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Wall Street Journal: USA Knocked Out of World's Top 10 Most Economically Free Countries

America's Dwindling Economic Freedom

Regulation, taxes and debt knock the U.S. out of the world's top 10.

by Terry Miller

Wall Street Journal


World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

For 20 years, the index has measured a nation's commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.

Those losing freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions. For instance, heavy-handed government intervention in Brazil's economy continues to limit mobility and fuel a sense of injustice.

Please read more here.

Economic Frontiers: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey (MINTs)


Ex-Goldman banker Jim O'Neill has hailed Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey (Mint) as the new frontier of the global economy, which that could replace his well-coined acronym for the emergent Bric economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. 

According to O'Neill, who first referred to Bric economies in 2001, as the new economic powerhouses will typically be Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia and Turkey.

O'Neill, who is presenting a four part series for the BBC Radio 4 that profiles each of these new countries, said that Mints had a number of advantages which would bring them to the top of the economic table if they reached their potential.

These countries have young populations, they are well placed geographically and three of them are commodities producers, in contrast to the Brics.

Please read more here and here.

Put Virgin Air on Your Bucket List

Sir Richard Branson really knows how to run an airline. No wonder Forbes ranks Virgin as the number one airline in the U.S.

Virgin's service and inflight entertainment put the U.S. airlines to shame. On a recent flight from London to Miami I jammed for hours on tons of great music - including this song by Maze.