Take physic, pomp

Freedom, USA-style

Ah, how wonderful, it’s that time of year when The Heritage Foundation, a US-based think tank with the mission (and I quote from the website) “to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”, tells the rest of us proles just how bound and gagged we really are.

Yep, it’s the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom, cooked up by such level-headed and totally unbiased commentators as Mary Anastasia O’Grady, a woman who doesn’t believe that speaking Portuguese or Spanish is necessary for a deeper understanding of Latin America. Anyway, Otto has eschewed the unimportant parts of the world because in the end only LatAm matters (AND YOU KNOW IT) so here’s how Amerika’s backyard did in this year’s amazingly objective poll.

Click to enlarge
And here’s the region’s countries in table form, just to make sure.
Country World Rank Freedom Score
Chile 11 78,3
El Salvador 33 69,8
Uruguay 38 69,1
Costa Rica 46 66,4
Mexico 49 65,8
Panama 55 64,7
Peru 57 64,6
Colombia 72 62,3
Paraguay 79 61,0
Nicaragua 84 59,8
Guatemala 87 59,4
Dom Rep 88 59,2
Honduras 91 58,7
Brazil 105 56,7
Bolivia 130 53,6
Ecuador 137 52,5
Argentina 138 52,3
Guyana 155 48,4
Venezuela 174 39,9
Cuba 177 27,9
By the way, according to the think tank a Freedom Score™ of 100 is free-as-a-bird and 0 is locked in a dungeon forever. Top score was Hong Kong with 90,0. Now notes on LatAm:

  • Yep, El Salvador, with the world’s highest murder rate per capita is second in the whole region, folks. It must be something to do with the way NRA people applaud other country’s attitudes. You go girl!
  • Oh look! Evo Morales finally unshackles 3/4 of his population from illiteracy and subjugation while running his economy to the favour of all Bolivians. The reward is a magnificent 130th place (out of a total of 179). Thanks, guys!
  • Great News! The country with the best healthcare system in the region (if not the world), zero illiteracy, thousands of people on the internet using channels of free speech to denounce they have no free speech and no deaths in conflicts for the past 47 years or so just manages to beat out Cholera-ridden Zimbabwe and North Korea…Phew! For a moment there I thought Cuba would get last place.

I could go on. I won’t. That’s because this humble corner of cyberspace tries its hardest to treat you as an intelligent human being. Under such a burden it’s almost impossible to comment too much about this survey. The end.

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