The Nanny State…


These terms best describe governments that abuse freedom of choice … and that restrict and limit religious freedom and economic freedom.

When governments restrict individual freedoms:

  • Economic opportunity is stifled
  • Everyone – especially the middle class and the poor – is impacted by higher costs and fewer choices
  • Businesses suffer

Ranked from #1 for allowing the most freedom to #50 for allowing the least freedom, here are the bottom 10 state governments that offer the least freedom to its citizens:

  1. New York
    49. Hawaii
    48. California
    47. New Jersey
    46. Vermont
    45. Maryland
    44. Oregon
    43. Delaware
    42. Rhode Island
    41. New Mexico

And here are the top 10 states allowing the most freedom:

  1. Florida
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Indiana
  4. Colorado
  5. Nevada
  6. North Dakota
  7. Tennessee
  8. South Dakota
  9. Arizona
  • Kansas

More than 230 policy variables covering a broad range of categories – including taxation, debt, eminent domain laws, occupational licensing, drug policies and educational choices, to name just a few – were evaluated, weighted and combined to come up with the overall rankings.

You can read bios of the authors of the study – and read about how the rankings were calculated – here:

You can also find highlights – or lowlights – contributing to each state’s ranking.

For example, while California scored well on social and justice policies, its poor scores on fiscal and regulatory policies, taxation, and economic freedom contributed to its ranking of #48.

Other notations about California’s ranking:

  • It’s the poorest state in the nation – due primarily to its high cost of housing.
  • It’s the “most cronyist state” in the nation – largely due to its “extensive and strict” occupational licensing requirements.
  • It’s one of the worst states on land-use freedom.

You can watch a short video about the rankings (2 ½ minutes) here:


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