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Posts Tagged ‘business freedom’

The conservative Heritage Foundation ranked Australia as the third most economically free country in the world in 2010, while the U.S. came in eighth place.

As of June 2010, Australia’s minimum wage is $15 an hour, while the U.S. federal minimum wage is nearly half that, at $7.25 an hour.

Economics textbooks present the overly simplistic notion that minimum wages higher than the market floor results in higher unemployment. At the time of publication of this index, Australia had an unemployment rate of 4.2% and the U.S. had a rate of 9.4%.

The two most important metrics relative to the impact of minimum wage on economic freedom the report measured, compare favourably between the two countries, showing that Australia isn’t relying on other far higher economic metrics to compensate. Business freedom was rated 90.3 in Australia and 91.3 in the U.S., and Labor freedom was rated 94.9 in Australia and 94.8 in the U.S.

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The conservative Heritage Foundation, no friend of socialism, has ranked Canada ahead of the United States in economic freedom, at 7th and 8th place, respectively.

From their 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the top 10 countries with the most economic freedom in descending order are:

  • Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, United States, Denmark, and Chile.

Ranked by Business Freedom, Trade Freedom, Fiscal Freedom, Government Spending, Monetary Freedom, Investment Freedom, Financial Freedom, Property Rights, Freedom from Corruption, and Labor Freedom, Canada beats the U.S. on 6 out of 10, ties on Investment Freedom, and falls behind only on Government Spending, Monetary Spending, and Labor Freedom.

Particularly embarrassing to the U.S. should be Canada’s ranking of 90% for Property Rights versus 85% for the U.S., given that the U.S. Constitution explicitly provides for just compensation for the taking of property, and the Canadian Constitution does not. Instead, it leaves property rights to the jurisdiction of the provincial legislatures. Even the Chinese Constitution provides for compensation for the taking of property, whereas Canada’s doesn’t.

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