The United States is on a steady skid downward and is no longer on the list of top ten countries for economic freedom, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom.
After seven years of decline in the rating, the US has gone down to 12th place in the index which was published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
The US with a “substantial expansion in the size and scope of government,” is one spot behind Estonia in the index and only one place ahead of Bahrain which has earned No. 13.
The report says the US slid down two spots from last year’s index and is the only country to show such a prolonged decline.
“Now considered only a ‘mostly free’ economy, the US has earned the dubious distinction of having recorded one of the longest sustained declines in economic freedom, second only to Argentina, of any country in the [20-year] history of the Index,” said the report’s editors from the Heritage Foundation.
“The US is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.”
The United States’ decline is “primarily due to deteriorations in property rights, fiscal freedom and business freedom,” the report stated.
The Index of Economic Freedom judges countries around the world in terms of their commitment to the rule of law, principles of limited government, regulatory efficiency, freedom from corruption and open markets.
The 2014 index shows global economic freedom continues to rise, reaching a record average score of 60.3.
The US scored 75.5 in the index. Hong Kong topped the list with a score of 90.1, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand”