Tuesday, November 16, 2004

States with more freedom vote for Bush

From The New York Sun:

New York ranks dead last among the states in Forbes magazine's U.S. Economic Freedom Index, a study to be published today that considers the effects of more than 140 variables, including taxation, tort reform, and environmental regulations, in an effort to determine the amount of freedom a state's average taxpayer has and its effect on income.

The study was conducted by a policy group with a free-market orientation, the Pacific Research Institute. It is Forbes's second national survey of economic freedom. Forbes, which has its headquarters in Manhattan, also publishes the Index of Economic Freedom, a global analysis of the world's economies.

In the first national study, published five years ago, New York also ranked last. Kansas this year is ranked no. 1.


With the exception of New Hampshire, the Northeast is the most economically oppressive area to launch a business or seek work, according to the study. Joining New York in the nether regions of the rankings for the second time are Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. A co-author of the study, Lawrence McQuillan, said the Northeast's population density makes it easier to develop and implement regulations here. The state ranked 49th in the survey is California.

Mr. McQuillan acknowledged the obvious political dimension to the ranking of both the top 10 and the bottom 10. In this month's election, eight of the top 10 states in economic freedom went for President Bush, and nine of the bottom 10 went for Senator Kerry. Mr. McQuillan said the divide was representative of long-standing differences in both the political philosophies and the traditions in the states' legislatures. Moreover, the prospect for upward mobility in the rankings is slim, he said, given the sway of unions and various other special-interest groups with the legislatures of New York and California.

Update: State Rankings

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