03 March 2009
This Just In
"Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom," by William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens, published by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University.
(Ruger is an assistant professor of political science at Texas State University-San Marcos, though currently on active duty in Afghanistan; Sorens is an assistant professor of political science at the University at Buffalo. You may know Sorens as the founder and current chairman of the board of the Free State Project.)
"Freedom in the 50 States" aims to provide for the American States approximately what the annual Economic Freedom of the World Index provides for countries around the world. Both are great services to mankind, in addition to being inherently fascinating. If you are interested, as I am, in the economic, political, and cultural institutions that allow or encourage human flourishing, I recommend studying Ruger and Sorens's paper carefully.
P.S. I am saddened to report that I work and live in the worst and in the second-to-worst states in the Union, New York and New Jersey respectively, on the combined ranking of economic and personal freedom. New Hampshire wins on the combined ranking, followed by Colorado, South Dakota, Idaho, and Texas.