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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 Index to Economic Freedom Data Shows Freest Nations Most Often Support U.S. at the UN

Is the U.S. simply upholding sacred principles or advancing its own selfish interests by encouraging the spread of democratic freedom around the globe?

Politicians debate that issue, but a new analysis of voting patterns at the UN indicates the free countries support the U.S. more than twice as often as the repressed nations.

The analysis is contained in the "2006 Index of Economic Freedom" published annually by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. The Index uses data on 50 independent variables divided into 10 broad categories of freedom to rate the nations of the world according to how much economic freedom their citizens enjoy.

When the Index researchers looked at voting patterns in the UN and analyzed them according to how nations rate in the Index, they found that the nations in the freest quartile voted with the U.S. 49.4 percent of the time. The mostly free nations voted with the U.S. 37.9 percent of the time.

Nations ranked as repressed on the Index voted with the U.S. only 19.7 percent of the time, while those nations rated mostly unfree voted with the U.S. 27.3 percent of the time.

The Index used votes cast between 2000 during the 55th UN General Assembly and 2003 during the 58th UN General Assembly. The Index will be updated as new data becomes available.

Does this mean the U.S. should link things like foreign aid to how nations perform on the Index and their voting records in the UN? That's the basic concept underlying President Bush's Millenium Challenge Accounts proposal. Here's what he said when he introduced the MCA in 2002.

A link to the data used for the Index will be available later today or tomorrow on the Heritage web site. I will post a link to it as soon as it is up. You can order advance copies of the Index here on the Amazon web site or here on the Barnes & Noble web site.