Thursday, 3 November 2011

Scoring freedoms

Legatum's latest prosperity index is out.

New Zealand ranked 4th overall, beaten by Norway, Denmark and Australia. Personal freedom here is ranked second only to Canada, but the Economic Freedom of the World report has us three places above Canada in economic freedom. Only Singapore and Hong Kong beat New Zealand in the last economic freedom index, but neither of them beat New Zealand in personal freedoms. And so New Zealand, by my ranking, is undominated.

The United States, on the other hand, was 10th in the last economic freedom ranking. Of those ranking higher than the US in economic freedom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada also dominate on personal freedoms. Maybe Legatum's index isn't the best measure of personal freedom, but it does seem pretty obvious that there are exit options for Americans that do not require trading economic freedom for personal freedom; the US is operating inside the frontier.

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