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Old 01-18-2014, 11:17 AM
 
12,968 posts, read 36,842,939 times
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This is from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. This year, Tennessee has been ranked the country's 3rd freest state, after the two Dakotas. The 223-page report “scores all 50 states on their overall respect for individual freedom, and also on their respect for three dimensions of freedom considered separately: fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom."

The entire study can be found here:

http://freedominthe50states.org/down...nt-edition.pdf
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:27 PM
 
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Freedom in the 50 States 2013 | Overall Freedom | Mercatus Center
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:40 PM
 
672 posts, read 748,176 times
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Also, this spreadsheet was done by others based on the same researchers previous reports.

I like it because you can choose what weight you give to each category which alters the rankings and map.

Freedom Rankings
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:45 PM
 
1,337 posts, read 648,796 times
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How can a state without gay marriage or even medical marijuana be one of the "freest "?
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:21 PM
 
672 posts, read 748,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GABESTA535 View Post
How can a state without gay marriage or even medical marijuana be one of the "freest "?

Because it's not based on singular issues such as you stated. There is a lot more to the term "freedom" then those issues. They take both economical and personal freedoms into account.

If all you care about is some single issue topics then you can use the last spreadsheet I linked to give more weight to issues that are more important to you.

There was plenty of criticism in the report on Tennessee on the areas it lacked in if you would bother to read it. The economical advantages contribute to its higher rankings.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
34 posts, read 93,130 times
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JMT and Dhult, thanks for posting the links. This is good information for those of us looking into TN.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GABESTA535 View Post
How can a state without gay marriage or even medical marijuana be one of the "freest "?
We have both of those here in California and I don't think most people would use the word "free" when describing this state. Well, unless they are talking about what people can get for "free" here.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:08 PM
 
263 posts, read 569,215 times
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As with most of these lists, this one is meaningless. Get ten people together and ask them what it means to be 'free,' and you'll get ten different answers. Thus, trying to apply some general set of criteria to arrive at 'freest' is silly.

To me, any state that controls what one can and can't do in his/her personal life (so long as it doesn't harm others) is not free in any way, shape, or form. Thus, calling Tennessee--under the control of the Christian Taliban--'free' is somewhat of a joke.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:03 PM
 
672 posts, read 748,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_commuter View Post
As with most of these lists, this one is meaningless. Get ten people together and ask them what it means to be 'free,' and you'll get ten different answers. Thus, trying to apply some general set of criteria to arrive at 'freest' is silly.

To me, any state that controls what one can and can't do in his/her personal life (so long as it doesn't harm others) is not free in any way, shape, or form. Thus, calling Tennessee--under the control of the Christian Taliban--'free' is somewhat of a joke.
Yeah, it would be helpful if you actually read the study or knew anything about the people who put it together. Instead you with your own bias just decided that it is "silly".

So here is a little info for you. The researchers are libertarian. They are for non government involvement in the private affairs of individuals. They are pro decriminalization of marijuana.

Even with all of that Tennessee ranks 3rd.

General set of criteria? Seems just about everything in that study is covered. Including personal freedoms. Drug laws, marriage rights, taxation, debt, spending, vehicle laws, alcohol, cigarette, eminent domain, gun rights and on and on.

The great thing is if you don't agree with the weight assigned to each section, You can change it and map out the freest state for your narrower opinion.

Example.

Quote:
+
Spending
+
Taxation
+
Labor regulation
+
Health insurance

Occupational licensing

Eminent domain

Liability system
+
Land & environmental reg
+
Utility deregulation

Gun control
+
Marijuana laws

Asset forfeiture rules
+
Victimless crime arrests
+
Tobacco regs
+
Alcohol regs
+
Auto and road regs
+
Gambling laws
+
Sundry mala prohibita
+
Marriage & civil union laws
+
Education
+
Campaign finance reg
Matter of fact they pointed out the very concerns you and the other poster mentioned and factored it in.

It seems if those are your only two concerns when it comes to freedom then I don't think your sense of freedom is really balanced well.

As much as I think what I do with my own body is my choice, my freedom from being over regulated and taxed is also important.


Apparently if your not going to read it then here is a small quote on what they state that needs to be approved upon.

Quote:
Tennessee is one of the freest states in the country, placing just behind the Dakotas at the top of the rankings. Like the Dakotas, it fares better on economic freedom than personal freedom. However, the disparity between its economic and personal freedom scores is not as extreme as in South Dakota. The state’s level of freedom and relative ranking have slipped slightly since 2001, when it was second in overall freedom.
Tennessee does particularly well in fiscal policy. The state has the fourth lowest tax collections in the country (at 7.5 percent of personal income). It also has a relatively low government debt ratio and about average spending (though outlays for utilities are high). Government employment is relatively low and the state is among the most fiscally decentralized.
Tennessee fares only a bit worse in the regulatory sphere. It is strong on labor market freedoms and is a right-to-work state. Its liability system, health insurance regime, and property rights protection are in the top 20. Tennessee has a below-average number of mandated health insurance coverages. It has deregulated cable and telecom. Tennessee ranks quite poorly on occupational freedom, with an excessive number of jobs requiring a license. Eminent domain has not really been reformed.
Unfortunately, the Volunteer State is not all that committed to voluntarism in the personal sphere. It is mediocre on victimless crimes arrests, tobacco freedom, and asset forfeiture. Cigarette taxes remain low. However, it has banned smoking in restaurants and added restrictions on smoking in bars and private workplaces. Tennessee is less prone to arrest people for victimless crimes, excluding drugs, than other states. However, its drug enforcement regime and marijuana laws are on the harsh side. Taxes on wine and spirits are a bit below average, but the beer tax is the highest in the country. Tennessee has some of the most restrictive gaming laws. It does allow charitable gaming. Travel freedom is limited. Tennessee requires helmets for all cyclists and authorizes sobriety checkpoints. It has not banned the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Tennessee also falls somewhat short on education, although homeschooling is expressly permitted by statute. It has mandatory kindergarten attendance, burdensome notification requirements for homeschoolers, and other constraints. Along with West Virginia and Kentucky, Tennessee has the best gun control laws in the South.
Policy Recommendations

  • Reduce government spending, especially on utilities. Tennessee is one of the few states where electric and gas utilities are mostly municipalized. These could be privatized and restructured to promote consumer choice and competition.
  • Reduce the number of occupations that require state licensure.
  • Relax the state’s drug enforcement regime. Even if Tennessee had only reformed to the level of national averages, it would have leapfrogged five states in terms of personal freedom and moved into the second overall spot. Also, reduce the beer tax to make it consistent with regional and national norms.
Your just so single issue minded that it just pissed you off that they ranked Tennessee so high. You didn't even know they addressed the very issues that concern you.

If all you care about are those two issues then you can head out to the two states that decriminalized weed.

Or you could use the tool they provided to select just the freedoms you want while suppressing the other freedoms for everybody else because those aren't as important to you.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:29 PM
 
263 posts, read 569,215 times
Reputation: 556
Yeah, it would be great if you would actually read my post. Instead, you are so hellbent on defending your 'libertarian researchers' that you completely ignored the main point of my post: everyone has their own idea of freedom. (Remarkably, in your diatribe, you reiterated that exact point!) Since everyone has their own idea of freedom, ranking states on a set of criteria is senseless, especially when each criterion can be weighted. Undoubtedly, I could manipulate the weight of the criteria in a certain way that would make Tennessee one of the 'least free' states. No? Isn't that your point? It was mine, too.

By the way, you know absolutely nothing about the issues that concern me. Nothing. Your rant is misdirected, ignorant, presumptuous, and prejudiced. It serves no purpose.

Try reading next time.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:54 AM
 
Location: MO
2,114 posts, read 3,365,637 times
Reputation: 1426
Glad to see this. Tennessee is a place I definitely wouldn't mind moving to after graduation.
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