Cato: American Decline Accelerating

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
By Paul Martin

by Bob Adelmann
Tuesday, 03 November 2015

The latest report from the Cato Institute comes on top of a long and increasingly unhappy series of reports on freedom’s decline in America. Enitled the “Economic Freedom of the World” and updated with the latest data available (through 2013), the report ranks the United States in 16th position, down from second place when the index was first published in 2000. The United States has fallen behind such countries as New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Chile.

Last year’s report showed the United States in 12th position.

The study measures freedom in five broad areas: the size of government, the security an individual has in his property rights, how sound his currency is, what degree of freedom he has to trade and travel internationally, and how much the government regulates his private and business transactions. Having done this for years, the authors of the Cato study note, “Virtually without exception, these studies have found that countries with institutions and policies more consistent with economic freedom have higher investment rates, more rapid economic growth, higher income levels, and a more rapid reduction in poverty rates.”

The Cato study analyzes not only per-capita GDP but individual income levels, life expectancy rates, and something called “personal life satisfaction,” which is, according to the authors, “the degree to which people feel they are in control of their lives.” Wrote the authors, “Economic freedom exerts a strong and persistent impact on both individual life control and life satisfaction … that living in a country with high overall economic freedom is a major determinant of perceived personal control over one’s life.”

The Rest…HERE

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