So what would be an example of an unfair or wrong weighting?
Or, put another way, what's wrong with New Hampshire that would be improved by taking on some of the characteristics of states at the other end of the ratings list?
Or, which state do you think should be #1 for freedom?
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.
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.