Business presenter. He added that people are kept in a state of economic dependence on the government unless they are told that there are opportunities available to them and that they can do the hard work required to move on. the front.

While America’s score fell nearly two points, down from 76.6 and three ranking positions since last year, the average global economic freedom score remained at an all-time high of 61.6 for the second year in a row.

Singapore received an Economic Freedom Score of 89.7, making it the most economically free nation in the world. New Zealand came in second with a score of 83.9, while Australia took third, with a score of 82.4.

The index reveals that countries with a high economic freedom score also enjoy greater financial prosperity, and that people in these countries tend to be more educated, healthier, live longer and even live longer. to be more inclined to protect the environment.

“The 2021 Index continues to show that economic freedom is the norm, with the world still collectively classified as ‘moderately free’,” said Kay C. James, president of the Heritage Foundation. declaration. “But the free world faces a formidable challenge from a rising Communist China, which seeks to dominate the world economy with decidedly non-free economic ideas.”

Hong Kong and Macau were not included in the 2021 index for the first time in the history of the project. Hong Kong was class second most economically free in the world in the 2020 index. Hong Kong and Macau were excluded from this year’s index in part because of Beijing’s increased control over them.

“While Hong Kong and Macao offer their citizens more economic freedom than the average Chinese citizen, developments in recent years have demonstrated unequivocally that these policies are ultimately controlled by Beijing,” the editors said. ‘index Miller, Anthony Kim and James Roberts in a declaration.

North Korea ranked last in the 2021 Economic Freedom Index, followed by Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe, rounding out the bottom five.

The countries that have improved their economic freedom the most over the past year are the Republic of Congo, Mongolia, Benin, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands and Barbados .

A total of 97 economies were classified as “free”, “mostly free” or “moderately free”, meaning that “54% of all countries and territories ranked in the 2021 index have institutional environments in which individuals and private enterprises enjoy at least a moderate degree of economic freedom in the pursuit of increased economic development and prosperity, ”the editors of the index said.

It is the responsibility of free nations to push back governments that oppress economic freedom and “promote even greater freedom for the fiscal and physical health of their people,” James said.

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