The 2016 Index of Economic Freedom does not directly answer this question. However, the data that is provided in the report is voluminous and helpful in arriving at the answer. Besides the results of the 10 facets of economic freedom that are measured are quick facts concerning GDP growth, unemployment, and public debt. It’s simply a matter of sorting the data for the 186 countries for GDP growth high to low, inflation low to high, and public debt low to high. The following table shows the results of successful countries and also the US, France, and Greece.

Country Tariff Rate (%) GDP Growth Rate (%) 5 Year GDP Growth Rate (%) Unemployment (%) Public Debt (% of GDP)
Sierra Leone 10.3 6.0 10.5 3.3 38.8
Malaysia 4.3 6.0 5.8 2.0 57.0
Ivory Coast 6.6 7.5 4.9 4.0 36.4
Taiwan 1.8 3.7 4.5 4.0 37.6
UAE 3.6 3.6 4.0 3.6 12.1
Guatemala 1.8 4.0 3.5 2.9 23.7
United States 1.5 2.4 2.2 6.2 104.8
France 1.0 0.4 1.0 9.9 95.1
Greece 1.0 0.8 -4.8 26.3 177.2

The report treats all 10 facets of economic freedom the same, but obviously some facets impact economic growth more than others. The following images of a snapshot of the Ivory Coast and the US shows what has been a notable success for one country is a concern for the other.

Ivory Coast

United States

The two facets that impact economic growth are fiscal freedom and government spending. It’s not just this case with the US and Ivory Coast. It’s also the case with the other countries. The following table has the results for Fiscal freedom and Government spending.

Country Name Region Region Rank Fiscal Freedom Gov’t Spending
Guatemala South and Central America / Caribbean 15 79.1 94.3
Sierra Leone Sub-Saharan Africa 33 81.2 92.6
Taiwan Asia-Pacific 5 76.1 88.7
Ivory Coast Sub-Saharan Africa 10 78.3 85.4
UAE Middle East / North Africa 2 95.0 76.1
Malaysia Asia-Pacific 8 85.0 74.3
United States North America 2 65.6 54.7
France Europe 32 47.7 2.5
Greece Europe 41 64.4 0.0

The featured image is a map of the entire world with respect to government spending. The color green represents freedom and red represents repression. Very few countries are green. The conclusion is that growing the government to distribute “free” stuff stifles economic growth and creates more poverty. Economic growth and a middle class can flourish with limited government, and this is even true with the existence of some corruption. The Utopia that Democrats promise has never existed, and can never exist. The best way to show compassion for the poor is to stop electing Democrats for President, Senator, and Representative.

I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.