The cost of losing our economic freedom

The Economic Freedom Project has developed a project on economic freedom, which you can find at the eponymous URL:

In their second YouTube video, they discuss the decline of economic freedom in America and how it correlates with the longest period of sustained unemployment since the Great Depression.

As they put it, "Across the globe, the societies that have the best quality of life are those with the highest levels of economic freedom. From lower unemployment to better-protected civil rights and cleaner environments, economic freedom is vital to improving the well-being of society, especially for the most vulnerable. New research shows that Colorado has fallen in its economic freedom ranking and driving the decline in economic freedom are increased government spending and declining labor market freedom."

It's a critical point to understand and share as we go into the 2012 election, trying to remove a president who is the biggest foe of economic freedom since FDR. (And for those of you who want to give credit to FDR for getting us out of the Great Depression, please read some history. What got us out of the Great Depression was that the rabidly anti-capitalist FDR died.)

Here's the video:

Canada's Fraser Institute does an annual survey of economic freedom at the state and (Canadian) province level. Here in Colorado, we're fortunate to be the 4th most economically free state in the US, one notch better than last year, though even our total level of economic freedom dropped slightly from 2008 to 2009 (the last year for which data is available.) In other words, Colorado became slightly less economically free but a state which was ahead of us before became even less free. Where Colorado's particular weakness shows is in increased government spending. Colorado's total score is its lowest since 1996, though the score has been within a fairly narrow range during the entire period, between 7.4 to 7.8.

The best and worst of the USA, according to Fraser, keeping in mind that the count includes 10 Canadian provinces:

The 10 states with the highest levels of economic freedom are: Delaware (2nd overall), Texas (3rd overall), Nevada (4th overall), Colorado (5th overall), Georgia (6th overall), South Dakota (7th overall), Wyoming (8th overall), Utah (9th overall), North Carolina (10th overall), and Nebraska (11th overall). The Canadian province of Alberta ranked first overall.

The lowest levels of economic freedom among U.S. states were found in West Virginia (55th overall), New Mexico (54th overall), Mississippi (53rd overall), Hawaii 52nd overall), Alaska (51st overall), Montana (50th overall), Maine (48th overall), Vermont (47th overall), Rhode Island (46th overall), and Kentucky (45th overall).

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