In 2000, SA was listed as the world’s 42nd most economically free country. That same edition of the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) report listed Bulgaria, a former communist country, at 108, 66 places lower on the rankings. Fourteen years later, the positions were reversed: Bulgaria had shot up the rankings to 45 and SA had plunged to 105, 60 places lower than Bulgaria. The gains in GDP per capita of Bulgaria and other former communist or socialist countries that have opted for greater economic freedom, are striking. Without fail, they have outperformed countries such as SA that are sliding down the rankings. It is time for SA to take note and change direction. The loss of economic freedom reflected in SA’s plunging ranking reflects why the country is in recession, why unemployment measured by the expanded definition totals 9.3-million people (36.4% of the potential workforce), why the economies of other countries such as Bulgaria, with an unemployment rate of 9.8%, are doing s...

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