Here’s Why New York Is “The Least Free State” in America
For the 23rd year in a row, New York has been labeled the worst state for freedom.
An Embarrassing Tradition
Ever since the year 2000, The Cato Institute, has been updating its annual list of the nation's freedom ranking on a state-by-state basis. The libertarian-think tank has once again put the Empire State at the bottom of the list and wasn't very kind about why.
New York scored poorly across the board for policies impacting economic, social and personal freedoms over the past year. The Institute panned:
Economic freedom is the most significant weakness and is continuing to get worse absolutely. The state has made gains on personal freedom and is now 30th. New York’s terrible economic freedom score is going to continue to drag the state down—and harm its ability to realize its full economic potential.
The survey blasted the state's tax burden, debt, overregulation, inability to assist homeschoolers and a recent state law that allows undocumented migrants to obtain a driver's license as other reasons for the poor showing.
However, when looking into the biggest issue that makes New York such a restrictive state, the institute said left-wing ideologies from New York City and Albany have been driving policy for the rest of the state - which they say is unfair.
Fleeing the State
The survey also found New Yorkers are fleeing the state in droves because conditions are becoming more hostile and unaffordable. Currently, the Empire State has seen the highest number of residents fleeing to other parts of the United States.
Conversely, the states that are seeing an influx of new residents are also among the top performing states on the list.
New Hampshire was ranked the freest state while Florida claimed second place. Both strongly performed in categories concerning economic freedoms.
As for how New York can reverse course and work toward being more hospitable to all residents, the institute suggested:
Spending is high in many categories; cut it across the board. Cut all taxes and pay down debt. Abolish the housing anchor that is rent control. At least free the moving companies that help empty and fill the housing that does exist by getting rid of certificate-of-need laws. Slash cigarette taxes, which are so high as to be almost tantamount to prohibition.
You can read more about the survey HERE.
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