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Freedom in the 50 States: Yay for being 47th!!

Earlier this year, a report was published by George Mason University titled Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.  This paper “presents the first-ever comprehensive ranking of the American states on their public policies affecting individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres.”  You can read the report here: http://www.mercatus.org/PublicationDetails.aspx?id=26154

As can be expected, the “blue” states (more liberal) were typically ranked a lot less free than the “red” states (more conservative).  Thus, my state of California was ranked 4th from last place overall and New York ended up coming in last as the biggest offender.  The state that ended up coming in first place, also no surprise, was New Hampshire where the motto is “Live free or die” and is the home to the Free State Project (FSP). 



 For those not in the know, the FSP is a plan to have libertarian activists move to New Hampshire (most move to the city of Keene) in order to fight politics on the local level and to enjoy the comforts of living in the most free state in the union.  According to the official website, “The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire.  We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people’s rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.” 

Also according to the website, “FSP participants chose New Hampshire because it has the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the second-lowest level of dependence on federal spending in the U.S., a citizen legislature where state house representatives have not raised their $100 per year salary since 1889, the lowest crime levels in the U.S., a dynamic economy with plenty of jobs and investment, and a culture of individual responsibility indicated by, for example, an absence of seatbelt and helmet requirements for adults.”

FYI, here’s the overall ranking of states from the report:

Table V: Overall Freedom Ranking

State Overall Freedom

1. New Hampshire 0.432

2. Colorado 0.421

3. South Dakota 0.392

4. Idaho 0.356

5. Texas 0.346

6. Missouri 0.320

7. Tennessee 0.284

8. Arizona 0.279

9. Virginia 0.275

10. North Dakota 0.268

11. Utah 0.250

12. Kansas 0.210

13. Indiana 0.208

14. Michigan 0.206

15. Wyoming 0.193

16. Iowa 0.183

17. Georgia 0.146

18. Oklahoma 0.143

19. Montana 0.125

20. Pennsylvania 0.102

21. Alabama 0.092

22. Florida 0.068

23. North Carolina 0.019

24. Nevada 0.013

25. Mississippi -0.004

26. Delaware -0.008

27. Oregon -0.009

28. Nebraska -0.018

29. Arkansas -0.023

30. South Carolina -0.040

31. Alaska -0.071

32. Kentucky -0.082

33. West Virginia -0.097

34. Louisiana -0.110

35. Minnesota -0.111

36. New Mexico -0.150

37. Wisconsin -0.199

38. Ohio -0.205

39. Maine -0.214

40. Vermont -0.217

41. Connecticut -0.225

42. Illinois -0.238

43. Massachusetts -0.242

44. Washington -0.275

45. Hawaii -0.304

46. Maryland -0.405

47. California -0.413

48. Rhode Island -0.430

49. New Jersey -0.457

50. New York -0.784


One Response

  1. Interesting! I live in PA, number 20 yeahhhh.

    NY sucks. LET’S TAX OBESITY.

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