Study finds Americans migrating to states with more economic, social freedoms

The George Mason University’s Mercatus Center released the latest findings from its “Freedom in 50 States” study and it found that Americans are heading to more conservative states than liberal states because of a variety of different economic and social freedoms.

Study authors had utilized a number of criteria when it came to economic and social freedoms, including tax rates, regulatory burdens, government spending, seat belt and helmet laws, state debt, gun control, free choice when it comes to education, gambling laws, state laws relating to land use, union organizing and a slate of others.

According to the research, the freest states were so-called conservative “red” states and the least free were liberal “blue states.” Americans are migrating to so-called freer red-states and less-free blue states.

Researchers concluded the top five freest states were North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, the five least free states were New York, California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

The states in the bottom five suffered from different issues. For instance, The Empire State’s biggest problems is taxes, while The Golden State’s largest difficulty is the large number of business regulations.

“The more a state denies people their freedoms, increases their taxes or passes laws that make it hard for businesses to hire and fire, the more likely they are to leave,” stated study co-author William Rutger in a media release. “Where legislators think they’re responsible for protecting you from yourself and choosing the menus of your meals, it’s no great surprise that they also see fewer limitations on their power in other areas. After all, if they’re taking your food, why not also take your money?”

The study also questioned President Barack Obama’s claims that tax cuts and deregulation don’t lead to economic growth and prosperity. However, the data compiled by the university suggest quite the opposite.

In general, the study discovered that when states had greater freedoms in all sectors of society it led to strong income growth, especially in states that had enhanced regulatory freedom. “Adam Smith was right,” Ruger added. “If you have economic freedom you will have economic growth.”

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