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Opening Arguments

Free to live

Live Free or Die -- Literally:

When Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty, or give me death," it was a revolutionary cry for freedom from British rule. Little did he know at the time that his words were prophetic because there is a strong relationship between economic freedom and life expectancy.

The Heritage Foundation calculates an Economic Freedom Index annually for countries around the world based on ten factors: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom. With the index, one can compare the impact of economic freedom to quality of life measures.

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The impact of economic freedom on average life expectancy is the most striking aspect of the data shown in the above Table. More specifically, the average life expectancy is over 80 years in all seven economically free countries (Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, and Ireland). Unfortunately, there are over 70 countries that are mostly unfree or repressed which represent almost 5 billion people with shorter life spans: in none of these individual countries is the average life expectancy over 80.

Actually, what should be "the most striking thing" about this is that the United States is only "mostly free" rather than being one of the seven "economically free" countries. Alas, that's not even mildly shocking. Canada is freer than us? Jeez.