‘Mostly free’

‘MOSTLY FREE’…. The Heritage Foundation, one of the right’s leading think tanks, has downgraded the United States on its “Index of Economic Freedom,” which ranks the planet’s 179 countries. Americans were “free,” Heritage found, but now we’re only “mostly free.”

The Heritage Foundation’s latest world ranking of economic freedoms shows the U.S. falling farther than any other large economy in the world. The foundation says the TARP Program, the auto industry bailout and the stimulus package, among other factors, have caused in the country’s economy to go from “free” to “mostly free.” […]

Factors like business regulation, the labor market, monetary stability, property rights and corruption are used to determine the rankings.

Terry Miller, director of the Center of International Trade And Economics at the Heritage Foundation, says the U.S. ranking may continue to fall.

“Certainly looking at the government policies that have been followed over the last year, since our last data cut off, I’m very concerned,” Miller told TPM, adding that health care reform was likely to further hurt our economic freedom.

So, who are the shining beacons of liberty — i.e., countries that meet the Heritage threshold for being actually economically free? The United States is eighth, behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, and Canada, in that order.

Yes, the Heritage Foundation would be more satisfied if our economic freedoms were more in line with countries that have socialized medicine, impose higher tax rates, and in Ireland’s case, is in need of a massive bailout to prevent a catastrophe.