Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York: Ranks Last On "Freedom" List

The Most Liberal States Did Poorest

Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom


Anonymous said...

The Mercatus Center at George Mason is a conservative think tank.
If you go to this link

and access their donors they are the same conservative groups that funded supporters of Bush and the Republican movement for the past 20 years. These groups are not known for their funding of good research but the promotion of their own outlook on things

It seems pretty likely that research from such a group is going to confirm the conservative view on freedom. It would probably be wise to look at a variety of ideas not just this one.

Charlie Hubbard said...

I will throw this out there and let the chips fall where they may.

N.Y.S. allows the vote of the people to be overridden by a group of elected representitives. I am speaking of course of the school budget vote.
Please think about it this way. A school board has a vote for an increase of XX dollars and want to levy a tax increase to pay for that increase. The taxpayers say NO but only in N.Y. is the school board allowed to increase spending and taxes anyway.
Let me make this perfectly clear - there is NO group LESS qualified to make this type of call than a school board.
This conduct is OK with state government. I think the readers of this column know why - state government is owned by unions - unfortuately so are most school boards.

The biggest problem however can be summed up in one word - RESPECT.

When any level of government reach the point where the VOTE of the PEOPLE is not RESPECTED then 'tax hell' will follow and it is that item i believe that has brought us to the economic situation $$$ we are in.

N.Y.S. government has lost RESPECT for taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Don't toss the baby out with the bath water 5:19! NY scored as poorly as it did largely because of the huge amount of taxes that burden every facet of our daily lives! There are few things left that haven't been taxed yet. Some things, like phone bills, we pay taxes on the taxes!

Brian said...

After seeing this discussion I went to the web site and read the material on this study

Here is their definition of freedom

We develop and justify our ratings and aggregation procedure on explicitly normative criteria, defining individual freedom as the ability to dispose of one’s own life, liberty, and justly acquired property however one sees fit, so long as one does not coercively infringe on another individual’s ability to do the same.

I have a bit of experience in this area. This is only one dimension of freeodm that you would find in poltical science literature. It's is mostly negative freedom from others. It leaves out whole other dimensions. At the very least, one has to ask how to enable or create freedom not just how to prevnet intrusion.

The defintion of freedom employed by these authors definitely prejudices their conclusions. You really have to read academic research with a critical eye or else you will be taken in.

Anonymous said...

Brian - Based on that, are you saying you disagree with the rankings of all 50 states? Are you saying that there is nothing "valid" about where any of the top or bottom performers fell? Sorry but I can't buy that. Colorado is near the top and I know for a fact and from family that Colorado provides much in employment, housing and economic opportunities that NY state has lacked for at least two decades. That's but one comparison.

Anonymous said...

Brian's point is a good one. By defining freedom as measured by the ability to dispose of your income as you wish, states that have high tax loads (as NY and most "liberal" states) will be penalized. Starting with a definition that is favorable to one's desired conclusion is common in these kinds of listings.

Too bad, I think the level of our local and state oppressive tax load and the willingness of our elected representatives to add to them is sufficient condemnation of our dysfunctional state and local governments.

brian said...

I read further into this report. The perspective is explicitly libertarian.
It gives positive weight to unencumbered free enterprise, minimal government regulation, opposition to gun control and providing free reign to charter schools, and negative weight to support of unions and other ideological no no's for libertarians. Naturally it is going to rank NYS low. NYS is not a libertarian state. Not all of us would subscribe to the libertarian perspective though.

That doesn't mean there is no value to the paper, but it is fairly one sided. I don't think using other standards that NYS would rank as low on freedoms.

Like the previous poster I imagine the point of SCATS post was to throw light on the dysfunctional NYS government.

That's another issue, but well worth discussing independent of this report.

Anonymous said...

Brian, you seem articulate and well educated in the sociology of freedoms. Could you give us your definition of "freedom" and show us where NY would stand relative to other states with high tax rates? Do high tax rates ever co-exist with high freedom states? It would be illuminating to see an intelligent discussion (free of name-calling) on freedom vs taxes.