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New report connects freedom and rising incomes; Anglosphere countries place in top 10

In a piece in the OpinionJournal , Mary Anastasia O’Grady reports,

Not only did the world-wide trend toward greater economic liberty hold steady over the past year, but the incomes of poor individuals across the globe are rising as result. The world isn't only growing richer. The gap between the per-capita income of have-not populations and that of the developed world is narrowing.

This good news for human progress is documented in the 2007 Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal 2007 Index of Economic Freedom, released today. . .In those places where freedom has increased, people are becoming decidedly better off. . .Each region of the globe enjoys greater economic freedom than it did a decade ago. Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia are the three freest economies in the world this year, in that order. The U.S. ranks No. 4.

New Zealand is No. 5. The United Kingdom is No. 6. Ireland is No. 7, and Canada is No. 10.

Some countries are fallling behind, particularly in Africa where there is little freedom or protection of property rights. Swedish economist Johnny Munkhammar’s Index essay on "The Urgent Need for Labor Freedom in Europe--and the World" confirms that the more advanced economies in Europe restrict labor freedom at the cost of low growth and high unemployment.