If voting with your feet was your preferred method, what would be the best country to immigrate to from the United States for: A) Progressives B) Social Conservatives C) Libertarians
As a follow up, a common expression in the US among adults as I was growing up was “its a free country”. That expressed both disdain of the expressed course of action and a willingness to let the fool do what he wanted. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are literary representatives of that, what should I call it, frontier freedom? Are there countries that even if the official line is restrictive, the feeling of liberty might be much greater? Am I nuts to feel that in many ways the US is less free than it was a couple of generations ago?
For Progressives I’ll pick Denmark. They have high taxes and ultimately they are not too friendly toward immigration, instead preferring to keep their social policy comprehensive and expensive. Sweden may not quite manage the same, although they are still a fairly high pick on this list. Another direction to look would be Australia, where government spending is most likely to actually be redistributive.
For Social Conservatives, I say Singapore. They are tough on drugs and the citizens are expected to work and required to save. Parents are treated with respect, at least relative to the West, and when it comes to births at the very least they are trying hard with subsidies and ads on buses. An underrated pick here would be France, by the way.
For Libertarians, I say the United States. For all of the statist intervention in this country, it remains the place where markets are capable of exercising the most power for the better. And it is no accident that such a huge chunk of the world’s libertarians are also Americans, or at least heavily American-influenced. Singapore is in the running for this designation, with its government at eighteen percent of gdp, but so many things there are planned so comprehensively and the attitude of the country is more technocratic than free market per se. Hong Kong is no longer such a free economy, having come under increasing Chinese influence not to mention law-enforced cartelization, and that is on top of their government-supplied housing stock and single payer health care system.
As for the last part of this question, the relatively peaceful parts of Mexico, in my view, very often feel freer than the United States. But I am never sure how much that is worth.