I’m in Vancouver, Canada, for the biennial meeting of the World Taxpayers Associations.
I gave a speech on why tax competition is a valuable force to constrain the greed of the political class, but warned the audience that high-tax governments and international bureaucracies are using financial protectionism to coerce low-tax jurisdictions into weakening their good policies.
But regular readers know that I pontificate far too often on that topic, so today’s column is instead about a presentation by Michael Walker, who was thefounding Executive Director at Canada’s Fraser Institute.
Michael’s great contribution to the world was the creation of the Economic Freedom of the World Index, which he developed working with scholars such as Milton Friedman.
I’ve cited the EFW Index many times, particularly to bemoan how America’s score has deteriorated during the Bush-Obama years.
Today, though, we’re going to look at global trends in economic freedom, using some of the slides from Michael’s presentation. And the good news, as you can see from the green line in this first chart, is that there was a significant increase in economic freedom between 1980 and 2010.
The blue line, by the way, shows how much nations differed. A higher blue line means more variation (in other words, some nations with very good scores and some with very bad scores), while a lower blue lines means that nations are converging.
To really understand what’s happening, however, it’s important to look at the component parts of the EFW Index. As I wrote back in 2012:
…a country’s economic performance is governed by a wide range of policies.
In Other News: The Theological Experts at Salon Magazine Claim Jesus was a Communist | Michael Schaus
Today, at 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for October 1st, 2014 | John Ransom
In Other News: WH Daily Intel Briefings Are Optional? Obama Attends Fewer than Half | Michael Schaus
In Other News: Ukrainians Demolish Statue of Lenin – Putin Offers Statue of Himself as Replacement | Michael Schaus
Today, at 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for September 29th, 2014 | John Ransom
In Other News: Hey White People! All GOP Policies Apparently Designed to Kill Black People | Michael Schaus