Arizona among best states for freedom - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Arizona among best states for freedom

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Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 7:06 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Our View: Arizonans can be proud that they live in one of the “freest” states in the Union, as measured by keeping government out of our lives and taking as little of our tax money as possible.

Arizonans can be proud that they live in one of the “freest” states in the Union, as measured by keeping government out of our lives and taking as little of our tax money as possible.

This recognition comes in a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The study’s authors claim they have made the most comprehensive comparison ever of policies among the 50 states as related to personal freedom and economic policy. The study honors limited government regulation in a variety of areas, while criticizing rapacious and ever-expanding tax-and-spend schemes.

Arizona came in eighth-best state to live in from a libertarian perspective.

The study gives our state high marks for respecting gun-ownership rights, for encouraging school choice alternatives and for less restrictive labor laws. The study ranked Arizona lower because marijuana possession here is still a crime, cigarette taxes are among the highest in the country and the state has incredibly low contribution limits for candidate election campaigns.

Where could Arizona look for ideas on how to encourage more freedom? The study suggests New Hampshire, Colorado and South Dakota, as those three states were virtually tied for first place.

As for the states with policies that everyone should avoid — well, that shouldn’t be a big surprise. New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and California came in as the states that are the most repressive.

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