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America's Disastrous Occupation of Afghanistan Turns 17

October 11, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

America has now passed the 17-year mark in Afghanistan. U.S.
troops have been fighting there for longer than the Revolutionary
War, Civil War, World War I, and World War II combined. Yet
Washington is further away than ever from anything that might pass
for victory.

More than 2,300 American military personnel and 3,500
contractors have died in Afghanistan. The latest death occurred
last week—Specialist James A. Slape from Morehead City, North
Carolina. Another 1,100 allied soldiers have been killed, almost
half of them from the United Kingdom. More than 20,000 Americans
have been wounded. The direct financial cost has amounted to $2
trillion, with another $45 billion budgeted for this year.

And for what?

After so many years of senseless combat, Erik Prince’s proposal
to turn the conflict over to contractors almost sounds reasonable.
His lobbying efforts in Kabul have not been notably successful, but
some day American personnel will come home. And then Washington’s
friends in Afghanistan will find themselves on their own.

And the Taliban are in
their strongest position in just that many years.

Seventeen years ago the Bush administration was forced to act.
After the 9/11 attacks, it was imperative to disrupt if not destroy
al-Qaeda and punish the Taliban regime for hosting terrorist
training camps. Washington quickly succeeded: al-Qaeda was degraded
and dispersed, the Taliban was overthrown and punished. Washington
should have left as quickly as it came. But the Bush administration
had other hopes: to create a friendly, liberal, democratic state in
Central Asia.

If there was ever a chance to establish a stable regime in
Kabul, it was right after the Taliban’s ouster. However, the
Bush administration immediately turned to Iraq, which had nothing
to do with 9/11. That shift allowed for a Taliban revival. Even
after twice increasing force levels—which peaked at 110,000
U.S. and 30,000 allied troops in 2011—the Obama
administration was only able to limit the insurgency’s reach.
Around that time I twice visited Afghanistan, and found that
private, off-the-record opinions of allied military personnel,
civilian contractors, and Afghan officials were uniformly
pessimistic.

Most saw the operation as a staying action at best. Since then
allied troop levels have fallen precipitously, but the large Afghan
security forces are an inadequate substitute. Afghan officials
figure that as many as a third of soldiers and police are
“ghosts,” existing only for payroll purposes. Attrition
rates and desertions are soaring. Reported Anthony Cordesman of the
Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Afghan National
Security Forces “performance will probably worsen due to a
combination of Taliban operations, ANSF combat casualties,
desertions, poor logistics support, and weak leadership.” To
make up for that failure, “U.S. Special Operations troops
increasingly …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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A Smarter Plan for Immigrant Welfare

October 11, 2018 in Economics

By David Bier, Alex Nowrasteh

David Bier and Alex Nowrasteh

The Trump administration recently unveiled a plan to prevent
immigrants who the government predicts might be unable to support
themselves financially from entering the country. But the proposal
relies too much on guesswork. A bill introduced by Wisconsin
Republican Glenn Grothman, which would allow immigrants into the
country without giving them access to the welfare system, is a
preferable alternative.

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed
regulation— the “public charge”
rule
—poses a major problem for legal immigrants. It would
bar them from entry if a bureaucrat predicts that they
might use some welfare here. But because the
law makes them eligible for it, legal immigrants could always
potentially use welfare at some point, even if they never
have and never would. It may be difficult for many to convince the
government otherwise.

If the administration’s goal is truly to prevent overuse
of welfare benefits, however, Grothman’s bill provides a
better strategy to support immigrant self-sufficiency and protect
taxpayers. It bans access to all means-tested welfare and
entitlement programs for immigrants until they become citizens.
That means verified U.S. citizens could access federal welfare
benefits like food stamps, Medicaid, and Medicare, but no
noncitizens would be able to.

A bill introduced by
Wisconsin Republican Glenn Grothman would allow immigrants into the
country without giving them access to the welfare
system.

According to our estimates using data based on noncitizen use of
welfare and entitlements in the Census Bureau’s
Survey of Income and Program Participation
, Grothman’s bill
could save U.S. taxpayers about $60 billion in the first year that
it takes effect (it provides a two-year grace period). Most rigorousestimates show that immigrants already pay more
than enough in taxes to cover the cost of their benefits, but
Grothman’s bill would end any debate over the fiscal impact of
immigration by making it unambiguously positive.

Under Rep. Grothman’s bill, legal immigrants could
continue to come to the United States to live and work as they do
now. The only difference is that they will be totally barred from
all welfare benefits and entitlement programs. Rather than building
a virtual wall around the country to keep out legal
immigrants—like the public charge rule would
do—Grothman’s bill builds a virtual wall around the welfare state.

His bill would expand a 1996 law that restricted federal welfare to
only noncitizens who were eligible to become U.S. citizens after
living here as a legal permanent resident for five years. The
Grothman bill would take the next logical step by limiting all
benefits only to those who actually go through …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Best and Worst Governors 2018

October 10, 2018 in Economics

By Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards

The U.S. economy is booming, and state governments are
benefitting from strong revenue growth. Many governors are using
the opportunity to expand spending programs, while others are
cutting tax rates. Some governors are hiking taxes despite already
overflowing coffers.

Which governors are the most frugal and which the most
spendthrift? The Cato Institute’s new “fiscal report
card” calculates the answer based on recent tax and spending
changes, and assigns letter grades of “A” to
“F.”

The report awarded an “A” to five governors.

Susana Martinez of New Mexico has been steadfast in opposing tax
increases over eight years in office. Many GOP governors break
their promises not to raise taxes, but not Martinez. Last year, she
vetoed $350 million of tax hikes. She has also kept a lid on budget
growth and has repeatedly vetoed wasteful spending.

The focus of governors
should be delivering efficient state services at lower costs to
create budget room for competitive tax rates.

Henry McMaster of South Carolina is off to a conservative start
as governor since 2017. He has also vetoed tax hikes and proposed
cutting income tax rates across the board.

Doug Burgum of North Dakota entered office in 2017 after North
Dakota’s energy boom had turned to a bust. With falling state
revenues, Burgum pursued broad spending cuts to balance the budget,
not tax increases.

Paul LePage of Maine has been a staunch fiscal conservative over
eight years in office. He has restrained spending, reformed welfare
programs, and repeatedly cut taxes, including repealing a surtax on
high earners last year.

Greg Abbott of Texas has held the state budget flat in recent
years and pursued business tax reforms. He cut the state’s
damaging franchise tax and wants to cut it further until it
“fits in a coffin.”

The “A” governors are all Republicans, and the
overall results show that GOP governors are more fiscally
conservative than Democrats, on average. That party divide has
persisted over time on the Cato report cards, which are computed
every two years from objective tax and spending data.

Switching to the worst governors, the report awarded eight
F’s this year, with the two worst scores going to “left
coast” Democrats Kate Brown in Oregon and Jay Inslee in
Washington.

Spending has exploded under Brown, with the general fund budget
rising 14 percent in the past two-year cycle and 10 percent in the
current one. She supported a 2016 ballot measure to impose a gross
receipts tax to raise $3 billion a year. Oregon voters defeated the
measure by a 59-41 margin, but Brown ignored the anti-tax message
and signed into law large tax hikes in 2017.

Inslee’s appetite for tax …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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What to Expect If Democrats Win the House

October 10, 2018 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

There’s less than a month until the midterm elections, and,
despite an uptick in Republican enthusiasm following the spectacle
of the Kavanaugh nomination, it still seems likely that Democrats
will capture control of at least one chamber of Congress. And as
Election Day draws nearer, we can expect both parties to cast the
stakes in increasingly apocalyptic terms. But what would a
Democratic Congress actually mean for the future direction of the
country?

First, despite the hopes or fears of both sides, we can forget
about the big-ticket items on the Democratic left. We are not going
to see single-payer health care, guaranteed jobs for everyone, or
free college. While the loonier elements of the Democratic party
have been campaigning on the idea of “Make Venezuela Great
Again,” most of the party is united on little more than
opposition to President Trump.

And, even if some of the more extreme Democratic proposals made
it through the House, they would then have to face the Senate,
which, as we all know, is where bills go to die. Republicans are
still favorites to keep control of the Senate, however narrowly,
and even if they don’t, the Democratic majority will be far
short of the 60-seat threshold to break filibusters.

More big spending,
pushback on deregulation, heavy investigation of administration
officials, but no big-ticket items from the Left’s
agenda.

Moreover, even if the Democrats were able to kidnap Mitch
McConnell and replace him with an accommodating clone, President
Trump would still have the veto. After all, this is a president who
thrives on “fighting.” What better way for him to
excite his base than to turn every Democratic proposal into a
dramatic showdown?

One exception to this, unfortunately, is liable to be increased
spending and bigger deficits. While it is difficult to imagine a
more spendthrift Congress than this one (spending is up 7 percent
over last year, for instance, and next year’s deficit will
top $1 trillion), but history suggests that the combination of a
Democratic Congress and Republican president tends toward even
greater profligacy.

Of course, once they are in the opposition, House Republicans
might suddenly rediscover their opposition to big spending (it’s
surprising how that works), but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Certainly, President Trump has shown no inclination to curb
excessive spending. And some Democratic initiatives, like a
gigantic infrastructure boondoggle, may be particularly appealing
to this president.

A Democratic Congress may be able to slow President Trump’s
deregulatory efforts but won’t be able to stop them. That’s
because, following the lead of his predecessors, he is
accomplishing many of his goals through executive actions.
Democrats will continue to learn that if …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Republicans Treated Merrick Garland Way Better Than Democrats Treated Brett Kavanaugh

October 9, 2018 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

Even though Brett Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the
Supreme Court, while Merrick Garland’s nomination expired alongside
the Obama presidency, there’s no question that the chief judge of
the D.C. Circuit was treated better than the newest justice has
been.

Set aside the debate over whether it was proper for Senate
Republicans to hold open the seat vacated by Justice Antonin
Scalia’s passing, whether norms were broken and institutions
sacrificed on the altar of power politics. Nobody’s mind will
change on that.

Democrats’ anger at Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell’s tactics is understandable, even if they
would’ve done the same thing in his place. But this was a
black swan event. The last time the Senate confirmed a Supreme
Court nominee of a president of the opposite party to a vacancy
arising in a presidential election year was 1888.

Focus instead on how the Senate treated each nominee personally.
McConnell announced his “no hearings, no votes” stance
within hours of Scalia’s death, without waiting for President
Obama to pick a nominee (which didn’t happen for another
month). He argued that, since the country was embroiled in a heated
election campaign and the next justice could shift the balance of
the Supreme Court, the American people should decide who gets to
fill that seat—when they chose a new president less than nine
months later.

Brett Kavanaugh takes his
seat amid debates about the Supreme Court’s ‘legitimacy,’ with
substantial portions of the population thinking he’s a
rapist.

Senators made clear, both before and after Garland was formally
nominated, that this was about the direction of the Supreme Court,
not about any person. There were no charges that Garland was a
left-wing firebrand or otherwise unqualified. Indeed, such
accusations would’ve been absurd. Nor were there fishing
expeditions into Garland’s past, with media leaks to portray
any juicy morsel in the most negative light possible.

Contrast that with the trial by ordeal that Kavanaugh endured.
While there was gnashing of progressive teeth when Justice Anthony
Kennedy announced his retirement, the opposition machine
didn’t shift into high gear until President Trump selected
his successor.

At that point, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to
oppose Kavanaugh “with everything I have.” Sen. Cory
Booker, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said those who
supported Kavanaugh are “complicit in evil.” Sen. Richard
Blumenthal, who also sits on that committee, called Kavanaugh
your worst nightmare.” Former Virginia
governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe
said Kavanaugh would “threaten the lives of millions for
decades
.”

I could go on, because these aren’t isolated examples.
Senators accused Kavanaugh not just with the “usual”
attacks on Republican judges as …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Saudi Monarchy May Have Killed a Free Man

October 9, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi moved to the United States
after he was pressured to stop criticizing Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman’s new authoritarian order. He explained his
decision a year ago in the Washington Post : “I have
left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice. To
do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak
when so many cannot.”

Khashoggi, who once advised members of the royal family, appears
to have paid the ultimate price for living his principles. On
Tuesday he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, seeking
to complete paperwork to facilitate his remarriage. He never
exited. Alive, anyway.

The Saudi authorities insist that he had left and they also are
looking for him. It first appeared likely that he had been
kidnapped, a common tactic used by Riyadh against dissident princes
and other critics. The Turkish police noted the departure of
several diplomatic vehicles from the building, in which he could
have been taken, drugged and/or bound. However, Ankara now
concludes that Khashoggi was murdered by a special hit squad
brought in for that purpose.

Did journalist Jamal
Khashoggi fall prey to the tyrannical regime in Saudi
Arabia?

Stated an anonymous official: “We believe that the murder
was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the
consulate.” If true, Riyadh has dramatically escalated the
war on its critics, many of whom, as Khashoggi related, currently
languish in prison. However, having denied that the journalist is
either at the consulate or in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the
regime could not easily later release him from prison. And death
certainly ends his criticism.

The KSA never has run on liberal principles. However, there long
was some space for measured criticism, with liberals allowed to
advocate reform. Khashoggi called it “a gentleman’s
agreement” which resulted in a balance between what could and
could not be published. However, that tolerance has disappeared
under the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as
MbS, who with his father has turned a brotherly monarchy into a
family dictatorship.

Unfortunately, the crown prince’s long overdue social
liberalization has been more than counterbalanced by imposition of
political tyranny. Explained Khashoggi: “We started seeing
more direct pressure on journalists to only publish pro-government
stories. Some people were asked to sign loyalty pledges. Some
people were banned from writing or had their columns taken down.
Things got worse for the activists, too, or people with critical
opinions. The government was sending a message that if you’re
not with us, you’re against us.”

On his arrival in the United States Khashoggi wrote of
“the fear, intimidation, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Where Is Trump's Alleged Isolationism?

October 9, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

It’s nearly impossible to read major newspapers,
magazines, or online publications in recent months without
encountering a plethora of articles contending that the United
States is turning inward and “going alone,”
“abandoning Washington’s global leadership role”
or “retreating from the world.” These trends supposedly herald the arrival of a new
“isolationism.” The chief villain in all of these
worrisome developments is, of course, Donald Trump. There is just
one problem with such arguments; they are vastly overstated
bordering on utterly absurd.

President Trump is not embracing his supposed inner
isolationist. The policy changes that he has adopted regarding both
security and international economic issues do not reflect a desire
to decrease Washington’s global hegemonic status. Instead,
they point to a more unilateral and militaristic approach, but one
that still envisions a hyper-activist U.S. role.

For instance, it’s certainly not evident that the United
States is abandoning its security commitments to dozens of allies
and clients. Despite the speculation that erupted in response to
Trump’s negative comments about the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) and other alliances during the 2016 election
campaign (and occasionally since then), the substance of U.S.
policy has remained largely unchanged. Indeed, NATO has continued
to expand its membership with Trump’s blessing—adding
Montenegro and planning to add Macedonia.

If you look at his
actions and not his words, you won’t find it.

Indeed, Trump’s principal complaint about NATO has always
focused on European free-riding and the lack of burden-sharing, not
about rethinking the wisdom of the security commitments to Europe
that America undertook in the early days of the Cold War. In that
respect, Trump’s emphasis on greater burden-sharing within
the Alliance is simply a less diplomatic version of the message
that previous generations of U.S. officials have tried sending to
the allies.

Moreover, Trump’s insistence at the July NATO summit in
Brussels that the European nations increase their military budgets and do more for
transatlantic defense echoed the comments of President
Obama’s Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in 2014. Hagel warned his European
counterparts that they must step up their commitment to the
alliance or watch it become irrelevant. Declining European defense
budgets, he emphasized, are “not sustainable. Our alliance
can endure only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and
invest in it.” Rebalancing NATO’s “burden-sharing
and capabilities,” Hagel stressed, “is
mandatory—not elective.”

Additionally, U.S. military activities along NATO’s
eastern flank certainly have not diminished during the Trump
administration. Washington has sent forces to participate in a
growing number of exercises (war games) along Russia’s
western land border—as well as in the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Cromwell Should Fall – and so Should All Government Statues

October 9, 2018 in Economics

By Ryan Bourne

Ryan Bourne

For those of us whose first exposure was Monty Python’s
song about him, it’s difficult to get animated about whether
Oliver Cromwell’s statue should continue to adorn the
parliamentary estate.

But the legacy of the seventeenth century Lord Protector does
seem to upset many, not least Brits of Irish descent. The historian
Jeremy Crick recently renewed calls for the memorial to be removed,
likening Cromwell’s anti-religious zeal to the Afghani
Taliban. A new front in the twenty-first century statue culture war
has been opened.

Recent years have seen an unsuccessful campaign to remove a
statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes from Oxford University.
An application for a statue of Margaret Thatcher to be installed in
Westminster was rejected.

After campaigners slammed the lack of female statues in
Parliament Square, a £5m taxpayer-funded memorial to suffragist
Millicent Fawcett was introduced. In the US, meanwhile, protests to
remove statues commemorating Confederate soldiers on public land
have proliferated.

Divisions in all cases
arise due to differing answers to the question: who is it
appropriate to “celebrate”?

Divisions in all cases arise due to differing answers to the
question: who is it appropriate to “celebrate”?

But this is, surely, the wrong question. Private entities,
buildings, or parks can host whatever they like. It’s the
public sphere where it gets tricky. And our first consideration
here ought to be: why should councils, the mayor of London, or the
government commission or allow statues at all?

There is no market failure that government provision or hosting
of statues solves. Private statues are proposed and erected all the
time — they are not public goods.

Far from bringing us together, generating national pride, or
highlighting social ideals, the controversies above show that these
taxpayer-funded displays generate polarisation, bitter
disagreement, and (in the Thatcher case) risks of violence.

Some historical figures may well be perceived
“deserving” of statues by the majority. But even
popular figures currently standing in Parliament Square evoke
fierce criticism for things they said or did.

Winston Churchill is blamed by many for the grim Bengal famine
which saw two to three million deaths in India. Mahatma Gandhi, the
Indian independence leader, famously said that German Jews should
have committed mass suicide to highlight Hitler’s violence.
And Abraham Lincoln is criticised in the US both for not going far
enough to end slavery and for hugely expanding the scope of
government.

None of that negates their historical significance. But a public
statue, as a monument, comes devoid of the broader historical
context necessary to claim any educational value. That begs the
question: why should the minority, who find these historical
figures’ legacies distasteful, be compelled to fund or
maintain memorials to them?

The …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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No, Mr. President, War against Venezuela Is a Bad Idea

October 7, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who routinely
promotes the agendas of friendly dictatorships such as Saudi
Arabia, recently stepped out as a defender of liberty to denounce
repression in Venezuela. She evidently wants regime change, via
means unstated. Furthermore, President Donald Trump supports
military action. But intervention in Venezuela is a dumb idea.

The Maduro government is a disaster. Little pretense remains
that the country is a democracy; the regime maintains power through
brutality and violence.

At the same time, President Nicolas Maduro has proved to be an
enemy of the poor. Social services, including health care, have
collapsed. Getting enough to eat has become a major challenge in
this oil-rich nation, with roughly 90 percent of the population now
falling below the poverty line. Amazingly, the ruling regime has
“turned natural resource wealth into a curse,” as noted
my Cato Institute colleague Juan Carlos Hidalgo. Millions of
Venezuelans have fled in despair.

The result is a widespread desire to free the nation from
incompetent dictatorship. Haley joined demonstrators outside the UN
and declared that “we are not just going to let the Maduro
regime backed by Cuba hurt the Venezuelan people anymore.”
How she planned to stop Caracas, however, she did not say.

It would be another
nation-building disaster.

But Haley sounds moderate compared to others. For instance, last
year the president, who ran as an opponent of Hillary Clinton’s
continual war-making, proposed the “military option.”
Faced with opposition within his administration and throughout
Latin America, he publicly dropped the idea but apparently has not
forgotten it. For instance, U.S. administration officials most
recently encouraged a coup. Trump also observed that
“It’s a regime that frankly could be toppled very
quickly by the military, if the military decides to do
that.”

He isn’t the only one urging war. Florida Sen. Marco
Rubio, who repeatedly backed counterproductive military
intervention in the Middle East, now argues that Venezuela poses a
security threat to America warranting possible military action.
Fernando Cutz, who formerly served as staff for the National
Security Council, urged a multilateral response. Venezuelan
opposition leader Antonio Ledezma promoted “humanitarian
intervention.” Expatriate Daniel Di Martino argued that
“American intervention could have economic benefits for both
Venezuela and the United States.”

The contention that Washington should wreak death and
destruction for the money is frankly ridiculous, but the argument
for humanitarian intervention is taken more seriously.
Nevertheless, a war would be a great mistake.

First, Venezuela is not unique. Other brutal dictatorships have
oppressed and killed their own people while creating economic
misery. North Korea, Eritrea, Burma/Myanmar, Egypt, and Zimbabwe
come to mind. Sometimes U.S. sanctions have compounded grotesque
domestic misrule, as in Cuba, Sudan and Iran. China …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The State of Liberalism in Central and Eastern Europe

October 6, 2018 in Economics

By Tanja Porčnik

Tanja Porčnik

Not that long ago, we had the pleasure of analysing not only the
progress the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have
made toward liberalism [1] with the introduction of liberal public
policies and institutions, and flourishing of liberal democracies
[2], but also to deliberate a course to structure and implement
further reforms towards liberalism in these countries.

The last couple of years however have seen the citizens of
several CEE countries witness the erosion of hard-earned
liberalism, while privately and publicly weighing on how to prevent
populists in power from further trampling citizen’s freedoms and
rights. Admittedly, in those countries, the persuasion that liberal
democracies are stable has been shattered.

To examine what has occurred in CEE, the analysis is divided
into two parts: i) political rights and ii) personal and economic
freedoms. We shall examine regional and national trends.

First, political rights in CEE have been in retreat.
Accordingly, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy
Index
[3] shows the level of political rights in CEE has
declined from 6.43 to 6.39 on a ten-point scale in the period
2011-2017, with half (eight) of the countries decreasing their
ratings and half increasing (see Figure 1). At a country level, the
largest deteriorations in political rights in CEE have occurred in
the Czech Republic (-0.49), Macedonia (-0.52), and Montenegro
(-0.58). The largest increases in political rights occurred in
Estonia (0.30), Latvia (0.40), and Bulgaria (0.45).

Second, the Human Freedom Index [4] reveals that
personal and economic freedoms have been under assault globally
since 2009, primarily due to the rise of nationalism, populism, and
hybrid forms of authoritarianism being sold as viable alternatives
(see Figure 2). Accordingly, the global freedom rating has declined
from 7.05 to 6.93 on a ten-point scale in a 2008-2015 period, with
about half of the countries in the index increasing their ratings
and half decreasing. During the same period, freedom in CEE
increased from 7.82 to 7.90.

Of the 12 major categories that make up the index, all but five
have seen some improvement since 2008 in CEE (see Figure 3).
Movement (-0.42), Size of Government (-0.30), and Religion (-0.23)
saw the largest decreases since 2008, while Regulation (0.32),
Freedom to Trade Internationally (0.34), and Sound Money (0.56) saw
the largest increase.

Of 16 CEE countries included in the latest Human Freedom Index,
the top three jurisdictions in order were Estonia, Lithuania, and
Latvia. At the bottom were Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Macedonia (see Figure 4).

Notably, Figure 5 reveals Poland (-0.10), Hungary (-0.15), and
Montenegro (-0.21) losing the most freedom in the last year
analysed. While weak rule of law is a common problem …read more

Source: OP-EDS