Why does it seem that countries with political and social problems are the same ones who are economically wrecked as well? Notably Zimbabwe under dictatorial Mugabe has been topping international news in recent months with everything from an 11 figure inflation rate, to 94% unemployment, to a cholera epidemic. North Korea, under its own dictator, has been around the circuit lately as well with missile launches, the sentencing of two US reporters to years in its gulags, and government luxury in the face of mass starvation.
While toping the international news list, Zimbabwe and North Korea are bottoming out another. Each year the Heritage foundation, in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal, publishes its Index of Economic Freedom, ranking countries world wide on their economic liberty. Of the 179 countries included in the 2009 index, Zimbabwe and North Korea come in at 178th and 179th respectively with economic freedom scores of just 22.7 and 2.0 out of 100.
At the other end of the spectrum Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia were dubbed by Heritage as the most economically free countries. The United States came in 6th with a score of 80.7.
To get back to my original question, political, social, and economic problems are all linked to freedom and often when freedom is restricted in one area, it is restricted in all. Politically, individual freedom kills corruption and fosters good governance. Socially, freedom especially freedom of speech leads to the address of discrimination and oppression. Economically, freedom leads to prosperity. I
do not pretend to say that more freedom is the panacea to all ills, but it alleviates a good number of them. What is interesting is that what can be seen so clearly and consistently, that freedom leads to society’s betterment, is neglected economically. If anyone would threaten our social or political freedom outcry is heard, but when economic freedom is attacked the dissent is much quiter. May Americans realize the power of freedom in all spheres and regain their voices.
Adam Rule – MCPP Intern