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

Out Of Juvenile Corrections, Poems Of Fury, Loss — And Lingering Beauty

Over 1,000 students submitted their work for Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections. Two young poets split the top prize — and they've shared their poems with NPR.
NPR

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.
NPR

Be Like Bernie: Sanders Looks To Spread His Political Wealth

He's beginning to expand his political network by helping upstart progressive congressional candidates and state legislators, lending his fundraising prowess and national fame to boost their bids.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

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