Robert Bauman

James Madison of Virginia, the fourth US President, one the Founding Fathers and the leading proponent of the Bill of Rights, may have anticipated better than anyone the processes that destroy liberty when he said:

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

The 2012 Economic Freedom of the World report was released recently by the Cato Institute and Canada’s Fraser Institute. In just a few years, the US ranking has plummeted from No. 2 in 2000 (behind the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore) to 18th place, trailing such countries as Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar.

Finland, Denmark and Canada now also have freer economies than the United States.

Americans will ignore this report at their peril; this is not something thrown together by ivory tower eggheads. The godfather of the Economic Freedom of the World report was the late, great Milton Friedman who suggested its need as a measure of liberty.

The comprehensive index covers the size of government (taxing and spending), legal systems, property rights, sound money, free international trade and regulation (including credit markets, labor and business regulations).

Reading this alarming report, I was reminded of a point Ronald Reagan made in many of his public addresses — that the average republic in history lasted just over 200 years, citing Edward Gibbon’s 1787 work The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

On July 4, 2012 the United States celebrated the 236th anniversary of its independence as a nation…

According to the report, in 2005 the US ranked 45th in overall size of government among 144 nations surveyed. Today, government has ballooned in size and the US rank has fallen to 61st place.

Other areas of lost freedom include a substantial increase in stifling business regulations, labor-market restrictions, and barriers to trade. The US standing fell in all those categories, and there was also a long-term deterioration in ranking on property rights as well. No doubt these disastrous developments serve as roadblocks to recovery from the continuing recession that began in 2008.

Cato’s Richard W. Rahn observes: “Worse yet, the US decline continues and in next year’s ranking it is almost certain to be lower.”

If ever there was a concentrated compilation of facts urging Americans to “go offshore,’ the Economic Freedom of the World report is it.

Regards,

Robert Bauman
for The Daily Reckoning

Robert Bauman

Robert E. Bauman, J.D. is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland and the author of several books on offshore financial topics including Where to Stash Your Cash Legally, The Complete Guide to Offshore Residency, Dual Citizenship and Second Passports, and The Offshore Money Manual 2000.

  • http://twitter.com/WoodbineMike Michael

    This is one of the few countries that does not allow for free trade by blocking access to poker sites such as Pokerstars and some large international speculating sites such as Betfair. It’s not a really big thing and some would justify it by saying it imposes morality on the immoral — but it stands out like a sore thumb with all the other countries that are on those sites.

Recent Articles

How to Shield Yourself from the Next US Debt Crisis

Matt Insley

With the pain of the 2008 financial crisis squarely in America's rear-view mirror, consumer credit and US debt are steadily on the rise. My how quickly we forget... Today, Matt Insley explains why you should not be sleeping on the severity of the US's debt load, and how you can avoid the coming crunch. Read on...


Great News! You Can Still Cash in on the 3-D Printing Boom

Josh Grasmick

Perhaps the most astounding technology to emerge in the 21st century is that of 3-D printing. It's given humans the ability to create virtually anything out of practically nothing. But as Josh Grasmick explains, 3-D printing is just a stepping stone to the next great leap in technology: 4-D printing. Read on...


3 Market Sectors You Should Avoid at All Costs

Greg Guenthner

With so many areas of the market taking losses to start the month of August, it seems the market correction that many pundits have been hinting at may be right around the corner. Today, Greg Guenthner details three sectors that are getting hit right now, and why you'll want to get out while you still can...


How the American Dream Can Make You 14-Times Your Money

Chris Mayer

Most U.S. citizens subscribe to an idea called the American dream - working hard on a level playing field so you can "get ahead" in life. But that's not what the original "American dream" was all about. As Chris Mayer explains, that term originally referred to a completely different, yet equally important goal. Read on...


Why Too Much Data Might Actually Protect Your Privacy

Sam Volkering

The world is awash with data. All these data will shape the future, helping people make smarter decisions and act faster. But to realize this vision, there has to be a way to crunch the data. And with such a huge amount of it, that could be a problem. Luckily, there's a unique solution on the horizon. Sam Volkering explains...