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The US has long been considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among the large industrial nations -- new study actually finds that among the world's most free economies.
The US is actually when he down at number eighteen now.
Cato Institute found that the top five countries are Australia.
And Canada in fifth place.
Actually the other countries -- we didn't are they up can you guys put them up there they are Switzerland and forth New Zealand and third Singapore and second.
Hong Kong in first Hong Kong Singapore have been out there for -- while now.
In -- the director of Cato institute's center for global liberty and prosperity joins us now.
Ian we weren't ten last year we slipped to eighteen what had happen.
Well businesses accelerated rate of a loss of freedom in the United States that but let me point out that the United States was number three.
For decades from 1980.
In the 197 is up -- the year 2000.
And so this trend in the loss of freedom in the United States is a decade long trend in 2005.
It was eight.
And now where were eighteen so I think this is something to to worry about.
Let's talk first about how you determine economic freedom it's correlated to the country's growth is -- Well there's we say that there's economic freedom when there's personal choice -- this competition when there's voluntary exchange and -- when there's.
Person protection of people and their property when that exists you have an environment and economic freedom and what we found in this study which is just an empirical study.
Is that there's a strong relationship between economic freedom.
And prosperity between economic freedom and growth -- countries that are more economically free tend to grow.
Much faster and it's economic freedom and improvements in the whole range of indicators of standard of living so this is why what what this study has.
Has found so here in and year out.
So one of the things that you pointed to.
Part of the US this fall is.
Near the sanctity of contracts we've seen contracts be basically thrown out the window of the course the last couple years.
The reliability of our legal system all that is playing into our decline is -- it.
Yes I think that's right in and specifically when you think about the big bailouts to favored industries of the banks the financial industries.
The automobile industry where the federal government basically replaced the political decision decision making in bankruptcy as opposed to.
A market based that a decision.
These are not just bad economic policies that go against economic freedom.
This is stinks of crony capitalism and and undermines the rule of law and so if you look at the report.
The indicator of the rule of law.
And it takes a real it's it's the area that has gone down the -- that -- and our findings.
Yes and there goes our freedom is well.
And quickly we'll leave -- few seconds but chilly one of the greatest success stories hi how come.
Chilly as was in the in the 19.
Of the least free countries in the world.
And then it implemented because it was the first country in the world that actually set out to create a free society based on the free market economy and implemented.
Perhaps the most coherent set of complementary market reforms.
That that had been -- certainly at that time it was a pioneer and now it is number ten.
Freer than the United States one of the great success stories it's -- to higher growth and if it keeps that up.
Ten to fifteen years it will be a developed country.
Good for them not so great for us Ian that's -- -- -- bring in all this yes.