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America's Freest States

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posted on May, 29 2009 @ 10:00 PM

While the concept of freedom may be in the eye of the beholder, there's no question that each state has done their best to codify what actions they do and do not leave up to their residents' choice. But which states give their citizens the most leeway, and which have them on the tightest leash? A study entitled "Freedom In the 50 States: An Index of Personal And Economic Freedom," published by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, sets out to answer this question.

The study, conducted by William P. Ruger and Jason ReSorens and released earlier this year, explores what the authors claim is the "first-ever comprehensive ranking of American states on their public policies affecting individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres." To create this ranking, Ruger and ReSorens outline three categories into which freedoms fit: fiscal policy (which covers spending and taxation), regulatory policy (which refers to such issues as labor regulations and health insurance), and Paternalism (which includes such categories as gambling and alcohol regulations).

America's Freest States

Not surprisingly, conservative states tended to rank better than liberal ones overall. However, the article does say this:

However, it is important to note that the study's findings do not all fall along these predictable party lines. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Louisiana, for example, all fall in the bottom eleven among states with the most Personal Freedom. Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri, meanwhile finish fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively in that category. According to the authors of the study, while conservative states do perform better than liberal ones, it is moderately conservative states which are in fact the freest.

While the definition of "freedom" is definitely subjective, I do basically agree that moderately conservative states are probably the way to go. My question to those out there who believe that the Republican party should shed its moderates is: in light of these findings, do you still believe that it's best to alienate the moderates in the party, when evidence shows that centrist-right policies create a "freer' state?

To liberals who believe that hard left policies are the way to go: how do you reconcile the fact that moderate conservatism seems to guarantee more personal freedom? Do you think that enacting liberal policies might just lead to an over-regulated police state?

Thought the article was pretty interesting and applied especially to the politicos of ATS, so I figured I'd share it with you guys and pose a question for both sides of the spectrum to ponder.

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 10:03 PM

South Dakota ranks first out of the 50 states based on this study's interpretation of economic freedom, and in the top ten for all the other indicators with the exception of personal freedom-lenient gun laws are balanced by more stringent marijuana restrictions.

Well I dont know about this. But I do know a lot about that last sentence

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 10:05 PM
The less and less states are being free because of the federal government taking over everything.

Food, police, roads, EVERYTHING. We need to get rid of the nanny state politicians who do a law based on ONE stupid crime and put it on everybody. The constitution need to be enforced. There should be a ban on new laws for a year and during that year, a review of all the laws on the book for their constitutionality.

And today, there's no conservatives nor liberals in congress/senate... only pro-tyranny people.

We shouldn't label things by party. Our founding fathers were labelling things in terms of liberty. At the extreme left there was ANARCHY and the right, TYRANNY. They tried to be in the middle... today, we're FAR RIGHT.

[edit on 29-5-2009 by Vitchilo]

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 10:56 PM
I live in Kentucky. I have not always lived here. I have lived in quite a few states. And countries. I find all situations change. And one that seemed more free is less free now, and one that seemed less free, suddenly seems more free. It's all based on my perceptions as to what concerns me. However, here in Kentucky, I can still wear a pistol on my belt. That's good, eh? I carry a gun concealed as long as I have been certified. That's pretty good, eh? I can still smoke a certain herb, heh, that has been outlawed in neigborhing states. Maybe good, maybe not. Apparantly that isn't my descision as an individual, according to some other states.

Uh, buying tobacco and alcohol is more expensive now. I don't like that.but what the hell, this is what is happending all over this U.S.

I still believe I am rather free here. Not to do some things. but most of all that is also not legal in other states. My biggest problem is not what the current state controls, cause I can always move to another state, but more of what the federal government sticks it's nose into.

That is my major concern, what the feds say that isn't within its authority to speak about, and on the other hand, what the state says, that isn't within its authority to speak about.

I am a strong believer in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal Papers as an addendum to the intent of the original signers and authors.

An example. I believe the federal government should keep its nose out of second amendment issues, unless a state tramples on the issue. But, on the other hand, I believe the owner of a private business that issues a proclamation that no one is allowded on its premises while carrying arms has a right to this opinion. Jeeze. How silly am I in this age? Huh:

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 11:02 PM
2nd least free state in the Union.

If you enjoy smoking, the Garden State is not for you. New Jersey's extensive tobacco tariffs and restrictions highlight its affinity for high taxes and regulated personal freedom-guns are highly controlled, and the laws regarding automobiles fill volumes.

Add to that the 3rd (iirc) worst debt in the union and you'll quickly understand why I loathe this state. It's a sad day when SEVERAL of the original 13 fail to uphold their birthrights.

New Hampshire does sound nice after all.

[edit on 5/29/2009 by eNumbra]


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