Happy Economic Freedom Weekend!

I read today that 85% of Americans think “the country is heading in the wrong direction.” It was from a new Associated Press survey and reflects the country’s angst with inflation, interest rates, immigration, CV19 response, and other issues. 85% – I guess the country isn’t DIVIDED anymore! 🙂

For Independence Day weekend, however, I would rather focus on what has made us SUCCESSFUL as a nation and what is making other countries successful – our basic ECONOMIC FREEDOMS. The following map shows our standing across 5 combined dimensions of ‘economic freedom’, as assessed by the Heritage Foundation (LINK) …

The United States has long been a global leader in the areas of smaller government, legal/private property rights, sound money, free foreign trade, and streamlined government regulation. Those are the 5 areas that the study’s authors associate with economic freedom & success. They’ve studied the correlations between those dimensions and country-by-country standard of living for 28 years.

It may seem like these things have been increasingly imperiled by politicians recently, but the USA still compares very well against most nations – including many that have a fraction of our scale. Still, it is clear from the chart that many countries around the world are catching up with what made the USA so successful over our lifetimes.

As devotees of financial independence & retiring early (FIRE), we may understand the sources and blessings of economic freedoms more than many. Even without being evangelical, I think our success in simply sharing our own principles of FIRE will help get the country “heading in the right direction soon”!


Charts: Heritage.org, Visual Capitalist

10 thoughts on “Happy Economic Freedom Weekend!

  1. Wow..! Very interesting data. I would have thought that the social policies and higher tax rates in the EU would result in a lower score… Same with Canada and all the ‘complaints’ that you hear about their aggressive Health Care policy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes – the Scandinavian countries & Canada make up for it in other ways like less progressive tax brackets and less corporate taxes. They also don’t have the huge military spend we do. The details are in the full report. The Heritage Foundation is a pretty ‘conservative’ source, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son had a friend over from the UK a couple weeks back and she made a comment that taxes are about as high as the UK’s but US taxpayers get less services such as health insurance.

        I agree with your assertion that a big part of the difference is the UK is not trying to be the world’s police. They rely on this US to provide their protection and get the defense savings on healthcare instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Economic freedom is attractive to people who want to be in control of their own financial future, which is FIRE. President Biden’s unprecedented incompetence is a once per generation inoculation against liberalism. I got my inoculation from Jimmy Carter.

    Without Jimmy Carter, there never would have been a Ronald Reagan. I saw Art Laffer, who was Reagan’s economic advisor on television a couple days ago and he was predicting that Biden is setting the country up for Ronald Reagan 2.0.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, Reagan increased the national debt almost 200%. He talked a good game about smaller government, but increased the debt more than any presidents but FDR & Wilson before him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Reagan did, but he had to work with Democrat controlled House and Senate. The unforgiveable big Republican spender was George W. Bush, who let the deficit spending genie back out of the bottle. Both of these Presidents would have had to veto spending bills from Congress and hold tight when they got accused of shutting down government.

        One thought I have is a fiscally Conservative President could go through a spending bill, strike out any money wasters, initial, and date the change. Send it back to Congress signed, and ask them to counter-sign and initial and date the changes. If they refuse to play ball, that would be a good time for a President to go on National TV and name off the wasteful spending and pork that he stuck through. This is what we do in business when we have to show a profit.

        There are rumblings that Newt Gingrich is working with Republicans to design a New Contract with America.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Chief, I saw your comment about the 33% for the UK versus 26% of GDP for the US. Does that include all the taxes, including State and Local, Gasoline, sales tax, real estate taxes, CA disability insurance, Social Security ”contributions’, and Medicare ‘contributions’?

    Add in health insurance which runs me around $1,500 per month and I bet the figures are closer.

    Liked by 1 person

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