Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Flappr, The Other McCain, Bacon Time and The Daley Gator for the rule Five links!
Recently, the libertarian Cato Institute released their 2022 Human Freedom Index, and it’s not encouraging. Excerpt:
On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for the 165 jurisdictions fell from 7.03 in 2019 to 6.81 in 2020. Most areas of freedom fell, including significant declines in the rule of law and freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly, and freedom to trade. Based on that coverage, 94.3 percent of the world’s population lives in jurisdictions that saw a fall in human freedom from 2019 to 2020, with 148 jurisdictions decreasing their ratings and 16 improving.
And the United States? One of the nations that saw a lower human freedom rating. Cato rates nations on a number of criteria:
This eighth annual index uses 83 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:
- Rule of law
- Security and safety
- Association, assembly, and civil society
- Expression and information
- Size of government
- Legal system and property rights
- Sound money
- Freedom to trade internationally
And here’s where we, here in the United States, rank:
The countries that took the top 10 places, in order, were Switzerland, New Zealand, Estonia, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Selected jurisdictions rank as follows: Canada (13), Taiwan (14), Japan (16), Germany (18), United Kingdom (20), United States (23), South Korea (30), Chile (32), France (42), Argentina (74), South Africa (77), Brazil (80), Ukraine (89), Mexico (98), India (112), Russia (119), Nigeria (124), Turkey (130), China (152), Saudi Arabia (159), Iran (162), Venezuela (163), and Syria (165).
That’s right. Cato rates us below Canada, Japan, Germany and the UK.
Now, I haven’t seen their raw data, but I have to say I’m skeptical. New Zealand was notoriously strict on the COVID lockdowns, and Canada – well, since PM Zoolander has been in charge up there, liberty seems to be taking a beating up in the Great White North.
But here’s the prime takeaway:
Jurisdictions in the freest quartile enjoy more than twice the average per capita income ($48,644) of those in the other quartiles ($23,404 for the second freest). On average, the freest jurisdictions in the world have a much higher per capita income than those that are less free. The HFI also finds a strong relationship between human freedom and democracy.
And there it is: Free people are more prosperous. That’s the answer: To oppression, to poverty, to so many other things. Free people are more prosperous. Prosperous people are happier, more generous and more peaceful. This is just another data point proving that assertion.