Index of Economic Freedom

Recently, the Washington-based Heritage Foundation released its 2007 Index of Economic Freedom. This popular study analyzes the freedoms that exist or do not exist in countries around the world and ranks them.
Not surprisingly, the United States fares relatively well (4th worldwide) and freer countries are wealthier than those that restrict freedom. Perhaps the most relevant aspect of this study for New Mexicans is the fact that Hong Kong — an island with few resources, but a great deal of economic freedom — is much wealthier than Cuba, another island nation, but with greater natural resources.
The fact is that economic freedom, not natural resources — Iran, Venezuela, and Nigeria each have rich oil supplies — make countries wealthy. New Mexico, while blessed with natural resources, is not as economically-free as other states and is also poorer.