"Economic Freedom peaked about seven or eight years ago in the U.S. and has been dropping since then," claims James Roberts, Heritage Foundation Research Fellow and co-author of the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom.
For over a decade the Heritage Foundation has been ranking countries based on a number of indices, including open markets, regulatory efficiency, and the size and scope of government. Due primarily to costly regulations and rapid government expansion, the tenth-place United States' declined in the rankings for the fourth straight year, behind Hong Kong (#1), Australia (#3), Switzerland (#5), Canada (#6) and Ireland (#9). Even Maruritius, a small island off the coast of Africa, was seen as a more economically free.
Roberts sat down with Reason's Matt Welch to discuss the Index, the state of free enterprise in the world, and the decline of economic freedom in Europe and North America.
About 6:30 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg and Joshua Swain and edited by Bragg.