While America may boast being a “free” nation, a look at the states reveals that it most certainly is not. Freer than others, sure, but a truly free nation wouldn’t confiscate property from people who hadn’t been charged with a crime, ban people from owning firearms, or keep them from being able to order an extra large soda at McDonald’s.
Luckily, we have multiple states in the US with multiple different laws. If you don’t like living in one state, it’s pretty easy to move to another without going through the process of denouncing your citizenship. If you’ve been living in the US and feel a lack of freedom, maybe you’ve just been living in the wrong state. Below you’ll find the 10 states with the most freedom as ranked by the Cato Institute and information taken from the website Freedom in the 50 States. Enjoy!
The first state to make the list is Arizona. Compared to other states, the Grand Canyon State has generally been above average on economic freedom for years and has managed to improve on personal freedom. Its fiscal policy is arguably its greatest advantage, having relatively low state-level taxes. As for its higher than average sales tax, it allows residents to enjoy generally low individual and business income taxes. Meanwhile, Arizona’s personal freedom improvements are due to growing gun rights, a medical marijuana law, school vouchers, declining victimless crime arrests, the abolition of sodomy laws, and the legalization of same sex marriage.
Regulatory policy brings Arizona down a few notches. The state has done very little to encourage competition in the telecommunications and cable industry, forcing many consumers into legal monopoly situations. The minimum wage is also higher than the federal standard and the state also has an E-Verify mandate. Meanwhile, incarceration rates have continued to climb for the last few years, and smoking bans are prevalent, complex, and unwanted. The state is also worse than average when it comes to gambling freedom.