Is This What We Call ‘Hope and Change?’


Read this and weep as an American. What happened to our strong, proud nation?

Economic freedom is part of the American psyche. It has been ingrained in this nation for over 240 years. That was then, this is now. We are being flushed down the toilet of the world.

Here comes the bad news:

The Cato Institute released its latest annual report on the “Economic Freedom of the World,” and it shows that the United States ranks only at Number 17 among 152 nations surveyed.

Number 17 American people, Numner 17!

If you did not grow up in the 1950’s, you missed the proud and victorious veterans of the greatest war ever to have been fought, running our country.

What Is Economic Freedom?

According to Cato, “The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter and compete in markets, and protection of persons and their property from aggression by others. Economic freedom is present when individuals are permitted to choose for themselves and engage in voluntary transactions as long as they do not harm the person or property of others.”

The criteria for the study involved economic freedom within a nation based on five areas: size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation.

Now for the utterly sad part. These five things should make all of us weep:

  • From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third “freest economy,” behind only Hong Kong and Singapore, and in 2000 it was ranked second.

  • The rating dropped to No. 8 in 2005, to No. 16 in 2010, and to No. 17 in 2011, the most recent year for which sufficient data is available.
  • Hong Kong earns the top spot in the new report, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Finland, Bahrain, Canada, and Australia.
  • Among large economies, the United Kingdom is at 12 (our closest ally):
  • Here are other interesting numbers: Germany 19, Japan 33, France 40, Russia 101, Brazil 102, India 111 and China 123.
  • Is This Where We Are Heading?

    There probably isn’t much of a surprise in the 10 lowest-rated countries among the 152 entities studied.

    Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Angola, Chad, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Myanmar and in last place, thanks to the late Hugo Chavez (sorry Sean Penn), Venezuela.

    The poorest 10 percent of the population in nations in the bottom quartile had an average yearly income of just $932 in 2011.

    To see the exact numbers yourself, head over to The Cato Institute website, where you can find reports for each year, going back to 2001.

    Feeling better about where we are headed as a nation?

    No, I didn’t think you would – except the Marxists, who are waiting for us to hit rock bottom, with their friends in Venezuela.

    [email protected].

    Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

    Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Subscribe to Dwight L. Schwab Jr., Writer by Email