2011 Index of Economic Freedom

10/03/2011

http://assets.fundacionfaes.org/Fotos+desarrollo+home/2011/03/Indicedelibertad2011_d.png Fernando Navarrete: "The Index of economic freedom made by the Heritage Foundation in its 2011 edition shows that the world is advancing financially because economic freedom is also doing so. Reality is turning its back to those who advocated the end of capitalism. What we are seeing is that freedom is advancing around the world and the lesson to be drawn is that economic freedom is an indivisible part of the general yearning for freedom." "A year ago around this date you could hear comments about how much the public sector was advancing. All this has changed, discourse, rhetoric and the acknowledgement of reality has led to a shift in economic policy of 180 degrees. Today, we are talking about how to manage an unsustainable public debt and, above all, the concern about the burden we are leaving to the future. History sometimes moves in jumps and we may be witnessing one of those jumps." James Roberts: "The ten freedoms assessed for the making of the Index of Economic Freedom: 1) Business Freedom (ease for doing business); 2) Trade Freedom (tariffs and non-tariff barriers); 3) Fiscal Freedom (tax rates and incomes); 4) Government Size (level of government expenditure); 5) Monetary Freedom (inflation and price control); 6) Investment Freedom (free movement of capital); 7) Financial Freedom (access to credit; role of government in the banking sector); 8) Property Rights (physical and intellectual); 9) Freedom from Corruption (corruption level); and 10) Labor Freedom (flexibility of the labor market)." "Economic freedom is essential to prosperity, to ensure a good standard of living for citizens, to promote the general welfare and a clean environment and to reduce poverty." "We must promote proper size of government. Countries that spend the most have lower rates of growth." Joaqu?n Trigo: "Yearning for economic freedom brings growth and growth brings the increase of new freedoms." "The situation in Spain in terms of economic freedom is particularly vulnerable because when we have problems in our country, these are very serious problems. A good example is the trend of our unemployment rate. The best employment situation in Spain coincides with the worst in the majority of countries and this is because we have institutions that do not ease the recovery of a job once you lose it. It is very easy to lose it, but very difficult to get it." "Arbitrariness is the end of democracy. And in Spain, the problem very often is that those in charge of enforcing the laws operate on the basis of what they think is best. However, this can only be known by the market (which is made up by all of us and is the ultimate source of wisdom) and by those who have the privilege of legislating, because they have been elected to do so. Never by those that enforce the law." Pedro Schwartz: "The transformation of the Maghreb and also of the Middle East is very important. These people are demanding democracy. They believe that democracy will give them bread and work and will rid them of corruption. But even if it does, what isn't so sure is that they will establish a liberal democracy where the ten economic freedoms will prevail. It does not even look as if our old Western democracies fully enjoy those ten economic freedoms. Democracies tend to reduce economic freedom because majorities harm it." "There are countries in the Middle East that are generally free, as Bahrain and Qatar. There are those that are moderately free, like Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and the Lebanon. Countries that are not as free and where revolts have developed, like Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria and Syria. And countries that are not free at all, like Iran and Libya. This ranking establishes a clear link between what is happening in the Maghreb and the Middle East, with the countries' freedom index. Lack of freedom makes people jobless, it makes prices jump, it generates uncertainty about investment and people demonstrate." Remarks by Joaqu?n Trigo (in Spanish) by James Roberts (in Spanish Remarks by Pedro Schwartz (in Spanish) 2011 Index of Economic Freedom