Californians live in an economic prison ■ Nicholas Umashev / Contributed Our high tax burden, powerful unions, government debt and overbearing regulations all speak to California’s low economic freedom. Whether one examines the United States, California, or each of its counties, Californians live in an economic prison. Country Freedom The United States performs poorly against other nations when it comes to economic freedom. The Heritage Foundation’s world economic freedom index ranks the United States 17th (below Taiwan, Chile, and even Canada) due to poor fiscal health, high tax burden, and high government spending. Economist Jac Heckelman finds that economic freedom, measured using Heritage’s index, is a significant factor in determining growth.

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