With the United States sinking on several major indices of economic freedom as it celebrates its Independence Day, free-market advocates have reason to ask, “What ever happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?” A review of several credibly researched global indices makes clear economic freedom in the United States has dropped in an alarming fashion since the year 2000, with no reversal in the trend yet evident from the Obama administration’s highly touted “economic recovery.” 

With the United States rapidly becoming the land of the highly taxed and the home of the heavily regulated, it is losing its position as the world leader in entrepreneurial free enterprise. The economic theory underpinning global indices of economic freedom stems back to Adam Smith’s classic book, “The Wealth of Nations,” in which he stated in Book IV, Chapter 9, “Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men.” FULL REPORT