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The most economically free countries.

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Luminar Posted: Sat, Oct 6 2012 7:57 PM

Which ones are they?

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The ones with the least government regulation.

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Luminar replied on Sat, Oct 6 2012 9:02 PM

I know; I'd just like to know which countries regulate the least.

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Oct 6 2012 9:17 PM

I got you.

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

Of course their actual rankings are debateable and there is some inaccuracy inherent in the way that they rank the countries.

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Curious how Singapore has such high economic freedom, and yet it's illegal to not flush a toilet after using it over there.

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Oct 6 2012 9:22 PM

Economic and social freedom usually mean different things to those in normal political circles.

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Kakugo replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 3:30 AM

In my personal experience parts of Switzerland surely rank very high in the economical and individual freedom sector. The so called Waldstadt ("Forest Cantons", once just Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, now all "rural" areas) are on the average much better than the rest and if it weren't for their stubborn resistance to the "idiots in Berne" the whole country would probably be part of the UESSR by now.

It may surprise you but Sweden is also a nice place to run a business: taxes are high but actually lower than in France, Italy etc and there are all sorts of breaks if you invest in R&D, retooling etc. Granted, I get along much better with the Swiss way of thinking (we are all mountain peoples after all) but at least the Swedes did try to address some of the economical and social horrors of the '80s which were dragging the country to oblivion.

Slovakia has made some good strides lately, though it still caters more to big investors than to the regular entrepreneur. However it remains to be seen if they are really building a strong economy or are just being used as a "China inside the EU", to be dumped by big investors once it's not needed anymore.

Turkey seemed to be "opening up" to foreign business a while ago but it turned out to be premature. Note to potential investors: when you see Honda or another keiretsu liquidating their investments in a country and leaving, follow suit as fast as you can. The country may not be run by the military anymore but this doesn't mean  it's become any more free. It's a pity since the country as a whole (like Iran) has a huge potential but it's held down by other factors.

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Just like to say, that I now live in HK... and it doesn't seem particularly "economically free".

I mean, I work for HSBC, and the regulatory code is massive. Maybe nothing compared to what the UK and US impose, but it's far from "free".

Transportation is entirely controlled by the state. If you want your own "private" transportation... tax rates are arounf the 100% mark. Lots of socialistic signs all around the subway system "don't drop litter, keep our stations clean"... around election time "it's our country, register to vote", etc..

Lots of planning controls on construction, etc.

I mean, if you want to set up a market stool, or a small shop, it seems fairly easy (so long as you can afford the property prices)... but anything above that, and it seems to be like any European country. Reminds me a bit of 1984... the "proles" have their freedom, but anybody of any wealth or importance is subject to the rule of the party (I believe most of the political parties here are just shadow parties of the mainland's Government... the independence parties seem to be of the same ilk as Peurto Rico's... independence so that they can go ahead with populist agendas).

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Luminar replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 8:41 AM

So, I just move to Singapore when I grow up! (I don't have a problem with the toilet rule).

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There are other rules, you know. I once heard a quote that Singapore is "Disney World with the death penalty."

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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 9:59 AM

Don't live in Singapore. It is not a fun place for a libertarian... Or for anyone who enjoys any sort of freedom.

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Exactly. Hong Kong is better, although it is possessed by the PRC, so...

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Fephisto replied on Sun, Oct 7 2012 11:32 AM

Any thoughts about New Zealand?

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New Zealand has other diadvantages. I have yet to see a country which combines good economic freedom with good personal freedom.

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