This is truly insightful:

[I]t has long been my experience that whenever any person reasonably but not fully sophisticated in economics sees the findings of these studies [of economic freedom], he invariably objects on the ground that his own country is rated far too highly.  My explanation for this phenomenon is that most moderately informed people know the situation in their own nation significantly better than for others.  They are thus intimately acquianted with the machinations of their own politicians, warts and all.  They think that if ever there was a country to which the honorific “economic freedom” does not apply, it is their own.  But they do not realize that other countries are in the same boat, and sometimes a far worse one.

This passage makes me wish that Walter spent more time doing creative empirical work, and a lot less defending Austrian economic theory against all challengers.