2014 Index of Economic FreedomEconomic freedom in the United States continues to decline, according to the new edition of the Index of Economic Freedom.

The U.S. fell from the top ten freest countries after its score declined for seven consecutive years in the Index, which is produced jointly by The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s why:

The United States, with an economic freedom score of 75.5, is the 12th freest economy in the 2014 Index. Its score is half a point lower than last year, primarily due to deteriorations in property rights, fiscal freedom, and business freedom. The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and although its score remains well above the world and regional averages, it is no longer one of the top 10 freest economies. . . .

Substantial expansion in the size and scope of government, including through new and costly regulations in areas like finance and health care, has contributed significantly to the erosion of U.S. economic freedom. The growth of government has been accompanied by increasing cronyism that has undermined the rule of law and perceptions of fairness.

Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia top the Index’s rankings. See the full listing of all 178 countries in the online edition of the Index, plus detailed reports on each country.

Do you think America can reverse course and increase economic freedom?

Comments (23)

Patricia - January 15, 2014

With this administration in office—we can’t get anything good or really needed done. Remember to vote wisely with good judgment in 2014.

Jay Van Cleve - January 15, 2014

America has allowed Globalist Fascist Socialists to remove Jesus Christ from our society, and is therefore under His judgement, No, America will NOT recover!

Debbie Ziegler - January 15, 2014

It makes my heart sick to see where we are today as a nation. It is more than disturbing to know that there is an intentional and destructive motive in the minds of our leaders in Washington. They could easily reverse the detrimental course of which they have chosen by their selfish and corrupt decisions. Not only is the economy and the national debt contributing to our demise but the thirst for power has become more important than our
constitutional rights. It will be through the determination of honest and diligent citizens that we will see our nation survive this most absurd dilemma.

De Ette Moon - January 15, 2014

America’s economic freedom will improve only if conservatives who value our total freedom and following our Constitution are put in office. Right now we are greatly at risk of socialism.

Joel Abraham - January 15, 2014

I believe we are close to the point of no return as far as our freedoms and economic status in the world. We are turning into a country that it’s people think they are “owed it” instead of thinking “I need to earn it”. This country was built on the principle of the government should not intrude on it’s citizens. That premise is fading. We cannot allow this governent to continue to go down the path it is heading. We, as the people of this great land need to stand up and take this our country back from those who want to distroy it and turn it into a socialistic disgrace. Government has gotten too big and we need to reign it back in. It is time to make a stand. WAKE UP AMERICA! .

susan miller - January 15, 2014


Paul McGill - January 15, 2014

We can’t stop or reverse anything the Dems and Obama are doing until we get rid of the house speaker an get some leadership in the senate.
Most of the progressive politicians in there now are really worthless and just throwing money away like Obama.
They could care less as long as they keep there powerful seat.

john s palumbo - January 15, 2014

Only when we get the democrats out of office.

Charles Thomas Pickett - January 15, 2014

To answer the question “…can America reverse course and increase economic [that is to say personal] freedom?”I don’t know, now; at one time, I thought I did. My glass is half full when I wake up in the morning: I’m brimming with heart-rending historical lore, the few, the valiant, modern times Jim DeMint types, Heritage and Hillsdale lighthouses and,of course, Reagan.But when the sun begins to set I tend to gravitate to physics: how do you stop a speeding bullet and leave it intact?

John Hazeltine - January 15, 2014

In the end, it’s about human capital. Relative to some other nations, we’re losing ground on moral education, critical thinking education and knowledge of useful facts. The root problem facing the US is desperate need of free market reforms in the public education system. An amoral, dumbed-down society won’t be world-class achievers or keep its freedom.

Steven Johns - January 15, 2014

I think the US improving it’s economic freedom, or cutting funding for ineffective government programs, depends to a large degree on holding Conservative seats in the House in the midterm elections, gaining them in the Senate, and getting a President elected in 2016 that will orientate toward doing healthy economic and fiscally responsible things. Success may require long term strategies to implement generally Conservative principles in the long haul over hard line immediate positions on specific issues that are derived from those principles, and a spirit of cooperation between political sides like the Olympics was intended to inspire between nations.

Karen - January 16, 2014

Yes of course we can. First we need to get rid of Obama! Then cut back all these new taxes, get employment up, shut down several gov agency that are dups, such as education, EPA, and build our military back up to what it should be. Stop giving our borrowed money away so we can stop borrowing. Work closer with our true allies again. Get all those people out of our White House. Get all the terrorists out too. Get our God given freedoms back in place as our constitution states. Replace any and all congressmen who have been in for over 10 years. Congress was never meant to be a career!

Jerry Jernigan - January 16, 2014

What do I see? The Republicans and Democrats playing the Good Guy bad Guy game and hoping we don’t catch on.
The Republicans need to oppose Obamacare in it’s entirety and come forth with a “end run” / health care of their own.

Lets start with allowing insurance companies to operate/compete across state lines.

Thomas Lucy - January 16, 2014

Under current leadership and voting rules that allow the looters to sustain progressive representatives to government, we are doomed to the abyss. Until the dollar crashes under it’s own debt and people are forced to understand they cannot spend what they cannot pay back, nothing will change in America. Sorry to be a doomsayer, but reality is what it is. There are just too many morons who are allowed to vote with no real knowledge of economic issues to hope that a change can happen until it is forced on them. We have met the enemy but decline to admit we are our own enemy.

Bob Iversen - January 16, 2014

We are past the tipping point of recovery. We are following the course of past civilizations, and being human beings with human behaviors, only utter and complete destitution will ignite that same spark which resulted in the Declaration of Independence over 200 years ago. Can we create that spark today? I wish I knew the answer to that question…

Trudi - January 16, 2014

All things are possible. God is here, our country need but turn back to Him and he can and will heal our land. We are not seeing his judgement (yet) but we are seeing the consequences of bad decisions. It’s on us citizens too – we voted these people into office (and we can vote them out…) Pray that all Americans eyes and ears are open to God’s truth. Pray that conservative Americans will be wise and vote for true conservatives; not politicans that claim to be conservative Christians in an election year just to get the votes – research their beliefs and past decisions – do NOT listen to the media or believe anything they say! And yes as hard as it is because he wants to destroy our country – pray for Mr. Obama too.

Ron Ceres - January 16, 2014

I totally agree with Debbie Ziegler’s statement of Jan. 15, 2014.
I too believe that America’s demise is purposeful from President Obama, the Ultra Left Progressive Democrats, the “go along to get along” Rinos,most of the print and broadcast media and a significant part of the voting public who’s only concern is “who will give me my next free cookie?”
America deserves better and can be saved but it will not be easy. I think term limits for the House and Senate would be a great starting point.

John E Yox - January 16, 2014

In Economics 101 being offered by Hillsdale College, Gary Wolfram, Professor or Economics & Public Policy, affirms that there can be no political liberty without economic liberty. If memory serves, the rank of the United States on the Index of Economic Freedom has been falling steadily for a number of years.

Norm Auguust - January 16, 2014

The answer to your question is, of course we can. However, it is imperative that we hold off all efforts of the present administration to impose their agenda and then vote into office those who will reverse what is going on. That includes voting out those in the Republican establishment that might as well be Democrat liberals.

Jon Heath - January 19, 2014

No, we are past the point where there’s any chance of reversing course – not on economic freedom, not on anything tied to traditional values and constitutional law in a democratic republic.
The Democratic party has become the Socialist Party, the Republicans, with a few exceptions, are liberal-leaning RINO’s, and the few “Tea Party Conservatives” we have are so outnumbered and both vilified and ridiculed by the Lame-Stream State-Controlled Media, that any thoughts of having a Tea Party victory at the polls is simply a denial of reality. Face it… 0 has succeeded in “changing” the greatest country in modern history into a socialist disaster that is only going to go down the slippery slope faster and faster until it is insignificant to the world, or collapses completely into anarchy, probably thanks to Muslim terrorist attack and takeover.
Face it. We are DONE.

James V. Burnette - January 21, 2014

Can we increase economic freedom? (yes) but the days of America being the (financially) and (military) leader of the world are over. The days of the American dollar being the international currency are over. The days of being the military power of the world are over but maintaining and preparing our military to protect us from any foe is still possible. Maintaining our position as the leader of the free world is far more important than the other two mentioned mentioned above. None of this will happen however under our present leadership in Washington.

Holly Chapo - January 22, 2014

We can reverse course IF we the people stop re-electing representatives who do not work for us; if we become engaged politically and make an effort to know what is actually occurring; if we are willing to engage others in meaningful conversation about the important issues; if we reach out to the low information voters and try to educate them; if we ourselves have a solid understanding of conservative principles and the history of the Founding. Sitting back and letting “others do the job” will never work. Followers/members of Heritage may know the score but too many others do not. Parents need to stand up and make their voices heard about the poor education their children are receiving re: the Constitution and the history of our founding. There’s a lot of work ahead of us but did anyone promise it would be easy?

Donald Colvin - February 7, 2014

It’s amazing that we are below two cities that are part of China, one of the most restrictive countries in the world. Hello socialism Obama style !!! I believe it was said that communism would never take us over militarily ,but given time it would take us over from within politically . Obama and the left wing radicals seem to be doing just that in the name of justice and equality .I feel we can recover our freedom ,but only if people start following JFK’s speech about “what you can do for your country” . We need to start electing politicians that look out for this country and not themselves and the power the they thrive on ! Todays crowd are too much of the “what can my country do for me “types.

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