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Visualizing America's Economic Freedom Plunge

Tyler Durden's picture


As we noted last week, the US, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a rather remarkable plunge in economic freedom over the last decade. This excellent infographic summarizes what factors drove us here, which countries are on the rise, and why we are more like Venezuela, Argentina, and Iceland than many would like to believe.


Full details here.


Source: Online Business Degree


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Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:13 | 2883356 Duke of Con Dao
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YouTube - Tough Guys Don't Dance: Obama in Five on Hard Man Paul Ryan


he should of brushed Biden back last night.... missed opp!

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:26 | 2883402 ACP
ACP's picture

The US is NOT like Iceland. Iceland rejected voluntary enslavement.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:44 | 2883450 no taste
no taste's picture

Five charts that show what is wrong with America, and that it will get worse.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 20:20 | 2883540 Precious
Precious's picture

-> Comment Lashings

-> French Fries

Q: Why do you visit Zero Hedge?

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 02:29 | 2884067 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

in part to get links to answers to the current economic ills that beset the u.s., particularly those that both political parties and the main stream media consistently oppose/ignore.  sheila bair (ex republican head of the fdic) has it about right:

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 04:43 | 2884132 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is confusing... where is Russian Federation and Ukraine on giant graphical?!

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 10:05 | 2884630 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



When parachutes are worth their weight in gold.


Sat, 10/13/2012 - 10:30 | 2884661 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

I visit ZeroHedge because it's the only place I fit in.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 11:10 | 2884699 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

I'd never join a club that would have me as a member.

Groucho Marx

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:11 | 2883674 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

So much truth to the charts and the idea.  Problem is, if you don't play, you let the rest of the idiots choose which better/worse idiot will run the country.  When you fail to participate, you dumb down the system.  When smart people say "there is no hope", then you let the idiots prevail.  Like the Obama phone bitch.  Who is the dumb ass?  The one's who let idiots rule without ridicule (and win office because you would not vote)?  Or the one that votes for the idiot?  If you are so fucking smart, run for office, be the Ron Paul that CAN get elected, quit your mother fucking crying and sulking ...  Grow the fuck up!!!!! Be the Gary Johnson that CAN get elected.  Quit being a bunch of pussies...

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:35 | 2883723 no taste
no taste's picture

Do you think I am suggesting that one not participate?  Did you read the site?

My point is Bush = Obama = Romney.  My point is not that one should do nothing.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:42 | 2883735 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

No Sir, I am not suggesting that, and I thank you for the brilliant post.  I think we are in basic agreement that the "system" sux.  That does not mean that smart folks should not play the stupid system else we turn it over to the idiots...

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:52 | 2883761 no taste
no taste's picture

Thanks for the compliment.

I think that voting for the blue/red can of diarrhea is not playing the system.

My only solution is to reach out to others to help them see that the blue / red choice is choosing diarrhea.  Too many people think that their blue/red candidate is something other than liquid shit. I try to help them see otherwise.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 22:03 | 2883789 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

You are welcome.  We agree on alot but different ways to play to BS game....

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 22:23 | 2883831 no taste
no taste's picture

I'm glad that we agree, but I do not understand what you are suggesting.

I am not suggesting that people should not vote. I am not suggesting for whom people should vote. I am asking that people not vote for liquid fecal matter. 

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:49 | 2884045 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

This is not a great graphic for a Friday evening.  


Sat, 10/13/2012 - 02:02 | 2884051 Cliff Claven Cheers
Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

What is the difference between a Beer and Romeny?  You are sad when your beer is gone.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 10:00 | 2884623 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Are you done sucking off your puppet yet?

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 12:52 | 2885142 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Then vote for me!

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 07:02 | 2884189 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

Last night I voted my absentee balot for Gary Johnson. I just put it i the mail box and put the flag up. Gary Johnson represents what I think better than anyone on the ballot. It does not matter that he will not win. It is important to me to be a small part in a sea of change. I may not be counted against the two top cantidates but it will be one more vote for a third party cantidate. Eventually there will be change.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 10:06 | 2884633 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Hell yeah, you did your part, right?  Now you can go back to sleep with that huge sense of satisfaction!

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 20:42 | 2883607 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Even the (US controlled) World Bank ranks Iceland significantly higher than the US.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:25 | 2883637 ACP
ACP's picture

The funny thing is, Argentina put out one of the best "apocalypse" films out there today, on a low budget. "Phase 7" is something that would be derided in the US; the dialogue ("This is War!") in the middle of the film is totally hilarious. Yayo makes a great "prepper." I guess it takes experience to create a great, realistic, stumbling-bumbling human account of what the world might become.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 09:58 | 2884619 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

" Iceland rejected voluntary enslavement"

After going completely buns up for their banking sector. Yay for them. Woohoo.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 20:56 | 2885919 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Uh, no.  They just delayed it for a time until they can kick the Debt Money Tyrants and their debt based money tyranny to the curb...

Debt Money Tyranny

The banksters just backed off for a time.

They'll be back with the rest of the planet in shambles.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 02:50 | 2884078 Middle_Finger_Market
Middle_Finger_Market's picture

The US went broke in the 1930's, instead of really facing up to that the FED was invented. Now the US is screwed again except this time its the people who have been hooked. Maritime law. Martial law. 

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:45 | 2883379 xtop23
xtop23's picture

No difference between Obama and Romney stop kidding yourself.

edit; Awww poor wittle neocon didn't get your stipend from Netanyahu? Shove that down arrow right up your pretentious , self righteous , ass.

I repeat; there is NO significant difference.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:20 | 2883381 h0oS
h0oS's picture

No surprise with the US score, expect the trend to continue south.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:35 | 2883433 koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

It would also be no surprise to see the coruption index rating from Transparency International change It won't be long before USA is the world's largest banana republic.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:58 | 2884048 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

It's not corruption if Congress says it isn't.
So, we have that going for us, which is nice.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:40 | 2883443 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



And on that note surprise Dear Leader strikes again

Obama’s Lastest Executive Order Freezes Americans’ Accounts

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 22:10 | 2883802 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

Not saying you are wrong, but please explain in simple english how that can freeze american accounts, at least within america...

Sun, 10/14/2012 - 14:28 | 2887938 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



I didn't junk you I just came to check out this thread I think this will help explain it better

Another Obama Executive Order Allows Seizure of Americans’ Bank Accounts


Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:35 | 2883434 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Oil companies must be owned and operated by the State. Otherwise how would we ever know if there is an alternative.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 08:17 | 2884505 northerngirl
northerngirl's picture

What?  Once the State gets control of anything they never let go.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:46 | 2883456 e-man
e-man's picture

Another thing, we used to have Friday humor.  Now it's all pain.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:58 | 2883480 gwar5
gwar5's picture

UR right, where's our Friday lemon cookie?



Fri, 10/12/2012 - 20:50 | 2883624 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It came early this week on Tuesday then another dose on Thursday.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:09 | 2883660 e-man
e-man's picture

Thanks, must have been a very long week for me.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 08:19 | 2884507 northerngirl
northerngirl's picture

Welcome to Progressive America.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 19:56 | 2883473 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Obamazuela is here. A government that swears things are dandy as they roll out 30,000 domestic spy drones and feels up granny snatch at the airport can't be wrong.


Fri, 10/12/2012 - 20:40 | 2883596 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Mmmmmm........granny snatch.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 20:34 | 2883580 pavman
pavman's picture

I disagree with the statements made.  Its only been the last four years that its fallen from 4/5 to 10th.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 00:37 | 2883744 Nadaclue
Nadaclue's picture

Wake up Comrade. Bush/Cheney/Cabal was responsible for 85% of your liberties and rights going away? Thanks to Patriot Act's I and II, much of which is so secret, Congress doesn't even know what it says.

Obummer has brought it up to 92% in the last 4 yrs, we just don't see it. Obummer has nationalized everything with EO's, including your labor. Once that's engaged, you'll be 98% screwed and forced to stand and fight/die or, accept the slavery that you will be forced into.

This isn't one administrations work, it is a series. I doubt you'll believe me but you will suffer for it in the end.

Stand for liberty or be forced to slavery.



Sat, 10/13/2012 - 09:12 | 2884562 northerngirl
northerngirl's picture

As a country the definitions of, "Liberty and Slavery", have been on a course of inversion for years.  Liberty is now defined:  Being free of work and responsibility to take care of oneself and family.  To be able to have the government provide housing, food, medical care and cell phones.  Slavery is now defined:  Working a job and having to provide housing, food, medical care and cell phone for yourself and your family.


Most Americans could care less that every phone call, email and text message is now being recorded by the government, or that drones canvas our air space.  Until we stop depending on the government for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness we just going to get more of the same. 

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:00 | 2883641 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

that number is way too high for the fascist states of amerika....only in communist china or north korea could you expect 12 armed men to storm your house with dogs and rifles and force you to the ground to take your house even though you own it. the usa surpasses nazi germany and the ussr in its vicious enforcement of criminal laws......

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:30 | 2883707 virgilcaine
virgilcaine's picture

jackboot nation..forward!

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 22:00 | 2883781 docj
docj's picture

The "Pundit Class" tells us that "Political campaigns in the US are fought between the 45-yard lines." Which is perhaps true. The only problem is that if one end-zone is labeled "statism" and the other is labeled "freedom" (or "capitalism", etc.) then the reality is that the 50-yard line has been steadily, without interruption, moving toward the "statism" end zone for almost a century now.

The statists ("blue" team) have the ball, 2nd-and goal from about the 8 right now. Meanwhile, most of the "red" team really aren't reading from anything resembling the "freedom" playbook and frankly are acting more often like they'd much rather be wearing blue jerseys in any case.

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 23:22 | 2883914 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Strange that socialist Canuckistan - here, Canada - rates a high 7.97.  You can't escape taxation here.  Government monopolies in liquor, power, ferries...high taxes.  Monitoring of your financial transactions.  Fiat money.

Rankings are a joke.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:09 | 2884006 e-man
e-man's picture

I noticed that too. Interestingly, the sources are listed as the National Post and which is the Fraser Institute.  Both are Canadian organizations.  But I am certain that is just coincidence, right?

I agree with Dr. Bonzo below as well.  Something is not passing the smell test here.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:58 | 2884049 prains
prains's picture

so are the leafs

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 23:46 | 2883927 Dr. Bonzo
Dr. Bonzo's picture

Guys, do yor fucking homework for a change.  I'm well aware of the liberty boner Milt Friedman and the Cato Institute have had for Hong Kong's "alleged" economic freedom the last few decades, but anyone who's actually lived here for any amount of time soon realizes what a stone cold fucking joke that shit is. Hope one of these days you "serious-minded" economic folks stop regurgitating Google feeds and do some actual fucking research for a change. Hong Kong has the highest GINI coeffficient of any developed Asian economy and one of the greatest wealth disparity gaps in the developed world, and it has nothing to do with economic-fucking-freedom. Basically a handful of conglomerates own Hong Kong and run it like their own private little monopoly game. All land in Hong Kong is leasehold according to the colonial model left by the British, how that squares with private property rights is beyond me. Over half the population lives in government housing; most large companies own outright monopolies on everything from telecoms, electric, water, transportation, food, construction, print media, broadcast media, Internet... practically every aspect of life in Hong Kong is owned by one of fewer than 7 companies. So spare me the motherfucking "freedom" lecture. Add to that delicious cocktail the increased pressure routinely applied by the PRC in all matters social and political and you can toss your freedom index right out the fucking window. First time I've actually seen a dogshit piece on ZH. Shape up guys.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 07:57 | 2884490 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

"Hong Kong is owned by one of fewer than 7 companies"

So what makes them different from the rest of the Planet?

Private corporations are the serfs new lords and the people that control them are the new Kings.

War needs to be faught but it should not be faught against Sovergien Nations. The slaves have to fight the owners, slavery was never abolished anywahere on the planet just reconfigured and disguised.

A good start?

The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks. John Dalberg Lord Acton

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 11:44 | 2884756 Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

Far right are a bunch of isolated losers who attribute their failure to external forces. These people are more likely to like :: Ron Paul, William F. Buckley, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Slobodan Milosevic, Charles Coughlin, Chiang Kai-shek, Jean Marie Le Pen, David Duke and Tom Metzger. Only the very rich will survive their capitalist utopia.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 13:03 | 2885162 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

The free market doesn't do GINI.

It wasn't like that in the 70's and 80's. It's been getting worse so every year is less free. Don't blame Friedman for that.

Sun, 10/21/2012 - 00:04 | 2907294 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

You are right about Hong Kong, see this from the AsiaTimes

The myth of a free Hong Kong economy

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 00:33 | 2883980 dermus
dermus's picture

What a shitty infographic. Instead of visualizing information with ease, I had to concentrate due to the graphical gimmickry.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:50 | 2884046 False Capital
False Capital's picture

Agreed. I noticed that the "sound money" icon features a picture of little green dollars. Poor effort at subliminal imagery imo.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 02:06 | 2884050 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

What a fu..k???

Yeah, do some research.

Happiest countries in the World. Index:

                          Experienced well-being x Life expectancy

Happy Planet Index = ________________________________

                          Ecological Footprint


9. Venezuela

17. Argentina

88. Iceland

105. US


"2. A measure of
sustainable well-being
Brazil supports the establishment of a process to set new ways of
measuring progress that reflect the environmental, social and economic
facets of development … The process… must avoid the proposal of
indices that are overly complex, or that have too many components.
Brazil’s contribution to the preparatory process for the UN Rio +20 conference"

Very, very interesting reading. Also, as a person who has traveled a lot around the world and lived in Europe for many years, I can confirm by empirics the accuracy of the index for the countries I've been in. Time to drop the TINA way of thinking, fellows. Or at least time to start questioning dogmas.


Sat, 10/13/2012 - 04:28 | 2884129 Pseudolus
Pseudolus's picture

All for quesitoning dogma, but do some thinking with your reading rather than crib from quite arbitrary (fiat) indicators 

"Happy Planet index" = (subjectively aggregated subj/obj mixed measure of multidimensional concept of well-being) x (measure of impact of child/infant mortality on cohort longevity)/(inestimable unbaselined ecological footprint)


Sat, 10/13/2012 - 11:27 | 2884729 Dingusdongus
Dingusdongus's picture

Happiest country in the World Index misses one of the most important metrics. Given unlimited choice, to what country would you emigrate? In what country do you think you would be happier?

I don't see any likely candidates until no 28 New Zealand and to have Denmark at no.110 is absurd.

I reember seeing a BBC film some years about demonstrators in Pakistan attacking US policy in Afganistan. The reporter asked a local the question;

'if a lorry were to turn up to take these demonstrators to Afghanistan, how many would go?'.

The local  replied,'none'. '

'And if a lorry were to turn up with Green Cards to take these people to the USA, how many would go'?

The local replied 'Every one of them'

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 09:27 | 2884589 Monk
Monk's picture

That plunge was caused by the same economic freedom.


Sat, 10/13/2012 - 10:05 | 2884629 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture'll disturb the ones who would rather be placated by a large proof with "miracle occurs here" as a middle step.

"Free to Starve", as the saying goes.

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 10:03 | 2884626 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

When in doubt, frame the debate...

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 11:44 | 2884755 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

if a US citizen cannot open a bank account in a foreign country with a foreign bank because said foreign bank is shitting bricks they might be bullied/thugged for no good reason by the IRS/US Govt on the hysterical unproven acusation that any citizen with foreign affairs is either a potential tax dodger or terrorist then you haven't got anything close to freedom

US foreign policy makes a deranged thug look like a mild milk maid

Thought Crime for the Day : fuck all politicians, they're socio-economic vandals and not worth a Cent

(ie. stop paying your taxes)

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 12:27 | 2885086 Stilicho
Stilicho's picture

There is economic freedom and social freedom. Sadly, many of the countries that are high on economic freedom are also very low on social freedom. The key is to have high marks in both areas. What good is 100% supposed 'economic' freedom in a country where you do not have the right to bear arms and defend yourself or are persecuted and/or disciminated against for being a member of a minority social group? Why is there no place that has figured out liberty is both social and economic?

Sat, 10/13/2012 - 13:07 | 2885175 troopa
troopa's picture

funny to see Australia under asian countries

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