Economically Speaking, The "Land Of The Free" Isn't

By John S. McClenahen The U.S., famed in its national anthem as "the land of the free and the home of the brave" is only the fifth freest economy in the world. At least that's what the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think-tank, contends. In the 2001 edition of its annual Economic Freedom of the World report, Hong Kong, a special administrative area within China, ranks No. 1 in economic freedom. Singapore, another Asian economy, is No. 2, and New Zealand is No. 3. The UK is No. 4 and then the U.S., at No. 5. Rounding out the top 10 are (in order) Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Cato's core measures of economic freedom are personal choice, protection of private property, and freedom of exchange. Ranking last on the list of 123 economies is Myanmar, the southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma.

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