Oh- the right-wing(nuts) have been having a field day with this one.
Never mind of course that the Mercatus Center is a “think (how ironic is that) tank funded and staffed by the Koch Brothers. (Maybe worth noting that the center moved from Rutgers to George Mason University after the Koch Brothers donated $30 MILLION)”Libertarians” and right wing conservatives who measure freedom not as it applies to the individual. Nor to the society. But to the corporation. (worth noting Exxon-Mobil is another major contributor to this “think” tank.
Also worth noting that the Reagan era abomination Edwin Meese is also on the board of directors…
Indeed, while they claim to consider “personal freedom” in their equation- the wat they weight it tells another story. With North Dakota ranking a dismal 39th for personal freedom. (And ironically- the study coming out right as ND passed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in the nation, further restricting personal freedom- particularly for women.
Overall their study lauds many of the southern and central states for “freedom”. While ignoring the very fact these are some of the most repressive states for individual freedoms. From racism. To workers rights. To drug laws. To womens rights. to religious tolerance. And also ignoring the fact that these tend to be the very states that take in far more in federal dollars then they put in. That rank lowest in education and child welfare. Lowest in wages.
But hey- the rich can get richer there. Extractive industries can opperate with impunity. Factories and other industires can get huge tax breaks and let the federal government pick up the tab for their employees (all the while complaining about it).