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Ranking the States for Economic and Personal Freedom
Townhall.com ^ | Mar 29, 2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 03/29/2013 8:52:07 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies

Sometimes I myopically focus on fiscal policy, implying that the key to prosperity is small government.

But I’ll freely admit that growth if maximized when you have small government AND free markets.

That being said, our goal should be to expand freedom, not merely to have the largest possible GDP.

Which is why the Freedom Index is a good complement to Economic Freedom of the World.

It shows, for instance, that Singapore may be ranked #2 for economic freedom, but it is only #39 when you look at all freedoms.

We also have a comprehensive ranking of economic and personal freedom for the 50 states.

Here are the full rankings from the newly released Freedom in the 50 States from the Mercatus Center, showing North Dakota as the state with the most freedom, with South Dakota (#2), Tennessee (#3), New Hampshire (#4), and Oklahoma (#5) also deserving praise for high scores.

Mercatus State Freedom Ranking

What makes Freedom in the 50 States so interesting is that you can mix and match variables based on your own preferences.

I checked the “fiscal” and “tax burden” categories, and South Dakota (no state income tax!) jumped to #1 for both of those measures.

You won’t be surprised to learn that New York is the worst state, not only overall, but also for various fiscal policy measures.

Who would have guessed, by the way, that there’s a “bachelor party” category based on laws governing alcohol, marijuana, prostitution, and fireworks. Interesting, Massachusetts is ranked #1, though I suspect most guys will still opt for #3-ranked Nevada.

P.S. I must be learning. I grew up in New York, which is #50 in the rankings of freedom in the states, and then in Connecticut, which ranks only #40. But I went to college in Georgia, which is #9 in the rankings, and I now live in the Virginia, which is #8. But I somehow doubt that I’ll ever wind up in North Dakota.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: beststates; freestates; singapore

1 posted on 03/29/2013 8:52:07 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

This is about drugs, isn’t it.


2 posted on 03/29/2013 8:57:03 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (I love it when spell check selects every single word in my post.)
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To: Pan_Yan

Well, it ain’t about home schooling, the Dakotas are below average in that regard.


3 posted on 03/29/2013 9:02:14 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (HRC:"Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping,"-NKorea)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Can’t get the list.


4 posted on 03/29/2013 9:03:00 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

How in God’s green earth is Wyoming in the bottom half of ths list? Sure they didn’t mix up Colorado and Wyoming?

No state income tax, no restrictions on firearms, low state sales tax. This list goes on and on.


5 posted on 03/29/2013 9:05:44 AM PDT by CaspersGh0sts
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To: Tenacious 1

He’s writing about a list that he doesn’t link to?


6 posted on 03/29/2013 9:08:06 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod
He’s writing about a list that he doesn’t link to?

If you find it, post it. I've looked on all the sources associated witht he article I can find. Best I can tell, there is no list available.

7 posted on 03/29/2013 9:10:26 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: CaspersGh0sts
How in God’s green earth is Wyoming in the bottom half of ths list?

This is why I want to see the list and data.

8 posted on 03/29/2013 9:11:20 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: Tenacious 1

It’s a PDF.
http://mercatus.org/sites/all/modules/custom/mercatus_50_states/files/Freedom50States2011.pdf

Page 17 has the actual ranking.


9 posted on 03/29/2013 9:15:05 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
I found this as a link, but it is 2011.

Link

10 posted on 03/29/2013 9:15:42 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("AP" clearly stands for American Pravda. Our news media has become completely and proudly Soviet.)
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To: Tenacious 1

I had to google it because the link in the article 404’d.


11 posted on 03/29/2013 9:16:01 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod

STATE
OVERALL FREEDOM
1. New Hampshire
0.441
2. South Dakota
0.414
3. Indiana
0.344
4. Idaho
0.343
5. Missouri
0.315
6. Nevada
0.315
7. Colorado
0.303
8. Oregon
0.285
9. Virginia
0.274
10. North Dakota
0.225
11. Florida
0.224
12. Oklahoma
0.223
13. Iowa
0.221
14. Texas
0.211
15. Georgia
0.188
16. Tennessee
0.168
17. Kansas
0.161
18. North Carolina
0.158
19. Alabama
0.151
20. Utah
0.141
21. Wyoming
0.119
22. Arizona
0.092
23. Nebraska
0.082
24. Mississippi
0.061
25. Wisconsin
0.026
26. South Carolina
0.014
27. Michigan
0.013
28. Arkansas
0.000
29. Montana
–0.007
30. Vermont
–0.047
31. Pennsylvania
–0.050
32. Kentucky
–0.053
33. Maine
–0.060
34. Minnesota
–0.140
35. Louisiana
–0.143
36. West Virginia
–0.146
37. New Mexico
–0.178
38. Connecticut
–0.180
39. Delaware
–0.196
40. Washington
–0.196
41. Illinois
–0.200
42. Ohio
–0.215
43. Maryland
–0.268
44. Alaska
–0.300
45. Rhode Island
–0.383
46. Massachusetts
–0.393
47. Hawaii
–0.445
48. California
–0.487
49. New Jersey
–0.505
50. New York
–0.752


12 posted on 03/29/2013 9:16:59 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Lazamataz

Thanks. Colorado is 7. That’s crap. I guess if you’re a homo pot-smoker, you’re good.


13 posted on 03/29/2013 9:18:17 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod

MN-—34th and with the country’s 4th largest legislature that meets EVERY year...coincidence?


14 posted on 03/29/2013 9:19:36 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: demshateGod

That was 2011. A lot of bad has happened since then.


15 posted on 03/29/2013 9:22:11 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("AP" clearly stands for American Pravda. Our news media has become completely and proudly Soviet.)
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To: Pan_Yan
This is about drugs, isn’t it.

Do you see anything there about drugs? Has boozing made you paranoid or hallucinatory?

16 posted on 03/29/2013 9:22:26 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Too much of US time, energy and fortune is spent trying to manipulate data electronically rather than in creating anything tangible or actually providing anything of real substance.

It is the modern era’s electronic equivalent of Nero’s fiddle.

If we don’t change course soon, our legacy will be the most intensly detailed and documented record of a great nation’s collapse in the history of the world.


17 posted on 03/29/2013 9:22:53 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Welcome to Obama-Land - EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY)
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To: demshateGod

The Red Hampshire Chamber of Commerce must be paying for this...


18 posted on 03/29/2013 9:22:58 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
You won’t be surprised to learn that New York is the worst state

Actually, I was surprised, given what a repressive, over-taxed, over-regulated Hellhole that California has become.

19 posted on 03/29/2013 9:25:27 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: demshateGod; Tenacious 1; CaspersGh0sts; Lazamataz
It looks like the author tried but failed to link to freedominthe50states.org/overall.
20 posted on 03/29/2013 9:28:45 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
Do you see anything there about drugs? Has boozing made you paranoid or hallucinatory?

I don't drink or take drugs but pretty much every post I've ever seen by you is about drugs. It's called logical inference. Sober people can do it.

21 posted on 03/29/2013 9:29:55 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (I love it when spell check selects every single word in my post.)
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To: demshateGod

That was last year - now CO is #19: http://freedominthe50states.org/overall/colorado


22 posted on 03/29/2013 9:30:53 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Pan_Yan
This is about drugs, isn’t it.

Do you see anything there about drugs? Has boozing made you paranoid or hallucinatory?

I don't drink or take drugs but pretty much every post I've ever seen by you is about drugs. It's called logical inference.

And you do it very poorly, since there's nothing about drugs in this post.

23 posted on 03/29/2013 9:32:14 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
Who would have guessed, by the way, that there’s a “bachelor party” category based on laws governing alcohol, marijuana, prostitution, and fireworks.

So you didn't read the article you posted?

24 posted on 03/29/2013 9:39:23 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (I love it when spell check selects every single word in my post.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
ok -- I definitely call BS on this one.. Wyoming is ranked #36 in the latest, but MN is ABOVE them at #34 ?

Having moved from MN to WY, all I have to say is if MN isn't in the last 5 (perhaps just a notch or two above CA, NY or IL), then this whole entire article is just BS.

Their cite the decrease in personal income in WY (due to energy issues) as one of the main reasons, plus a surplus of govt employees..

Well if the decrease is because of energy, you can blame zero on that one ---- he is definitely trying to kill coal and WY is the largest producer or coal in the US. -- ok -- it may not be the largest, but it one of them, that's for sure.

Huge # of govt employees --- well I suppose in comparison to the population # of WY as a whole, the percentage could be slightly out of whack, but seriously --- what a dumb reason to cut WY down.

Here is a state that really believes in personal freedom -- # 36 (and lower than socialist MN) ?? I just have to laugh.

25 posted on 03/29/2013 9:41:48 AM PDT by coder2
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

I am sure before too long the Massholes in NH will drag us down to the bottom.


26 posted on 03/29/2013 9:58:28 AM PDT by vwbug
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To: Pan_Yan
So you didn't read the article you posted?

If you had read it before your first few posts, you wouldn't have gassed on about "inference." If you want to suppose that a single passing reference to marijuana makes this post "about drugs" and explains my reason for posting it, you have fun with that. I can't help but wonder why you find that worth posting about - but I won't lose any sleep over it.

27 posted on 03/29/2013 10:01:47 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

My apologies. It was completely unfair of me to bait you like that.


28 posted on 03/29/2013 10:07:47 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (I love it when spell check selects every single word in my post.)
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To: Pan_Yan
You take all the fun out of flame wars.

Apology gratefully accepted.

29 posted on 03/29/2013 10:30:27 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: demshateGod

Thanks for the list. Proud to be a Hoosier! :o)

I often said, “Indiana is one of the best kept secrets in the country.”

I think our low profile keeps us free.... Except there are more Michiganders and Illini showing up on a regular basis to settle here. Ohioans are too proud to soil themselves in Hoosier territory and Kentuckians can’t find Indiana or won’t cross the bridge. :o)


30 posted on 03/31/2013 7:15:18 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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