U.S. economic freedom declines for fifth straight year

The Heritage Foundation, in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, has published its latest annual update to the Index of Economic Freedom. The index shows that economic freedom in the U.S. has now decreased for five consecutive years.

The only other advanced economy to have as poor a performance is Ireland. The reason for this decline is excessive government spending, high corporate taxes, regulatory overload, and an erosion in the rule of law.

The index accounts only for developments in 2012, and so does not account for the 2013 tax increases. The authors anticipate that those tax increases will cause a further decline in next year’s index, extending the streak to six consecutive years. America is headed in the wrong direction with no turnaround in sight.

As America becomes less free, we can also expect it to become less fair, as the system increasingly rewards political clout, rather than hard work and ingenuity. Good news, perhaps, for America’s political class, but bad news for honest, hardworking Americans.

Hat tip: Jim McCarthy