December 13th, 2023

Truly free countries

Just a very quick post today, more like a train of thought rather than a blog post.

Today, I stumbled upon this social media post by Nomad Capitalist (a great concept to follow, by the way) titled "Only four countries remain truly free". Since the first question that pops up is what those four countries are, let me spoil the surprise right from the start:

  1. Singapore
  2. Switzerland
  3. Ireland
  4. Taiwan

I went to the original source of the post, which was The Heritage Foundation. It quickly became obvious that this ranking was about the foundation's economic freedom index which consists of four main pillars of rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. For those interested, here is a link to the rankings:

Considering that there are many countries in the ranking ranked rather highly despite their ridiculously oversized governments, weak states of economy, and high tax rates, I remain rather skeptical towards this ranking.

But more importantly, this post got me into thinking about how to rank countries based on how hospitable they are towards human freedom, whether it be economic freedom or something else. The four pillars listed above all make sense, and even the subcategories listed on the website do, but obviously there are other aspects to freedom as well, such as the freedom of being able to express oneself without restrictions and the freedom of movement. Economic freedom is one of the most important kinds of freedom, perhaps even the most important. But there are so many other kinds as well which to consider when weighing if a country is a good place to live in or not.