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  1. #11
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    If I am reading this correctly, France is ranked 70, which makes this entire question seem comical.

    The answer is definitely yes.

    I mean... I have no particular desire to live in Argentina, but I wouldn't strongly oppose it, and they put that country at an atrocious 166. On the other hand, if you want to live the high life at number 27, way past Portugal, France, and Italy, you can move to Botswana.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post

    I mean... I have no particular desire to live in Argentina, but I wouldn't strongly oppose it, and they put that country at an atrocious 166. On the other hand, if you want to live the high life at number 27, way past Portugal, France, and Italy, you can move to Botswana.
    Well, you could always go communist and go to Hong Kong...? Or a truly draconian country like Singapore...? But hey, I'd probably rather be Chile than the US. Go prosperity!

    Obviously economic freedom is bit subjective.

    (As a side note, GO CANADA! )

  3. #13
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    If I am reading this correctly, France is ranked 70, which makes this entire question seem comical.
    France is a moderately free economy with a score of 63, my question was whether you wouldn't mind living in countries with a score under 60. There are a few reasonably well developed countries with significant economic opportunities for the middle-class in the moderately free category such as France, Belgium and Italy, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one in the mostly un-free category (below 60).




    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The answer is definitely yes.
    Again, what country with a score of 60 or below could you live in for a decade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I mean... I have no particular desire to live in Argentina
    Argentina seems appealing to a lot of Americans who have rarely traveled outside of their home country and know virtually nothing about life in South America. I admit, I've even once thought about trying to live there for a year because it is much cheaper than most Western countries, it has a stable internet access that would allow me to earn dollars working from home, the weather is warm and crimes rates seemed low.

    Unfortunately, I soon realized that these impressions bore a closer semblance to what Argentina used to be in the "roaring 90s" under Menem's privatization reforms. Back then, crime in the nation's largest cities was much less frequent than it was in our megalopolises, the value of the Peso was equal to that of the US dollar, the nation achieved nearly full employment and was even ranked 8th on the Index of Economic Freedom.

    Unfortunately, a lot has changed since the 1998-2001 financial collapse, the radical free-market reforms introduced far too many complications and the "convertibility" scheme fixing the value of a Peso to a dollar proved to be far too difficult to manage. In general, most countries achieve economic freedom gradually and through piecemeal engineering, even Chile did not become a free-market economy over a few years under Pinochet's junta. It took them nearly two decades to get to where they are after democratic governments regained power.

    As for Argentina, it would have been better for them to proceed slowly and had they advanced only to mid-60s by the 90s and avoided the convertibility doctrines that promoted international trade, the economic decline would have been less severe and may not have happened at all. As things stand, Argentina hasn't even recovered from the collapse, the inflation rate is at over 25%, the police officers went on nation-wide strike causing massive looting across the country (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM3Sr890Erw), crime is rising very steeply, more people die in car accidents per 100,000 than anywhere else in the world and massive blackouts happen every few weeks over the summer. Just try talking to somebody from there if you doubt the accuracy of these claims, you can start by watching these entries in a video-blog dedicated to the topic of surviving in Argentina.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi0vb386kC0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1T2leZzKMI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1T2leZzKMI


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    and they put that country at an atrocious 166.
    The government nationalized dozens of oil and natural gas enterprises, banned all bank accounts with dollars, imposed quotas on the funds that Argentines who travel to foreign countries can take with them, placed severe import restrictions on medical commodities coming into the country and it takes almost a month to start a new business. They recently enacted a law that Argentines are allowed to make only two online purchases per year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzqilNfGsyQ) the 166th placement sounds about right to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    On the other hand, if you want to live the high life at number 27, way past Portugal, France, and Italy, you can move to Botswana.
    Not all countries with scores above 60 are desirable to live in, but the majority are. I'll bet you won't even be able to list 10 countries in that category that are just as problematic as Argentina.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I'd be willing to try Brazil, assuming my family could go with me.
    Massive crime is a serious problem in Brazil and it is one of the few countries with wider wealth disparities than they are in the U.S.


    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Well, you could always go communist and go to Hong Kong...?
    If Hong Kong is a communist state, how could it be ranked first on Economic Freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Or a truly draconian country like Singapore...?
    I am well aware that economic freedom is not the same as political freedom and I don't know if Singapore is a free society, but what makes it "truly draconian"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    But hey, I'd probably rather be Chile than the US. Go prosperity!

    Yeah, you sure about that? The air is three times as polluted as in the U.S, divorce was illegal until 2004, abortion is still illegal, the average wage is around $20,000 and costs of living are only slightly lower. Just like Brazil, Chile is one of the few countries in the world with wider wealth disparities than they are in the U.S, I covered that in my blog. http://randommeanderings123.blogspot...us-x-none.html

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Obviously economic freedom is bit subjective.
    It isn't subjective as it is measured by criteria that can be empirically evaluated and calculations can be carried out with mathematical precision. However, economic freedom tends to benefit the most privileged members of society and that is why the members of the middle class in the moderately free countries tend to enjoy a much higher standard of living than their counterparts in the free economies. For example, France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden appear to have higher upward mobility than Chile, U.S, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Nonetheless, the same cannot be said for the mostly unfree countries rated below 60 because economic freedom creates the foundations of the economic infrastructure where the middle class can develop.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I don't think this freedom index is actually measuring my idea of freedom. Just from a glance it looks like economic freedom in the capitalist sense is the implicit criterion, but maybe upon taking a closer look I would change my mind.
    Economic freedom is just one component of freedom, but an important one as very few countries ranked below 60 can be regarded as politically free. In fact, I challenge you to find one country in that category that represents your idea of freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    I bet many wouldn't mind living in Brazil, but its rating seems innacurate.
    Why does it seem inaccurate?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  4. #14
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I can imagine: Serbia, Greece. If I had a job lined up there.

    (I am now interested - seriously - in SolitaryWalker's response as to why I would have big troubles in those countries)
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  5. #15
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I can imagine: Serbia, Greece. If I had a job lined up there.
    (I am now interested - seriously - in SolitaryWalker's response as to why I would have big troubles in those countries)
    Greece suffered from a major economic collapse and Serbia's economy has never been stellar.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  6. #16
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Greece suffered from a major economic collapse and Serbia's economy has never been stellar.
    Yeah, that's why I said "if I had a job lined up there".
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #17
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Yeah, that's why I said "if I had a job lined up there".

    Good luck with that.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  8. #18
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Serbia?



    Ok technically that is supposed to be Bratislava, Slovakia, but who knows where they filmed it. Eastern Europe does look like that though. Not a place to go. Getting better perhaps, though.

  9. #19
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I am well aware that economic freedom is not the same as political freedom and I don't know if Singapore is a free society, but what makes it "truly draconian"?
    Singapore is an incredible story. It shows the rise of the economic freedom you talk about through political authoritarianism. It's worth getting the book by Lee Kuan Yew, the creator of Singapore. Probably the most interesting country building story in the 20th century.

    Don't worry, it's easy to use Singapore to support your existing viewpoints.

    Yeah, you sure about that? The air is three times as polluted as in the U.S, divorce was illegal until 2004, abortion is still illegal, the average wage is around $20,000 and costs of living are only slightly lower. Just like Brazil, Chile is one of the few countries in the world with wider wealth disparities than they are in the U.S, I covered that in my blog. http://randommeanderings123.blogspot...us-x-none.html
    I'm absolutely positive I would rather live in Chile than the US. After all, it has a better ranking in Economic Freedom!

    Still not as good as Canada though, so I'd probably stay here.

    The point I'm trying to get across that you simply cannot use this list as a "move to" list. To live in economic freedom is at least twice removed from what we care about; QOL, maybe other forms of freedom. Economic freedom is just an extension of political will.

    If Hong Kong is a communist state, how could it be ranked first on Economic Freedom.
    Is that your bias or the list's you are referring to? I know, I know, it's not bias, it's just true. Fact. And secial economic zone.

    Way too involved an argument for anything other than a superficial handling of it.

    It isn't subjective as it is measured by criteria that can be empirically evaluated and calculations can be carried out with mathematical precision.
    I have a hard time thinking you believe what you just said. It looks like an rhetorical argument point. It's not debate in good faith if you attack with logic you know to be false.

    Anyway, assuming you do believe that, this is never true. The datasets, analysis and model ("criteria","empirically evaluated", "calculations") are always notably subjective.

    Nonetheless, the same cannot be said for the mostly unfree countries rated below 60 because economic freedom creates the foundations of the economic infrastructure where the middle class can develop.
    Bad countries are bad, I get it. I'm not sure how else you could fit the data...?

    ---

    I'm forced to assume your position because you haven't made a claim I can work with, so I'm not really debating any of the points. It's strong in rhetoric, weak in anything supportable (not because it can't be supported, but because it is too morphable to pin any particular point down).

    Not sure if you meant to drive a point with your OP, or have it challenged, or whatever.

    Anyway, as a Canadian, no, I wouldn't move to any of those countries. If I was in Chile, however, I'd certainly move to a lot (France, Portugal, Most of Eastern Europe, Russia). So the question is a non-starter for me - I already live in one of the top 5 countries in the world, in one of the top 5 cities in the world. Anywhere I go is a sidegrade (NZ and Aus being at the top).

    Chile being top 10, like Canada, with such a large divergence (going from top 10 to sub-60) in the willingness to move somewhere else tells me the question doesn't answer anything of note.

  10. #20
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Singapore is an incredible story. It shows the rise of the economic freedom you talk about through political authoritarianism. It's worth getting the book by Lee Kuan Yew, the creator of Singapore. Probably the most interesting country building story in the 20th century.
    Can't find it on Amazon.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Don't worry, it's easy to use Singapore to support your existing viewpoints.
    How so?



    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I'm absolutely positive I would rather live in Chile than the US. After all, it has a better ranking in Economic Freedom!

    Still not as good as Canada though, so I'd probably stay here.
    Economic freedom is just one important aspect of freedom, it is possible for a society to have that and lack many other freedoms.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The point I'm trying to get across that you simply cannot use this list as a "move to" list.
    I never said anyone should move to a country just because it is economically free, yet the fact that almost no-one would want to move to any of the "mostly unfree" countries can't be disregarded either.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    To live in economic freedom is at least twice removed from what we care about; QOL, maybe other forms of freedom. Economic freedom is just an extension of political will..
    Yet again, can you name a single politically free country that is in the "mostly unfree" category? While economic freedom is an insufficient condition for political freedom, it is a necessary one.



    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The datasets, analysis and model ("criteria","empirically evaluated", "calculations") are always notably subjective.

    The measurements themselves are not subjective, but their interpretations can be. The Index of Economic Freedom clearly outlines what is being measured and how it is measured, for example, government spending is one criterion of economic freedom. There is nothing subjective about how much each government spent and what percentage of the GDP that constitutes. However, the interpretation of whether or not government spending makes a nation's economy more or less free is indeed open to subjective interpretation.



    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Bad countries are bad, I get it. I'm not sure how else you could fit the data...?

    You can arrive at the interpretation that while it is possible for an economically free country to be oppressive, countries that lack economic freedom are even more likely to have an authoritarian political regime.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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