freedom indexed
June 13, 2011, 6:25 pm
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: , ,

The two least free states, according to the new Mercatus Freedom Study, are California and New York and the freest are New Hampshire and South Dakota.  So if you love freedom, pack up your things and head on up the road to anywhere on the map that is lighter blue.

Of course the Koch brothers funded study uses indicators like low taxes and low government regulation with a basis of ‘individual rights’ to make their determinations.

A reader on Yglesias’ blog – linked below – took a closer look at the study.  What he found was that the states that rated highest for freedom had low education attainment, lower GDP, higher infant and accident mortality, more suicide, more homicide and greater income inequality.  Welcome to freedom America style.

I wanted to see if their index of freedom was actually linked to any positive outcomes (e.g., life expectancy, per capita GDP, industry R&D) or negative outcomes (e.g., suicides per capita, income inequality) based on Census data.

In a nutshell, the results were not good for the libertarian cause. The Mercatus Institute’s freedom score was significantly linked to (by state)- lower educational attainment (measured by percent of Bachelor degrees or higher), lower population density, lower per capita GDP, increased infant mortality, increased accident mortality, increased incidence of suicide, increased firearm mortality, decreased industrial R&D, and increased income inequality.

A Followup on the Mercatus Freedom Study, a reader, Think Progress, Matthew Yglesias


1 Comment so far
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Good post – and worth clicking on to the other maps (to anyone else reading this).
People often talk about the “price of freedom” in terms of blood and fire. But they sometimes forget about the other costs – infant mortality, illiteracy, etc.

Comment by blackwatertown

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