According to the latest ( 2015) rating and ranking of economic freedom from the Libertarian leaning Fraser Institute in Canada The US is ranking 20 of the 157 countries in their analysis in the year 2000 the US was second only to Hong Kong. So what is going on. Was not the US the country that was the prototype for individual freedom, private property rights, contact law and general rule of law ? Was that not what Jefferson and Madison had in mind?What has happened in the last 15 years?
What does Fraser mean when they speak of economic freedom?
I quote from their website:
" Individuals have economic freedom when property they
acquire without the use of force, fraud, or theft is protected from physical
invasions by others and they are free to use, exchange, or give their property
as long as their actions do not violate the identical rights of others. An
index of economic freedom should measure the extent to which rightly acquired
property is protected and individuals are engaged in voluntary transactions".
Here is the link to their report entitled "The Human Freedom Index, a global measure of personal,civil and economic freedom"
Here is the listing of countries as reported and commented on the the blog zerohedge:See
Some of the factors that are the usual suspects in our declining freedom are: increasing use of land use controls including eminent domain ,hypertrophied requirements for licensing many occupations ( think flower arrangement and dread lock hair styling),the effect of the various "wars", i.e. war on drugs,war on terror,the Patriotic Act with its warrant less wire taps and secret court proceedings and widespread surveillance of American citizens,etc.
The is little to be optimistic, freedom wise, about on the medical care front.With ACA citizens are forced by law to purchase a product,if physicians choose not to use computers in a very specific way dictated by the government they will be penalized in regard to Medicare and Medicaid payments. And for a list of just some of the liberty limiting things going on now or being proposed see this link from the Weinmann Report.