Virginia Ranks 8th In Overall Freedom | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Ranks 8th In Overall Freedom

Play associated audio
Virginia ranks 8th among the 50 states for overall freedom.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/5720789738/
Virginia ranks 8th among the 50 states for overall freedom.

Virginia ranks 8th among the 50 states for overall freedom, according to a study by George Mason University Mercatus Center. Analysts examined a wide range of public policies and categories to create an index that measures both personal and economic freedoms.

The authors admit that views vary about what constitutes freedom, so they posted the raw data online to enable other analyses. Co-author and assistant professor of political science Jason Sorens, from the University of Buffalo, ranks Virginia 6th in economic freedom.

"It's generally a fairly low-tax state, and that's the reason it scores well on fiscal policy," says Sorens. "On regulatory policy, the state tends to provide an environment favorable to new business and investment."

Sorens says states don't split along conventional ideologies since states that are permissive in such policies as marijuana use may be less free in others, such as smoking tobacco. But he says Virginia ranks 38th in personal freedom, including gambling, motorist, and helmet laws.

"Virginia has fairly harsh penalties for people who buy, sell, or possess marijuana," he says. "Virginia also does rather badly on alcohol laws in our index because of state liquor stores."

He adds that Virginia and states with greater economic freedom and growth are attracting people from other states.

NPR

A 'Lasciviously LA' Lunch With Crime Novelist James Ellroy

Ellroy's new novel, Perfidia, follows the Los Angeles police response to a brutal murder on the eve of Pearl Harbor. In a vintage steakhouse, the author discusses the book and his tech-free lifestyle.
NPR

Reality Check For Young Farmers: It's An Expensive 'Habit'

More young people are trying their hand at farming, hoping to make a living out of it. But, as it turns out, passion and grit are just a few of the prerequisites for success.
NPR

Clintons Return To Iowa To Rally Democratic Hopefuls

The Clintons are back in Iowa at an event that is the place to see and be seen for ambitious Democrats. NPR's Arun Rath talks with national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
NPR

Gaming Expert: Destiny Is Good, But 'There's Not Much There'

The much-anticipated video game, Destiny, was released this week. NPR's Lynn Neary speaks with gaming expert Adam Sessler about the new game and whether it was worth all the hype.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.