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How “Free” Is Your State? A Comprehensive Guide

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So this is pretty cool. Every year the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranks all 50 states on over 200 policies ranging everywhere from fiscal policy to personal freedom (such as the looseness or strictness of a state’s alcohol laws), as well as weigh public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on their victims, and from there, determine the order of the freest states in America.

If there are two things America loves, it’s freedom and competition, so why not compete to see who’s the freest? Seems like the logically American thing to do. Quick, everyone find your state’s ranking and start arguing in the comments! SUCK A DICK OREGON! I’M TWICE AS FREE AS YOU!

My home state of Missouri comes in at number 7, while my current state of residence, Texas, is a healthy 14. Not too bad. I’ll gladly sacrifice a little freedom to never have to live in the Dakotas, or Oklahoma. Just because your state is free doesn’t mean it’s not a shit hole.

In case anyone is wondering, here’s the list of the freest states in the country, in terms of alcohol laws.

I take issue with Texas being in the top 5. The very fact that I can’t buy liquor after 9 PM, or at all on Sundays, makes me long for the Anheuser-Busch lobby controlled liquor laws of Missouri. It is, however, unsurprising that Missouri, Colorado, and Wisconsin are all in the top 5, being that they are the homes of A-B, Coors, and Miller, respectively. Meanwhile, nobody is surprised that Utah came in last. I’ve only been to Utah on a layover flight to John Wayne in Orange County, but in my short time there I found my way over to the airport Chili’s, where I of course ordered a margarita. The waitress came back with a lime flavored juice box and some mild salt, as overly flavorful spices are also outlawed. Utah blows.

Not only does the Mercatus Center do a thorough job of compiling these rankings, they acknowledge that what they consider “free” might not be what other people consider free. To reconcile their arrogance (DON’T TELL ME WHAT’S FREE MISTER FANCY RESEARCH MAN!) they actually let you recalculate the rankings according to your own opinions on what freedom is, and they publish the most interesting ones on their Facebook page.

You can go on over to the site and basically figure out which state is freest in any number of categories. It is an excellent way to kill some free time, which you might not have, depending on the state you live in. Sorry New Yorkers, go back to drinking your tiny sodas and paying your giant taxes. Freedom costs a lot more than a buck ‘o five there.



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