We’re number 50! We’re number 50!
That’s right, New Yorkers–according to a widely publicized George Mason University Freedom In The States survey, we just got handed the freedom booby prize, ranked as the “least free” state in the nation.
Dead last? How could this happen?
“New York has by far the highest taxes in the country,” reads the study funded by the university’s Mercatus Center, really a libertarian “think tank”. (I think, therefore I make silly lists)
Our high tax rate resulted in the sin of greater spending on such ghastly extravagances as hospitals, public transit and employee retirement__all “well above the national norms,” scolds the report.
Amazing how many media outlets published these conclusions without questioning them. We all “know” that higher taxes = less freedom, don’t we? Tax and spend, tax and spend. Polly want a cracker?
So why don’t I feel less free than those living in, oh I don’t know, Indiana, which made the Freedom Top Five with a bullet?
And I do mean bullet–guns are ridiculously easy to obtain in Larry Birdland. Indiana also recently banned funding for Planned Parenthood, which gives women freedom of choice regarding contraception and abortion rights. Yet the survey ranks Indiana as the 3rd most free state in the good old US of A!
So let me get this straight, libertarians–states that make it difficult to obtain legal abortions don’t get penalized? Huh? What about that, study co-author Jay Sorens? “Rather than take a stand, we simply ‘coded the data’ (whatever that means) on abortion and didn’t include it in the final tally,” explains Sorens in his best gobbledygook.
The truth is, one man’s freedom is another man’s shackles. I’ve written many times here about Mayor Bloomberg’s “Nanny State” excesses, and no, I don’t want my government telling me not to drink soda or eat soup. But Bloomberg’s crackdown on easily obtained firearms gives me greater freedom to walk the streets in safety, while his ban on smoking in restaurants gives me the freedom to enjoy a meal without coughing my lungs out and having my health endangered by the addict beside me.
And regulating insurance companies is limiting freedom? What freedom? The freedom to gouge? The freedom to die due to being priced out of affordable health coverage? Can you run that definition of freedom by me once more?
Time to check that top five “most free” state list again. Ok, New Hampshire was obviously awarded bonus points because of its “Live free or die” motto. But what about the other four? You are certainly free to live in South Carolina, Indiana, Missouri or Idaho if you choose. You are then free to sit in the house and stare at the teevee after they roll up the sidewalks at dusk.
Now let’s take a glance at the “least free” state list: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Hawaii. Hmm…
Sense a pattern here? The more progressive states are labeled ”unfree”, and the red states free as a bird. What’s that you say? You’d pick living in New York or Hawaii over Indiana or Idaho in a heartbeat?
Well no freedom fries for you, you socialist!