WASHINGTON - For over a quarter of a century, The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom has given about 180 countries across the world annual, objective scores on economic freedom metrics – time and time again revealing the link between economic liberty and prosperity. While global prosperity rose, the United States fell to 17th with a 2020 score of 76.6. As the United States contends with immediate policy approaches to save both lives and livelihoods amidst the coronavirus pandemic, policymakers must also look forward to securing long-term prosperity for America.
The Heritage Foundation’s supplement to the Index of Economic Freedom, “Restoring America as the Land of the Free,” details the playbook to raise America’s Index score and in turn improve citizens’ health, standard of living, education outcomes, and environmental quality.
“Every year governments, policy influencers, and business leaders across the world eagerly anticipate their nations’ score – knowing its implications on quality of life. Policymakers in the United States should approach America’s Index score with the same sense of pride and urgency,” Nick Loris, the report’s editor said. “In our response to the virus, do we carelessly expand the power of government and cripple recovery or embrace targeted, temporary solutions? To create a better life for Americans post-recovery, look no further than this roadmap to restore America's economic liberty.”
While “Restoring America as the Land of the Free” lays out how to sustain an economic rebound, Heritage’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission recently released 47 initial recommendations on how to return to normal business activity while slowing the spread of the virus. The commission’s recommendations call on governors to use local data to determine when it is safe enough to begin opening individual counties or regions as expeditiously as possible.