Taiwan’s economic freedom ranking has risen to an all-time high, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of Economic Freedom released on Monday.
The index ranks Taiwan No. 4 with an overall economic freedom score of 80.7 and No. 2 out of the 39 economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The region’s average overall economic score is 58.2 while the world’s average is 59.3, or “the lowest it has been over the past two decades,” according to the index’s executive summary.
“This year’s ‘Index of Economic Freedom’ reveals just how fragile the world’s economy has become. The world and America are at a crossroads,” Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
The index, which began in 1995, “considers economic policies and conditions in 184 sovereign countries from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022” and “reveals a world economy that, taken as a whole, is ‘mostly unfree,’” according to the index’s executive summary.
“Too many countries have renounced basic economic principles leaving communities to suffer the consequences. They must choose either the narrow path of self-governance, human dignity, and ordered liberty, or the broad path of an economy run by the managerial elite with no room for dissent or responsibility. One path leads to prosperity, and the other leads to ruin,” Roberts said.
Taiwan’s 2023 ranking marks an improvement from its No. 6 ranking in the 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, where it had a score of 80.1. The island has an unemployment rate of 3.8% and a population of 23.4 million people, according to the 2023 index.
The 2023 index ranks Singapore No. 1 with an overall economic freedom score of 83.9, followed by Switzerland with a score of 83.8, Ireland with a score of 82.0, and then Taiwan. All four countries received a “free” ranking.
The United States’ ranking holds steady at No. 25 with an overall economic freedom score of 70.6, which is its lowest score ever, and the third-highest ranking in the Americas region. The U.S. received a “mostly free” rating, the same as its 2022 rating, despite dropping 1.5 points from 72.1.
“For months, the Biden administration has ignored warnings of wasteful spending and poor economic policies, and the American people are the ones paying for it,” EJ Antoni, research fellow in Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “Consumers are depleting their savings, which dropped over $1.6 trillion in 2022, and incurring more credit card debt just to provide for their families.”
“Our economy is running on fumes, and the last thing America needs is more taxing, spending, and regulation by the federal government,” Antoni said.
The U.S. was ranked No. 20 in the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom, The Daily Signal previously reported.
The 2023 index ranks China at No. 154 with an overall economic freedom score of 48.3, which is considered “repressed.” North Korea, Cuba, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Haiti are among the other countries also considered “repressed” in terms of their economic freedom scores.
“Today, economic freedom is beset on all sides, both at home and abroad,” Roberts said in the index’s preface. “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is working to constrain freedom not only within its own borders, but in nations around the world. Bureaucrats are more powerful than ever. They work with globalist organizations and multinational corporations alike to write regulations that stifle the freedom of the middle class while enriching the powerful under the guise of health emergencies, global warming, and environmental, social, and governance investment.”
The result of this oppression is plain to see. For example, the CCP’s “zero COVID” regime and social credit system is not an aberration: It is the unavoidable and intended result of bureaucratic rule.
If left unchecked, it will replicate itself in economies around the world, empowering an unaccountable elite to control where citizens travel, who they may associate with, and whether they are allowed to get a loan or own property at all. The result will be tyranny and economic collapse.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
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