…None other than the legislative haunt of Gov. Andrew “confiscation could be an option” Cuomo and loathsome nanny-state Mayor Bloomberg, of course. George Mason University’s Mercatus Center just released the third edition of their comprehensive “Freedom in the Fifty States” study, ranking “the American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.” The researchers calculated in factors ranging from the states’ levels of government spending and debt, tax burden, property rights protection, and health insurance freedom all the way to their policies on alcohol, tobacco, gambling, marriage, and firearms. North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma took the top five freedom spots, while Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, and New York came in 46th through last place.
Gotta’ love federalism, am I right?
Among the 10 fastest-growing metro areas last year were Raleigh, Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. All of these are in low-tax, business-friendly red states. Blue-state areas such as Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Providence and Rochester were among the biggest population losers.
This migration isn’t accidental. Workers and business owners are responding to clear economic incentives. Red states in the Southeast and Sunbelt are following the Reagan model by reducing tax rates and easing regulations. They also offer right-to-work laws as an enticement for businesses to come and set up shop. Meanwhile, the blue states of the Northeast, joined by California, Minnesota and Illinois, are implementing the Obama model of raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy to fund government “investments” and union power.