There are some tiny island nations with excellent Freedom Scores and “life’s a beach” economies: Samoa – Freedom Score 81, p/c GDP $5,547 Federated States of Micronesia – Freedom Score 92, p/c GDP $3,447 Tuvalu – Freedom Score 93, p/c GDP $4,480 There are some little petro-chemical despotisms that are rolling in it: Bahrain – Freedom Score 12, p/c GDP $49,057 United Arab Emirates – Freedom Score 17, p/c GDP $58,466 Qatar – Freedom Score 25, p/c GDP $91,897
Compare two nations with the same people, language, and culture – two nations so much the same that one of those nations claims that both of those nations are the same nation: Taiwan – Freedom Score 93, p/c GDP $54,620 China – Freedom Score 10, p/c GDP $17,206 Or these two, which are even more alike: SouthKorea – FreedomScore 83, p/cGDP$44,292 North Korea – Freedom Score 3, p/c GDP $1,700 (and the IMF didn’t even try to pry that info out of Pyongyang, this is a 2017 CIA estimate) Compare Israel and Egypt: Israel – Freedom Score 76, p/c GDP $39,126 Egypt – Freedom Score 21, p/c GDP $12,719 (Moses probably parted the Red Sea with the income gap.) Venezuela has some of the world’s largest oil reserves. Uruguay has... um... According to Wikipedia, Uruguay is among the world’s largest producers of “soybeans, greasy wool, horse meat, beeswax, and quinces.” Uruguay – Freedom Score 98, p/c GDP $21,338 Venezuela – Freedom Score 16, p/c GDP $7,344 Saudi Arabia does a better job of putting its oil wealth to work. But compare Saudi Arabia with equally oil-wealthy Norway: Norway – Freedom Score 100, p/c GDP $64,856 Saudi Arabia – Freedom Score 7, p/c GDP $46,273 Freedom makes us rich. Or, if we happen to be rich already, it makes us much richer. There are statistical outliers, of course...
Nonetheless, in most of the world... Freedom = Wealth
And there’s the outright anomaly of Singapore with a sorry Freedom Score of 48, a rating of “Partly Free,” and a whooping per capita GDP of $95,603. But how can you be even “Partly Free” when you’re a speck on the map that has big, nasty neighbors and all you’ve got to defend yourself with is the canes you use on litterbugs? Nonetheless, in most of the world... Freedom = Wealth For those of us who care about freedom (and everyone cares about his or her own), freedom is an end in itself. But it’s nice knowing that freedom provides us with not just the ends, but also the means.
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