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Old 03-29-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,659,924 times
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Mercatus Center at George Mason University - Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom (http://www.mercatus.org/PublicationDetails.aspx?id=26154 - broken link)

Quote:
The data used to create the rankings are publicly available online at State and Local Public Policies in the United States, and we invite others to adopt their own weights to see how the overall state freedom rankings change.
State and Local Public Policies in the United States
You can download the PDF File. What do you think?
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:55 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,732,109 times
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One feature of the report I especially like is the profiles of individual states. Those profiles discuss the states' performances in specific areas, so you can get an idea how a state does on freedom in areas you consider especially important.

Does anyone happen to know whether George Mason (the university that sponsored the study) has a reputation for any particular politcal leanings? A lot of the criteria this study used to give states more positive ratings would generally be considered "conservative" (low or no minimum wage, presence of right-to-work laws, less regulation of private schools and home-schooling, no laws requiring helmets on motorcycles or bicycles, less strict seat belt laws, less restriction on gun ownership and carry, low taxes, low government spending, small number of govt. employees as a percentage of the state's workforce, are some examples), though there are some exceptions (for example, the fact that it was considered positive for a state to have less severe marijuana laws, less restriction on gambling, less regulation of alcohol sales, fewer smoking bans, fewer arrests for victimless crimes). Despite this second list that would usually get more support from the left, the first list shows that the study seems to take a positive view of many policies the left generally would not support, which is interesting given the highly leftward leanings of most universities, hence, the question about whether George Mason is especially known for leaning one way or the other politically.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:20 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,053,448 times
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One man's freedom is another man's ball and chain.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,370 posts, read 6,997,770 times
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In merely reading the Executive Statement I find in para. 2, (2): "..and there are no missing data on any variable..." I automatically call into question a report that presumes to think it missed NOTHING. But I'll keep reading and maintain as open a mind as is possible.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:47 PM
 
Location: NC
1,673 posts, read 1,530,634 times
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Their assumptions on freedom and business are highly conservative it seems from reading a few of their in depth views of certain states, and in some cases posted data that I do not believe is correct. So if your political view matches theirs, then this is pretty accurate. If it does not, you can find a lot to argue with.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:26 PM
 
5,772 posts, read 13,732,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maabus1999 View Post
Their assumptions on freedom and business are highly conservative it seems from reading a few of their in depth views of certain states, and in some cases posted data that I do not believe is correct. So if your political view matches theirs, then this is pretty accurate. If it does not, you can find a lot to argue with.
This is why I was curious about whether George Mason has a reputation for any particular political leaning. Still, look a little more closely, and you'll see that they also include criteria such as less severe marijuana laws, less government control over alcohol sales and consumption, fewer arrests for victimless crimes. Generally these would seem to be viewed more favorably by the left, so apparently this is not based on an entirely conservative standard. It appears that a highly libertarian outlook, which transcends the usual labels of left and right, would view the study's criteria most favorably.

Stormcrow, I'm going to guess that when they say there are no data missing, they aren't trying to claim that they've missed nothing, in the sense of claiming that they have thought of every criterion that should be used to determine a state's degree of freedom, but are simply saying that they obtained all the objective information that they have determined that they need to measure freedom by their criteria. As in, for example, they have all the information about every state on their number of arrests for victimless crimes, rather than having the info for some states and not for others. Just a guess.

Ben Around, well, yeah, one man's meat is another's poison, etc., but I guess that's why it's good that they give the profile for each state. You get to decide for yourself how a state rates in criteria that are most important to you personally.

Last edited by ogre; 03-30-2009 at 04:01 PM..
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: IN
20,852 posts, read 35,964,992 times
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We citizens in NH work hard at the top of the lists in therms of economic and personal freedoms.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:56 PM
 
2,449 posts, read 4,813,992 times
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These "one size fits all" scores are ridiculous. It includes factors involved in public safety (fireworks restrictions, which might be more appropriate in some areas than others), ridiculous policies such as compulsory school ages, auto and road regulations, and environmental policies (wetlands restoration, etc...).
The wording is ridiculous. It is obviously partisan, showing the democratic vote versus "freedom".
Different states are there as laboratories for democracies, but this puts value judgements on it. It neglects the freedom of the states.
They want not liberetarianism, but anarachy.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:58 PM
 
2,449 posts, read 4,813,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Stormcrow, I'm going to guess that when they say there are no data missing, they aren't trying to claim that they've missed nothing, in the sense of claiming that they have thought of every criterion that should be used to determine a state's degree of freedom, but are simply saying that they obtained all the objective information that they have determined that they need to measure freedom by their criteria.
Indeed. Missing data happens usually with human subjects. This is a research project. It is not unreasonable to think they could find every piece of information in their survey.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,700,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
One man's freedom is another man's ball and chain.
Yeah, in which state is alimony granted the most in a divorce action?
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