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New York State the least free state of the US

May 30, 2009

A study entitled “Freedom In the 50 States: An Index of Personal And Economic Freedom”, published by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, set out to answer which states give their citizens the most leeway, and which have them on the tightest leash.

The study is the first-ever comprehensive ranking of American states on public policies affecting individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. To create this ranking, William P. Ruger and Jason ReSorens outlined three categories of freedoms: fiscal policy (which covers spending and taxation), regulatory policy (issues such as labour regulations and health insurance), and paternalism (which includes gambling and alcohol regulations).

After taking everything into account, the study names primarily “red” states as the nation’s freest, with New Hampshire, Colorado, South Dakota topping the list.

On the other side of the spectrum, it was traditionally Democratic states that earned the title of “least free” according to the study. Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York came in at 48th, 49th, and 50th place respectively.

So Independent Long Islanders have good reason to name a Long Island-less New York State as “The Emperor State”. There is, in fact, no state of the union that is more restrictive to one’s life, liberty, and justly acquired property than New York State!

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.

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