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Thread: Good news! The world is getting freer, faster

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    Exclamation Good news! The world is getting freer, faster

    https://www.freetalklive.com/

    http://humanprogress.org/blog/good-n...-freer--faster

    Earlier today, the Fraser Institute published the 21st edition of its annual Economic Freedom of the World(EFW) report. The Canadian think-tank uses 42 data points across five different areas (size of government, legal/property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation) to rank the economic freedom of 159 countries and territories.

    The results? As Johan Norberg puts it, “freedom is awesome”. Which is to say that – almost without exception – the freer the country, the more rapid its economic growth, and the higher its citizens’ income.


    The full report is available on the Fraser Institute’s website. But here are the key points:

    America is not the real Land of the Free

    Hong Kong, despite recent political upheavals, takes the top spot – as it has since 1980. For the tenth year in a row, Singapore comes in second. New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, the UK, Mauritius, Georgia, Australia and Estonia make up the rest of the top 10. The United States has moved up from 13th spot to 11th. There it joins Canada, which has fallen six places. Other notable rankings are Germany in 23rd place, France in 52nd, Mexico in 76th, Russia in 100th and China in 112th place.

    The freer the country, the better

    Why do the positions on the list matter? They matter because, as mentioned above, there is a high correlation between economic freedom and important indicators of human wellbeing.

    The Fraser Institute splits the measured countries and territories into quartiles (i.e., each quartile represents a quarter of the samples) based on their level of economic freedom. The freest quartile has an average income that is seven times higher than that of the least free quartile ($42,463 and $6,036 respectively). Between 1990 and 2015, economic growth averaged 3.35 per cent a year in the freest quartile, whereas the least free experienced a measly 1.66 per cent growth.

    It’s not just about money. In the freest nations, life expectancy is 80.7 years. This is 16.3 years more than in the bottom quartile. For many people, that amounts to a difference between knowing one’s grandchildren, or dying before their birth.

    Finally, the freer the nation, the better off the poorest people in it are. The bottom 10 per cent of income earners in the freest quartile earned 11 times more than the bottom 10 per cent in the least free quartile ($11,998 per year and $1,124 per year respectively). In the freest countries, the poorest 10 per cent make almost twice as much as the average person in the least free countries.

    Economic freedom isn’t just about the economy

    For the first time, the 2017 edition of the report has adjusted its methodology to include the Gender Disparity Index (GDI). The inclusion of the index acknowledges that women are not always accorded equal treatment before the law. By using information from the World Bank’s Women, Business and Law and 50 Years of Women’s Rights projects, the Fraser authors have amended the EFW scores retrospectively.

    This methodological change has meant that the Arab nations have dropped – a lot. (The report was compiled before the news broke that Saudi women will now be allowed to drive, but I don’t think it would have affected the findings much.)

    In the previous report, for example, there were four Middle Eastern nations within the top 30. Now that GDI is included, not a single Arab nation ranks in the top 36. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar, which were previously the highest ranked MENA nations at 5th and 11th places respectively, are now just 37th and 45th. And the 10 countries that experienced the biggest decreases due to the GDI adjustment were all Muslim-majority nations.

    The world is getting freer, faster

    This is the final and most important point to make. Despite our tendency towards pessimism about the state of the world, economic freedom has increased substantially in the last 25 years – especially in developing nations.

    In 1990, the average score for a “high-income industrial” country was 7.18, compared to only 5.28 for the average “developing” country. By 2015, the average score in high-income countries was 7.76 and the average in developing countries was 6.61. The gap between the two groupings has fallen from 1.90 to 1.15 – an improvement of 40 per cent. This is thanks in large part to trade liberalisation, and the widespread conquest of inflation and introduction of sound money.

    The result is that, if the 1980s world average was a nation, it would place in 154th place today – ranking between war-torn Syria and anarchic Libya. If the 2015 world average was a nation in 1980, it would be the 9th freest – with a score of 6.88, slightly above Canada at the time.

    The new EFW shows that despite many anomalies and challenges, economic freedom remains deeply linked to important indicators of human wellbeing, including wealth, poverty alleviation and life expectancy. As such, it is the poorest members of the human family who get the greatest benefits from it. Long may that continue.



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  3. #2

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    I knew Hong Kong would be tops! lol

    Looks like our National Anthem needs revising...



    ... we'll work on it.
    They fought the Wars
    They lost.
    They turned friends
    into enemies.
    Who became
    friends of our enemies.
    They stood alone, in splendid isolation,
    And said it was their only choice.

  4. #3

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    I once compared several major global freedom rankings. Those are Canada's Fraser Institute*, Germany's Liberales Institut, Freedom House and the United States' Heritage Foundation.

    I found Heritage to be lacking because it focuses mainly on economic freedoms. The problem I found with Fraser and Liberales is that they focus too much on safety and security. Their focus is more on threat from individuals rather than threats from government. Freedom House uses democracy as a measure.

    The only really good ranking I have ever found was Mercatus' Freedom in the 50 States. It used to be done by George Mason U, but was taken over by Cato. Link is https://www.freedominthe50states.org/



    *Either the report mentioned in the OP is a sub-report or they have narrowed their criteria. The economic ranking would make it more similar to Heritage. The report I evaluated several years ago was broader, but still focusing on safety and security.
    Last edited by NorthCarolinaLiberty; 10-03-2017 at 04:43 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    ...I believe that when the government is capable of doing a thing, it will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    I do think that ID should be required for certain things like carrying a concealed weapon...




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  5. #4

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    For the tenth year in a row, Singapore comes in second.

    This line alone should tell you that their criteria is flawed. Or at least they have different values and different definitions of freedom.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    ...I believe that when the government is capable of doing a thing, it will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    I do think that ID should be required for certain things like carrying a concealed weapon...




    Disrupt, Deny, Deflate. Read the RPF trolls' playbook here (post #3): http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...eptive-members

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCarolinaLiberty View Post
    This line alone should tell you that their criteria is flawed. Or at least they have different values and different definitions of freedom.
    Kong Meng San decides on move for Qing Ming after grouses from neighbours over ash

    Wanna take a guess who the neighbors are?

    Salaam.


    I think it is time for those who have upper respiratory ailments and asthma to have their views known to Mr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister of the Environment & Water Resources that we have had enough of this years of suffering, choking and having to run to the hospital in the middle of the night as our neighbours irresponsibly burn their incense right below our window sending dangerous and choking particles into our throats. We have the right to a clean air. I believe that neighbour burning of incense should be banned. Instead, the government should allocate particular locations where the burning could be done equipped with air pollution removal facilities. In the current dry spell with strong winds, it can dangerous as the grasses are dry and would catch fire easily. Secondly, the pollution is direct and at very high level.


    Wallahu a’lam.


    Abdul Hakeem Mohd Ismail
    They fought the Wars
    They lost.
    They turned friends
    into enemies.
    Who became
    friends of our enemies.
    They stood alone, in splendid isolation,
    And said it was their only choice.

  7. #6

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    Someone had these t-shirts out awhile back.







    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    ...I believe that when the government is capable of doing a thing, it will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    I do think that ID should be required for certain things like carrying a concealed weapon...




    Disrupt, Deny, Deflate. Read the RPF trolls' playbook here (post #3): http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...eptive-members

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCarolinaLiberty View Post
    This line alone should tell you that their criteria is flawed. Or at least they have different values and different definitions of freedom.
    No $#@!.

    This list is bull$#@!...there is no freedom...you are under global surveillance over every square inch of planet earth.

    That ain't freedom, it's a Prison Planet.

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    Apparently Free Talk Live screwed up this time. Must do more research...
    Last edited by Lamp; 10-04-2017 at 09:23 AM.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamp View Post
    Apparently Free Talk Live screwed up this time.
    Heh. Shocking.
    Freedom index

    ~Resident Badgiraffe





  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamp View Post
    Must do more research...

    Here is part of a series of articles I wrote for a publication a few years ago. It's not exactly research, but my opinion. It's not that great either, but you can see what you think.



    Measures of Freedom Around the World, Part II

    Part II explores a perhaps more rigorous measure of freedom. This examination will segue into applying these measures, including my personal experience with freedom in a so-called third world country. You might be surprised to learn how a country like the Philippines stacks up with America.

    Part I of this article discussed attempts to measure freedom around the world. If a person values freedom, then he would certainly be interested in knowing how his nation compared to other countries. Americans seemingly, and often, make the case that the U.S. is the freest nation on earth; hence, it is no surprise that our interest in this great concept results in study: two of the three studies cited in Part I were published by American organizations. The third study was authored in Europe, but the authors also consulted with the U.S based Cato Institute.

    I concluded from these reports (studies)--and indeed, other reports--that there does not seem to be a validly strong measure of liberty. These reports can be incomplete, emphasize prescription, or even come to faulty conclusions based on inaccurate definitions. Erroneous definition is very much a deal breaker because one of the first cornerstones of a quality study is accurately defining the variables.

    The inaccurate definition applies to the cited report authored by Canada's Fraser Institute and Germany's Liberales Institut. The Canadian-German report is insightful in recognizing the role of "claim" freedoms, but might, perhaps, be the most disappointing of the three reports in that Safety and Security is one of its broadest measures of freedom.

    The example that many people present regarding safety is the argument that you must first secure your safety before you are free to do anything. This however, seems to be a somewhat unsuitable definition. One might say, hypothetically, that you are free to walk outside your home once a volatile situation has returned to order. You are "free" from harm because you are safe!

    Most everyone certainly wants to be unobstructed, relieved, or "free" from unpleasantness; however, this is really little more than a passive state of living, somewhat akin to a patient receiving medication to be free from pain. This perspective is certainly different from Benjamin Franklin's famous quote regarding freedom. The great colonial statesmen asserted that those who surrender liberty for temporary security deserve neither. Franklin astutely observed the dichotomous nature of the two concepts of freedom and safety, and that balancing the two would always be a tradeoff.

    One organization that has done a reasonably good job of measuring freedom (including accounting for the safety concept) is the Mercatus Institute at George Washington University in Fairfax, Virginia. Mercatus publishes regular research called Freedom in the 50 States. This report observes 200 policy variables in the three broad categories of Fiscal Policy, Regulatory Policy, and Personal Freedom. These categories cover such broad subcategories as Government Employment, Fiscal Decentralization, Health Insurance Freedom, Occupational Licensing Freedom, Cable & Telecomm Freedom, Gun Control, Tobacco, Marriage, and many others. This inexhaustive subcategory list further delves into even more detail. The subcategory of Occupational Licensing Freedom, for example, lists variables of Dental hygienist independent practice, Education and experience requirements, Employment-weighted licensure, Exam requirements, Fees for licensed occupations, Nurse licensure compact membership, Nurse practitioner independent practice, and Physician assistant prescribing authority.

    Mercatus Institute's 200 specific variables more than easily doubles the 76 variables presented by Fraser and Liberales' report. It should be said in fairness however, that Mercatus has the distinct advantage of measuring 50 fairly homogenous states in the same cultural-political-economic context. It could again however, be conversely pointed out that Fraser and Liberales assign large weight to the variables in their broad category of Safety and Security.

    The criticism here has less to do with Fraser and Liberales' category of Government's Threat to a Person than it does with Society's Threat to a Person. It seems to me, at least as defined by Ben Franklin, that the Political Imprisonment variable (example of Government’s Threat to a Person) is qualitatively quite different than the variable Burglary (example of Society’s Threat to a Person). Burglary is a threat from an individual or several individuals, while political imprisonment represents an institutionalized threat at the highest of macro levels. I have personally, for example, felt less safe when I lived in neighborhoods much more prone to burglary, but I never connected that living condition with less freedom. The two acts of political imprisonment and burglary are also qualitatively different in the framework of law and order (indeed, law and order are two concepts themselves that are often as different as freedom vs. safety). Burglary's act of stealing is little more than blatant lawlessness, while political imprisonment has much less to do with law, and more to do with maintaining order.

    It is easily observed that the Mercatus Institute's main categories of Fiscal Policy, Regulatory Policy, and Personal Freedom are far more comprehensive than the Heritage Foundation's economic only measures in its Index of Economic Freedom. One only need to observe Singapore's number two ranking to understand the incompleteness of Heritage's assessment. Singapore might be business friendly, but a recent article from Business Insider entitled, "How To Travel In Singapore Without Getting Caned" reminds us of the country's total fixation with order, especially that of sterility. We might say woe to the poor sap who is simply acting human and forgets to flush the toilet. Such draconian examples make it clear that freedom is much more than the basic economic act of exchanging money.

    The methodology of Freedom House has been roundly criticized by others, including a research manner that is not totally forthcoming, and hence, the possibility that the report is largely subjective. The Freedom House report is, arguably, the most political of the various reports, especially as evidenced in its prescriptions of "positive" freedoms. It is pointed out, again, that "positive" freedoms are not a bad phenomena or result in-and-of themselves; however, prescriptions for their achievement often run totally counter to, and often at the expense of, other freedoms.

    There is, of course, no perfect measure of freedom that can overcome all the obstacles; however, it should be clear that some measures are objectively better than others. Mercatus is a good measure for our homogenous states, but could their criteria be applied to other countries? Part three of my article examines this, and also a more personal look at freedom. I share my experiences in the Philippines, some humorous and some sobering.

    Can a third world country be more free than America? You might be surprised at the answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    ...I believe that when the government is capable of doing a thing, it will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    I do think that ID should be required for certain things like carrying a concealed weapon...




    Disrupt, Deny, Deflate. Read the RPF trolls' playbook here (post #3): http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...eptive-members






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