The civil liberties situation in the United States has worsened due to the erosion of economic freedom, civil rights and other measures of personal liberty, according to a new comprehensive study.
The United States fell from 17th in 2008 to 20th place in 2012, the most recent year for which sufficient data is available, according to the Cato Institute in the US, the Fraser Institute in Canada and the Swiss Liberales Institut, which conducted the study together.
“The US performance is worrisome and shows that the United States can no longer claim to be the leading bastion of liberty in the world,” said Ian Vásquez of the Cato Institute, one of the authors of the report.
“Since the year 2000, the US has been on a decline in terms of economic freedom,” Vasquez said.
The report, released on Tuesday, said the US decline in the “Human Freedom Index” reflects a long-term drop in every category of economic freedom and in its rule of law indicators, as well as the expansion of government regulation.
Other factors that have likely contributed to the decline is the invasions of privacy through the “war on drugs” and “war on terror,” as well as the erosion of property rights due to greater use of eminent domain.
The Human Freedom Index presents a broad measure of personal, civil, and economic freedom around the world.
The index places countries like Chile, Malta and Mauritius ahead of the United States.
Washington has come under severe criticism for policies that have eroded civil rights, including mass surveillance programs and cracking down on whistleblowers and reporters.
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