Heritage’s Terry Miller reports some good news in the Wall Street Journal (subscribers only):
A steep, seven-year decline in U.S. economic freedom has come to an end, according to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, published Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. score in the index experienced a particularly large drop in 2009-10, pushing this country out of the “free” category and into the “mostly free” category. A slight 0.7-point uptick this year has allowed the U.S. to retain its 12th-place ranking.
The index measures commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating policies related to the rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and market openness. Restraint in the growth of government spending drove the modest improvement in the U.S. score.
Since changes in index scores are highly correlated with economic growth rates, the modest rebound for the U.S. raises hopes that the economy can regain some of the momentum lost through the excessive spending, taxes and regulations of the Obama era. The 2010 elections, which returned control of the House of Representatives to Republicans, brought some restraint in government excess, a fact reflected in the U.S. economic freedom trend and the recent uptick in U.S. economic activity. The 2014 election promises even greater restraint in the growth of government spending and regulation.
Get more info directly from the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. The United States ranked 12th in the world, or “mostly free,” trailing countries like New Zealand, Chile, Ireland and Mauritius. Hong Kong once again ranked the world’s freest economy.
How do you think the United States can improve its ranking in the Index?