Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Economic Freedom Index

For what they are worth, the 2007 rankings are out.

As you may expect, the U.S. fared pretty well, at #4.

When you have a free market economy, free from unnecessary regulation and government interference, you have the ability to be more in control of your own destiny. When you have excessive government interference, you see much of that control lost.

Here is the breakdown of the rankings for the U.S., pay close attention to the ten different areas. Note the particular rating given for Freedom From Government (FFG) - 67.5%. Compare that same category rating with the #1 rated, Hong Kong - 91.6%.

For my French readers, you will note France coming at #45. According to the index, your economy is 66.1% free and your FFG score - 32%. You like government to be involved in your financial world and it shows. Despite the poor showing in this particular category, France does manage to do some things better than others. Note the other nine categories to see how the republic places higher, than most that garner a 32% in the FFG department.

To get a real feel for what government can do to screw things up, take a look at Venezuela. By the numbers indicated in the index, they are 47.7% free, which puts them at #144, overall. While they fare far better in the FFG rating than France (69.5%), they come in almost a hundred places lower. And despite the fact they rate a couple of points above the States in the FFG, they blow it badly in three critical areas.

The success of a nation depends on how free that nation's economy is. It can be as successful as its government and people want it to be. The French people are content to be where they are at, at least that's what I have read. And that's okay, to each his/her own.

France has a choice. They make their choices known through free elections and their willingness to demonstrate in the streets, when they do not like something. No one gets rounded up for expressing themselves, unless they commit crimes in the process.

In Venezuela, they have a government run by someone that wants to be president for life. The people have little choice in the matter, because slowly he erodes their political freedom while he runs their economy into the ground. He closes down opposition media outlets and actively seeks to re-write their constitution, so he can take even more freedom away.

So to all of my fellow Americans that want to be critical of France in the worst way I say, take a look at Venezuela and see that it could be worse. The French are content to be where they are at, let them be. And to all of my fellow Americans that cheer the likes of Harry Belafonte, Sean Penn, and Cindy Sheehan for visiting Brother Hugo in Venezuela (on their "Badmouth America" tours) I say, try living and/or investing some money there.


greg said...

some of these hollywood types are way out in left field tugging on the hooka too much. sean penn in particular: first saddam hussein's propaganda tool, then chavez's (it occurs to me that folocon's latest post at s-f was entitled "dubious company"). yet penn is adored universally by lefties the world over.

by coincidence, i just saw penn's short related to 9/11. anyone else seen it?

I thought it was...interesting.

Surprised frenchman said...

So France isn't a communist dictatorship ?!

LASunsett said...


//by coincidence, i just saw penn's short related to 9/11. anyone else seen it?//

Haven't seen it. No plans to see it. How short is it, anyway? Guess you wouldn't need very long to condemn Bush for ordering the planes into the towers, so he could topple Saddam and eventually the world.

LASunsett said...


//So France isn't a communist dictatorship ?!//

Two questions

1. Where in this blog have you ever read such a thing?

2. Why do you not have the guts to post a comment, by the name you use at Super Frenchies?

Greg said...

LAS: I think all the shorts in the series are exactly 9 minutes, 11 seconds and one frame long.

Penn's is truly original when compared to the others, at least in style. The only time 9/11 is referenced is at the very end. Basically, the camera follows an old widower who doesn't leave his appartment. His wife's flowers are dying on the window sill. He wanders around talking to his dead wife. It's all beautifully filmed with good music. One morning, the man awakes and realizes his wife isn't there, but suddenly, sunlight mysteriously appears in the window and the wife's flowers are revived. He cheers and tries to show the dead wife, but again realizes she isn't there. The camera pans out of the window so you see the side of the building. Then you see the twin shadow on the neighbors window disappear as well (it's the second tower falling). The end.

Rocket said...

LASunsett a dit...


//So France isn't a communist dictatorship ?!//

Two questions

1. Where in this blog have you ever read such a thing?

2. Why do you not have the guts to post a comment, by the name you use at Super Frenchies?

I say!

Very culturally interesting indeed!

LA... will get back to you soon but I am totally mesmerized by the new sports package that I've got on cable and it seems to be taking over my entire life. After 30 years without, look at the weakness of the man when he can watch NFL and MLB live! And it is still on!!!! I'm praying to all Gods that it stays on!

LASunsett said...



Why are you?

I think I am very tolerant towards commenters here, whether they agree with me or not. I have no problem with anyone commenting as long as they are respectful in their disagreements.

I have many readers that make it over from SF's site, on a regular basis. Only a handful have the courage to comment in a respectful manner, because they know I won't tlerate the kind of things that SF does. Flocon comments here on occasion, but if you'll notice, he uses his name. He and I disagree on a good many things, but he's always welcome because he's respectful.

This particular commenter is probably one of the many nasty-spirited people that get a lot of leeway to be nasty in their comments at SF. He/she didn't have the guts to use the name he/she uses to leave their nasty verbages over there, so why shouldn't I call him/her out?

Rocket said...


I agree with you 100%. I just found it interesting that often those who are so interested in calling Americans cowards are in fact they themselves the cowards. Something, in fact which I always knew.

I found it culturally interesting because on another blog that I participate the current thread has to do with anonymous denunciation within the French society.

Rocket said...

Hello again LA

Please reread my comment. In fact the first half is your previous comment and I reprinted it and then when it starts with I say! is my opinion

All the best

LASunsett said...


I see now. I guess I really need to get more rest. ;)

dumbfounded frenchman said...

Oh my god,

I forget to check the post for just a few day, and you guys get all mad about my naïve question.
To set the record straight, I do not use any name at superfrenchie because I do not post at superfrenchie : no point in that, just a bunch of people agreeing France is great and the US suck.
I know you (LaS) never wrote France was a dictatorship but you explained us France is better than Venezuela (phew!), which I found funny.
Let's say I comment the death penalty index (great one !), will I really need to remind my readers that the US could be worse, take a look at China ? I think you'd find the comparison a bit funny.
So I'm not nasty spirited, I'm just really surprised (and rude) : are you really sure Venezuela is worse than France ?
And Rocket, please get over the cowardice issue, there is so much more to french-bashing : the hair, the smell, you know the rest.

rocket said...

Dumbfounded Frenchman

Sorry if I confused you as a contributer to SF. I was simply going on what LA said and adding my two cents worth.

and I quote from LA

"2. Why do you not have the guts to post a comment, by the name you use at Super Frenchies?"

In this case let me clear something up so you don't think that I believe all French are cowards.

My revised statement is:

I just found it interesting that often those who post on Superfrenchie site including Superfrenchie himself are so interested in calling Americans cowards when in fact they themselves the cowards. Something, in fact which I always knew.

The password to get into that blog seems to be Americans = cowards.

Yet he remains! Yet he remains!

LASunsett said...

Hi DF,

I apologize for mistaking you for a troll from SF's site. On occasion one of them will come over and leave a snarky anonymous comment, or two. But not that often.

As for the "France is better than Venezuela" comment, it was targeted for the Americans that tend to demonize France and the the French system. While the French system may fare well in France, I do not think it would here. Some think it is superior to the American system, others think that the American system is superior. I get just as tired of hearing how wonderful France is and how bad the US is, probably as much as you get tired of hearing it, in reverse.

Just so you know, this blog does not engage in French bashing like the Americans are bashed at SF's site. SF has his niche of defending against French bashing. Many times he has a case in his complaints, sometimes he doesn't. But unfortunately, it attracts the mean spirited that feel that an eye for an eye is a valid strategy in combating it. It also attracts cowards that say things that they would probably not have the courage to say to a person's face.

He tolerates it, I don't.

I do, at times, criticize French policy (sometimes harshly, when I feel it is warranted), as well policies of others (to include the USA). So feel free to comment here anytime, agree or disagree with my criticisms.

As for your criticism of the death penalty, I am not a proponent of it. I like the idea of someone spending the rest of their natural life in prison much better. Plus it's far more inexpensive.

I think it stands to reason that an execution allows a murderer to escape the harsh consequences of a life with no freedom. So, I cannot argue with your assessment of the USA is better than China in that regard. Yet, not as good as France.

China often is not the object of criticism in this area, but the US is. It's like some people expect China to do it, therefore, it's okay. (I could be wrong in that assessment, that's just how it appears to me.)

So, welcome to PYY. Come back and interject whenever you feel like it. I may not agree with you, but the regulars here will always treat you with respect. (And just so you know, I have French in my ancestry and have never been ashamed of it one iota.)