The new U.S. Economic Freedom Index ranks the 50 states using policy variables like the size of the welfare programs and regulatory machines, then links those rankings to economic prosperity. Go here to read the report and find where your state ranks. My home state (N.C.) is No. 24, yuck. Both Ga. and Fla. are in the 11-20 range, so the ol' Governor may want to take a look if he wants to compete for businesses.
You can also go here to sign up for Heritage's event on this report, featuring two of the authors (it can also be watched live online). Here's the description:
Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan of the Pacific Research Institute, with the assistance of economists Ying Huang and Robert E. McCormick of Clemson University, has created a U.S. Economic Freedom Index. Published in association with Forbes, the Index is an important tool, not only for policymakers, but also for those seeking an improved understanding of the link between economic freedom and financial prosperity. Using data from more than 100 policy variables, this indispensable report examines five types of government intervention – fiscal, regulatory, judicial, size of government, and welfare – to rank America’s 50 states on their level of economic freedom. Which States are soaring? Which States are sliding? Our distinguished panelists will tell you.
The Commonwealth Foundation of Pennsylvania is already advertising the Keystone State's poor Index showing (No. 45) in order to encourage the Foundation's free-market philosophy. They're hosting a breakfast on the subject Monday. Looks like it's already becoming a useful tool. From a Foundation press release:
"Despite -- or perhaps because of -- Pennsylvania politicians' attempts to generate economic prosperity through taxpayer subsidies and government intervention in the marketplace, the commonwealth ranks 45th among the 50 states in economic freedom," said Grant R. Gulibon, senior policy analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation. "And that lack of freedom is shrinking Pennsylvanians' paychecks."