Thursday, June 16, 2011

Most Free -- Least Free States

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most free/least free state of all?

A new study by the Libertarian leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University has produced a Freedom Ranking for each of the 50 states.

While other such studies have been done they say this is the most comprehensive to date. The rankings are based on public policies affecting individual freedoms, economic, social and personal spheres.

Daniel Rothschild, managing director of state and local policy for the Mercatus Center told the Maryland Reporter, "We hope that this study will spark a broader discussion of what freedom looks like."

This is important. What does freedom look like? How should freedom be defined?

And how "free" is Washington? Oregon? Idaho? Or your state?

A couple of observations:

1. When you click to the study you will see shades of blue on various states that relate to their level of freedom, not necessarily political view although there is a correlation in regard to some, but not all states. Those conducting the study observed, "While bright blue states tend to be more liberal on some things, the majority of them are more "paternalistic."

2. With some exceptions, population trends show people moving away from the "less free" states while "more free" states have seen population growth.

New Hampshire is ranked #1 free state. New York is #50--least free.

Idaho is #4, Oregon #8 most free, while Washington is #40 most free.

You can put together a compendium of any number of things from this study and say "this is freedom," however, I would suggest you keep in mind the Founder's definition and the Christian consensus from which it was drawn, when a passion for freedom birthed the greatest nation in the history of the human race.

Any way you slice it, Washington does not appear to be a leader. Maybe paternalistic.

This is the link to the Mercatus Center study. Read it carefully. Higher education and politicians are giving these findings a high degree of importance and influence regarding our future pursuit and definition of freedom. You should, as well.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Active. Be discerning. Be Prayerful.

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