McClaughry: Economic freedom in Vermont

By John McClaughry

Our friends at New Hampshire’s Josiah Bartlett Center are applauding their state for being rated the most economically free state in the union, by the independent Fraser Institute in British Columbia, which has done the rankings for twenty years. Their Economic Freedom of North America report measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2017, the most recent year of available data.

New Hampshire scored 7.93 out of 10 in this year’s report, well above its New England neighbors and far above lowest-ranked New York (4.49), which placed last for the fifth year in a row. Rounding out the top five freest states are Florida (2nd), Tennessee (3rd), Virginia (4th) and Texas (5th).

Of New Hampshire’s New England competitors, Connecticut ranked 13th, Massachusetts 17th, Maine 36th, Rhode Island 38th, and Vermont 47th. The only states below Vermont were Alaska, West Virginia, and in the cellar, New York.

The Bartlett Center explained that low taxes and limited government generate freedom and prosperity. Fred McMahon, the report co-author and the Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute, said: “When governments allow markets to decide what’s produced, how it’s produced and how much is produced, citizens enjoy greater levels of economic freedom.”

How wonderful it would be if a majority of our political class spent as much effort on making Vermont economically free and prosperous, as they have trying to defeat the Menace of Climate Change.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

4 thoughts on “McClaughry: Economic freedom in Vermont

  1. LOW taxes and LIMITED government are in part responsible for our next door neighbor’s success? As I’ve noted numerous times, it ain’t ROCKET SCIENCE!! The distance between Montpelier and Concord might just as well be a light year. Sad, but true.

    • Interesting thought on how far Montpelier is from Concord. Mentally it’s far further. At 186,000 miles / second X 60 (mins) X 60 (hrs) X 24 (day hours) X 365 (days) = 5.879e+12 miles (5,878,625,373,183.6 miles— 9,460,730,472,580.8 kilometers for our Canadian friends).

      The case of being night and day is easier to fathom. Realistically figuring, Montpelier can / will never see the light, too many negative VT gravity forces have attracted Flatlanders to moved here.

      Wish they would leave at the speed of light. Hop in their electric cars.

  2. I’m very glad for the citizens of New Hampshire. Unfortunately, Vermont isn’t likely to change. The climate Carpetbaggers have marked the classic hobo tree for those to follow. There will always be some bums coming along, looking for a chance at easy money in return. There’ll be climate change purveyors, hawkers for EB5 programs, and all sorts of shekel grabbers looking to fill their money pouches; Kings, Lord, and princes among petty thieves. And what will the citizens get? More economy breaking taxes and a heavy hand for those who work to support them. Now, this is as good a reason for people to be leaving Vermont in droves.

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