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International Study Cites Erosion of Property Rights in America

By February 2, 2010No Comments

February 2, 2010

According to a recently-released international study of world economies, the United States continues its dangerous slide down the ranks of the world’s freest economies. America’s slippage in international rankings is directly attributed to the erosion of private property rights.

The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom is a comprehensive study of the economies of 183 countries around the world. It ranks 179 of them with an economic freedom score based on 10 measures of economic openness, regulatory efficiency, the rule of law, and competitiveness. The basic principles of economic freedom emphasized in the Index are individual empowerment, equitable treatment, and the promotion of competition. The index is a product of the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal.

The 10 economic factors analyzed in the Index are:

  • Business freedom
  • Trade freedom
  • Fiscal freedom
  • Government spending
  • Monetary freedom
  • Investment freedom
  • Financial freedom
  • Property rights
  • Labor freedom
  • Freedom from corruption

According to the study, “The United States’ economic freedom score is 78.0 (on a scale from 0 to 100), making its economy the 8th freest in the 2010 Index. Its score is 2.7 points lower than last year, reflecting notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights.” This international report affirms the vital economic importance of property rights and echoes the Coalition for Property Rights’ concerns regarding the erosion of property rights in America.

In the effort to assess, quantify and analyze the direct link between freedom on prosperity, the economists who created of this unique measurement tool believed property rights were a key component of economic freedom which must be calculated.

In defining “Property Freedom,” the study indicates, “The property rights component is an assessment of the ability of individuals to accumulate private property, secured by clear laws that are fully enforced by the state. It measures the degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights and the degree to which its government enforces those laws. It also assesses the likelihood that private property will be expropriated and analyzes the independence of the judiciary, the existence of corruption within the judiciary, and the ability of individuals and businesses to enforce contracts. The more certain the legal protection of property, the higher a country’s score; similarly, the greater the chances of government expropriation of property, the lower a country’s score. Countries that fall between two categories may receive an intermediate score.”

The study clearly noted a decreasing level of protection of property rights in America.

Many Americans perceive that the United States is “the freest nation in the world” and in many respects we may remain #1, but this annual study once again leaves no doubt that the America economy is no longer the freest in the world. Economic freedom in America has been decreasing under our watch.

If trends continue, including the growth and expansion of government authority over private property, the increased regulation of land use at the local level and the diminished protections of private property by our American judiciary, we will inevitably continue this slippage.

One of the goals of the study is to demonstrate the direct linkage between freedom and prosperity. All 183 countries are assessed using the same measurement tools and standardized analysis.  In its past few editions, the Index of Economic Freedom has specifically referenced the erosion of private property rights in America.

America property and business owners must recognize the inherent danger of America’s slide among the world’s freest economies.  When we cease to be free, we will cease to be prosperous.

If we hope to witness America’s economic revitalization in our lifetimes, our nation’s score in the area of property rights must be improved.

Additional reading:


TAKE ACTION TODAY. SAVE THE DATE! CPR’s next Issues Forum luncheon event will be held on Friday, February 26th in Orlando. Our upcoming forum will feature expert analysis of Amendment 4 (the Hometown Democracy initiative) and a special opportunity for land owners to meet local elected leaders and candidates for public office. Corporate sponsorships are still available. For more information, please call Carol at 407-481-2289.


Despite strong argument by the Coalition for Property Rights, the Maitland City Council voted to enact a baseless moratorium on new commercial construction with drive-thru elements in Downtown Maitland. However, Mayor Doug Kinson and several Council members did vocalize support and concerns for the private property rights of affected land owners.  At the Mayor’s suggestion, they reduced the timeframe of the moratorium from one year with a clause allowing them the ability to extend these restrictions indefinitely to a six-month moratorium with a clause limiting its extension to four additional months. While disappointed with passage of the moratorium, CPR was pleased our participation in the public hearings was a factor which encouraged the Council to reduce the time-period this prohibition would be applied.


If you are a Florida property owner who values your rights and freedoms, join CPR today and support our work to promote and defend your private property rights. If you are a professional working in an arena where you witness the erosion of private property rights, we invite you to join CPR today. The problems we are all witnessing is the result of citizens bearing silent witness to this erosion. It is time for a different tack. We can no longer be quiet and watch our freedom as Americans being voted away. JOIN CPR. ADD VOLUME TO OUR COLLECTIVE VOICE. Join online at or by calling 407-481-2289 for detailed information regarding individual membership and corporate sponsorships.

Reader responses welcomed!

Carol Saviak
Executive Director
Coalition for Property Rights
2878 S. Osceola Avenue
Orlando, FL 32806
407-481-2289 telephone
407-481-0834 fax

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