I just watched this video (below) from the Mercatus Center that offers a very thorough examination of all 50 states and how they rank in terms of economic and personal freedom. What is especially relevant about this study is that they examined freedom from the standpoint of how government hampers personal “lifestyle” freedoms (as in what kind of toilet and shower heads you must have) as well as regulatory intrusions imposed upon businesses (such as environmental impact studies, arduous permitting processes and fees).
Even more impressive, they surveyed those people directly impacted by the regulations and government programs and asked them to comment on the effectiveness and importance of the regulations. So this isn’t a case of some think tank eggheads imposing their ideological agenda on various states. They judged freedom from the standpoint of the citizen view.
I also couldn’t help but notice a peculiar trend….on the map of states they chose to use shades of blue….the darkest blue states were the LEAST free and the lightest blue were the most free. Interesting…..I’m not saying that this totally random color choice has anything to do with the popular red-blue divide that plagues our nation, but, it does in fact seem to correlate. I’m not sayin’ that the most liberal states were also the least free, but, well, check it out for yourself. OK–maybe I am just sayin’….
[photo credit: flickr]