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David Boze

U.S. slips in economic freedom ranking

Estonia? Really? America is behind Estonia?

According to the Heritage Foundation's 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, America has indeed slipped behind the former communist Soviet republic in the rankings.

And, it was the first time ever that America has not been among the top 10 countries for economic freedom.

David Boze talked to Heritage Vice President of Domestic and Economic Policy Derrick Morgan about the rankings, and why America has fallen so far behind.

"When we fall out of the top 10, does it become more difficult to get back in?" Boze asked Morgan.

Morgan said that it is generally harder for a country to bounce back after the government disrespects property rights and becomes more corrupt.

"Those are the kinds of things that take a long time to turn around," he said.

Morgan told Boze that the index takes several factors into account, including the rule of law, property rights, freedom from corruption, government size, tax burden, government spending, regulations, and access to open markets.

"We're moving toward a [European style economy] while many countries in Europe are moving the other way," Morgan reported.

The top 10 countries in the index - in order- are Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and Denmark. America is No. 12, right behind Estonia, and just ahead of Bahrain.

Neal McNamara, Writer, KTTH
Originally from the Northeast, Neal McNamara has worked as a news reporter for more than 10 years at newspapers across the U.S., landing most recently in Seattle.
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