The Heritage Foundation has released their annual Index of Economic Freedom.
The list rates various freedoms including business freedom, trade freedom, monetary freedom, freedom from government, fiscal freedom, property rights, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom.
The top ten countries are (Full list):
- Hong Kong
- United States
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
The top seven all have been strongly culturally influenced by England and the English ideals of personal and economic freedoms. Depending on one's definition the top seven (and Canada) can all be considered part of the Anglosphere.
A secondary break down has Hong Kong and Singapore as Asian tigers. Japan and South Korea are somewhat distant from the top ten but no lower than number 36.
Switzerland has always been classical market liberals along with being neutral. It has recently rejected European Union demands to be less economically free. Luxembourg has liberal banking and investment laws and the open trade that comes with being a member of the European Union.
The bottom fifteen countries include Venezuela, Iran, Zimbabwe, Libya, Cuba, and North Korea. The bottom part of the list coincides with Thomas Barnett's Gap. These countries are either African, Islamic, Communist/Thug Communist, or a combination of the variables.
The states which repress freedoms like economics and personal ones ("the freer the market the freer the people") are the more troublesome countries in the world. These governments suppress their own people and other countries which try to improve themselves. Sometimes these oppressive groups will unite to combat the economically free, globalized countries.