How is wealth created and not found

Prosperity Index 2020: Prosperity endangered by distrust and restrictions on freedom

London. The prosperity index of the British Legatum Institute this year is all about Corona. The report by the independent, not-for-profit think tank examined 167 countries across twelve categories, such as economic metrics on security, social capital, health, education and living conditions.

Denmark is in first place in the prosperity ranking, Germany is in 8th place and Austria climbed two places up to 10th place. According to the index, prosperity was at a high worldwide before the corona pandemic. Compared to the previous ten years, prosperity increased in 147 of 167 countries. Improved health, living conditions and more open economic systems were decisive for the development. This development was stalled by the Corona crisis this year. The authors see the restriction of personal freedom and governance as a threat to the further growth of prosperity worldwide.

Do not rest on previous achievements

Philippa Stroud, director of the institute, warns the more developed countries not to fall into "a trap" of high standards and complacency. In times like these it is particularly important to dare to innovate, change and take risks, otherwise the prosperity that has been hard-won over many years threatens to dissolve. Today in particular it is more important than ever to focus on a holistic approach to prosperity and to make strategic decisions towards inclusive societies and more open economic systems, said Stroud. Stephen Brien, Director of Politics at the Legatum Institute, also emphasizes the importance of innovation and dynamism so that the economy can regain strength after the crisis. He advocates strengthening investor protection and further opening up with regard to international financial markets. In addition, priority must be given to education and health. People have to reach their full potential in order to survive in the labor market of the future. Health systems need to protect vaccination programs and help people take care of their mental and physical health, Brien said.

Sustainable growth and personal development

The institute highlights a few points on how wealth can be created. Prosperity arises when governments make decisions that build trust and integrity and respect the freedom of their citizens.

Wealthy nations are also those in which governments rule with the consent of the people and in which the citizens take responsibility. Economic decisions are made responsibly in order to create an environment that enables productive employment, sustainable economic growth and personal development. Personal responsibility and freedom go hand in hand. Citizens are free and order their lives by taking responsibility for their own families and communities. People care about their own physical health and mental wellbeing, and health care is available to all. You don't make decisions that endanger the health of others.

For example, 121 countries have seen a decline in freedom of expression and access to information over the past decade, and 116 countries have seen a decline in freedom of assembly, political accountability and restrictions on the executive branch over the past decade. (ast)