Skip to main content

A Survey of Liberty

I finally found the survey that compiled a rating for overall liberty from a variety of other surveys, such as the Random House survey (Click on the Heading for the details).

Estonia is the freest country in the world- not a shock to those of us who know her!


New Zealand

Of the leading EU economies, Germany is 21st (behind Latvia), Spain is 34th (behind Cape Verde), Italy is 41st (behind Botswana) and France is astonishingly 48th (behind South Africa).

Horrifyingly, Russia is 124th- even Saudi Arabia is freer than the Russian Federation.

In last place- North Korea- 122 places behind the democratic South.


Jonathan Calder said…

I can't find an e-mail for you, but I have tagged you with one of those irritating memes:


This 'index' makes very specific assumptions about liberty - so that low corporate taxation and small government size counts as 'liberty', but freedom to enjoy free health care apparently does not.

Hence Hong Kong comes out 19 places ahead of Sweden....
Anonymous said…
Not sure having a service provided for you comes under the definition of freedom myself. On the other hand, having the 'freedom' not to have any form of health coverage is the freedom to take a stupid gamble, so I personally wouldn't consider the tax I pay to cover the NHS entirely a 'loss of freedom', as if the NHS didn't exist I'd probably need to spend just as much money getting health cover.

The other thing that simple metrics like this don't take into account is that, for a lot of people, the organisation that most effects their freedom on a day-to-day basis is their employers, so a highly unregulated industry may well be less free to the individual.
Tristan said…
Economic freedom is necessary for any other sort of freedom.

Personally I feel that there is no such thing as 'freedom to enjoy free healthcare', there is freedom to make use of healthcare, that's a basic freedom, but 'enjoying free healthcare' is not a freedom, its a privilidge. (of course, no healtcare is free, so that makes it even more of a nonsense).

I think we need to get 'positive freedom' in perspective. Whilst its true that you cannot enjoy other freedoms if you suffer from ill health, this does not mean that free healthcare is a freedom.
What is needed there is not free healthcare, but for society to help its least well off members if they are not getting basic services (which society as a whole can afford to help them with).

With employment law: There is often a power differential between employer and employee, but much employment regulation restricts the employee's actions in the name of protecting them. Instead you should be helping shore up the individual employee's power and to enable a vibrant job market which people can get alternative employment if they wish.

Popular posts from this blog

Post Truth and Justice

The past decade has seen the rise of so-called "post truth" politics.  Instead of mere misrepresentation of facts to serve an argument, political figures began to put forward arguments which denied easily provable facts, and then blustered and browbeat those who pointed out the lie.  The political class was able to get away with "post truth" positions because the infrastructure that reported their activity has been suborned directly into the process. In short, the media abandoned long-cherished traditions of objectivity and began a slow slide into undeclared bias and partisanship.  The "fourth estate" was always a key piece of how democratic societies worked, since the press, and later the broadcast media could shape opinion by the way they reported on the political process. As a result there has never been a golden age of objective media, but nevertheless individual reporters acquired better or worse reputations for the quality of their reporting and

We need to talk about UK corruption

After a long hiatus, mostly to do with indolence and partly to do with the general election campaign, I feel compelled to take up the metaphorical pen and make a few comments on where I see the situation of the UK in the aftermath of the "Brexit election". OK, so we lost.  We can blame many reasons, though fundamentally the Conservatives refused to make the mistakes of 2017 and Labour and especially the Liberal Democrats made every mistake that could be made.  Indeed the biggest mistake of all was allowing Johnson to hold the election at all, when another six months would probably have eaten the Conservative Party alive.  It was Jo Swinson's first, but perhaps most critical, mistake to make, and from it came all the others.  The flow of defectors and money persuaded the Liberal Democrat bunker that an election could only be better for the Lib Dems, and as far as votes were concerned, the party did indeed increase its vote by 1.3 million.   BUT, and it really is the bi

Media misdirection

In the small print of the UK budget we find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British Finance Minister) has allocated a further 15 billion Pounds to the funding for the UK track and trace system. This means that the cost of the UK´s track and trace system is now 37 billion Pounds.  That is approximately €43 billion or US$51 billion, which is to say that it is amount of money greater than the national GDP of over 110 countries, or if you prefer, it is roughly the same number as the combined GDP of the 34 smallest economies of the planet.  As at December 2020, 70% of the contracts for the track and trace system were awarded by the Conservative government without a competitive tender being made . The program is overseen by Dido Harding , who is not only a Conservative Life Peer, but the wife of a Conservative MP, John Penrose, and a contemporary of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Oxford. Many of these untendered contracts have been given to companies that seem to have no notewo