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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wealth Is Created By Freedom

Don Boudreaux explains how most American's are "Bill Gates-rich" as compared to people from the rest of the world or our predecessors from anywhere. We live longer, safer, more luxurious lives than people have ever done. And the reason? No, it is not technology. Every country in the world has access to the internet, computers, mass assembly manufacturing, electricity and fuel.

With these resources available to all, why does the US stand out from the pack?

Freedom.

Writes Boudreaux:

As shown again and again by researchers who study the relationship between prosperity and economic freedom, the greater is economic freedom, the greater and more widespread is prosperity.

Boudreauz summarizes the findings of Economic Freedom of the World: 2006 Annual Report:

Nations in the top fourth in economic freedom have an average per-capita GDP of US$24,402, compared to US$2,998 for those nations in the bottom fourth;

The top fourth of economic freedom also has an average per-capita economic growth rate of 2.1 percent, compared to 0.2 percent for the bottom fourth;

Unemployment in the top fourth of economic freedom averages 5.9 percent, compared to 12.7 percent in the bottom fourth;

Life expectancy averages 77.8 years in nations in the top fourth of economic freedom but a mere 55.0 years in the bottom fourth;

Nations in the top fourth of economic freedom have only 0.3 percent of children in the work force, while nations in the bottom forth suffer 19.3 percent of their children in the labor force;
In the top fourth, the average income of the poorest 10 percent of the population is US$6,519 compared to US$826 for those in the bottom fourth;


As this careful new study makes clear, there is no denying that more freedom means more prosperity for more people -- and that lack of freedom ensures poverty for the masses, regardless of the degree of technological sophistication.

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