Freedom Scores

I ran into this document on “Freedom in the 50 States”. It’s very interesting, and not surprising, Ohio was near the bottom of the list.

Ohio (#32 economic, #46 personal, #38 overall) has much to improve. Adjusted government spending is over a standard deviation higher than average. Ohio is higher than average in every spending category except transportation. Gun control laws are relatively poor, though not in a class with Illinois, New Jersey, and others. Marijuana laws are liberal overall, but cultivation and sale sentencing could be reformed. Most gambling is illegal. Private and home school regulations are unreasonable, including teacher licensure and mandatory state approval of home school curricula. Asset forfeiture rules are appropriate. Eminent domain reform has not gone nearly far enough. Draconian smoking bans are in place.

It’s not a perfect document. I would probably have weighted things differently and even determined the criteria differently, as anyone would, but it gives you a general idea of freedom levels in the different states. The conclusion ends with a statement I really enjoy.

As Americans grow richer in future years, quality of life will matter more to residence decisions, while the imperative of decent employment will decline by comparison. As a result, we should expect more ideological “sorting” of the kind Charles Tiebout foresaw. High-quality information on state legal environments will matter a great deal to those seeking an environment more friendly to individual liberty.

This says that as time goes on, American’s will become so rich, that we won’t have to let employment be a major determining factor in where we live. We will go to the place where we think we’ll be most happy, meaning we’ll live near people who think similarly to us. Unfortunately, this will mean more political polarization, but it will also be the realization of one of the founding theories of the United States. We have states so that there are a bunch of different country-like territories experimenting with ideas. In the modern world it will be easy to determine who’s ideas are successful and other states can follow suit. And if your state is stubborn, then just move to one of the states that “get it” until your previous state has such little income they are forced to change.

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One Response to “Freedom Scores”

  1. Nick Harmon Says:

    states rights baby…too bad we had that civil war…

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