The sky is not falling on U.S. economic freedom

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Before Charles E. Moore wrote his libertarian screed "I Plead Guilty: Entrepreneurs Like Me Have Enabled Our Crippling Nanny State" (Nov. 3 Forum), he would have done well to consult the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom put together by those bastions of one-world socialism, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation.

Here's the index's top 10 in descending order: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Denmark and the United States.

The index took a look at economic freedom in 177 countries in 10 specific categories -- property rights, freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom -- and the United States came in 10th. That hardly merits Mr. Moore's gloom-and-doom hyperbole. (The index's website reports scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall score.)

"North America continues to be the world's freest region, though Mexico was the only economy that improved its index score over the last year. The region boasts two 'mostly free' economies (Canada and the United States) and one 'moderately free' economy (Mexico). It leads the world in terms of rule of law, regulatory efficiency and open markets, but is getting worse where government spending is concerned," the website reported.

Overtaxation and overregulation bear watching because they can choke an economy, but, contrary to Mr. Moore, the sky is not falling in the United States just yet. Please, a little perspective is in order.

BOB UHRINIAK
Hopewell


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