Skip to comments.Freedom in the 50 States; An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom
Posted on 06/17/2011 5:27:30 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084
This study comprehensively ranks the American states on their public policies that affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. It updates, expands, and improves upon our inaugural 2009 Freedom in the 50 States study. For this new edition, we have added more policy variables (such as bans on trans fats and the audio recording of police, Massachusettss individual health-insurance mandate, and mandated family leave), improved existing measures (such as those for fiscal policies, workers compensation regulations, and asset-forfeiture rules), and developed specific policy prescriptions for each of the 50 states based on our data and a survey of state policy experts. With a consistent time series, we are also able to discover for the first time which states have improved and worsened in regard to freedom recently.
This project develops an index of economic and personal freedom in the American states. Specifically, it examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of public policies, from income taxation to gun control, from homeschooling regulation to drug policy.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercatus.org ...
My man Mitch Daniels has me living in number three.....thanks Indiana Republicans!!!!!
I just work here. Libertarians have been in favor of freedom before we were born.
I’m not sure what your point is.
Maryland’s ahead of Alaska? WTF???
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberalsif we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I cant say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we dont each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path".
Their weighting of local, state and federal government employment and spending. From the report is this quote
Alaskas big problem is fiscal policy. Over a quarter of the states workforce is employed by state or local government, and that figure does not include federal employees. Alaska has the highest debt and government spending to personal income ratios in the country. However, Alaska does extremely well on personal freedom, scoring fifth on our ranking. Reasons for its score include fully legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana (accomplished through a court ruling), the least-restrictive gun laws in the country, strong asset-forfeiture protections, recognition of same-sex domestic partnerships, and possibly the best homeschooling laws in the country. On economic regulation, Alaska does poorly on labor law, occupational licensing, and eminent-domain reform but relatively well on health-insurance regulation.
We have the best license plates in the country and apparently we mean what it says.
Hmmm... Alaska #44
Can’t blame you for critical thinking. Trust but verify. Some people have an agenda and will lie.
I don’t think that’s the case here.
I and a whole lot of Hoosiers voted for the Libertarian candidate who was Dick Lugar’s only opposition last time;the Democrats know he is one of them so no need to risk a “safe” vote.
All I know is I live along the Yukon and don't have any prop taxes and live in a big log cabin that I heat with wood I get for free. Where we don't have any state taxes like income or sales. Where I don't have any law enforcement hiding in the weeds collecting revenue. Where we don't have any organized local govt, means no comp planning, or regulations, or ordinances, or services to grow govt. And most importantly live 200 miles from nearest paved road and our dirt road is only open a few months every summer to get supplies.
When I ride the 4 wheeler in on our summit and look for 100 miles in all directions and see wilderness and no human impact whatsoever; I realize what freedom really is and how much my freedom means to me; why I call this country home. List or no list.
Thanks for the ping!
All rankings suffer from trying to map a multidimensional set of characteristics into a single ordered list, it would be interesting to see how the Freepers would rate the states.
It would be interesting. That’s why I post it every year.
Studies can easily be bogus. Garbage in, garbage out. Like the one that found that Cuba’s healthcare system is better than the US.
Too bad that the states at the top of the Freedom Index are cold.
I’d like to see a list like this from the Cato Institute.
Well, for starters, New Hampshire has dividend/interest income taxation, business income taxation, and property taxes that, in some towns, are out of sight. Holy crap, are some of their real estate taxes high in some places.
They make conspicuous use of zoning.
How NH makes it to the top of the list when states like Wyoming have no business income taxation, no passive or dividend taxation, no interest taxation, low real estate taxes and many counties have no zoning... I have no idea.
Idaho is ranked high, but their personal and business income taxes are high too, and when one drives on Idaho roads, one is left wondering “where the heck does all that tax money go?!”
There are other examples, but I could say with high certainty that I would not have ranked Idaho higher than Wyoming or Nevada. Idaho will also tax you if you’re a part-time resident; they will want a pro-rated portion of your income to be taxed according to how much time you spend in Idaho. Neither WY or NV required this.
They think that Wyoming has a high rate of personal taxation, but that’s because they have their heads up their posteriors. Wyoming has no personal or business income taxes. It *looks* like we have a high rate of taxation vs. personal income, because we have mineral severance taxes. Local counties don’t levy any income taxes, and fuel, real estate and sales taxes are generally low.
This is the danger of listening to liberal arts majors from back east or Ivy League schools about any of this stuff. They wouldn’t recognize a fact if it lept up and bit them in their pompous buttocks.
I wouldn’t rank any state east of the Mississippi in the top 10, that’s for certain.
What these dweebs from back east don’t realize is that the percentage of government employees in many western states is mostly out of our hands where we have large BLM, USFS, BIA, NPS, etc employee numbers.
We didn’t ask for Yellowstone to employ so many federal employees. We didn’t ask for all the BIA employees, or the US Forest Service employees. Nevada didn’t ask for all the military employees located within their borders, and so on.
These idiots think that we western states have some say in this. We don’t. None, zippo, nada. We just have to put up with it.
That alone does seem like it should push Wyoming up to the top of the list.
Don’t forget that many here believe that “conservatism” is “instituting big government when my guys are in, and then whining about it when they’re not.”
The last I looked neither WY or NV had a state income tax.
Idaho has a state income tax and will tax non-residents on income earned while in Idaho (it's called "source income" and most states with state income tax do something similar unless they have a reciprocity agreement with another state (mostly Eastern U.S. states)). Part-year residents are taxed based on Idaho source income and/or a ratio of total income.
Anyway, Idaho does have a ridiculously steeply graded progressive income tax rate which leaves most people paying more state income tax to Idaho than they would in another state.
And, yes, the roads in Idaho are crummy. Planning is crummy. Maintenance is crummy. Road construction goes on FOREVER. No road in Idaho must be free of orange construction barrels! EVER! I hate the latest fad for roundabouts.
Missouri’s 5th; our summers are humid scorchers but our winters are comparatively mild , at least compared to NH and SD. We also flunked the Brady Bunch’s “sensible gun laws” test a few weeks back , with a score of only +4 .:-) Worst (ie best) possible score is -4, so we have a bit of work, but at least we didn’t pass.