We just received our free review copy of the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom, the annual ode to meaningless statistics and ideological blather put out by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. We were very fortunate that we didn’t have to spend $24.95 to purchase the report, although the shopping cart on the Heritage Foundation website seems to be broken anyway (too much freedom is a dangerous thing it seems).
We’ll spare you the suspense: The United States has stayed in the top ten (80.6 percent free!), after having fallen out of the top spots back in 2005. Estonia, the WSJ’s poster child for freedom a few years ago has fallen from fourth place in 2005 to twelfth place today (2.8 percent less free than the US).
If you missed it the first time, read John Miller’s brilliant evisceration of the Index’s methodology.
This year, for instance, the study authors take the United States Congress to task for raising the minimum wage “which has harmed labor freedom,” yet has failed to lower corporate taxes. The authors also dock points for the “intrusive nature” of government regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, but not for the lack of controls that facilitated the current sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Want to know more about the global economy? Check out Real World Globalization from our bookstore.