The latest international Index of Economic Freedom revealed that the economy of the United States lost even more liberty for a fourth consecutive year, dropping from ninth to tenth place under the Obama administration and solidifying its designation as “mostly free” — earned in 2009, down from “free” the year before that.

The global trend was also disappointing to free-market advocates, with the world average falling as governments ramped up spending in a failed effort to fight the economic crisis.

The respected index, published by the U.S.-based Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, has ranked the economic freedom of almost 180 countries annually for the past 18 years. It uses a score out of 100 based on the average of rankings earned in 10 different categories: labor freedom, business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption.

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