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May 11, 2009

Most Liberal States Are Least Free

The obvious has been officially confirmed:

According to a new study released by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, some of the most liberal U.S. states rank lowest when it comes to personal freedom. …
New York is the least overall free by a considerable margin, followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Maryland.
Unfortunately, say the report authors, these freedom-disadvantaged states "make up a substantial portion of the total American population. Moreover, these bottom five states have considerable ground to make up even to move off this ignoble list, let alone into a creditable position in the rankings."

Tops in personal freedom is Sarah Palin's Alaska.

Our federal system was designed to guard against tyranny. When government gets too oppressive in one state, people will flee to another. It's working as intended:

There are real benefits to scoring high on economic and personal freedoms, conclude the study's authors. Their analysis demonstrated that states enjoying more economic and personal freedom tend to attract substantially higher rates of internal net migration.

Unfortunately the explosive growth of the federal government will destroy havens for liberty. Illinois, whose miasmic Chicago politics produced our current president and his chief henchman Dead Fish Emanuel, ranks #49 on personal freedom.

The study's authors conclude:

The problem is that the cultural values of liberal governments seem on balance to require more regulation of individual behavior than do the cultural values of conservative governments.

Liberalism is unnatural (not to say depraved), and consequently requires more force to impose. This isn't a problem for moonbats, as coercion is the one thing they truly believe in. But it will become an ever greater problem for the rest of us, as we run out of states to escape to.

On a tip from Gregory of Yardale. Hat tip: The Jawa Report.

Posted by Van Helsing at May 11, 2009 10:41 AM


I would wager that those very same states are the ones being hit the hardest by this economic quagmire. They are the ones that employ the same failed social engineering policies of the democrats.

Posted by: IOpian at May 11, 2009 10:52 AM

The worst thing about it is that these slugs move to states like South Carolina, where I live, and get elected. They then impose the policies on us that caused them to leave their own damn state. I hate fucking yankees.

Posted by: Tom at May 11, 2009 11:08 AM

You can read the actual publication here:

They define freedom in libertarian terms, so it's no surprise that the least libertarian states are deemed the least free. Explicitly (see footnote 4 of the publication) they are strictly talking about negative liberty: freedom from constraint, rather than positive liberty: freedom to act. It is good that they are being straightforward about their philosophical premises. Moreover, they are almost certainly right about the degree of negative liberty present in the states they identified.

The further question is, is their conception of freedom complete? You have to ask yourself: who is more free, a beggar or a banker? The one is free from external constraints, but can't do much; the other has many constraints but has a greater range of choices.

Posted by: J.D. at May 11, 2009 11:15 AM

its relative, not absolute, so you take away one freedom, you get a second.

if i take away your freedom to murder people, I gain the freedom to not be murdered.

if I take away your freedom to drink and drive, I gain the freedom of being able to drive without getting hit by drunk fools.

how do we resolve the tragedy of the commons without regulation?

Posted by: Brandon at May 11, 2009 11:17 AM


Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at May 11, 2009 11:22 AM


So, outlawing murder (take away your freedom to murder) absolutely prevents murder (I gain the freedom to not be murdered)?

You have found the great secret of the ages. Congratulations.

Posted by: Viking04 at May 11, 2009 11:26 AM

Viking im not saying it works 100%, especially for something like murder, where I doubt the killers take the time to weigh their jail sentences.

better example would be speeding. very few people go more than 10 mph above the limit (except for LA drivers, who either go as fast as they can it seems.)

Posted by: Brandon at May 11, 2009 11:30 AM

oh wait, so your making the argument that regulations only hurt the good people, and don't effect the criminals?

If so I guess it depends on how hard it is to catch the crime and what resources you spend.

Posted by: Brandon at May 11, 2009 11:32 AM

Ted Turner is the largest (most acreage) private land owner in the USA.
Escaping to another state, while a wonderful idea only serves to make things worse because you can't make the whackos get out and leave you to the freedoms you moved there for, or keep new ones from moving in after you. None of this is going to matter after the next census anyway.
There is a place (which I won't mention) which is still free from the socialism taking over this country. When things get too bad, I'm outta here.
For generations people have been flocking to the USA to escape the political/religious/racial problems of their home countries, now it seems there may be an approaching reversal. Or is it the next step?

Posted by: Eric at May 11, 2009 11:39 AM

The Tragedy of the Commons is only a tragedy once statism takes over. For the rest of us, there's the occasional mishap, and it's a fair price to pay to live as free people. I really don't mind if people drive a little too fast. And people are gonna get murdered once in a while. The 50 % or 100 % increase in social control and coercion required to drive bad behavior down another 3 % at the margin is not worth it, not to your average libertarian, anyway. For a leftist-statist, turning society into a gigantic tangled web of regulations, lawsuits, and moral haranging in order to eliminate one DWI or one avoidable crime or one unfair life circumstance is more than worth turning society upside-down; not only do you drive the bad numbers down a bit, but you get to enjoy the whole process of controlling other people along the way. It's a totally different worldview, and perhaps irreconcilable.

Posted by: mega at May 11, 2009 11:50 AM

Brandon mentions the commons. Has anybody noticed the difference in tons of garbage left scattered everywhere after a liberal love fest as compared to that left after a conservative rally? There does seem to be a tremendous difference in respect for the commnons!

A liberal moral position seems to be based to a very large extent on if anyone is watching or if there is a probability of being caught and punished. What is right is a distant fleeting thought that seldom enters into the liberal moral equation. It follows that if their instincts are to behave that way, then they are apt to think everybody has the same values and they want protection by legal means to protect them from others who are likely to behave as they behave.

Posted by: SnowSnake at May 11, 2009 12:05 PM

Please tell us where this "right to murder" is written. Are you talking about SELF-DEFENCE? That's not murder, that's PREVENTING murder. After all, the RIGHT of self-defence doesn't mean KILLING someone, it means keeping someone from killing you and others.

Posted by: KHarn at May 11, 2009 12:38 PM

Maryland is unbearable. It's gotten to the point where I'll no longer accept work there.

In spite of Byrd, WV is still a good place if you like being free. The difference between the two adjacent states is striking. I suspect the economic fortunes of the two will be headed in opposite directions in the years to come because of the yawning freedom gap. Why buy land or start a business in MD - where you need County and Historic Commission approval to plant a freaking bush or build a shed when you can still buy actual private property a short distance across the border?

Posted by: forest at May 11, 2009 12:55 PM

One breath of fresh air here in NewYorkistan is some of the local governance. I live in a small town and we have a founder's festival every year that's very popular. The Mr. and I wanted to participate as vendors for something. I steeled myself to face the red tape, forms, rules & regulations, and myriad fees to do so. I went hat in hand to the planning board, and a jolly, elderly woman said "Oh no. There's no forms. You just do what you want on General Brown weekend, hon." And just by magic it's a fun, family-oriented, patriotic 3-day festival which makes a lot of money for entrepeneurs. Even the beer-drinking is civilized.

Posted by: Karin at May 11, 2009 1:19 PM

Wow, NY sounds like an OK place to live. Here in Virginia, my wife had to check the local ordinance to see if we were allowed to trim the leaves off a public-land tree that's shading our garden. The answer is a qualified yes, except to get to the tree you have to walk through poison ivy, and you're not allowed to kill or interfere with poison ivy in any way unless it's within your property line, so I guess we'll just do without sunshine.

Posted by: mega at May 11, 2009 1:40 PM

I still Love my North Carolina

Unfortunately I fear I can never return. It appears the Northeastern liberals totally destroyed the Northeast and decided to Screw up the south.

Posted by: Unicorn Fart at May 11, 2009 2:04 PM

Here's one for you, Brandon.

Liberals outlaw incandescent lightbulbs, in favor of CFLs.

I gain a little bit of electrical efficiency, albeit veritable drop in the bucket relative to anything.

I lose the freedom to make or sell lightbulbs, because making CFLs is too toxic, and I lose the freedom to choose American over worsening our trade deficit with the Chinese. I lose the freedom to use a safe and clean product, because the CFLs are full of mercury, and I lose the freedom of just throwing it out without MHAZMAT requirements. I lose the freedom to spend the $2 difference in price the way I want to and, thanks to the carbon taxes you're pushing, I lose any balancing efficiency should've done on the upfront cost.

For every freedom a socialist law appears to provide, it takes at least half a dozen more.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 11, 2009 3:58 PM

Fascinating - this string is PROOF liberalism is a mental disease! AND they should be locked up, if for no other reason than to save them from them selves...

Posted by: TED at May 11, 2009 4:42 PM

Please spay or neuter your liberal. Don't spread the disease anymore.

Posted by: Moonbat skullcracker at May 11, 2009 4:50 PM

It isnt always genetic , it is often learned behavior , and therefore unlearnable . The truth is a strong elixir for this .

And yes !

We immediately noticed the lack of trash at the San Antonio tea party . I am quite convinced it was cleaner when they left than when they got there . Everyone was certainly very conscious of it , after the debacle in The Mall .

Posted by: Katya Kakhov at May 11, 2009 7:18 PM

The liberal bargain is that in exchange for the freedom to do anything to anyone in the bedroom without being judged, the liberal surrenders his life outside the bedroom to social micromanagement.

How many freedoms does the progressive left want to take away from you? I listed 102 of them.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at May 12, 2009 3:29 AM

"It isnt always genetic , it is often learned behavior , and therefore unlearnable . The truth is a strong elixir for this" .

My Son was raised in a Conservative Household, I sent him to Carolina, He came back a bleeding heart liberal...Now if I could get him De-Programmed.

Posted by: Unicorn Fart at May 12, 2009 4:30 AM

Oh Unicorn, how heartbreaking. BUT there is hope, there really is. You've provided a strong core. I was raised thus myself. In college I was, although book-smart, an empty headed liberal leaning moonbat. I voted for the most embarassing people. Then, I graduated and got a job in the real world, in a paper mill. I saw up close what a union and environazis could do to a company. These lefties were potentially going to screw up industry to the deteriment of everyone's living. My core upbringing opened my eyes.

Posted by: Karin at May 12, 2009 5:31 AM

Unicorn, did your son bang a liberal chick or come out of the closet? Either one will cause one to lose one's sensibilities.

Posted by: V the K at May 12, 2009 5:35 AM

"Unicorn, did your son bang a liberal chick or come out of the closet? Either one will cause one to lose one's sensibilities.

Posted by: V the K at May 12, 2009 5:35 AM"

Heh, yeah, that can be a problem during the college years. Moonbat girls are pretty easy to get into bed, and the temptation is great when you're 19 or so. Put on a Guatemalan hoodie, strum a guitar on the quad, and bam! You've got some action.

Posted by: forest at May 12, 2009 5:51 AM

Our federal system was designed to guard against tyranny were rifles...

Posted by: dad29 at May 12, 2009 6:36 AM

forest and VtheK, this is someone's son you're talking about. I don't know but Unicorn could be someone's sweet mother. Whatsa matter witcha, born in a barn?

Posted by: Karin at May 12, 2009 8:43 AM

A "friend" of my fiancee is a lib.
Her mantra is'
"Dont sacrifice my freedoms with your security"
Not realizing without one you lose all others.
see ya at the soccer field

Posted by: czuch at May 12, 2009 9:12 AM

The Mercatus Center is a think tank promoting "free markets" and like the Club for Growth is interested in freedom for rich and powerful corporations and individuals to do as they please without regard to society or environment and obiously to avoid taxes...

They are no friends of the peasant mentality who continuously fall for the buzz-word word "freedom" and side with them... as in the "Teabaggers" or whatever they call themselves for example.

The right wingers I've known are the least free, most uptight people I've observed... worried about their image with the correct (and clean) car, haircut, cloths, worried about having 7 weeds on their lawn, afraid of gays, women who know what they want (and it's not them), any food that doesn't come from a mega factory or a chain restaurant, any music that isn't country music or otherwise predictable macho crap, humor they can't understand (Steven Cobert) , people who swear... worry about being on schedule ...while on vacation! ...on high blood pressure and anti anxiety drugs... and worried about the dude up in the sky disapproving...

....FUCKING UPTIGHT!!! And you call yourselves free...

Posted by: Evolved at May 12, 2009 10:00 AM

...another example is Dick Armeys "FreedomWorks" ....there's that buzzword "freedom" again... who is one of the instigators of the Teabagger movement

Another think tank for the rich and powerful, anti regulation anti tax.. pushing the buttons of the "they hate our freedom" types. Stop being such fools people...they are not your friends. Unless your one of them.

Posted by: Evolved at May 12, 2009 10:40 AM

"forest and VtheK, this is someone's son you're talking about. I don't know but Unicorn could be someone's sweet mother. Whatsa matter witcha, born in a barn?"

Thank you Karin, I've been called a “Mother” before, but generally followed by a derogatory adjective. No if you must, I was a single dad, (Can’t pin my sons digression on a leftist wife).
I attended Carolina (For the brain dead in the Northeast, and California that’s UNC Chapel Hill) in the late 70’s very early 80’s I was greatly disappointed, to learn that my school has regressed to a Marxist bastion, I now refuse to give dime one to the Alumni Association. I informed them of my observations of the distasteful shift in political leanings via strongly worded letter in 2004. I am sure that they could have cared less.

Posted by: Unicorn Fart at May 12, 2009 11:09 AM


Might I suggest a trip to Alaska for you. Please remember to step off the tour bus and become part of the food chain.

It would make the world a much "Nicer" place for everyone!

Posted by: Unicorn Fart at May 12, 2009 11:14 AM

Evolved, do you consider yourself as a Marxist or do you consider yourself as a Populist? Or are you too young yet to know the philosophical history of your ideas?

Posted by: Kevin R at May 12, 2009 11:29 AM

Yo Evo

I think you are confusing "The Right " , "Repbublicans " and " those who are correct" . Please notice that these are three distinctly different groups . The one you are adressing would be the later .

Posted by: Katya Kakhov at May 12, 2009 11:34 AM

forest and VtheK, this is someone's son you're talking about. I don't know but Unicorn could be someone's sweet mother. Whatsa matter witcha, born in a barn?

I think Unicorn can appreciate the fine art of manly banter. But if not, I apologize for giving offense. I won't donate to either of my alma maters for the same reason. Bunch of damn communists.

Posted by: V the K at May 12, 2009 12:09 PM

V the K

Yes, I did appreciate the Manly Banter, for manly men like us. (We should proudly stroll around in a 'testosterone fog')

In Karin’s defense she meant no harm, in fact she was simply doing what civilized persons do, “act with verbal expression of consideration and respect for others.”

As apposed to "Evolved" who acts with pubescent rudeness, and has the manners of a street bum in a public toilet. One would not be surprised in fact expect him to “Spray the seat” as if marking his territory akin to a feral cat.

But we really need to feel sympathy for the likes of "Evolved" remember when the liberal likes deluded world crumbles, after the finger pointing no longer works, they will have nothing, and will be relegated to “Nothingness”

Posted by: Unicorn Fart at May 12, 2009 1:10 PM

I was just teasing you guys anyway.

Evo, you are aware that the rich and powerful corporations and wallstreet were squarely on the democratic side in the last election. Just look at donor lists, the filthy lucre, My God!!!
Conservatives are no longer the party of the country club rich. The clubbers have gone Demo, mainly because they're so power hungry. They're certainly not looking out for little old you.

You can brush that aside, but LOOK AT THE DONOR LISTS. That's pretty objective. The only businesses contributing to R's are the Mom&Pops.

Posted by: Karin at May 12, 2009 1:49 PM

"...the freest Pacific state."

Well, sure. If you don't do anything.

Try to do something and you'd be amazed at the freedom.

"State land use planning is far advanced." Brother, that's an understatment. Try to build a home here. Or, worse, a business.

If this is an example of the "freest Pacific state" then Washington and California must be real, sheer Hell.

Posted by: OregonGuy at May 12, 2009 4:52 PM

Dear Leader shouldn't read many of the comments here

Posted by: Joe at May 13, 2009 4:00 AM