Liberal Left-Leaning States Are "Least Free" In Home Of The Brave

Tyler Durden's picture

The CATO Institute recently released its annual "Freedom in the 50 States" ranking (see interactive map below).  The study attempts to analyze a variety of fiscal, regulatory and social policies of each of the 50 states to establish a "freedom index" which allows people in various states to compare their level of individual liberty and freedom.

This study ranks the American states according to how their public policies affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. Updating, expanding, and improving on the three previous editions of Freedom in the 50 States, the 2015–16 edition examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of policy categories—from taxation to debt, from eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and from drug policy to educational choice.

Oddly enough, the map loosely mirrors electoral college maps of recent Presidential elections with people in the more left-leaning Northeast and West Coast states found to have the least individual "freedom" while people living in the right-leaning Southeast and Midwest were found to have more "freedom." 

Unsurprisingly, New York (ranked 50th) and California (ranked 49th) took the prize for "least free" while, in a little twist of irony, the "Live Free or Die" state of New Hampshire won the award for most "free".  Guess those slogans actually do mean something after all.

Below is a detailed look at the methodology employed by the CATO Institute to calculate the rankings:

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knukles's picture

Liberals are hypocritical control freaks.

Here2Go's picture
Here2Go (not verified) knukles Aug 16, 2016 2:19 PM

Least free... But MOST Free Shit Army...

N0TaREALmerican's picture
N0TaREALmerican (not verified) Here2Go Aug 16, 2016 2:25 PM

Kinda tough to judge who gets the most free-shit.   But, it looks like the states with the most dumbasses get the most loot.



bamawatson's picture

what about the other 7 states?

N0TaREALmerican's picture
N0TaREALmerican (not verified) bamawatson Aug 16, 2016 2:51 PM

Are they missing?

El Vaquero's picture

The meaning of liberal and conservative have been perverted beyond recognition.  The current batch of people often refered to as liberals are really nanny-statists.  Go back to older definitions of liberal, and I would be considered one. 


And at least my state gets #1 for personal freedom. 

froze25's picture

As would I, but with the death of any link of Jefferson to the current Liberals I am considered a Constitutionalist / Libertarian. Or Right Wing since I don't agree with the do what I say and believe what I believe OR ELSE! I have been thinking of moving to NH, great population Demographics there.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Who the hell needs freedom when you can get free shit from the government?

Déjà view's picture

Not surprised with Tejas ranking...RINO are very liberal when it comes to living beyond means i.e. state and local debt @ SECOND highest absolute & per capita ($15,000). Most Tejas debt is local which is out of control due to Tejas cunning backstop of local debt with 'Loan' Star state credit rating. Home of LIBERAL DEBT SLAVES. Conservative my A$$!

PositiveChanges's picture

Free stuff AND safety and security from all the created boogeymen.


GeezerGeek's picture

NH? Isn't that the state with the motto "Live free until the Massholes ruin it"?

Rbh110's picture

Hey.. as a Masshole I resemble that remark.


Rbh110's picture

Hey.. as a Masshole I resemble that remark.


Ignatius's picture

Oklahoma happens to be a LEADER in civil asset forfeiture, which in my book is VERY un-free, yet the author gives 'em a high mark.

N0TaREALmerican's picture
N0TaREALmerican (not verified) Ignatius Aug 16, 2016 4:01 PM

"Civil asset forfeiture" is mostly used against the trash-class and "those people".  

The CATO institute only cares about the freedom of those who matter.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) N0TaREALmerican Aug 16, 2016 4:45 PM

Oklahoma is also 2nd in per capita incarceration.

swmnguy's picture

Mostly it looks like they're judging based on freedom of capital and its owners to do whatever they want.  I mean, Oklahoma, Indiana, South Dakota?  This must be some kind of joke.

balolalo's picture

Hey Tylers.  I don't know who's new in charge of editorial, or what kind of shake up is going on over there.  But you guys are missing the mark.  And this coming from an avid fan and long time reader. 

A lot of your recent articles are just reposts of shit from other blogs, institutes, think tanks, websites, or wherever with very little vetting or context... as if they are true by default of the topic or the click-bait title alone. 

I'm starting to get a tad worried that Zerohedge is getting watered down just to increase the posts and what can sometimes be called discussion in the comments. 

LESS IS MORE and this article is simply irrelevant and wrong.  Unecessary.  

Your rep is taking hits with these kinds of dumb posts from people who care about these kinds of things... mainly intelligent people. 

Queue the ignorant, inane, and moronic comments. 

BarkingCat's picture

I keep saying that and many times get hostile reactions from people who should know better.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Personal Freedom?


Personal freedom cannot be achievable in a capitalist society, because the far broader range of coercive institutions and its bureaucratic autocratic state. 


Liberalism favors some government “smart class” intervention. True Libertarians, not American’s libertarians, favor popular control and local councils. Liberals and Libertarians do not mix. A libertarian could never be a liberal.


Republicans and Democrats, as well as most Americans, are State Socialists and State Capitalists. But, because both are so good in propaganda, that, by the time a Republican or a Democrat are finishing brainwashing you, you’ll have difficulty to differentiate a cat from a dog.  


Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Personal freedom cannot be achievable in a capitalist society"

It sure as hell can't be achieved in a socialist society!!  What we, and be we I mean "Americans", have is NOT a capitalist society.  I'd rather have liberty and freedom as opposed to someone telling me every single thing I need to do---cradly to grave Nanny Statism.  YUCK!!  If Hillary gets elected, she can change her name to Nanny Hillary.

GeezerGeek's picture

As with so many other words (liberals/conservatives, left/right, Red/Blue, etc.) we seem to be unable to arrive at a common definition of what capitalism is, or what a capitalist society is. Too often the word capitalism is used independent of the concept of free markets, and the term 'fascist' is now so vague in its meaning that it is as useful as "f**king", which apparently is now a universally applicable adjective. It works with everything!

So yes, up with the concepts of liberty and freedom and the heck with terms like capitalist and socialist.

And about that image of Nanny Hillary: how'd you like to have her as your granny? Would you cringe when she hugged you and smothered you with a big. slobbering kiss? (Would you check for your wallet after she backed off?)

Escrava Isaura's picture

Beam Me Up Scotty, I'd rather have liberty and freedom as opposed to someone telling me every single thing I need to do---cradly to grave.


The only way that you, a child, a laborer, a craftsmen, people that love their labor and what they do to a point of becoming artists, to set yourself free would be to start a revolution.


Capitalism will make you, I mean, most humans, tools of production. And that’s why most workers are so miserable, because they don’t love what they do. Capitalism cannot produce a free man because the core of capitalism is to generate profit. And you can only do that at someone’s expense.


Now socialism can only be realized if the workers themselves own their production. Italy and Greece tried socialism after WW-2 and I don’t have to tell you what happened to them..

US, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Sweden, and most the others nations are not socialists. They are called socialists for propaganda purpose. These nations are state capitalism disguised in whatever lie they tell you.


Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Capitalism cannot produce a free man because the core of capitalism is to generate profit."

Without profit, there is no motive to work.  When the work ceases, you get what is happening in Venezuela today.  My wife happens to work for a US Fortune 500 company.  She is non union, she's never been in a union.  She has healthcare paid for, a pension, and makes well into 6 figures a year.  But she WORKS.  She doesn't sit at home and wait for a check from Obama every month.  You can take your socialism and shove it up your ass.

THIS is socialism:  When EVERYONE is dirt poor, NO ONE will be dirt poor.

Escrava Isaura's picture

The work never ceases. Life is a constant struggle. We were just luck because of abundant energy that gave us the way to loot the planet.

But this energy is ending. So will humanity, if we keep at the current pace, which we will.


And your wife's pension? She won’t collect.


And her job, most likely, is totally dependent on the government actions, grants, and so on and so forth, because 76% of Americans live from pay check to pay check. Overseas is even worse.




Balanced Integer's picture

Speaking of brainwashed, you can't differentiate your dick from your nose.

Go to buy a chainsaw at a hardware store. THAT is capitalism. Everyone benefits from that transaction. There are no losers when the free market is allowed to function.

People who are anti-capitalism are economic illiterates who think that economic activity is a zero-sum game. It isn't. Economic activity grows the pie for everyone who is willing to work for a piece of it.

GeezerGeek's picture

Barry transferred control of them to ISIS/ISIL when he and hellary created that terrorist organization. They wouldn't have passed Trump's loyalty test anyway, so good riddance.

GeezerGeek's picture

Floridians get lots of "free shit" from .GOV. Of course when they were younger and lived in fascist states like NJ and NY they were part of the "givers", but then they got old, retired, and moved to Florida. Money flows alone don't tell the complete story.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Liberals are hypocritical control freaks"

True.  The bigger problem is, so are most self-identified "conservatives."  Texas, for example, is pretty low on the list, largely because its conservative "law and order" population wants to put everyone else in jail.    Most people who consider themselves conservatives believe in religion based laws controlling behavior; harsh criminal sentences for drug crimes even if victimless; moar military; moar police; moar prisons (best if they are run for profit); moar spying on Americans to protect our freedoms.


Duc888's picture



I believe I'll have a beer.  I don't really believe in too much after that.  Well, I believe people should butt the hell out of all others lives...


N0TaREALmerican's picture
N0TaREALmerican (not verified) Duc888 Aug 16, 2016 2:38 PM

Takes all the fun out of winning elections if you did that.  

Pushing your deity and ideology on others is what some people live for.

GeezerGeek's picture

Some deity long ago condemned murder and theft, and darn it but we're still stuck with those moralistic laws.

Just what basis for laws would you be satisfied with?

knukles's picture

None other.
There're reasons why they, those pesky little trite ideas, keep popping up down through the ages, all places, all times.
And nobody cares until it's too late and then ....

Problem is nobody cares anymore.

Consuelo's picture



'Pushing them' is one thing.


Codifying them into law is quite another.  

LetThemEatRand's picture

It's a sad state of affairs.  I don't know what percentage of the population really wants to be left alone (and I don't count the people that say they do while they simultaneously support more criminal laws, spying, or whatever else they want to do in order to control everyone else), but it's very small.  

redd_green's picture

Yeah, agreed. There is no left vs right.  its rich vs poor.  Always has been.

Duc888's picture




....crazier than shit house ratz too.  Talking to a die hard liberal retired math teacher in the bar last night.....


"can't vote for trump because he's aligned with the white supremacists..."  I shit you not.  So I told him he needs to Vote for Killery because she is 100% aligned with the NeoCon policies that gave us the mujahadeen who then morphed into the Taliban, which were really kewl dudes until they decided to crimp the growth of the Poppy Crop over in Trashcanistan and fuck over the Banksterz....and then of course the same policies got us Al Nursra, Al-CIA-Dugh and ISIS / ISIL.    Math guy's head fucking reached critical mass and damned near exploded in front of me.  He almost fell off his fucking bar stool.   I asked him if he's ever heard of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Crickets.  Hillary eats Muslim clam.  Crickets.


I bought him a shot of Jack and told him "I'll see you when your bullshit pension goes the way of the Galactic Black Holes, I promise not to piss on your face, or not."

So yea, I guess I gotta worry about some white supremacists now.  Not. Who knew?




bamawatson's picture

white supremacist is redundant

Duc888's picture



Vote for Hillary.

redd_green's picture

Oumpf, ohhh that hurt.   Even to read it much less say it.

Duc888's picture



People can't read sarcasm this evening I guess.

GeezerGeek's picture

If I were on a jury trying her, I'd vote to convict.

Cloud9.5's picture

I'm half white does that count?

GeezerGeek's picture

So do you self-identify as an inferior supremacist? Or a supreme subhuman? Just curious. I'm Caucasian. My wife is Chinese. I told my son long ago that he's a mutt, and that there's nothing wrong with that. It's all about how using one's brains and talents for success or failure.

Which reminds me, for no particular reason, of a part of an old rhyme:

When God gave out brains, I thought he said trains, and I missed mine.

August's picture

I don't really move in "white supremacist" circles, but my strong impression is that few such actually exist.  Many who are tarred with the "supremacist" brush are really (like Randy Weaver) white separatists - they just want to go their own way, and be left the fuck alone.

I really do not give a damn who qualifies as the ueber-subspecies - WASPs, Jews, East Asians, Armenians, Blacks or whatever - I just don't want to pay for their assorted scams and bullshit agendas.

I also don't care what happens to New Jersey or Illinois.  So sorry.

Francis Marx's picture

Its because their system leaves out automatous rule for the individual.  So there is no reward to the self esteem. State declares themselves ones conscience.

redd_green's picture

Like the conservatives insane drive to outlaw and punish abortion.