This post was written by Connor Balough
CONCORD – The Granite State keeps raking in the awards, and it appears that becoming the most libertarian state in America is paying off.
New Hampshire has been named the freest state in the United States according to The Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank.
The Granite State ranked No. 1 based on research including fiscal policy, personal freedoms, education, and others. New Hampshire ranked first in the fiscal category.
All the other states in New England finished in the bottom 20 in the rankings. This was the first time New Hampshire has received the title.
Among the unique facts about New Hampshire, the state holds the title as having the highest quality of life in the country. It also has the lowest poverty rate out of all 50 states.
The state is the only state with neither an income tax nor a sales tax. The state also has no seat belt laws and no mandatory car insurance thus relying on the free market to drive prices low enough to opt over 90% of drivers to have coverage. New Hampshire is also the only state in America to have abolished a previous state minimum wage law, thus having one of the lowest youth unemployment and adult unemployment rates in America, along with the lowest homeless population per capita in America. Rhode Island meanwhile, of equal size and population which also straddles Massachusetts, has among the highest minimum wage laws in America and also struggles with the country’s highest unemployment and homeless rates.
New Hampshire has no knife laws, very lax fireworks laws, and has banned police use of license plate readers and municipal use of red light cameras.
The Free State also has been ranked as having the highest income mobility for minorities in America.
Looks like Libertarianism is working pretty good. So why aren’t other states following suit to reap the rewards?
New York for example is the “least free” state of any in the nation because of its high taxes and heavy-handed rules controlling daily life, according to the study.
The Cato Institute analysis ranked New York dead last for economic and personal freedom.
By comparison to New Hampshire, New York symbolizes big government run amok, the report from the conservative libertarian group said. Because of it, homelessness, poverty, economic depression, and unemployment are a scourge.
“New York looks set to remain the least free state for many years to come,” the group said.
“New York’s local tax burden is twice that of the average state. The state tax burden is also higher than the national average.”
The study rapped New York’s many layers of local government with “4.1 competing jurisdictions per 100 square miles of private land.”
New York is also the king of corporate welfare.
“The government spends almost four times what the average state does on subsidies to business,” the study said. And the Empire State saddles its residents with crushing debt — the “highest in the country at 31 percent of income.”
New York is also “the worst state on regulatory policy” — a Big Brother that tells businesses what to do instead of getting out of the way, according to the report.
Cato analysts flunked New York on land- use freedom, citing the “economically devastating rent control in New York City.”
The report also slammed New York government as a killjoy for banning fireworks, barring grocery stores from selling wine and imposing smoking bans and sky-high tobacco taxes.
New York’s gun laws are also onerous, Cato claims.
The study, however, hailed New York’s same-sex-marriage law.
Gov. Cuomo’s office defended New York’s record.
“We’re proud of our efforts to protect renters and combat smoking,” said Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi.
”New York is the progressive capital of the world and, despite what any right wing think tank says,” Azzopardi said.
“Any objective review of the facts would have also found this administration’s reforms led to the lowest middle class tax rates in 70 years, the lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917, the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968, a property tax cap, six budgets in a row with spending capped to 2 percent and the lowest debt to personal income ratio since the 1960s.”
But the statistics don’t lie. New Hampshire gets it right and the other states should follow it’s lead if they want to increase their state statistics.