Every two years, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University publishes their “Freedom in the 50 States” index.
This year’s most free state? It’s a virtual tie…between New Hampshire and South Dakota. And the least free state?
Turns out my beloved Empire State got dinged for our particularly high taxes, health insurance regulations, anti-smoking laws, lack of medical marijuana and no same-sex marriage (only one vote away!).
Jason Sorens, co-author of the study and assistant professor at CUNY Buffalo — who (ahem) lives in New York — admits the state has other benefits.
“New York City has a lot going for it…if you like culture, the arts, music, having lots of things to do, nightlife — you’re going to value having more things to do even if you feel more impinged upon.”
Exactly, Jason. And the things that may make other people feel ‘impinged upon’ — not being able to smoke in Central Park, for example — don’t make me feel any less free.
That’s the beauty of the USA. There are 50 different states. If you don’t like the one you’re in, you can move to one you like better.
Like I did.
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” Me & Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin