Economic liberty in America has long been touted by politicians, from both the Left and Right. But, as government expanded over the years, America’s free market foundation has diminished. In fact, for seven straight years now, America has fallen amongst the world leaders in economic freedom. To say that America is pro-business and fully supportive of entrepreneurs is no longer true. There are many other nations I’d much rather start a company in than America, for various reasons.
Economic liberty by definition: limited government control in matters of trade.
I’ve talked about it many times on Capitalist Creations, and recently explained how America’s neighbor to the North, my motherland, Canada, has become far more pro-business and supportive of entrepreneurs. Just recently, my opinion was validated: America was ranked a pathetic 12th overall in 2014’s Index of Economic Freedom.
The United States trails Singapore, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland in economic freedom. Those nations all have healthy and vibrant economies, so that may not be a surprise. However, what is a surprise, and should be embarrassing for the American government, is that the US is also trailing Estonia, Mauritius and Chile, to name a few…
Top 10 Countries for Economic Freedom according to the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal
1. Hong Kong
5. New Zealand
To cherry pick one story that best documents just how over-the-top and controlling government has become in America, I’ll share with you a recent incident that took place in Illinois.
An 11 year old girl, Chloe Stirling, decided to become an entrepreneur, so she opened her own cupcake business. She named it ‘Hey Cupcake’. Her pricing model was based on affordability, and allowed locals from Troy IL to indulge in a sweet treat, one which I have developed an addiction to: cupcakes. Her price point on these treats was perfect – $10 for 12, or $2 per specialty cupcake. And her business’ reputation, based on selling a desired product for a fair price, grew positively. She even donated part of her proceeds to a boy in her school who was fighting cancer.
For her achievement in growing a business at just 11 years old, as well as her noble and charitable spirit, the young entrepreneur made the front page of her local paper.
This fanfare got the attention of a local government organization, the Madison County Health Department. They weren’t too happy to learn that little Chloe’s business was thriving. Apparently she lacked the required permits to sell food. As a matter of fact, little Chloe, according to the Health Department, was violating the sanitation code, and her kitchen wasn’t licensed either. How dare she.
I suppose that an 11 year old should have known better. Thank goodness Illinois has such strict laws in place for this kind of stuff. Who knows what could have happened to the locals had Chloe’s business continued to thrive.
I wonder what dangerous businesses the Madison County Health Department will shut down next – perhaps it will be little Bobby’s lemonade stand…
If you ever wondered how America dropped to 12th in the world for Economic Freedom, just remember the story of how local government officials shut down an 11-year old’s cupcake business. Any more incidents like this and America’s economic freedom could be on par with Kazakhstan…