Tuesday, August 18, 2015

20th on the freedom index

The Human Freedom Index presents the state of human freedom in the world based on a broad measure that encompasses personal, civil, and economic freedom. Human freedom is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is defined here as negative liberty or the absence of coercive constraint. Because freedom is inherently valuable and plays a role in human progress, it is worth measuring carefully. The Human Freedom Index is a resource that can help to more objectively observe relationships between freedom and other social and economic phenomena, as well as the ways in which the various dimensions of freedom interact with one another.

The index published here presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:
  • Rule of Law
  • Security and Safety
  • Movement
  • Religion
  • Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
  • Expression
  • Relationships
  • Size of Government
  • Legal System and Property Rights
  • Access to Sound Money
  • Freedom to Trade Internationally
  • Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business

The Human Freedom Index (HFI) is the most comprehensive freedom index so far created for a globally meaningful set of countries. The HFI covers 152 countries for 2012, the most recent year for which sufficient data is available. The index ranks countries beginning in 2008, the earliest year for which a robust enough index could be produced. This preliminary report will be updated (using data for 2013) and subsequently presented and updated on a yearly basis.
On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the nonweighted average rating for 152 countries in 2012 was 6.96. The level of global freedom stayed about the same compared to 2008, but almost all countries experienced changes in their ratings, with about half of those increasing their ratings and half decreasing.
The top 10 jurisdictions in order were Hong Kong, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The United States is ranked in 20th place. Other countries rank as follows: Germany (12), Chile (18), Japan (28), France (33), Singapore (43), South Africa (70), India (75), Brazil (82), Russia (111), China (132), Nigeria (139), Saudi Arabia (141), Venezuela (144), Zimbabwe (149), and Iran (152).
Out of 17 regions, the highest levels of freedom are in Northern Europe, North America (Canada and the United States), and Western Europe. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. Women’s freedoms, as measured by five relevant indicators in the index, are most protected in Europe and North America and least protected in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.

Top Freeist countries:
1.  Hong Kpng
2.  Switzerland
3.  Finland
4.  Denmark
5.  New Zealand
6.  Canada
7.  Australia
8.  Ireland
9.  United kingdom
10.  Sweden
20.  USA

Guess the home of the free and the brave is not so free in the new America.


  1. Interesting. Here is a site that ranks the freedom index for each U.S. state. Overall, North Dakota ranks #1 and New York is #50.

  2. I'm curious Lou to hear what kind of color you have to offer on this. First glance, I would make an statement that I don't believe that many in this country who talk about oppression a lot more than you do would not want anywhere near the type of socialized attitudes that exist in most of the countries shown there. I read some of the report on a Cato link and it's pretty interesting. Seems like that index rewards some pretty liberal thinking.

    1. The index presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood
      as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:

      Rule of Law
      Security and Safety
      Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
      Size of Government
      Legal System and Property Rights
      Access to Sound Money
      Freedom to Trade Internationally
      Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business

      Seems the index measures the freedoms Americans have given up for government interference, the facade of security. Seems additional regulations have hurt our score. Seems our score has been hurt by ignoring our laws by our federal government, cities and states as well.

      Liberal thinking? Only if you love mommy government and her harsh rule.

    2. Hmm, I didn't take that away from what I did read. Arguably, I think all of those countries, except maybe Hong Kong, are way more socialist and provide better safety nets than the US does. I think most of them have effective personal tax rates that are higher than ours, and they get things in return like education and health care. I dunno. I feel pretty free here and pretty fortunate.

    3. So we should spend a trillion more on social programs and pretend we are not monitored by the NSA, have more regulations that Popsicle sticks, ignore laws that we don't like, have a bloated government with 18 trillion in debt and we will be more free as socialism reigns supreme.

      An interesting perspective.

    4. Ah, William has delivered on the response I fully expected. Even if I don't argue the points you list there Lou, what direct bearing do those things have on my life. There is the absolute point, and the relative point. I can get in my care tomorrow, drive 1200 odd miles east and never have to deal with a border or need to show my papers. The government could have no debt tomorrow, and it wouldn't change my life.

      What helps people be free, IMO, is ability to move and pursue what is important to them. As a approach the end of earning another degree, I am enhancing my freedom and ability to move. The government COULD come in and dictate I will make no more than 50k as an NP. The COULD do a lot of things, and I wouldn't have much control over it. That said, as I sit here having my morning coffee, I can't think of anything I really want to do that I'm not allowed to.

    5. The true freedom for me is to giver the Government the finger and chose to no longer participate at my maximum capacity contribution more for government to waste.

      As I take nothing from the Federal Government, There is little they can do to me to make me do anything. Threaten me with if I don;t work more, they will not pay my SS when I reach age? Medicare? I could care less. My place in life today is a result of past times when I worked hard and was rewarded.

  3. A set of nebulous yardsticks to measure an equally nebulous set of values. The end result is that the US ranks on the bottom of the tabulated list. It has been measured, it has been tabulated and it has been published, ergo it must all be true.

    Would one be permitted to suggest that any middle class resident of the US is less free, less oppressed and less comfortable than residents of about ninety five percent of the worlds population?. Should such residents claim to be in any way disadvantaged, perhaps they should consider leaving and allow space for someone with a genuine desire to embrace the shitty conditions they wish to criticize

    1. The US pegged 20th on the list.

      From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. After increasing steadily during the period from 1980 to 2000, the chain linked EFW rating of the United States fell from 8.65 in 2000 to 8.21 in 2005 and 7.74 in 2011. The chain-linked ranking of the United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 to 19th in 2011 (unadjusted rating of 17th).

      The bottom of the list at 152, Iran.


  4. The people of Hong Kong are not sovereign. The people of Hong Kong and ruled by a communist dictatorship cartel.

    What a pile of horse shit.

    1. The people of Australia are not soverign. The people of Australia answer to the Queen.

      Another pile of horse shit.

    2. The people of Canada answer to the Queen.

      Jolly old bloody England answers to the Queen

      Kings and Queens populate other "free countries." Off with their heads!

      Who produced this piece of tripe?

    3. Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and is also the titular Queen of Australia holding no power of authority in Australia whatsoever

    4. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy with
      As a constitutional monarch, The Queen abides by the decisions of the Canadian Government, but she continues to play important ceremonial and symbolic roles.

    5. Hong Kong:
      A limited democracy.
      Hong Kong became part of the People’s Republic of China in 1997, but under the “one country, two systems” agreement, China promised not to impose its socialist policies on Hong Kong and to allow Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense policy for 50 years. The critical issue today is the shape and form that “universal suffrage,” promised for 2017 by Chinese authorities, will take. Although the government controls all land in Hong Kong, the economy has benefited from its commitment to small government, low taxes, and light regulation.

    6. Maybe it's the lack of freedom that has held Canada back from winning a Stanley Cup in recent years? ;>

    7. I tend to think it's global warming that melts the ice early. Canadian children no longer have as much ice time.

    8. A limited democracy under communist party rule. Don't make me laugh. If you are unable to own the land you squat on then you are not FREE!

      I promise honey, I won't cum in your mouth.

    9. China promised not to impose its socialist policies on Hong Kong and to allow Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense policy for 50 years.

  5. William
    I have read your posts and carefully considered what you have written concerning yet again your totally unfounded criticism of Australia and Canada which you erroneously proclaim as being answerable to the Queen of Great Britain.

    I have also read and considered the views of Louman and to the extent that Lou has stated factual evidence, I totally concur with his posts. That you are factually incorrect is obvious to just about everyone on the site. What is perhaps more interesting is why you persist in holding on to these views? I offer for discussion the following opinion.

    Perhaps William you are still living the dream which led to the events of 1776. Are you mentally following Hancock in storming the tea clipper in Boston harbour? Are you protesting at the British government with their taxes on the colonies and the odious laws which prevented free trade between the colonies and the rest of the world? The shipping laws which ensured carriage of goods only by British ships? The Taxation without representation and so many other JUSTLY resented acts by your colonial masters. Perhaps, at least to a foreigner, the requirement of the settlers to provide board and lodging to armed Redcoats of the colonising power would of itself been enough to rebel.

    Even with the above injustices foisted upon the people there were some prepared to negotiate a settlement. Fortunately the Congress in Philadelphia was sufficient to allow sanity to prevail and begin the process. What followed was pretty well inevitable and totally justified.

    What I cannot understand William is your apparent belief that nothing has changed, you still,250 years later appear to fear the British and the Queen. Why else would you fly in the face of history And trumpet a totally unsubstantiated opinion concerning the power of the British Monarchy?. I fear William you are a mental cabbage, unlike true freedom ,your roots are deep in the Bostonian soil of 1770 and you cannot move, your hat is on sideways so that you are neither coming or going. You are stuck in a time warp and the world has passed you by. My friend, I am sorry for you, pull up your roots and explore the present, it is not good, there are no glorious revolutions for you to fight but if you join those of us in the present, you will, like us, be able to reflect on a period of true greatness in your countries history.

    Cheers from Aussie

    1. King,

      This is an excellent post.

    2. I presume that period of true greatness would be... now?

  6. King we have gone over this time and again. You have admitted that the Queen is sovereign based in your national documents. When push comes to shove like the communist Chinese you are but a subject under their control. I tire of pulling apart your paperwork and explaining this again. Please don't embarrass yourself by making untrue statements about your soverenty.

    1. As far as Canada is concerned they share your countries predicament.

      "In the construct of constitutional monarchy and responsible government, the ministerial advice tendered is typically binding,[153]meaning the monarch reigns but does not rule, the Cabinet ruling "in trust" for the monarch.[154] This has been the case in Canada since the Treaty of Paris ended the reign of the territory's last absolute monarch,King Louis XV. However, the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown and not to any of the ministers[6][139][155] and the royal and viceroyal figures may unilaterally use these powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations (an exercise of the reserve powers),[n 16] thereby allowing the monarch to make sure "that the government conducts itself in compliance with the constitution."[133] There are also a few duties which must be specifically performed by, or bills that require assent by, the Queen.[42][156][157]" Wiki

      Again I ask, how can you consider yourself free when you live under the thumb of a monarch?

    2. Your a bit misguided William.

      The England form of Government is a constitutional monarchy, which combines a monarch head of state with a parliamentary system. While many consider the England form of government a democracy, which it is in practice, the Queen of England has many titular roles and is officially the head of state, although in practice, she has little political power or influence. The true influence and power in the England form of government comes from the prime minister and the Parliament.

      The government has executive power and carries out laws. In the England form of government, the Parliament is a legislative body, which reviews the government and proposes new laws. In the England form of government, there are two houses: The House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Commons is elected by the citizens and the House of Lords' members are appointed by the Queen.

      In the England form of government, the Prime Minister proposes new legislation in his or her Queen's speech. These proposals are reviewed by the Parliament. Bills are approved by a majority vote in the House of Commons. You can get an idea of how the England form of government works in action is to visit the Parliament, or if you are in England.

    3. http://www.england.mu/articles/england-form-government.html

    4. Wiki?

      Please find a credible source.

  7. William.
    We are getting no further ahead with this discussion and we shall not make progress until you rid your self of the idea that Australians are subject to the laws of Britain(ergo, The Queen). All legal ties with Britain ceased with the “Australia acts 1986”. These acts separated the last ties with the British Privy Council, the highest court in the land and which had previously been the final arbitrator in disputes within Australia or between Australian citizens or business and their British counterparts.

    The Australian High court is now the final arbitrator and there are of course no British representatives on the court. Australian constitutional rulings are made by the Australian High court and this includes interpretation of the constitution. A celebrated case in 1976 involved the Governor General dismissing the government of the day to resolve a deadlock in the national parliament. The rules under which the GG acted were the “Reserve Powers” of the constitution. As you probably kmow,the GG is officially the representative of the Queen here in Australia. Constitutionally, he still retains some ceremonial powers and he also has what are known as” reserve powers”.

    In the crisis of 1976,the GG acted totally alone and deliberately kept the Queen out of the loop until the dismissal was complete. He then TOLD the Queen what he had done. You see, it was an Australian problem and an Australian solution. Please my friend, accept that the Queen has no more power here than she does in your country. Of course, such is the popularity of the Royal family, the Queen is as warmly welcomed here as in America. She does not however rule either of us.

    Cheers from Aussie

    1. Why don't you, Canada,.and Britian just dump the bitch entirely and free yourselves? If the Royal family holds one one hundredth of a percent of power then you are not soverign, they are.

      As far as the Chinese communists granting Hong Kong "a high degree of autonomy," don't make me laugh. The commies are sovereign.

      Methinks you King, and Iou, have a problem when it comes to the definition of soverenty.

    2. Spell check again over rides. All hail spell check as sovereign.

    3. That spell check has more power here than the Queen does in Australia.

    4. Certainly an excellent diversion.

    5. William
      By now you should have learnt something of our society and our relationship ,if any, with the House of Windsor. Perhaps from an historical point of view I should call them the house of Saxe Coburg Gotha but that would cloud the issue. It must be said I suppose that the marriage of Victoria to Albert in 1840 saw the beginning of significant changes in the British royal family and the way they are perceived throughout the world.

      What we have is a figurehead, a bit like the crest on an American warship. The crest displays for all to see that here is a ship, far from home enjoying the rights, privileges and responsibilities of being part of the United States of America. The ship is also charged with certain responsibilities, in many cases this involves an act of giving, of service to mankind simply because it is possible.

      The Queen of Great Britain is also giving; she has been giving of her time for over eighty years in the service of her nation and the commonwealth of Nations which still CHOOSE to retain links with Britain. The role of the Queen is strictly ceremonial and over my life time the nations subservient to Britain have all moved off the stage and have developed or perished as nations without the protection of what used to be known as the mother country.

      This is the natural progression of things William. There is a strong movement towards Republicanism here in Australia. A referendum was held a decade or so back and the result was a strong majority to remain as we are. A major reason for the defeat of the yes camp was that there was confusion as to how the replacement as head of state would be appointed and the title he/she would hold. Perhaps, as you continue to reside in the 1700s,you would remember the petty arguments John Adams proposed for a presidential title ,including His Highness the President…….!. Of course, common sense prevailed and Mr. President was chosen. I have not found a reference as yet but I wonder when it was decided that a woman could be elected and what would be her title/.

      Finally William, in your last post, you sullied yourself and your argument by referring to the Queen as a bitch. To so refer to someone who has devoted her entire life to the service of her country in such a manner is indefensible and you should apologize for your mean spirited attack; which demonstrates nothing more than a paucity of argument with which to rebut the opposing view. As a matter of interest, I am one of the people who cast a losing ballot in our referendum for a republic.

      Cheers from Aussie

    6. Admittedly some prefer to live their lives under the thumb of a monarchy. I'd estimate that one out of two of the world's population would be comfortable with this arrangement. Many in our country look to Barack Obama as a kingly figure. Low information citizens and those with low intellect easily gravitate towards the path of least resistance. The fact that they in reality are slaves never enters a conditioned mind.

      WWI and many previous wars were shit spats between archdukes and viceroys. Japanese Emperors lead kamakazi's to perish flying mosquitoes into ironclads. Perserving royal treasure has caused millions upon millions to die premature deaths.

      Please stop pretending that your national paperwork does not grant special deference to royal interests. We have visited this tired subject previously. Just get rid of your queen and her hundreds of other royal hanger ons.

    7. Tell me William,do you sit on your self inflated ego as a Free Man or a Freed Man?.Furthermore,do you understand the difference .
      Cheers from Aussie

    8. K,
      No matter how much documentation you provide William will never understand.

      A serious waste of time.

    9. The point of the argument is that the stated list is a piece of garbage. The number one name on the list is associated with the largest communist organization in the world. Can either of you intellects deny that this is true?

      I'm disappointed, I thought that Reagan taught you that communism is in reality a failed system. Oh well, believe what you will, call yourselves what you will in your own forms of deception.

  8. William.
    You return to what you consider the point of the argument,I have already agreed in my first post that it is s nebulous opinion about nebulous values. So there we are in agreement. What you have been attempting to convince Lou and myself is that Australians and Canadians are living under the malevolent influence of the British Monarch.

    I trust Lou and I have provided sufficient proof to dispel your misapprehension but I somehow doubt this. What you have done William is to retreat into the dark corner of the cave ad spew epithets and poorly argued half understood values. Your argument has degenerated into a mish mash or self contradictions and there is simply no place to go and no words simple enough to give you any chance of understanding.

    In your post of 6.54 PM you accuse Lou and myself of being ” Low information citizens and those with low intellect easily gravitate towards the path of least resistance” in your next post we are referred to as “Can either of you intellects deny that this is true?. William this is the problem with your argument. There is no consistency and your blinkered approach to facts let alone truths is preventing an appreciation of reality.

    I suggest that we leave this subject for the present, no good can come of talking to you and I shall respect the advice of Louman.Perhaps in the future we can discuss another subject where a closed mind is not a prerequisite for participation.

    Cheers from Aussie

    1. When you dump the bitch come back and talk about sovereignty. My Irish heritage instructs me in the knowledge of where living under the thumb of royals can lead. Famine, death, imprisonment, hatred.


      Simple enough for you?