Friday, May 19, 2006
As readers of this blog may know, I am always very interested in the Economic Freedom of the World Index put out by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation. Now, the Pacific Research Institute has put together an Economic Freedom Index for the States -- a brilliant idea. The study ranks states based on five criteria: financial, regulatory, judicial, government size and welfare spending. Some states do really well on one factor, and really badly on another. For example, California is number 3 on judicial, but number 50 on regulatory.
Here are some of the results. At the low end:
50 New York
47 Rhode Island
And at the top:
One obvious thing to do is to compare how the blue and red states do. Unsurprisingly, the blue states do poorly in terms of economic freedom. Only New Hampshire and Delware are in the top 20. So 18 of the 20 most economically free states are red. Not exactly a shocker. By contrast, not one of the 10 states which are least free is a red state. While this is not surprising, it should be emphasized.
Update: I had initially listed Indiana as a blue state, but was mistaken. (I attribute the mistake to the disorientation caused by a geographically challenged person having to navigate three maps -- red and blue, economic freedom, state names -- late at night.)
Further Update: Another mistake. I had initially omitted Delaware from the top 20.