Property Rights and Economic Freedom

A good friend and fellow defender of liberty Nonoy Oplas gave me a copy of this book, International Property Rights Index 2010 Report. An index of ratings of different countries and how well they do on policies regarding physical and intellectual property rights.

IPRI 2010 Report

His think tank Minimal Government Thinkers, Inc. is actually a partner organization of Property Rights Alliance, those who commissioned the creation of this book, along with many other think tanks and organizations all over the world that are shown on the photo below. Shows that the classical liberal ideology is really growing and getting organized.

Different think tanks and organizations that are partners with the Property Rights Alliance

IPRI philippines
We have a really low ranking in my opinion with property rights and legal and political environment. This is something I have witnessed and experienced as a citizen in this country. So many red tapes, requirements, fees, and regulations regarding personal property and the exchange or transfer of these properties. The legal and political environment is also very bureaucratic, inefficient, and corrupt. And yet the social liberals/social democrats/progressives still want to expand the gov't and give them more power and more money and allow them to make more regulations.

pirate bay
The book is not limited to only ratings and rankings and statistics of different countries. There are also many case studies that are in defense of property rights. I was actually amused that there is an actual case study about The Pirate Bay and torrents (something that is quite a relevant part of my life). I do understand that there is a divide among libertarians about intellectual property rights. I don't really know how to react about this. Many of my skills with softwares, photography, video editing, learning more about libertarianism through documentaries, getting to study films by downloading movies etc. I've been learning so much because of "file sharing" and it's really quite heartbreaking to think that it's possible that this might be against the principles I am advocating. But I remain undecided for now, perhaps because I am biased or maybe I just need to learn more about this first.

The index of ratings in the IPRI book reminded me of another index created by The Heritage Foundation, an organization that focuses on conservative policy research and analysis. They made an online index of economic freedom that can be found here:

economic freedom philippines
They rank the Philippines as 115th most economically free in the world. They base this on different kinds of freedoms that are on the photo above such as freedom in business, trade, fiscal, etc. To get the full information on the economic freedom of the Philippines go here:

economic freedom index
Here's the top 20 economically free countries. I do believe that economic freedom is positively related to the peace and prosperity in a country. We were actually able to discuss last night a country like Bahrain, 10th most economically free, and yet recently we saw how people were rallying on the streets and demanding for democracy. This is because civil liberties are just as important as economic freedom. We were actually also able to discuss the "good governance" of Singapore. I'm really planning to write about that soon.

I'm actually invited to attend this sort of conference about taxation in Bankok. I am really considering it and hope I get to go. I am always interested in learning more about individual liberty and how we can defend it. I also got a copy of Nonoy's book Health Choices and Responsibilities that I will be blogging about as soon as I get to read it.

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