I’ve talked about the Index of Economic Freedom several times before at this blog. It’s a ranking of every country in the world based on how free they are. Factors include personal freedom, business freedom, government spending, taxation, property rights and so on.
The top five freest countries in the world based on this criteria are:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
There is also the Human Freedom Index which also ranks countries on how free they are, but this index uses personal freedom aspects as well as economic ones, such as free speech, freedom of religion, rule of law, freedom of movement, a free press, access to sound money, and so on.
According to this index, the freest countries are almost the same, though in a slightly different order:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
Where is the United States? It’s not in the top five, so it must be in the top ten, right?
Wrong. It’s number 18 in the economic index and 17 in the human index.
“Land of the free” my ass.
Almost every year, the USA falls in the rankings. When these rankings first began in 1982, America was number two. When I first started paying attention to these freedom rankings in the early 2000’s, I remember when America ranked number seven, which made me sad at the time, but at least it was in the top ten. Today, it’s down to 18. As it continues to slowly collapse under its own bloated weight, soon it will drop out of the top 20.
Freedom means prosperity. Big government means either eventual bankruptcy or war.
As the above video points out, and as I’ve said many times, just a few decades ago, Hong Kong was a shithole, and its people were among the poorest in the world. Today, it’s the number one economy on the planet. How did it do that? Small government. In other words, freedom. This is one of the reasons why it’s my favorite country (and city) in the world, and why other countries should look to Hong Kong as the example of how to be a prosperous nation.
No, Hong Kong isn’t perfect, and every country has its problems, but I would rather live in a free country with problems than in an unfree one with problems.
Venezuela was once the richest country in Latin America. Today, it’s a land of poverty and terror. Why? Big government. In other words, less freedom.
As I analyzed here, democracy doesn’t mean freedom, as demonstrated by both Hong Kong and Singapore not being democracies yet being the two freest countries in the world. Yet India, which ranks a dismal 130 on these freedom rankings, is so mired by big government and bureaucracy that it’s horribly unfree despite the fact it’s a democracy. Democracy isn’t freedom!
You may notice that the country I’m most likely to move to in a few years as my Country A for my Five Flags plan, New Zealand, ranks as the third freest nation on the entire planet on both sets of rankings. Yep. That exactly why I’m probably moving there, at least for six months a year (in addition to other reasons I’ve already talked about before). I’ll be spending about ten days there next month to scout things out, and if I like it, I will return for an even longer period.
This is also why I will spend about three months a year in Hong Kong, starting soon. It’s the freest place on earth economically, thus there’s a lot of money to be made over there. Having my home base in New Zealand and making money in Hong Kong sounds like a good plan to me. I can’t wait to get it implemented.
The above video actually ends on a note of optimism. That is, as the Western world continues its slow collapse, many small countries are actually getting freer and embracing more free market attitudes. Could it be that when the West finally collapses, you will find a few small countries here and there doing very well because of their embrace of freedom instead of corporatism or socialism?
That would be very cool. Not sure if it will happen, but as always, my Alpha 2.0 lifestyle will enable me to be poised to take advantage of these opportunities if they do.
Of course, if I’m based in New Zealand / Hong Kong, the ultimate goal is to not have to worry about any this nearly as much. Which is the entire point.
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