U.S. economic freedom is at its highest level since 2011. Anthony Kim reports:
According to The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom, America’s economic freedom has seen a dramatic boost—from 18th place in the world to 12th place in the span of just one year. America’s score ticked up by more than a full point from last year, reaching the highest level in eight years.
The annual index—now celebrating its 25th year—provides an overall snapshot of almost every country’s level of economic freedom. It takes into account a variety of factors, like taxation, regulation, and trade. It is relevant to our job prospects and the prices we pay for goods and services, not to mention what kind of appliances and cars we can choose and buy.
Higher economic freedom scores tend to correlate with faster growth and broader economic expansion, as well as higher incomes and overall wealth. In fact, per capita incomes in the freest countries as measured by the index are six to seven times higher than incomes in the least free countries.
With that in mind, the United States’ notable rebound is very good news.
The vibrant growth we’re feeling has been unleashed by several key policy changes over the past two years, the most important being the 2017 tax cuts and deregulation. Real gross domestic product grew by upward of 3 percent over the last four quarters—unlike anything seen in the last 13 years. No wonder small business optimism has risen.
[Anthony B. Kim, “Under Trump, US Economic Freedom Rises Significantly,” The Daily Signal, January 25]