Saturday, August 08, 2009

Best and Worst of 50

New Hampshire, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, and Texas rank best
We rank all fifty states on overall respect for individual freedom and on components of freedom: “Fiscal Policy,” “Regulatory Policy,” and “Paternalism.” Our approach in this report is to weight policies according to the number of people affected by the policy, the intensity of preferences on the issue, and the importance of state policy variation. However, we happily concede that different people value aspects of freedom differently. Hence, we provide the raw data and weightings on our website so that interested readers can construct their own personal freedom rankings; the spreadsheet is available at

The study was conducted by Jason Sorens of the University of Buffalo and William P. Ruger of Texas State and release through the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.   I don't think there'll be any surprises at the extremes.  Michigan's much higher ranking than South Carolina wasn't expected/  The study notes that extremely conservative governments do not appear to afford any more freedom overall than do moderate, centrist governments. Again, the Michigan conundrum?  We need a sleuth  ... the data are here.

Aside from the five freest states, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, and Texas, we want to know which five states are the closest to being internment camps, right?    Tell me if you're surprised at all.
New York is the least free by a considerable margin. This will surprise few residents of the Empire state. In order from the bottom, New York is followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Maryland. Unfortunately, these states make up a substantial portion of the total American population. Moreover, these bottom five states have considerable ground to make up even to move off this ignoble list, let alone into a creditable position in the rankings.
The B-52's  missiles are programmed accordingly.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I reside in one of the top 5. However many from the bottom 5 routinely move here.

Anonymous said...

BTW Rodger have you looked at the report?

MD rates the lowest, by quite a margin, for "Personal Freedom". AK (Sarah Palin country) rates the highest by far.

Trouble is AK is just too damn cold for me.

rockville said...

Someday I'll collect on those two bourbons I won for pointing out this study. It's just that I have to cross through PG County and can't afford body armor.

This is a more direct link to the data, for those who enjoy Excel spreadsheets.

Anonymous said...

By this time next week we will have traded our CA auto tags and licenses to the great state of TX. We are then heading to Sioux Falls, SD for a look see. Seems so beautiful, but..

What is up with the forcible rape stats in Sioux Falls? I compared it against many cities of much larger population and it was still off the hook. SD represents freedom to rape? WTH?

Anonymous said...

Juice, when you arrive in TX be sure to get yourself one of the "I wasn't born in Texas but got here as fast as I could" bumper stickers.

Drew said...


Come give Fargo, ND a look too. Same size area as Sioux Falls without the dysfunction. It seems Sioux Falls tries to act like a 'big city' with crime and such.

Anonymous said...

Sorry some small room for disagreement In Texas you wear a gun and anyone sees it you go to jail
In Alaska you wear a gun and someone sees it they say nothing or in quire as to what type of load you prefer for bear.
In AK we do give away the store with the social programs, if one opts to indulge themselves with the states largess, there will be an increased amount of paternalism.
High rape and assault against women here in AK too. Too many weird end of the road running from their own past types here.

Anonymous said...

"...In Texas you wear a gun and anyone sees it you go to jail."

If you're on your own (private) property in TX you can legally carry in the open. Unfortunately TX doesn't have open carry (yet) like AK does.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your opinions regarding TX and Sioux Fall, all. Interesting and appreciated. INdeed we got to TX as quickly as possible. ;]

Anonymous said...


"A person commits an offense of unlawfully carrying a
weapon if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun on or about his or her person unless the person is on one’s own premise or premises under the person’s control or inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person’s control."

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the heat Juice. I thought y'all would like it here.

word veri 'prophoot'

Jim - PRS said...

I thought for sure that Jersey would be number 50. I feel a whole lot better now.

Scott said...

About 12 months ago I traded residency in #46 for residency in #4. Despite a monstrously thuggish police force in our newly adopted city/state (they're first on the docket when the revolution begins) it's been a remarkable net gain in terms of quality of life.

It's often hard to make the jump (*cough* Rodge *cough*), especially if you like to be, ya' know, *employed*... but it's well worth it.

pdwalker said...

Texas is where I'd like to retire.

Anonymous said...

What about the other seven?

gunnypink said...

Juice, statistics do not necessarily give an accurate picture of something. I will be honest with you, Sioux Falls is too big of a city for me. I am trying to get out of here, but not working so far.
If you do come up for a visit, give me a holler, I be more than happy to show you around.
Forcible rape, huh? wonder what that involves.
I will admit, we are rapidly building up the community with refugees from the African continent, and like all the other states seeing a lot more Hispanic people running around.
But we also have a lot of new construction going on, and the city is growing.

David said...

SD is a great place to be from. I was born and raised there. But it is changing. If you stick to the small farm communities in the middle of the state its still a great place. But Sioux Falls on the East end and Rapid City on the west end are rapidly becoming liberal strongholds and trying to spread to the rest of the state.

Sioux Falls is a mixture of big city folks and all the problems that come with big cities, and small town folks who haven't figured out yet that they don't live in a small town anymore.

Rapid City and most of the Black Hills has become 100% tourist commercial. Its like living in a tourist resort all year round.

I'd still move back to SD if I could find a similar job to the one I have now, but it would have to be in one of the smaller interior towns.

Anonymous said...

Wow, gunnypink and David, good stuff. Sioux Falls just looked so beautiful in pictures, but if it is becoming a liberal bastion... well, we will stick to visiting as we'll do with my home state of CA. For now we'll continue to explore TX [already aware of Austin being the SF of TX].

Anonymous said...

Juice, Rodger doesn't call Austin "Moscow on the Colorado" for nothing.

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