Cuba, 156th and rising! Look out Libya!

According to the Heritage Foundation Cuba ranks 156th in economic freedom, ahead of only North Korea.

I don’t have any complains about the list, it fits what I know about Cuba. I would clarify however that the bit on income tax rate is a little misleading. Most Cubans do no pay income tax, however if you rent a room to a foreigner, or otherwise receive payments for services, you are taxed at 50% of estimated earnings.

What that means is that if you rent a room for $100 a week, you pay $50 a week in taxes, but, and here’s the funny part, you pay the $50 a week even if you do not rent the room. It is more of a license fee than a tax. Naturaly most Cubans cheat on these taxes, until they get busted.

How impartial a source is the Heritage Foundation?

It’s a nice, steady decline in freedom down the list until you get to the gap between Cuba (next to last at 29.7%) and North Korea (last at 3%). /whistle

I also didn’t realize that, according to the USA page on here, total government spending equals more than a third of our GDP.

There are about 40 more countries in existence that aren’t listed at all, plus it does list Hong Kong, which isn’t really its own country. I wonder what criteria are required to be included in the list. (Their FAQ doesn’t cover that.)

Hong Kong, a city occupied by the Chinese army, is listed as the freest place on Earth? That is one seriously whacked out list.

Little Nemo, it’s about ECONOMIC freedom, not about personal or political freedom. China knows not to mess up Hong Kong’s economy.

As to my prior question, I’m going to hazard a guess that there’s a minimum GNP for making the list.