At Least We’re In The Top Ten

The George Mason University Mercatus Center released the 3rd edition its rankings of freedom in all 50 states.  Georgia ranked 9th overall (Tennessee ranked 3rd), but ranked better in some categories and worse in others.  You can view a paper version of the report, or take a look at the interactive graphic over at their website.

My advice to the members of the Georgia General Assembly:  see where we rank and look at the policy notes.  It may be prudent to see what we can do to improve our rankings through policies that reduce government dependence and maximizes personal liberty.  2014 is an election year afterall.

Borrowed from LaborUnionReport on RedState.


  1. Rick Day says:

    This caused a massive wank post on the international blogging forums on Live Journal the past few days (over 400 comments on one thread alone).

    Of course, some libbie thought she could use the ND as their pick of ‘the most free state’ when the libertarians are not so black and white on the issue of fundamental rights. Ergo, because they do not specifically say “we are pro-choice” but “we are against government intrusion in the bedroom/exam room”, well, that is simply not good enough ergo all Libertarians are ‘males who hate women’.

    Then it fell into a squabble if one gender has superior rights to another gender possesses, why this is the one exception of ‘universal human rights’, and accusations of something dismissive called ‘mansplaining’, and why “It is different if a man wants a vasectomy but his wife does not want him to because-it-affects-her” when it comes to ‘ultimate decisions of reproductive rights’.

    So…be careful what you ask for, Nate; evidently ‘freedom’ is subjective in today’s environment.

  2. James says:

    These polls are always good for a chuckle or two. I always find it funny that the wealthiest states – New York and California — are consistently named the “least free.” Those states are just holding everyone hostage, I guess.

    And then there’s the whole definition of “freedom.” I laughed when I read the poll’s explanation of why California is apparently a gulag:

    Despite a reputation for social liberalism, California scores badly on personal freedoms. It has the strictest gun control laws in the country, prohibiting open carry and making concealed carry almost impossible, banning several types of weapons, imposing waiting periods on all firearms purchases, and onerously regulating dealers and ammunition . . . California was the first state to enact a smoking ban in restaurants and bars, but the ban is slightly less strict than those since adopted in other states. Travel freedom is low due to a primary seat belt law, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, a statewide primary-enforcement cell phone driving ban, an open-container law, and sobriety checkpoints. Little gambling is allowed.

    So personal freedom = guns and no seatbelt laws. I’m moving to Oklahoma immediately.

    • MattMD says:

      If Oklahoma doesn’t work out, there’s always North Dakota!

      Wait, was this article serious or is it some April Fool’s gag?

      I could have sworn Georgia had one of the most corrupt state governments in the union but, hey, we’re pretty “free”.


  3. Monica says:

    2011? So – soooooo- much changes so quickly these days, why are they coming out with analysis from over a year ago? Meh.

        • Maybe you’re a little skewed. You realize how math works, correct? There are only 435 seats to be apportioned so an area can grow and still lose seats or retain the same number of seats as it had in the past.

          New York added about 400k people from 2000 to 2010 (probably more – as urban areas seem to have suffered more from undercounts relative to non-urban areas). The population density is 411 people per square mile. Georgia’s density is 169 – so it’s a lot easier for us to grow at a faster rate down here, or in Texas or the other states that are fast growing.

          Now consider New York City – went from about 26,400 people per square mile to about 27,000 in ten years. Just consider that – adding an extra 600 people per square mile to your population when you’re already at 26,400 to start with!

          Almost everyone I know if they could afford it would live in a place like New York – and crucially what this study seems to miss is that most places that are growing in the country that aren’t New York seem to be growing policy wise in directions that make them more like it – people looking for density, urbanization etc.

          People move in and out of New York, which was at least possible from 2007-2010 unlike someone stuck in say a half finished builder bankruptcy subdivision in Walton County. I think the other thing that this study shows unintentionally is that places like New York and California that always have people that want to move in and out of them (nod to Harris) don’t have to engage in libertarian approved race to the bottom government cutting to attract whatever business is looking for the cheapest possible place with the lowest required public investments to move to. Something to consider.

          • “Almost everyone I know if they could afford it would live in a place like New York”

            You need to get out more. I wouldn’t want to live in NY – city or otherwise.

            Not all of NY is as dense as NYC. There is still plenty of room to expand. In fact, Buffalo lost 30,000 people from 2000 to 2010. Its peak population was 580k in 1950… quite different from its current 261k. Rochester lost 9k people. Back at the state level numbers – NY grew by just over 400k people, or 2.1%. Georgia grew by just over 1.5M people, or 18.3%. Georgia added almost 4 times as many people in 10 years as NY state did.

            The US as a whole grew by roughly 9.7% – from approximately 281M to 308M. NYC grew by 167k people in that 10 year period, or just over 2% – the same rate as the average for the entire state. One could say that NYC’s growth is the only reason the state as a whole saw even the small amount of growth that it did. New York might have once been the place to be – but that’s currently in decline. People are choosing to live places other than New York for a variety of reasons. That the rest of the country is growing at a rate that is multiples of that of NY is something else to consider.

          • seenbetrdayz says:

            Almost everyone I know if they could afford it would live in a place like New York.

            And that’s a pretty big caveat, lol.

Comments are closed.