Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oaxaca, Mexico: Learn to speak English, then adopt English law

This news is a couple of weeks old, but I'm just now digging through a mountain of Email that, uh, mounted up during my bout with dysentary/malaria/rickets/ebola/poison ivy, or whatever.

g c blues in Costa Rica (who also is recovering from a year-end illness -- must be an epidemic) sends along a link to Mary Katherine Ham, writing in the Townhall Blog. She mentions the release of the International Index of Economic Freedom. This, as she explains, is a measurement of how easy it is to do business in a given country.

The index makes a couple of things glaringly clear. First, if you want a successful economy, adopt English rule of law. Only 7 countries are designated as having truly "free economies":
Hong Kong
United States
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Notice that 5 of the 7 are English speaking and remain under the English form of rule of law. Hong Kong, of course, was under British rule from 1842 to 1997 and continues to maintain its own legal system, monetary system, customs policy, cultural delegation, international sports teams, and immigration policy distinct from China.

Singapore was under British colonial rule from 1819 til 1963. So, one could say that English rule of law and English free commerce are represented by all 7 of the only "free" economies on earth.

Now, as far as an overall ranking, first to last, of economic freedom, the top 20 on the list look like this:
Hong Kong
United States
New Zealand
United Kingdom

Mexico is ranked 49th, behind such countries as Panama, Latvia, and Africa's Botswana and Mauritius. This is the challenge facing Calderón which no Mexican president, ever, in the country's entire history, has been willing to face.

The rankings are based upon 10 "Freedoms". Each country is ranked 0-100 on each of the ten criteria. Each criterion is weighted equally. The "10 Freedoms" are:
Business Freedom
Trade Freedom
Fiscal Freedom
Freedom from Government
Monetary Freedom
Investment Freedom
Financial Freedom
Property rights
Freedom from Corruption
Labor Freedom
Now, if you want a good yuk, try to find Venezuela. It takes a concerted effort to find Hugo's Utopia. It's ranked 144th, alongside such economic powerhouses as Cuba, Bangladesh, Burundi and Chad.

What are your expectations concerning the long term welfare of the Venezuelan people? Pretty dismal, I should think.

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for art, gifts and collectibles -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.

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